Bridesmaid Confessions: “I Was In The Bridal Party From Hell”

Welcome to Bridesmaid Confessions, where we tackle the hardest part of participating in someone else's wedding: the cost. We're asking real bridesmaids to spill the beans — anonymously, of course — on every wedding-related expense, from the engagement all the way to the big day. (Thanks, Money Diaries, for the inspiration.)
Today, a bridesmaid who was in the bridal party from hell.Want to share your experience? Email us here.
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Job: Account manager
Age: 33
Location: NYC
Annual salary: $55,000
Total number of bridesmaids: 12
How do you know the bride? Sorority sisters

The Dress

How much were the dress and shoes? "It was $400. Fun fact: The bride was late to order the dresses and one of them, the one that most people picked, came with a rush charge that she didn’t tell us about. So we paid about $50 more for the dress, and someone ratted her out after!"

What was your dress-shopping experience?
"Torture. We all went to a bridal salon and everyone was bullying each other to like specific dresses based on their body type and some were planning on being pregnant. I am a plus-size girl (as is the bride), and, of course, none of the samples fit me so I ordered blind."

Would you wear it again?
"Absolutely not! It is bubblegum pink and made completely of tulle."

Wedding-Day Details & Costs

Wedding location: "Upstate New York — the bride’s hometown. She lives in New Jersey with her husband. There were literally 15% of guests that were from upstate New York — it would have made more sense to have it in New Jersey."

Costs for lodging and travel:
"I arrived on Thursday afternoon after an eight-hour car ride and left first thing Sunday morning. It was $700."

Costs for hair and makeup:
"I opted to do my own hair and makeup, but it was $80 for each [of the other bridesmaids]." Did you have other expenses during the wedding weekend? "We were there for four days. Leading up, I spent about $350. That's including all meals and drinks, plus gas and tolls. The day we arrived, we were herded off to a winery, which was actually nice but it felt like a race. There was a tasting that we all opted into, $15 per person, and they didn’t even treat us!"
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.

The Bachelorette Party

Where was the bachelorette? "NYC."

Did you organize the bachelorette?
"NO. When the maids of honor (there were THREE) reached out a year before for suggestions, I sent a ton. I was one of the only single women living in New York, and working in the beverage industry, so I knew a lot of the hot spots. I was pretty much shot down, and so I kept my mouth shut. They ended up doing a hop on-hop off bus and cooking class — don't laugh."

How much did you spend on the bachelorette?
"I was told that since I was in the bridal party — even though I wasn’t going — that I had to send a $50 check to the MOH to cover decorations and a customized apron. I didn’t send it by the deadline and the MOH stalked me until I sent the check."

The Bridal Shower

Where was the bridal shower? "In the bride’s hometown — eight hours from where she lives. We all traipsed up there and then found out that the weekend before, the mother-in-law had a separate shower for locals that we were not told about."

Did you organize or host the shower?
"NO. Her mother did, but we put money in for god knows what."

How much did the bridal shower cost?
"$100 for decor, no clue what that was. $100 for travel to get there. $100 for a hotel room."


How much did you spend on gifts? "I have yet to be able to send her a wedding gift, as I work two jobs to survive and had to have a surgery three weeks after the wedding. My deductibles equaled $7,000, so her gift has to wait... In the end, I spent $300 [on other gifts]. This also includes an engagement gift."
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.

Was It Worth The $$$?

What was the craziest part of being a bridesmaid? "I caught the MOH talking shit about me at the shower, and she got me so worked up I had to walk out and cried like a teenager."

What was the worst part of being a bridesmaid?
"The women were horrendous. All they did was complain and talk about each other. It made me sick to be around it." What was the best part? "Seeing my friend finally find happiness and get what she was looking for for so long. I cried like a baby at the ceremony and through all of the speeches." Do you think being a bridesmaid is worth it? "I have been a bridesmaid quite a few times; the only time I can say that I really thought it was worth it was for my best friend and for my brother’s wedding. Other than that, let me be a guest and wear what I want." Would you do it again? "No. I am pretty sure everyone who really knows me knows better than to ask me. I have one really good friend left to get married, who would probably ask me to be her MOH and she knows I won’t do it. I told her I would give a toast."
Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.

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