This is a long one- so get comfy.
What would you do?
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from one of my bridesmaids lamenting that she will be unable to pay for her dress by December which is the month that I had predetermined I would be comfortable with ordering in. She wrote that she understood if she couldn't be a bridesmaid and that her children (the flower girl and ring bearer) could still be a part of the wedding even if she could not.
I called her immediately letting her know that I could give her until the middle of January but that would be the latest. I told her that hse was important to me and that I wanted to do what I could to make things easier for her. At that time though I also made sure that she knew what the other expenses were that she would be expected to cover as a bridesmaid so that there would be no surprises later. She assured me that after Christmas she would be okay to contribute and all could continue as planned.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday. I got a call from the salon where I selected the dresses informing me that the style I selected for the bridesmaids was being discontinued and the order would need to be placed ASAP to ensure that we could get all of the dresses. When I heard this my heart sunk - I knew that this bridesmaid would not be able to afford the full cost of the dress up front at this time. So I asked the sales rep. if it was possible to put money down and pay later for this particular girl. After checking with her manager she told me that 60% would secure the dress.
I relayed this information back to my bridesmaid who said that she could still not afford 60%. I mentally went back to the drawing board and decided that since the other style of dress - the one intended for my sisters who are co-matrons of honor, had not been discontinued that I would put this bridesmaid and my bff in those too allowing more time for her to accumulate the money.
I went to the salon with two of my girls today hoping to be met with success only to find out that BOTH of the dresses were in fact discontinued. Not only that but I tried the second style on my bff and it looked not so good on her- whereas the original style looked adorable.
So the two girls I had with me were fitted and paid for their dresses - leaving me with this last bridesmaid and no possible dress. I called her and asked if there was anything that she could contribute to them in the month of December and she said flat out no. Not I can try, not let me do some re-budgeting, nothing. So I told her that unfortunately I would be sending the dress order in without her dress and that though I still want her to be a part of my day- she could no longer be a bridesmaid.
What I didn't tell her was that had she even offered to pay half of the deposit needed to buy the dress- I would have gone the other half. I was so shocked that she wasn't even going to attempt a solution that I didn't throw my Christmas money out there for her taking - because she's the type of girl I wouldn't get it back from.
To be perfectly honest I knew she was going to be a problem financially from the get-go but I was willing to work on it with her. This was completely out of my hands. I fell in love with and picked those dresses back in April - this bridesmaid and all of the others have had months to prepare knowing that I expected to place the order in December. Half of my girls had already been fitted and had paid- there is no going back- and to be honest I don't want to - I love those dresses!
My advice seeking here is this:
Was I being too stand-offish in not offering to pay for the dress out right- I mean its Christmas time here too -not only that but Ben and I are financing our own wedding right now- but was I wrong in not out right offering?
If I'm not going to pay for her dress (which at this point I'm not planning to) and she's not going to either, is it ok to ask another friend to step in and offer to pay her portion because its so last minute? I know that sounds mean why would I pay for one and not the other- but the original girl has known she was going to be a bridesmaid since last February she's had plenty of time- this other friend has been asked to do a reading not be a bridesmaid and hasn't been preparing to pony up the cash. Am I wrong here? Also what would be the best way to ask the new girl without making her feel she's second choice?
I just want to do this appropriately and not put anyone out. There is still 6.5 months until the wedding so I don't feel like its too close to ask someone else to be a bridesmaid but I don't want to alienate the original girl either.
What should I do?
What would you do?
Miss Amber Lane