Manners and bridesmaid dress shopping. Is this rude?

I love my friend. I’m going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this November. This doesn’t bother me at all, I promise. I’ll even spend the money on the dress and get my hair and makeup done just like she wants.

But she’s got to give me a little bit of an idea when she wants to go shopping. Two weeks ago, she sent me an e-mail…“How’s Sunday the 14th for shopping? Can you make it?”

Sure, just tell me what time. I’ll be out of town all the week before, but I’ll have e-mail access and be checking my voice mail.

Last weekend, hadn’t heard from her. So I left her a voice mail, asking for the time. Monday evening, being in a hotel, I sent her an e-mail.

Got a response from her, but still no time to meet. Asked again, no answer. Called Saturday (yesterday) afternoon, to find out, and to chat for a bit. No answer, left a voice mail. Got no response.

What are my obligations in this? I could call the bridal shop and they would maybe tell me. But I have things I could get done this afternoon if the appointment is canceled. Would it be rude to go ahead and leave instead of waiting to maybe hear from her?

Well, I’d probably wait, but that’s because I’m silly. I think you’d be fully justified in leaving. You made an effort to find out what was going on, and she didn’t respond appropriately. Her loss, I think

What did your friend want you to do, hang around at the bridal shop all day until she showed up? I know planning a wedding is a stressful thing (been there), but that’s asking for way too much.

I would call the bridal shop. Ask them if they know anything about the time she is supposed to be there for. If not, leave a message for her saying that you waited to hear back from her regarding the time you were to meet so you assume it must be cancelled. Ask her when the next shopping date is and confirm the time immediately.

Ok, she finally called - it’s at 3, so I’m supposed to be there in 2 minutes by my watch. I told her I’d be there in 15 minutes or so. At least she finally told me that they set a date.
(I’m beginning to see why wedding planning can be stressful on friendships.)

Here’s an idea that I used before my Maid of Honor and I went shopping for dresses:

Logged on to The Knot and looked at gowns online. You might already know what she has in mind for colors or styles, they have pretty much ANY style you could think of. Even if you don’t know exactly what she wants, pick out some you like that you think she would like. It was fun for me to sample so many dresses before going to the shop. You could then email her photos of the dresses you have in mind, including a note saying “I know you have been busy, what do you think about some of these styles? Looking forward to getting together with you soon”, etc. This could be enough to jump start her into getting to the bridal shop for trying the dresses on for her approval.

Above all, don’t take it personally that she hasn’t been able to find time to shop, maybe she has decided to wait a few more weeks before picking out dresses. I don’t think there’s any reason to sound the alarm bells in April.

Uh, oh, looks like I was slow on the draw. Well, hope your dress finding expedition goes well!!!


You know, maybe we’re just freaks…

But Lady Chance and I didn’t make her bridesmaids pay for anything. Nor my groomsmen. We paid for the whole thing, front to back.

Anything else seems, well, rude.

Wow, Jonathan Chance, you rule! I wish more folks thought like you.

Lsura, I know it’s hard, but try to be patient with your friend. I was recently a maid of honor for one of my best friends and there were many, many times when I wanted to throttle her. As far as I can tell, there’s something about getting an engagement ring that makes the sanest, loveliest, most sensible women go BrideCrazy. I’ve never met a bride who wasn’t at least slightly nuts. Just remember that the wedding planning will eventually end and your friend will return to her old delightful self.

You can thank me later.

Ahhh… time to share my story again!

I was supposed to be maid of honour for my friend, whom I’ve nicknamed Pam for the sake of anonimity. Pam sent me an email asking me if I could come on a shopping trip to look at bridesmaids dresses with her and the other girls on Saturday the 4th. She said she’d consulted with the other girls and it was good for both of them. Well, she hadn’t consulted with me, and it just so happened that Saturday the 4th was the one date for an entire month that I wasn’t free - I had a longstanding prior engagement with a friend who was visiting from overseas. I told Pam that I couldn’t make it on that date, and in reply I got a vicious email accusing me of trying to ruin her wedding, of refusing to do anything she asked and winding up demanding that I tell her straight if I wanted to be her bridesmaid because I “sure as hell” wasn’t acting like it.

I was so furious!

Number 1 - the only other thing I’d refused was when she asked me to grow my fingernails long for the wedding. I had told her I was prepared to have acrylic nails, but she said that wasn’t good enough and she wanted me to grow my own nails. I said no way, I hate having long nails and I thought it was a huge concession to offer to pay for and wear acrylic nails!

Number 2 - this was the very first outing that had ever been arranged - the accusation that I didn’t want to do anything she asked was unfair when we hadn’t even been asked to do anything yet!

Number 3 - It wasn’t a fitting, it was a shopping trip to look at bridesmaids dresses. There was more than 10 months to go before the wedding. She didn’t need me there, and she wasn’t pushed for time. She just wanted things her way.

Number 4 - If she had asked me to go any other day in that entire month, I could have gone. Only that one date was bad for me. She didn’t even ask what I had on, she just threw a tantrum.

We stopped talking for a fortnight, and then made up, but it ended our friendship just the same. I was never able to fully trust her again, and I know that she lied in her apology so I didn’t think she was really sorry - that and the fact that the lie she told was an insult in itself. There was more than that to it, but in the end this incident was too much for me to overlook when I was weighing up the balance of our friendship, and I haven’t spoken to her in over six months. I don’t care if I never see her again. I had never realised how deeply self-involved she was until her engagement, the subsequent wedding planning and finally the breakdown of her relationship - the shopping incident was merely the worst of many. Strangely, it seems that wedding planning brings out the worst in many brides.

I probably should add that I got married in December, and I can see why brides get an unrealistic view of their own importance. However, I hope I maintained a fairly balanced outlook and didn’t mortally offend anyone! One thing that amazed me was, about a fortnight after the wedding, I was flipping through receipts, and I couldn’t believe I’d spent $150 (Australian, about $80US) on a veil - yet it seemed so reasonably priced at the time. After all, it’s just a piece of tulle with a comb and some crystals stuck on it. $150? Outrageous! Funny how your perception changes.

I let my bridesmaids pick out their own dresses. I wore blue (my mother made my dress,) sent each of them swatches and told them to find something that went with the swatch. It took a lot of stress off all of us. Especially since we lived in 4 different states.