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Ask Emilie: Bridal Party Won’t Pay

Welcome to Ask Emilie, here you can ask any question to our wedding planner Emilie. Emilie will answer your question no matter the topic. It can be about anything from styling, general wedding questions, cultural customs, planning, wedding budget and more. This week is talking with a bride who bridal party won’t pay for anything.

Today’s question is from Mel who asks:

Hey Emilie, I’m the last in my group to get married. I was either the maid of honour or part of the bridal party for many of my friends and at each time I had to pay for and/or be involved with the planning. Now it’s my turn to get married and some of my bridal party won’t pay for anything. They are saying that they just don’t have the money to pay for anything like their bridesmaid’s dresses, hair/ makeup and so on. I am not expecting them to pay for everything but the tradition set by my friend’s weddings was that we all paid for our own bridesmaid dresses and a couple of other things. The ones who have children say that they just do not have the money. I am understanding to a point but I feel its a bit of a hypocrisy because I went above and beyond for their wedding and paid for my own dresses and helped with so much. Do you have any advice to deal with this? Mel

Hi Mel,

I understand where you are coming from, when your friends were married you were there for them. Now that it is your turn especially since you are the last in the group you ‘drew the short straw’ in a manner of speaking. On the one hand, tradition is tradition but also some things change but that’s just life.

In a way, you have a fine line to cross. You need to find out the real reason why some of your bridal party won’t pay. What I mean by this is, are they really strapped for cash or what some call ‘using the baby as an excuse’. In some cases yes friends may be in a rough spot and its a matter of working out a compromise/solution. They could help out in many other ways. In other cases, some people just use ‘the baby’ as an excuse not to do anything. Let’s see what options are out there to help out with this.

Sometimes you just need to talk it though to resolve things

Bridal Party Won’t Pay

Have A Chat With Your Friends

Assuming you have not already done this have a chat with the friends who do not wish to pay. But do so in a calm environment after all you are friends and money is always a sensitive issue.

Find A Compromise

If money is truly a problem then perhaps a compromise can be made. For example, they may pay a little and perhaps they could help you with other factors of your wedding. Let’s be honest wedding planning is quite intensive. They could help you out by making the invitations with you or other forms of assistance that money can’t buy.

Pay For Their Stuff

In some cases, they will not budge on their position. While I do not understand your friends circumstance it could just be she is strapped for cash and now is a really bad time. Maybe she lost her job or had another financial strain. This is an option but remember to only do this if you are ok with it. You do not want this to blow up in your face down the road in years to come.

Leave Them Out Of The Bridal Party

If the issue becomes too big and there is too much arguing then perhaps it is best to leave them out. It could be that your friend is strapped for cash, more time is needed to be spent with their children or they rather be a guest. Obviously, invite them to the wedding and perhaps have them perform other non-bridal party related duties by making a speech, reciting a poem or verse during the ceremony, being an usher and so on. There are many things your friends can help you with without being part of the bridal party.

Bridal Party Won’t Pay – In Conclusion

At the end of the day you are all friends and in life, there will be certain challenges along the way. I can say that if you work through this your friendship will be strong. If it does not work out then so be it. Hopefully, a compromise or solution is found.


Are you having any issues with your bridal party? How did it work out? Let us know and join the discussion down below 🙂

Do you have a question for Ask Emilie then email her here? Alternatively, fill out the form below and have your question answered in our wedding blog. Also, check out the other Ask Emilie Blogs here, they may also contain what you are looking for or give you ideas and inspirations for other wedding-related questions.

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