10/26 Real Bride Amy: Broke-Ass Friends

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Basically, the Broke-Ass uniform. Via Etsy seller TrendingTops

I’ve talked about dealing with moms and in-laws, but I’m finding dealing with friends to be the most challenging to handle. I don’t know why; maybe it’s because it’s a less secure relationship than a family member, but it’s adding to the already stressful situation I’ve been having.

Last week, I told you about our recent venue visit and how plans got turned upside down. Needless to say, we had to reevaluate some things and change our vision a bit. In case you haven’t been following the saga, our goal was to really spend quality time with friends and family, so instead of having an event that only lasts a few hours like a traditional wedding, we found a small “resort” where people could come stay the weekend. We are renting a house, hosting guests for a big dinner party Saturday night and having the ceremony and a brunch reception Sunday morning. We had hoped people would come up and stay for two days and maybe two nights so we could all hang out and enjoy the activities at the resort.

When we went to visit a few weeks ago, we found out that our house for Saturday would not accommodate our projected guest count and construction plans for the space we planned on holding our ceremony fell through, and the alternative would need quite a bit of gussying up. Which brings me to our new plan: We’re renting a larger (more expensive) house on the property that also includes a tent for the reception Sunday. Because it’s bigger — costing us more — we are hoping people will stay in it and pay for their rooms to defer some of the cost. I’m only asking couples to pay $400 for the weekend, so it seemed reasonable to me. It’s less than the actual cost of the house, and it’s as much — if not less — than they would pay for their own accommodations. I sent out a note to a group of my friends explaining the situation asking if they would agree to take rooms so we could move forward with the venue and go with the house rental. I got two immediate yeses, which put me more at ease, but the next morning that changed.

The next day I opened my email to find a note from my closest friend, and would-be MOH. She casually told me she and her husband chatted about it, and they decided to find another place to stay in the area so they were just going to come up Saturday, stay at their rental and leave Sunday afternoon. She wished me luck with the house. I was really upset! First, I was counting on my friends to buy in to this plan in order to make it work. Second, her, of all people, was not going along with the plan. I started to see our whole vision crumbling once again and Plan C falling apart. If people aren’t going to come and stay, it defeats the purpose of the whole event. I know the real purpose is a marriage, but my point is, I could do that with just the two of us, close to home, without all the fanfare and planning and cost that I’m putting in to this for our guests to enjoy. I’ve really been so guest-centric in all of my decisions, I feel like I’m being as accommodating as possible.

Real Bride Amy serving as a bridesmaid

One of my many bridesmaid appearances. Isn’t it my turn now?

We talked via text and she asked to get coffee. She apologized saying she didn’t understand how important it was that she was there for the weekend. She did change her mind and is coming up Friday, but is still staying elsewhere. The reason? Money. Here’s where it gets messy: Friendships and finances don’t mix, but I hate this as a justification. Unfortunately, some things you can’t put a price on. For me, friends are not an area where budget comes in to play. I’m trying to respect her broke-assness, but I’m having a hard time. Mainly because I didn’t do a formal bridal party for this reason. I was in her wedding, went away for a bachelorette weekend, threw her a lovely shower, dress, hair, shoes … the whole nine. Plus, I did the makeup for her and the rest of the party, gratis. I easily spent over $1,000. And now I’m asking $400, a year in advance, and she can’t swing it. It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s not just the dollars and cents, but it’s about value, like she’s saying I’m not worth it. It’s not an easy situation to be in to ask friends and family to spend money on you in the first place, but to have them say no when you do ask is worse.

So ladies, what do you do when your friends play the broke card?

Amy is an outside-the-box Upstate N.Y. busy bride-to-be! She squeezes in wedding planning between her day job in healthcare, her second job as a makeup artist, an 8-year-old soon-to-be stepson and blogging for BAB as well as a local community blog. She tries to have a social life and occasionally sleeps. In her precious free time, you'll find her snuggling on the couch with her favorites, her two rescue pups, catching up on her shows and eating a snack that is not on the pre-wedding diet. Follow her on Instagram @beautywithsass.