I Don't Want To Be In Your Wedding If It's Going To Cost Me A Million Dollars

by Christine Burke
Originally Published: 

I will do anything for my friends.


You need to dump your kids at my house on a moment’s notice? Come on over, I have popsicles and juice boxes.

Did you have a terrible shit show of a day and need me to commiserate over a bottle of wine? I’ll bring two bottles. And straws.

I’ll fold laundry in a crisis. I’ll make lasagnas for days when new babies arrive, and I’ll even run interference with your mother-in-law during a holiday, but there is one thing I refuse to do for my friends, no matter how much l love them.

I won’t be in their expensive AF weddings.

When I got married almost 20 years ago, our wedding was the definition of simple elegance (read: cheap). My dress was an off-the-clearance-rack number and it cost me less than $300. Our bachelor and bachelorette parties were held on the same night at local beach bars, and we chose a honeymoon destination that we could get to by car to save money. We held the wedding at our local church and we had a wedding reception at a nearby hotel.

We said our vows in front of our family and friends and then enjoyed their company at a simple, yet elegant, meal in a large conference-style room.

It was perfect. Really. Even 20 years later, I still smile at the memories because it all felt so simple and effortless. A groom. A bride. A dress and some vows. Surrounded by the people we love. Easy peasy. We had everything we needed to start our marriage off on the right foot. Well, except burlap, a horse barn, and mason jars. Hipster weddings weren’t a thing when I got married though.

You know what else we didn’t have that day?

A huge fucking bill that we had to pay off for the next 10 years.

And we most certainly didn’t expect our groomsmen and bridesmaids to pay a king’s ransom for the privilege of standing next to us as we exchanged vows.

Recently, a friend detailed the expenses she was incurring to attend her best friend’s wedding. As she listed all of the bride’s requests (demands), I was appalled at how much money she was shelling out to stand next to the girl who knew all of her secrets. And I was infuriated that her best friend had seemingly become a greedy bridezilla the minute that diamond ring graced her finger.

Seriously, WTF, brides?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I most certainly don’t have the coin to drop on a couture, custom gown. And let’s stop with the “you’ll wear it again” bullshit, okay? We both know my bridesmaid gown will wind up in a ball on the bottom of my closet covered in laundry for the next three years. Nobody is wearing that shit again.

And don’t get me started on destination bachelorette parties that require airfare and nearly a week off.

Brides, listen, I loves me a girls’ weekend away just as much as the next gal. But I’m going to have to ask you to take several seats when you ask me to pay to join you in the Caribbean, so you can celebrate your last “fling before the ring.” I would bet that all of your bridesmaids would be just as willing to adore you at a pedicure salon and would be happy to treat you to dinner at your favorite hibachi restaurant. Hibachi is fun, and a whole lot cheaper than a plane ticket to Vegas for an expensive weekend of over-the-top shenanigans.

Before you start yelling at me for being a bad friend, hear me out. When my friends announce their nuptials, I’m excited for them, truly. I love being married and, as I said, treasure the memories of my own big day. But I simply cannot get on board with this new notion that bridesmaids have to take out a second mortgage in order to stand next to their best friends on their special day.

From wedding gowns that cost more than the down payment on my first house to wedding venues that make Buckingham Palace look like a shit shack, weddings have gotten out of hand.

People are entitled to get as fancy and expensive as they want, on their dime. But expecting bridesmaids (and groomsmen) to bust their budget? Rude. Y’all need to simmer down with your big-spending ways. Perhaps spending a lot less money on miles of burlap and every Mason jar west of the Mississippi wouldn’t be a terrible idea? But what do I know.

Brides, I know that your wedding is an expression of your deep and abiding love for your soon to be spouse. And I know that it’s fun to feel like a princess for a day and I, too, loved wearing my veil and floating down the aisle to the man smiling at me, but give your bridesmaids a break.

Because your bridesmaids really do want the best for you on your big day and they are honored that you are asking them to stand by your side. But expecting them to foot the bill for dresses and weekends away and glamorous wedding showers is over the top.

I mean, really. Is that any way to treat the girls who know your deepest, darkest secrets? I think not. Don’t let your bridezilla ways tarnish your lifelong friendships.

So, friends, I’ll be glad to show up at the church and clap when you have your first married kiss, but I’m a hard pass on wearing a bridesmaid gown for your shindig.

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