Saying “No” to the Dress

    More and more young women are saying “no” to the dress and “no” to being a bridesmaid because of the cost of not only buying the dress, but destination brunches, travel, and other expenses associated with being a bridesmaid.

I have hoped that the current trends for wedding parties, specifically bridesmaids, would come back down to earth, but apparently it is only getting more elaborate and expensive.

I have four daughters. They have all been in countless wedding parties at a cost that might have paid for one full wedding.

    This morning my youngest daughter who is a struggling college student, called me for advice. She had already purchased an expensive dress and shoes, but learned that the wedding she will be attending in two days will also cost her another bundle for hair and make-up.

Her rent is due, she barely has enough to scrape by and by the time she spends money on travel and final few details of her friend’s wedding, she will be over her head financially.

  Some bridesmaids can rack up two to three thousand dollars or more for all the destination brunches, travel, and clothing. I have no problem with this for people who can afford it, but for the average college age person, it is a stretch to say the least.

  My second daughter, after spending quite a few dollars being a bridesmaid in a few weddings, decided not to have a bridal party. At first, we were a bit shocked at this idea of tossing out tradition, but I quickly warmed to the idea when she explained herself.

Not only were there no destination brunches or rehearsals, but there was also the absence of stress and financial strain.

Other than getting someone to officiate, there was minimal planning or finances that went into creating one of the most simple, understated, and gorgeous ceremonies I have attended.

During the world’s shortest ceremony in a beautiful room overlooking Lake Michigan, they said their vows. We watched, and then we all headed over to an amazing, and elaborate reception. We were blown away with what she managed to pull off.

   It was beautiful, inviting, and hospitable. Her goal was to put on a huge party celebrating her marriage and serving and entertaining the people who traveled so far to share the moment with her and her new husband.

As an added bonus, they received every gift on their registry and received quite a bit of cash and gift cards. I suspect that it is because friends and family didn’t have to spend much to be a part of the wedding. I know for me personally, my gift giving gets slim when I have already paid up just to be involved in a wedding.


Its simple elegance and lightheartedness rivaled any event that I have ever attended. It was lovely and unforgettable and I learned some things for the next daughter.

Less stress and less expense for guests was definitely more in this case.

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