I’m going to do something I haven’t done in years and that is to respond to a submission story line by line. My comments in red.
I hope you can tell me what you think of this situation.
A friend is getting married soon and her best friend and her sister organized the bachelorette party, which consists of…
– afternoon at a spa, with a special treatment for the bride
– dinner at one of her favorite restaurants.
Wow, most brides would (or should) be happy to be the recipient of just ONE of these events. Let me clarify that what is being organized is not a single party but rather a series of events, each costing money.
Even though the bachelorette is planned for a Saturday, some of the guests couldn’t make it because of work or previous commitments. Others will skip one of the activities or join us only for dinner. (I am probably making it sound like a huge group, but the final count for dinner was 6 people including the bride. I am not entirely sure how many were invited in first place, but I think the original guest list had another 5 or 6 people).
And by “guests”, I’m assuming you mean bridesmaids and close family like mothers? Had it occurred to any of the organizers that a 50% rsvp rate may be indicative of guests not wanting to be used to fund what may be considered a rather extravagant treat for the bride?
Since there are a bit less active participants than expected, the two organizers asked if some of the other people invited wanted to contribute to the bride’s part for the day activities anyway. They sent one single message to the group chat and that was it: no further mentions or pressure or guilt trips.
So, a series of events are planned, as well as the purchase of “gadgets”( see below), with the expectation that these 10 or 11 guests would be sharing all expenses. Wasn’t that rather presumptuous to plan and execute an event that requires the shared financial burden of all the guests without those guests having any input into the plans?
They also said that we’d be splitting the dinner check between ourselves (excluding the Bride, obviously): we did not have time to plan a menu with the restaurant and, since there is also a special charity dinner that same evening, it’s unlikely we can get separate checks.
When you write, “…we did not have time to plan a menu…”, does that indicate you are one of the organizers? It takes 15 minutes on the phone to arrange a specific menu for a special occasion.
One of the guests, who honestly had been a pain (of the I-will-shoot-down-every-idea-but-offer-no-alternatives variety) throughout the whole planning, immediately said she was only going to pay for herself because she wouldn’t eat much. When the others pointed out that it wasn’t practical, she started throwing a fit: she has no money, the gadgets we got were too expensive (the “gadgets”? What are those? In addition to spa treatment, bowling and dinner, the group is expected to help fund the purchase of these “gadgets” as well?), the whole thing was way too expensive, she has to pay for more for gas (because she lives in the middle of nowhere), she is tired of paying for other people’s food and so forth. She also complained about being asked to contribute to the day activities and being “forced” to air her financial situation.
Please let me clarify: the message wasn’t aimed at her. The message was aimed at the 5-6 people who rsvped in the negative. That’s a small pool of people. As I said, there are people who aren’t coming at all, people who are skipping one of the two activities and others who are only joining us for dinner. Speaking of dinner, the restaurant is nice, but it’s on the mid-level price range. But add in spa treatments, bowling and “gadgets”, this day is getting quite expensive.
I get it: when going dutch, some people pay more and some people pay less. However, I am astonished about complaints about costs before we actually know what the cost will be! I nearly spit my sweet tea all over the monitor reading that! The organizers have no idea, due to a lack of planning, what the overall costs will be so to my thinking it is quite reasonable for guests to balk at agreeing to pay a portion of an undetermined amount of money. Also, it’s not like everybody else has money to burn and will demand oysters, caviar and champagne. There is always one mooch at these “dutch” events who exploits the situation to get more.
To be honest, I couldn’t help but think that, if her finances are in such a bad shape, she should have just declined the invitation in first place or bowed out later when she realized she couldn’t afford it.
Now you are sounding like the bride…or her sister. You appear to have a perspective that the ability to afford everything the bride believes she is entitled to receive is the criteria for being a bridesmaid. Poor, or at least fiscally challenged, people have a duty to decline the alleged honor of being a wedding attendant when that “honor” goes beyond buying a dress, wedding gift and travel expenses? Had it occurred to you that 50% of the invited guests who declined to attend this bachelorette party were “bowing out” as well?
Am I being unreasonable in thinking that? Yep. Were the organizers out of line with their request? 0112-18
When planning an event that will require the shared financial resources of all the guests, the hosts/organizers have two options available to them.
Option 1: Plan the event knowing what the cost per person will be, invite guests with that information fully disclosed ahead of time and if the number of guests attending is less than what is needed to financially break even, the hosts/organizers have an obligation to eat the difference themselves.
Option 2: “Hey fellow bridesmaids! I think it would be great if we could plan a nice afternoon and evening of special bachelorette events for the bride such as spa treatments, bowling, dinner and ‘gadgets’. Can everyone pitch in $20 to cover the bride’s expenses?” Based on the input received from that discussion, the hosts/organizers plan what can be afforded. Instead of an afternoon of spa treatments which can cost in the hundreds of dollars, maybe all that can be afforded is a mani/pedi.