"" From Now Till 'I Do'...: September 2011

Reader Question: The costs of being a bridesmaid

5 Things the people are saying

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It’s been a while since we’ve talked weddings on this blog but I thought I would take us back there following an email I received recently from a reader about bridesmaid dresses.

Hey Chichi,
Just wondered if you could help me out with something?
A friend has asked me to be bridesmaid at her wedding taking place next year and I'm expected to pay £200 for dress+ accessories and the headtie and lace for her engagement ceremony. I'm good for the money so financially that isn't an issue but its still a lot of money especially considering my relationship with this person isn't a close one. In fact I use the term friend loosely here. The fact that I've been asked by her I should consider it an honour to be a part of the wedding but I keep asking myself why I should spend such an amount on someone I'm not close to and by the way this person is Nigerian and so you know a wedding gift will also be expected.

What would your advice be and what price range did your bridesmaids pay for your wedding?

I've always been under the notion that if someone wants you to be part of their bridal train they should at least pay 50% towards the dress, after all you wouldn't expect your wedding guests whom you invited to come and share your day with you to bring their own food.

But anyway what's your two cents on this?


Dear Bridesmaid-to-be,

Thanks for your email.

I personally think £200+ is a lot to pay especially if you’re saying you are not 'close' to this person. For people you care a lot about, money is not an issue, but as you have stated in your email, whilst you are honoured you use the term 'friend' loosely.

It really all depends on how much she means to you and whether you want to be her bridesmaid. If you feel the price is too much to pay, then my thoughts would be to politely decline her request or see if she is willing to contribute to the costs. My guess is, if she was in a position to contribute to costs she would have offered from the outset. Maybe if the style/design hasn't been confirmed you could suggest cheaper options e.g. tailor make the outfits, choose a colour and you all get your own dress. There are different options which are cheaper.

There is no set rule around who pays for what but from a bride's perspective I was conscious that I couldn't ask my friends and family to fork out loads for something they might only wear once. I wanted outfits they would comfortable in and would not break the bank. Hence why we went down the “buy fabric and use tailor” route.

For my bridesmaids the most they paid was around £65 which included the dress and accessories. I did not expect a gift from them even though some of them did kindly buy a gift, some even bought the aseobi as well. Bear in mind that 5/7 of my bridal train were family and the remainder best friends.

Hope this helps!

Bridesmaid-to-be response back…

When I was first told of the costs involved I did mention it were a lot of money but the bride-to be insisted she had been bridesmaid at a few weddings where she had had to pay £500.
The dress has already been chosen by her and I'm still deciding whether its something I see myself wearing again, it would've been nice to have had some input in choosing the dress since I'm asked to pay £110 for it, the rest of the money is towards accessories and gele+ lace which I haven't even seen.

I wouldn't mind being a bridesmaid but then again I would be just as happy as a guest at her wedding but I feel that by declining, she'll hold it against me which is not something I want. By asking her  to contribute to the costs I would see it as inconsiderate of me knowing full well that she has other expenses to cater to in regards to her wedding.

Like I said before, she didn't have to choose me as one of her bridesmaids but she did....*sigh*.....I dunno, guess I'll put this into prayer and seek God's wisdom in this.

Readers…what advice would you give?

Wise words

2 Things the people are saying

So the weekend was crazy busy but well worth it.

We had family over from Nigeria who came and blessed us with lots of words of marital wisdom. Being married for over 15 years they have seen a lot. The funny thing was that a lot of it was not new stuff but it served as a reminder to us both about what we need to be doing to make our marriage the best it can be.

Marriage is hard work, but hugely rewarding and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I often wonder what my life would be like without my husband and I am grateful to be a wife. I love my husband and thank God for his life everyday. We’re constantly learning new things about each other and better ways to relate to each other and while sometimes it can be a challenge the results are worth it. I pray for grace…daily.

One of my key takeaways from our conversations with them was around transparency in marriage and how without it you can never have true intimacy. Even little things like hiding the secret shopping trips (we all do it!) we should come clean about and not keep any secrets from our husbands, no matter how small.

They also talked about how you relate to your old family once you’re married and making sure that they see you both as one, not two separate people which is so important. One needs to ensure that your marriage union is respected by all.

We were both so blessed by their visit and can’t wait to see them again.

Also this weekend was our church weekend away and while we didn’t get to go to all of it, the bit we did go to reminded me of why I love our church. The theme for the weekend was about diversity and unity and our church really is just that. We are a body made up of all different nationalities and races, but a family united by Christ. From the day we arrived people have been so warm and welcoming.

We are blessed to have a great leadership team and I pray that God continues to direct them as our church moves forward. I really believe that if you say that you’re part of a church, you really need to be part of it and support it both through prayer, time and your finances and I really feel God calling me to give more of myself to my church.

On the pregnancy front, baby girl has been moving around as normal and all is going okay. We were at the mall yesterday and couldn’t believe how expensive baby clothes and shoes are, especially as they don’t wear them for long. The things were cute though but when you relate it to what you can get for the same price in adult wear, it does make you wonder!

Having had a busy weekend, I wouldn’t mind sleeping for a week. It’s not going to be possible but I will do my best to catch up over the coming days.

Hope your weekend was good.

Have a great week!

Old Wives Tales

11 Things the people are saying

So there are lots of things on the internet which ‘predict’ what sex of child you’re going to have. From symptoms to cravings depending on what you’re feeling or going through they claim to predict what you’re having. Hmm…

Well we had our scan on Friday…

Let’s just say they were all wrong…

Come January we will be meeting our little girl!

I’m so excited.

p.s. scan was perfect, all is well.

Bump watch

6 Things the people are saying

So I’ve become a once a week blogger.

Oh well, that’s all I can manage right about now.

I’m feeling good, apart from dealing with back ache, breathlessness and how to sit comfortably at work with an ever increasing bump.  In addition dropping things on the floor is no longer a good idea as it’s kind of  a mission to try and pick it up again.

I’m also learning how to give people the eye on a packed trains, so that they kindly donate their seat to me…however I am failing miserably. Need to start wearing my badge.

Sleep wise, I am looking to get a maternity pillow to help make my nights better, so any good value recommendations would be greatly appreciated as they are sooo expensive!

Our next scan is on Friday where we find out if we’re having a son or daughter…we can’t wait!

Hope you’re all having a great week.

20 weeks blog

20 weeks and 3 days…

{picture courtesy of Mr E}



4 Things the people are saying

Today marks the start of my favourite month AND halfway through pregnancy! Twenty weeks is here and I’m so happy to have made it to this milestone. Now as each week passes, we are getting  much closer to meeting our new addition!

I’ve always loved September, mainly for its change of season and how it signifies a fresh start. Back when I used to go to school, September marked a new school year, new challenges with fresh opportunity. Everything that happened the previous year forgotten with the slate wiped clean. Now that school is behind me, I still love September and take the same approach.

Summer is over, a new season around the corner and with less than 4 months before baby arrives, I’m going to try and savour the rest of the year before it passes me by.

Highlights of the first half:

- finding out I was pregnant and telling our family

- ultrasound at 12 weeks

- watching my husband bond with our baby

- feeling my first movements

Other pregnancy realisations:

- chocolate doesn’t taste so great any more

- sardine and jam sandwiches do though!

- I’m actually growing another human being inside of me and I love it

- I miss sleeping on my back

- people ask you the strangest things. (Case in point: ‘does it feel weird?’ – asked by a colleague last week)

Here’s to the next 20 weeks. Happy September!

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