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Being a Bridesmaid is...

Being a Bridesmaid is Costing Me My Job

A few weeks ago we wrote about how some brides let planning their wedding get the best of them and planning started interfering with their jobs. Some managers looked at a frenzied bride as just a temporary period before she becomes a calm married woman who will really focus on her career. But what about the bridesmaids? For some bridesmaids and certainly maid of honors they may end up doing almost as much work as a bride if not more in some cases and they probably don’t get that kind of free pass at work. Bridesmaids may be less responsible for the actual wedding but they have the responsibility of the bridal shower, the infamous bachelorette party, helping with the dresses, helping with the rehearsal dinner etc., And what about if all these different parties are in different places? We talked to some women who said being a bridesmaid is impacting their jobs.

According to a recent survey of over 20,000 brides in the U.S.,  it costs an average of $1,695 to be a bridesmaid. The analysis, by WeddingChannel.com, found that the price of weddings is going up, and with it, a larger financial outlay from key guests. Travel to the wedding, hotel accommodation, and expenses incurred during the bachelorette party are among the most costly. A new dress and buying a wedding gift can also be quite pricey. Being in one wedding can be quite costly but imagine if you were in three (see now you popular girls are wishing you had been slightly less cool.)

WeddingChannel.com associate editor Amy Eisinger explained how brides often don’t realize how the costs can add up for their close girlfriends. She told CNN: “From the moment they announce the engagement, to the day your friend walks down the aisle, if that’s a year and a half, you don’t realize that you’ve spent $1,600″

We talked to a few women who said the travel time as well as cost of being in a wedding was starting to impact their job.

First of all, when you are in more than one wedding or just attending a few weddings, they will inevitably be not next door to your house. If you can get there in a weekend great but for people in the wedding this often requires at least one day of vacation. If it is a far away location, it may mean more than one day off. One first year associate at a law firm in Manhattan told The Grindstone.

“All my vacation is going towards weddings this year. And I barely have any vacation anyway so that is really rough. Plus, half of these weddings are across the country so the money I am spending is ridiculous. I really didn’t want to spend my money on hotels, flights and a dress I am never going to wear again. But of course when you are asked to be in a wedding you can’t say no.”

Caitlin Mills is a Director of PR at a large agency in Baltimore. She is in four weddings this year alone, for one of which she is the maid of honor. She told The Grindstone:

“On top of a stressful and busier than normal work schedule, being in four weddings has really added to my level of anxiety. Actually, I don’t think I ever experienced anxiety before this year!  The little time I have during weeknights after work is spent coordinating via email with bridesmaids, trying to keep surprise showers well, a ‘surprise,’ designing invitations, and tracking people down for responses!  On top of that, I’m moving into a new apartment next month.  I try to take the weekends off from all of it, but typically that’s not the case.

With the four weddings I’m in, and another two to attend on top of that, a little over half of my vacation days are dedicated towards weddings this year. I’m the maid of honor in a Friday wedding so that requires two days off work, others require taking half days for rehearsal dinners. Asking a significant other take time off work is stressful as well, some of the weddings we’ll be attending we will be traveling separately so he can save some vacation time. I won’t even get into budgeting for all of this – it makes me anxious!

At the end of the day, I love my friends and every bride has been so delightful.  I hope that they will undergo the same for me when I have my big day!  And heck, when this is all said and done this fall, I will have SO much free time!”

Travel is the biggest expense, but bridesmaids shell out an average of $75 for shoes and another $60 for jewelry, according to the Wedding Channel study. Tack on $100 for manicures, hair and makeup.

Read the rest at TheGrindstone.

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