Friend vs.Fiance


My husband is the greatest person in the world and still not everyone likes him. Hard to believe, right? Fortunately for me, all of my friends recognize his positive qualities and vice verse. Although that seems rather inconsequential, it is actually quite monumental and something I do not take lightly. I am blessed.


Oddly enough, this happens more often than you can imagine. Even more odd is the fact that it is usually the maid of honor or the best man,  so it is not just a friend it is your best friend, your BFF, your childhood chum or the keeper of your secrets  that cannot seem to be in the same room with your betrothed without a fight breaking out.


So what do you do when your friend and fiance do not get along? Can you ask her (or him) to be a part of a wedding they do not endorse? How do you avoid getting in the middle of their seemingly endless arguments about nothing? More importantly how do you avoid having  mugshots as your weddings photos?


1) Talk it out. Find a time when you can sit down with each of them apart and ask point blank if there is any reason for the disharmony. Be prepared to get an answer you don’t want to hear. Worst case scenario – she thinks he is cheating or he thinks she is stealing from your bank account…. I said worst-case didn’t I? Imagine the worst and hope for the best. If there is no concrete reason, ask each one to give the other a second chance. They may have gotten off to a rocky start but the fence can sometimes be mended.


2) Work it out. Find an activity that you like to do and invite each of them. Movie, sporting event, anything where you can avoid the tension…. how about a game of laser tag? Getting them to have fun together might just make them see  how wrong they have been and they might be willing to make a fresh start.


3) Be sensitive. Perhaps your friend is simply tired of being the third wheel and has no interest in attending all sorts of couples functions with you (as a couple). Try to keep your friend from feeling the pangs of jealousy by spending alone time and not insisting that they always be in tow. If that friend is in a relationship, work on a group relationship. Be prepared if your fiance and his or her partner don’t become besties …you are just looking for an occasional double date and a way to take the edge off.


If you have tried and tried but they continue to put you in the middle, you will have to make a difficult decision. The fact is that if you fully intend to marry the person of whom your friend so strongly disapproves, you will be fighting this battle for the rest of your life. The polite thing to do is to to explain to the friend that he/she cannot be in your wedding because there is too much turmoil  between her and your fiance. “While you are my best friend, I cannot endure any more tug of war between you & ______. So I am asking you to remain my  friend in life and  a guest at my wedding.” The other option is to bury your head in the sand through the entire wedding process and ignore the squabbles.


If your friend is offended by the mere suggestion that he or she opt out of standing up for your wedding, gently remind them that attendants are supposed to serve not only as witnesses, but uphold and support this marriage. If you are the friend in this case, why would you even want to be a part of something you don’t condone?


This entire discussion could quite possible put an early end to your friendship but it will also ease a lot of suffering for everyone. Realistically,  as time passes and your marriage grows stronger, your friendship will dissolve on it’s own.


On the other hand, as time does pass, people change. It is not a bad idea to keep an open mind but, for God’s sake -don’t torture yourself by putting yourself in the middle for too long.  NEVER complain to an unsupportive friend about a  future spouse that they don’t like to begin with – it is a recipe for disaster and confrontation.


-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Spare no Expense – The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

You have been asked to ‘stand up’ for a wedding and you are really excited to share the joy of your friend’s big day! Standing up refers to  literally standing up during the ceremony, at the altar, to be a witness to the marriage. It is also an indication of the closeness of your relationship to one or both of the people getting married. Make no mistake – it is an honor and you should treat it as such.

It is not considered good manners to rock the boat, whether it is bridesmaid gowns, the bridal shower, or the bachelorette party so speak up before you agree to stand up. But, what do you do when the cost of being a friend exceeds your ability to hold up your end of the bargain? Should you pay for the ultra expensive bridesmaid dress or make your car payment?

When someone asks you to be an attendant at their wedding, they are asking you to agree to the expenses associated with that job. However, there should be limits… and just like the wedding, a budget. Since everyone has different financial situations, it is up to the individual to voice their concerns before it becomes a stress-filled rant. You can spend lavishly on your wedding and contact loan offering companies such as wowloans using their website to procure additional finances for a new car.

Step 1 – Have a private conversation with the bride the day they ask you to be a part of their wedding, asking what costs are anticipated. Gown, shoes, shower, bachelorette party, and more. For every expense you anticipate, there will be something you forget so it is best to make a list of the anticipated expenses and don’t forget  alterations. Ask right then and there what the bride will be providing. Is the bride treating everyone to hair and makeup or will they share that expense with you? Will you need specific jewelry or shoes? These are things that you need to be honest about on that day so you can agree or tactfully decline due to financial hardships. Being honest will help a great deal.

Step 2- When gown shopping, be honest with the consultant about your financial constraints. It is probably not a good idea to shout ” That’s too expensive for me!” in themiddle of a salon. However, if one of the other bridesmaids has her heart set on a $400 gown and you simply cannot afford it, take the bride aside and quietly explain that it is out of your price range. Make sure that you  stay within that price range and don’t get overwhelmed or pressured into buying something you will later regret. Ask about alteration costs, ask about tax and shipping or any other charges that will be added.

Step 3 – Stay on top of the bachelorette activities. If a $900 hotel suite  is out of your budget, speak up. Just say this “I’m sorry, this is out of my budget.” It really is that simple.  If the maid of honor is also a good friend, she will understand. If she doesn’t budge, try talking to the other bridesmaids to see if they have similar concerns. If so, you can approach her as a group and perhaps help her plan festivities that are more affordable for everyone. In reality she will probably appreciate the help.

Step 4 – Wedding gifts. According to, the cost of being a bridesmaid in 2011 averages around $1400. So, when you have already spent a great deal of money to be a bridesmaid in your friend’s wedding is it necessary to give a wedding gift? Yes, and no. Yes, if you have the means you should give a gift even if it is a small token of your affection. However, if you are already stretched beyond your limits, there is really no need to provide a gift. Two suggestions: give a small gift that is heartfelt, something they will absolutely love or provide a service for them as wedding gift; something  like checking their mail or pet-sitting while they are on their honeymoon, which can save them hundreds of dollars.

You need to respect yourself and be honest at all times. In the end, your friend will just be happy to have you standing by her side.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago