This new Bridezilla trend is driving bridesmaids crazy: ‘Financial terrorism’
In August 2020, Adrienne Hughes spent $3,000 to go to a friend’s bachelorette party in the Hamptons. It was a big expense, but one she and her fellow bridesmaids felt was justified because it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing — except it wasn’t.
Last summer, she had to pony up another $1,000 for yet another bachelorette party — a beer and chowder tour through Portland, Maine — for the same friend. She also had to be a bridesmaid in the wedding twice: once for a backyard micro wedding in the fall of 2020 and a second time at a larger venue in West Hartford, Connecticut.
“We maxed out our credit cards at this bachelorette because we thought the wedding was the real deal,” Hughes, a 30-year-old who works in marketing and lives in West Hartford, told The Post.
In the post-COVID-19 wedding world, it’s “Groundhog Day” meets “27 Dresses.” Wedding planners say there’s been an “overwhelming” number of post-pandemic wedding redos, and bridesmaids like Hughes are exhausted and broke after having to see their friends down the altar twice.
“A lot of the weddings we booked for 2020 were micro, now in 2022, we’re doing the big event all over again,” Manhattan-based wedding planner Kate Edmonds told The Post.
Hughes has had not one but two friends recently do the “I do” redo.
She was the maid of honor for her best friend in July 2020, watching from six-feet away in the rain outside of a banquet hall in East Hampton, Connecticut. Due to COVID restrictions, only 50 guests could stay for the party, so earlier this month, Hughes donned the same tasteful black dress and went to the same exact venue so that her friend could do it all over again. She’s had enough.
“I was personally victimized by two of my friends,” she said, claiming she’s suffering from PTSD after playing TaskRabbit for the past four years. She’s spent countless hours trolling sites like Amazon and Etsy for matching outfits for multiple bachelorette parties. She had to leave one wedding midcelebration to buy more alcohol. At every wedding, there were the awkward glamour shots and forced smiles greeting distant family members. One of the friends even expected two gifts.
“I don’t think I’ll ever emotionally or financially recover,” she said with a laugh. Still, the pocketbook pain was real. “I literally took out a zero interest credit card to survive strictly for nuptial purposes,” added Hughes, who plans to use her tax return to pay off the debt.
Other battered bridesmaids are turning to online forums to commiserate — and finding many who empathize. “Am I the a – – hole for telling my friend we’re not throwing her a second bachelorette?” asked one Reddit user in a Bridezillas thread. The question led another user to let loose on a bride who got married two years ago but then recently demanded a redo of her bachelorette party.
“We all said we didn’t have the money or the PTO at the moment. We really had no desire to throw her a second bachelorette,” the Redditor said.
The annoying trend isn’t limited to pandemic Bridezillas. One Manhattan bridesmaid, who asked to remain anonymous out of concern that the bride might read this, said she’s being asked to attend bachelorette parties in both New York and Malibu, California, this spring as the bride wanted to accommodate friends who have recently moved across the country. But the queen is expecting her nearest and dearest to attend both celebrations.
“Attendance is becoming an expectation more so than an option,” sighed the 31-year-old incognito bridesmaid, who is expecting to spend $5,000 on travel. “I can’t say no.”
But, Hughes noted that there can be an upside to the “financial terrorism” of all these events. The one friend’s redo nuptials were better than the first party.
“It was awesome because that second wedding didn’t have the obligatory family, and they played nothing but Ja Rule and Ashanti,” she said. “It was way more fun.”