My friend’s maid of honor planned a pricey bachelorette party. People want to bail, and she blames me.

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

“Erin” and I are both best friends with “Betty.” Betty is getting married and previously confided in me that she was worried about who to pick as her maid of honor. I assured her she should ask Erin, as I was completely fine being a bridesmaid.

My relationship with Erin is complicated. She has always been very competitive when it comes to Betty, often going out of her way to demonstrate their friendship is deeper and more important than ours. I try to not let it get to me but it’s definitely annoying.

Now she’s taking maid of honor duties to the next level, planning the world’s most over-the-top bachelorette party: four nights in Nashville, to include a spa day, fancy dinners, and a very expensive concert. Erin has reserved a large, also very expensive, house with a pool. By my math, this four-day trip will cost at least $2,500 a person.

Several of the bridesmaids are considering not going. I originally said I’d go but I’m having second thoughts. This trip is way beyond my budget. Erin has been increasingly agitated about people “backing out.” I suggested we have a second low-key, local event for those who can’t afford Nashville — a nice dinner, drinks afterward — and she accused me of “hijacking” her maid of honor duties. I don’t know what to do at this point. Advice?

Wanda says:

Enough people go into debt over their own weddings; don’t go into debt over your friend’s! This multi-day destination bachelorette vacation has taken on a life of its own, and it’s completely reasonable of you to bow out due to its crazy costs.


It’s unfortunate that the event has shaped up into something so extravagant that it’s resulting in the likely exclusion of several members of the bridal party. It was also pretty economically tone-deaf of Erin to press on with this plan without getting input and gauging interest from the broader squad. But short of an intervention from Bride Betty herself, this bachelorette party plan appears to be full-steam-ahead happening.

Should you reasonably opt to not go, there may be no way to explain or manage this that doesn’t upset Erin. She is so all-in on this getaway that at this point, any contrary thoughts or counter-ideas will likely be received by her as personal criticisms and attacks on her taste and judgment. The most decent thing you can do is tell her sooner than later that you’re not going so she can adjust plans as needed.

Wayne says:

If anything, Erin is the hijacker here, making wild plans and delusional demands on the bachelorette crew for a party bigger than most honeymoons, then getting all hostile when everyone doesn’t play along. She’s also making this all about herself: this is what she wants for Betty, not what’s best and most convenient for Betty and her bridesmaids. I bet Betty would be perfectly happy if all of her people are together, having a good time with no stress, wherever that may be, and that the party sends her into her wedding day on a wave of positive vibes.

So don’t negotiate with this terrorist. If you can’t afford to go or simply don’t want to go, tell her you aren’t going. If you can afford it or just really want to go despite Erin, pack your bags and start pinching pennies. Just don’t let Erin push you around emotionally and don’t lead a coup attempt with the other bridesmaids to take away her party planning powers and try something else. You gave up that right when you told Betty to pick Erin for all of this.

I will ask you to sit on this before you decide, though. Consider how Betty will feel if you, her best friend and secondary maid of honor, aren’t there. Not how Erin will feel if you aren’t — she’s already made that clear. But will you look back on this very expensive yet very fun and hopefully once-in-a-lifetime getaway, and very important friendship moment, with regret because you weren’t there? Will Betty be upset or understanding? I’m not piling onto Erin’s guilt trip, I just want you to look at this from the perspective that matters most and factor in what will ultimately make you, and Betty, happiest.

[My bestie and I hang out less now that I’m in a relationship, and she’s feeling spurned]

[I love Alaska but my family in California is guilt-tripping me for ‘missing’ moments. What can I do?]

[My sister is planning a destination 2nd wedding for her 20th anniversary. Am I wrong to want to skip it?]

Wayne and Wanda

Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at