DEAR JANE: My best friend wants me to pay $7,000 for her bachelorette party – she demanded I take out a loan when I said I couldn’t afford it

Dear Jane,

My best friend of 14 years is getting married next year and is planning what can only be described as the most over-the-top (and expensive!) ceremony you can imagine. 

I have to admit I’ve been a bit taken aback by some of the plans – the woman is talking about renting live swans! – but I’ve done my best to support her through it all as her Maid of Honor, while also stepping in to be a voice of reason where possible.

But when we sat down to start planning her bachelorette party, every bit of reason went out the window. 

She first insisted that we do a trip somewhere hot, so I started researching places in the US that might work and came up with what I thought was a great list of suggestions. 

But no, she said the trip had to be outside of the US because she wanted a ‘real vacation’ and felt like her bridesmaids and best friends deserved to get away, too.

She then told me that she’d hired a professional bachelorette party planner – for $10,000 I might add – because she wanted all of the details to be perfect and didn’t want to ‘burden’ me with it. 

Dear Jane, my best friend is demanding that I pay $7,000 for her bachelorette party – and told me I should take out a loan when I said I couldn’t afford the trip

That stung a little bit, but I figured it would take the pressure off me and allow me to relax and just enjoy the experience. I just sat back and waited for the email to come through from the planner with the details, which it did this week.

Apparently, the bride decided on a six-day first class trip to Italy, where she wants to stay in two five-star hotels, with the whole thing totalling $7,000 per person. SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. I almost blacked out when I saw that number. 

Then that shock gave way to panic as I frantically tried to do the math in my head and figure out a way that I might be able to afford it.

Ultimately though, I realized that no matter how much I scrimp and save, it’s just not possible for me to spend that kind of money. So I told her that, as much as it breaks my heart, I can’t join her on the trip. 

International best-selling author Jane Green offers sage advice on readers' most burning issues in her Dear Jane agony aunt column

International best-selling author Jane Green offers sage advice on readers’ most burning issues in her Dear Jane agony aunt column

Rather than show some sympathy or even sadness, she just shrugged off my explanation and told me to take out a loan. She said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for her, that she needs me there, and that if I really cared about her I’d find a way. As though taking out a loan is the easiest thing in the world?

She then told me that if I wasn’t willing to ‘just get a loan and make the trip happen’, she’d have to choose someone else to be her Maid of Honor.

It seems to me like the hoopla surrounding the wedding has gone totally to her head and turned her into a bit of a bridezilla – this woman is not the best friend I’ve grown up with.

Any advice on how I can bring her back to Earth?


Maid of Dishonor

Dear Maid of Dishonor,

My favorite part of this letter is when your best friend so kindly thought of her bridesmaids and best friends as deserving a break, then expects them to pay for it. I believe this is the definition of nerve.

I don’t know what kind of circles your best friend is mixing in, but expecting anyone to pay $7,000 for the privilege of a vacation that isn’t even of their choosing, does seem to take the cake. 

And her inability to understand that not everyone can afford that, going on to demand that you take out a loan, makes me wonder whether she is really the kind of woman you want as a best friend?

We collect friends throughout our lives, many of whom become best friends, few of whom last the duration. There is an opening line of a poem by Brian A. ‘Drew’ Chalker which starts: ‘People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.’

Attempting to emotionally blackmail your best friend into doing something they have already said they are unable to do, does not seem like the actions of a lifetime best friend. 

A lifetime best friend would show compassion and perhaps then ease the burden on everyone by changing the event to something smaller, and far less expensive.

Expecting you to pay $7,000 to be her Maid of Honor is too steep a price to pay. I’m sorry your best friend is turning into the bridezilla from hell, but your job is to look after you, not her, despite what she thinks, and under no circumstances should you be even thinking of taking out a loan.

The extraordinary thing about weddings is to look back at the wedding pictures ten years on. Often, people find that they have lost touch with a huge percentage of their guests, people they thought would be in their lives forever.

I imagine this may very well be the case with your best friend. Either way, I suspect you will be dodging a bullet by not attending the bachelorette party.