We all know that the wedding industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and that planning a wedding is expensive, but we often forget how expensive it can get for the members of the wedding party.
Between clothes and events and gifts, it can be an incredibly expensive “honor” for bridesmaids and groomsmen to commit to, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Competitive_Lie5575 had been aware of that and put together special thank-you gifts for each of her bridesmaids.
When one of her bridesmaids dropped out at the last minute, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to do with the bridesmaid’s gift.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for giving away an ex-bridesmaid’s gift?”
The OP was surprised when her friend dropped out of her wedding.
“I recently got married over the weekend. I had a party of eight, but my good friend since high school dropped out a few days before the wedding without any reason.”
“I know her job gets stressful, so I didn’t push for an excuse, but she still attended the wedding.”
She decided to exclude her from the wedding festivities.
“When I did the proposal boxes, I told everyone that they should expect to spend about $500 for their outfits and bachelorette stuff (their flight to a destination bachelorette party and their spot in the Vegas house). No one seemed to mind the cost.”
“In exchange, I spent a good amount on the bridesmaid gifts like skin care, robes and slippers with their names on it, a spa gift certificate, etc.”
“The bridesmaid who dropped out has a basic name (like Hannah) so I just gave her gift box to my cousin (who has the same name with the same spelling) since I couldn’t get a refund on most of the items.”
The former bridesmaid wondered where her gift was.
“My cousin and my sister were showing off their gifts on TikTok, and my sister told me that ‘Hannah’ asked her if they paid for the robes during the wedding.”
“My sister didn’t think much of the question and told her it was a gift.”
“This morning Hannah asked me when she could pick up her gifts.”
“I told her they were a thank-you gift to my bridesmaids and she attended the wedding as a guest, so I gave hers away.”
“Her mom called me and told me I was being spiteful for giving away her gifts, especially since she attended all the bachelorette events (not the rehearsal dinner but the bachelorette party, dress shopping, and the wedding), and since we have been friends for so long, I should have considered her feelings.”
“I told her I didn’t even think Hannah was coming and it wasn’t a big deal.”
“Was I being an a** for giving it away? It hurt me that she dropped out, but the gifts were for my party.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed with the OP that a bridesmaid receives a gift after completing their duties.
“NTA. While she may have had understandable reasons for feeling the need to drop out, she didn’t communicate them with you or give you the opportunity to find maybe a resolution (i.e., buying a coordinating dress off the rack).”
“Even without ‘officially standing’ in the ceremony, she could have been involved and help, maybe by doing a reading or some other wedding party support.”
“Also… until the gift is actually given it is YOURS. To return. Burn. Or giveaway.”
“Also Hannah the friend’s mom… is an A H. 29 years old, and her mommy is verbally attacking and reprimanding you. Over a flipping robe. Seriously. Hannah’s mom needs to cut the cord and let Hannah be a grown-up.” – Tizzery
“Even a five-year-old knows if you don’t attend the party, you don’t get the goody bag. Good Lord. NTA.” – CreativeMusic5121
“NTA, she should’ve been honest about why she was dropping out of the wedding party. She just bowed out with no explanation and showed up to the wedding unexpectedly. It’s pretty unfair of her to expect the same gifts that were given to the bridal party.” – Unic0rnMuffinT0p
“This is akin to, ‘Where’s my graduation gift?'”
“You don’t have one. You dropped out, you didn’t graduate.”
“‘Yeah, but I went to a lot of the classes!'”
“It’s a gift as a thank-you for being a bridesmaid. She chose, of her own free will, not to be a bridesmaid.”
“If I were her, I’d be wanting to explain, apologize for bailing at the last second, and hope to repair the friendship, not demand a thank-you gift for something I declined to do (after committing to do it, no less!).
“NTA.” – SummitJunkie7
But others would have been more worried about why Hannah dropped out last minute.
“YTA. You don’t even know why your good friend couldn’t do it. You didn’t care enough to find out.”
“She joined you for all the events leading up to it. But you couldn’t thank her for any of that?” – nice-and-clean
“YTA. there might not be an apparent reason to you, doesn’t mean it is an apparent reason for her.”
“Let’s be honest, women during bride season often forget to actually be a good friend because they are stressed and wrapped up in the process. We get it, and we’re here for you.”
“Did you even attempt to check on her? Since she dropped off only a few days before the wedding, she probably paid for her dress. So honestly, bride, who the f**k are you to be such a b***h to a friend that most likely is going through something? Yes, that day was about you, but life, in general, is not.”
“Do better. And she deserves better than that for a friend.” – Agreeable_Package_77
“But she basically did everything a bridesmaid does except walk down the aisle, meaning she did all the financial contributions the gift is supposed to match or make up for.”
“And the whole ‘no is a complete sentence’ is in regard to pushing boundaries. Checking on a friend to make sure everything’s okay is not pushing a boundary. It’s doing the bare minimum as a friend.”
“YTA.” – Cautious_Session9788
“YTA and you know you are. She attended everything and purchased the bridesmaid outfit and paid to attend everything.”
“She has a personal emergency meaning she can no longer be in the bridal party, and you act like a four-year-old who’s been told she can’t have ice cream.” – TrialByThot
Some questioned giving the gifts to a cousin who wasn’t a part of the wedding party, either.
“So if it was a thank you for her bridesmaids, why did she give it to her cousin who wasn’t a bridesmaid, didn’t spend time or money on being a bridesmaid?”
“I’m tired of people thinking brides are infallible. OP is YTA because she acted like a petty a**hole to her best friend who obviously had an issue.”
“‘Oh, it’s her day, and she can do what she wants with the gift she personalized for her friend.’ No, mate, she’s an AH and if she treats her friends like that, she’s going to be friendless soon enough.” – Syric13
“YTA. So she spent 500$ for your wedding, but you can’t even give her the gift that you can’t send back anyways? Why? This is so petty. She wasn’t a bridesmaid, sure, but neither was your cousin. Why does she get the stuff then?”
“Also, your friend, I assume, helped with the marriage prep and attended the bachelorette events before dropping out, right? Does she not deserve gratitude for that? Even if, in the end, she couldn’t be a bridesmaid at the ceremony?”
“Why did she even drop out? She’s supposedly your friend, and you don’t care about why? Bulls**t. Either you’re hiding something or you’re the worst friend ever.” – OOOOTor
“You have every right to withhold that since she didn’t participate as a bridesmaid. I’m not sure, however, why you’d want to.”
“Was your cousin a bridesmaid? If you could give it to her, why not to the original person it was meant for?”
“Sure, you have the right, but I think it’s petty. It would have been much kinder to just give it to her, with no downside whatsoever. YTA.” – Miserable_Dentist_70
“OP’s friend dropped out of the bridal party without an explanation. This is not a nice move. But there are plenty of possible reasons why she did it and why she did not tell her reasons before the wedding took place.”
“Maybe she is pregnant and did not want to tell? We all know how some brides react to someone stealing the spotlight or being boring (i.e. not drinking). Maybe she is diagnosed with some condition that makes her unfit around heavy food and alcohol? Maybe she was overwhelmed by some bad news and, again, did not want to share it around the wedding date.”
“OP was clearly not interested in knowing what happened; otherwise, she would have asked. So in my opinion, she was quite self-absorbed as a bride and forgot about not everything being about her and other people having a life outside the bridal party.”
“I think regarding the fact OPs friend attended many of the bridal party events, including the wedding, and, as far as we know, did not cause problems by dropping out, OP should just have given her the presents and talked about her reasons later.”
“Giving the things away to someone who had to do nothing at all with the bridal party, and was clearly not expecting presents, reeks of petty revenge. Obviously, the bride IS angry, assumes that her friend dropped out because of no good reasons, which is a strange thing to assume in a friend, and obviously wanted to hurt her despite the fact she did not even know what her friend’s intentions were.”
“Really, OP’s definition of friendship is quite strange, and her actions were inconsiderate and thoughtless. YTA.” – thanktink
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“I spoke with my ex-bridesmaid Hannah finally. She did have her dress but gained weight and couldn’t fit, and there was no time for alterations, and that’s why she dropped out.”
“I could not tell by looking at her. I didn’t know, but I apologized for giving away her stuff.”
“I think some of y’all are looking too much into this. Planning an out-of-state wedding is hard.”
“My friend and I talked last night. I apologized for giving away the gift and not taking more time to make sure she was okay.”
“She apologized for not saying anything.”
“Her mom was with her when everything happened. My friend was upset, so her mom called me during the heat of the moment because her daughter was upset.”
“Hannah was embarrassed that she couldn’t fit the dress, and I was sad that all of this was a miscommunication.”
“She really wanted the robe, so I ordered her another one.”
The subReddit could understand plans changing at the last minute and being upset about that, but an event shouldn’t ruin a friendship, especially over something as small in the grand scheme of things as a thank-you present.
It was nice to see that the two women had talked things out and that a robe would be provided for the bridesmaid who was still a bridesmaid in every way except for appearing in the ceremony that day.