A friend asked me to be her bridesmaid, and, having been a bridesmaid several times before, which I thought was fun, I accepted.
The wedding is now in 10 weeks time, I have helped her with all kinds of decisions, have discussed problems with her, have gone shopping with her to find her wedding dress, but we hadn't yet got around to sorting out the bridesmaid dresses.
Time now running out, we went shopping yesterday. As we set out, I asked her what her budget was, and her sister (maid of honour) jumped down my throat and said that the bridesmaids always pay for their own dresses. They both seemed really angry with me that I had even suggested that it might be otherwise, but honestly, for every wedding I have ever been in (or attended), the bride and groom covered the costs of the bridesmaids.
Earlier on in the process, I got the impression that we were to pay for our own make-up and hair, which I am totally fine with, but now it looks like we are covering our total costs.
In addition, they have decided to have a second day at the wedding, but they say they can't afford the meal, so they are getting the guests to pay for their own dinner. I'm not sure any of the guests know this yet.
The maid of honour has also told me that not only will there be a hen night, but there will be a bridal shower too (with gifts, food, games, etc., all laid on by the bridesmaids). And the bride has said that she wants to do a day in a spa too.
I am totally supportive of my friend having a very special day, but I don't know how to handle this. Having to pay for the bridesmaid dress (adhering to her colour choices, etc.) is just not something I expected. Am I being unreasonable? Is this the norm now?