The Case for Having a Caribbean Destination Wedding *Not* on the Beach

Not every bride who chooses to get married in the tropics wants to get married on the beach. Caribbean weddings don’t necessarily involve beach ceremonies, unless the bride and groom want to have their toes in the sand when they exchange vows.

I literally ask every new set of clients the specific question: “Do you want your feet in the sand?” when we first start planning, so I can direct them to the most appropriate venues with the best beach access. The fact of the matter is that brides and grooms who don’t require a beach ceremony have a lot more venue options than those who are committed to standing on sand.

You might ask why brides and grooms would go to the trouble of having a destination wedding if they’re not going to get married on the beach. The answer is that couples who don’t want the actual wedding ceremony on the beach still want to have a tropical destination wedding experience — meaning sun, palm trees, great weather, and fun pre-wedding beach activities for all of their guests — but they’re looking for a more traditional venue for their actual wedding. Or just someplace without sand.

But why don’t all island brides and grooms choose to get married on the beach? Sometimes, it’s all about the shoes. Seriously. Many of my brides have chosen not to set foot on the sand on their wedding day because they wanted to wear gorgeous, high-heeled wedding shoes that they wouldn’t be able to walk in through the sand. Really, they want to wear the amazing shoes for the dancing and pictures at the wedding reception, but if they have the dress hemmed to the right length for the shoes, they can’t walk in it without tripping if they go barefoot, or wear a flat sandal, for a beach ceremony. Because the shoes are more important to them than the sand, they avoid the beach.

See More: Caribbean Honeymoon Destinations For Every Couple

In my case, it was all about my dress. I chose to get married on the terrace of a boutique hotel overlooking the water because I was planning to wear my silk wedding gown again a week later at a formal reception back home, and I’d been warned not to risk getting the hem of my dress wet in the water. But I’ve encountered plenty of women with no plans to immediately re-wear their gowns who wouldn’t even consider dragging their skirts through the sand.

Some couples skip the beach ceremony for very practical reasons. They think it will be too hot for some guests, or they have elderly VIP guests who would struggle to traverse the sand with all the guests watching them.

Many of the most stunning wedding pictures I’ve seen have been from destination wedding venues high up on the side of a hill, looking down on a crystal blue sea. These couples are able to incorporate the stunning beach into their wedding photos without having to stand in the sand.

Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC’s reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.

These 5 Underrated Honeymoon Destinations Are Romantic Without the Hype


Photo: Getty Images

Not feeling a cookie-cutter honeymoon? Luckily, there are some hidden honeymoon gems that the rest of the world’s newlyweds don’t tend to flock to, but offer just as romantic — or adventurous, depending on your preference — of an experience as the more traditional spots. These five destinations don’t get the hype they should, which will take you off the beaten track and away from the crowds.

Islamorada Florida

Photo: Getty Images

Islamorada, Florida
Get the vibes of the Caribbean without leaving the states and the color of Key West, without the crowds, in Islamorada, Florida. Part of the Florida Keys, Islamorada offers an ideal combination of relaxation and exploration. Most of the island’s accommodations offer spa services for two to indulge in. Even better, there’s a variety of options to best suit the mood of your honeymoon — bungalows, resorts, cottages, the choice is yours. Sun at Anne’s Beach or picnic at the hidden Library Beach during the day, or take to one of the many state parks to discover the island’s secrets, such as shipwreck remains in Indian Key Historic State Park or the lagoons in Long Key State Park.

alberta lake louise

Photo: Getty Images

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, this alpine escape is breathtaking with beauty. A diamond in the wild, Lake Louise has much to offer besides its scenery of vast mountains and still turquoise waters. View it up close with a romantic canoe ride, or bring out your adventurous side hiking up one of the many mountain trails or white water rafting. If you and your groom are a pair of ski bunnies, visit in the winter to hit some of Canada’s best slopes or take a twirl on the ice. Where to stay? Try Fairmont Lake Chateau for a luxury experience.

albania riviera

Photo: Getty Images

Albania Riviera
When it comes to Eastern Europe, Croatia and Montenegro usually take the cake for honeymoon hot spots for their proximity to the Adriatic Sea, but the Albania Riviera’s craggy coastline along the Ionian Sea isn’t without its own idyllic spots. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, take up residence at the beach of Palasa, a strip of unspoilt sand dotted with just a few cafes, or the charming cove of Bunec, surrounded by mountains and, at dusk, a gorgeous sunset. When you’re looking to step away from the gentle crash of the waves, go for a romantic stroll through one of the many old colonial towns rich in architecture and charming bazaars.

rekjavik iceland

Photo: Getty Images

Reykjavik, Iceland
Often an overlooked destination when it comes to celebrating wedded bliss, Iceland is becoming more popular for couples wanting to go off the beaten path. Get a taste of local color at Reykjavik — from relaxing in one of the many hot springs to devouring seafood fare. Outside of the capital, there are many natural wonders to explore. Head to the Blue Lagoon or Myvatn Nature Baths for a romantic dip, or trek your way to the Dettifoss Waterfall or Gullfoss. And, of course, the Northern Lights are a wonder not to be missed at night.


Photo: Getty Images

Located outside the hurricane belt, the island of Curacao is known for great weather year-round. Near Aruba, it’s one of the Caribbean’s less popular honeymoon spots, but without good reason. The island’s Dutch roots marry Caribbean flair to give the island a splash of color. Jazz clubs, martini bars, and beachfront nightclubs make Curacao’s nightlife pop, and the days are just as lively with an island outback to explore. Make your way via jeep to bat caves and sea caves, or snorkel and windsurf the turquoise waters at Cas Abou Beach. Avila Hotel — Curacao is the island’s longest running resort, a restored 18th-century mansion offering modern luxury and an infinity pool.

See More: 20 Honeymoon Destinations For Adventurous Couples

Gene Wilder's Love Story with Wife Karen Boyer Will Tug at Your Heart Strings

gene wilder

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People are mostly familiar with Gene Wilder’s acting career, like his portrayal of Willy Wonka in the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but it turns out that he was living out one of the sweetest love stories we have ever heard.

Wilder, who died due to complications with Alzheimer’s disease on Sunday at the age of 83, was a famous Hollywood actor, director, and author, known for such films as Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Blazing Saddles. In the 1980’s he married his first wife, famed comedian and SNL cast member Gilda Radner, and remained happily married until their romance ended suddenly in 1989 when Radner died of ovarian cancer just four years after their wedding. Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, told People that Wilder was unsure if he would ever be able to date again after losing his wife.

“I think a part of him, after Gilda, wondered, ‘Will I ever find someone who excites me again,’ ” Walker-Pearlman told People. “He never went on a single date after Gilda died.”

That is, until Karen Boyer walked into his life.

Wilder and Boyer, a speech consultant, met around 1989 while Wilder was doing research for the movie See No Evil, Hear No Evil, but didn’t go on their first date until a year after they first met. Walker-Pearlman tells People that Boyer was the only woman on Wilder’s mind when he decided that he was ready to date again.

Isn't that the truth. #RIP Gene Wilder ??????

A photo posted by BRIDES Magazine (@brides) on Aug 30, 2016 at 10:44am PDT

“After Gilda [pictured with Wilder above] passed away, it was so devastating to him, and that Karen would walk into his life was such a wonderful miracle,” Walker-Pearlman said. “He never had a date with anyone else until Karen and he ended up marrying her. He was worried he wouldn’t know how to date anymore, but once he realized he could date, he didn’t want to date anyone but Karen.”

The couple dated for two years before getting married in a private ceremony at Wilder’s home in Connecticut with only the closest of family and friends in attendance. Wilder and Boyer remained happily married for 25 years, and Walker-Pearlman’s description of their romance is enough to make your heart swell.

See More: Jena Malone’s Engagement Ring Selfie is Legit the Cutest Thing We’ve Ever Seen

“Most people would consider their daily life a romantic vacation. He built a very idyllic life. There was nothing that brought him the tranquility that his marriage to Karen did,” Walker-Pearlman said. Wilder’s nephew told People Wilder and Boyer enjoyed spending quality time together playing tennis, writing and painting.

Wilder died in the couple’s home in Stamford, Connecticut just days before his and Boyer’s 25th wedding anniversary, and Walker-Pearlman says that his aunt and uncle lived out their wedding vows until their last days together.

“They wrote in their wedding vows how they were going to dedicate their lives to each other,” Walker-Pearlman said. “And that’s what they did.”

An Intimate Wedding in Jackson Hole with Views of the Teton Mountain Range

After a year of dating long distance, Susan Gushard and Michael Patrick decided they’d both move to Boston, Massachusetts, the city where they first met. A few years after that, Michael surprised Susan with an unforgettable proposal after hiking through Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire.

Although their love story has roots around the city, it was immediately clear to the duo where they’d get married. “We both knew we wanted to get married in Wyoming,” the bride says, and the pair wasted no time in booking the Chapel of Transfiguration for their ceremony and Snake River Sporting Club for their July 18, 2015 reception. Mother Nature offered a few surprises (including an impromptu hailstorm and rainbow!), and Taylor Glenn Photography was there to capture every magical moment.

Susan brought her mom, dad, and future sister-in-law along to several bridal boutiques while on the hunt for her perfect wedding dress. When she tried on a white Alencon lace and silk sheath from Marisa Bridal, they all knew it was the one. Susan accessorized with pieces that felt meaningful to her, including her mother’s pearl earrings and a bracelet that Michael gave her on their first Christmas together.

Michael wore a navy suit, white shirt, brown shoes, and a soft peach colored tie. His groomsmen wore slightly darker suits with matching brown dress shoes.

Susan’s bridesmaids wore flowing chiffon Donna Morgan dresses in the same blush color but in varying styles. “I wanted the bridesmaids’ dresses to complement the natural beauty of Wyoming,” the bride says.

The ceremony took place in a beautiful log chapel in Grand Teton National Park. To warm up the wooden exterior, the couple asked their florist to decorate the door with a wreath in tones similar to the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets. Inside, guests were seated in wooden pews embellished with flower-filled mason jars that had been tied to the end of each row with blush ribbon.

“Moments before I walked down the aisle, the hail came,” the bride says. “We heard it’s good luck if it rains on your wedding day, so hail must be even luckier! A rainbow followed the storm and our photographer was able to get some beautiful photos of us.”

Once the weather settled down, Susan and her father walked down the aisle to the classic Pachabel’s Canon in D Major, which was performed by an organist.

Before making a grand entrance as husband and wife at the reception venue, Susan and Michael created an unforgettable moment together exchanging personal vows by the river. “It was a special moment for us to pause and reflect on the day together with a glass of champagne by the peaceful Snake River,” the bride says.

At the reception, guests were served raspberry-peach prosecco punch, the couple’s signature cocktail, along with appetizers like beef sliders and seared scallops with bacon lardon.

Susan created DIY place cards for her guests using seed paper, small fern leaves, and pink rice flowers. For dinner, guests were seated at rectangular wooden tables adorned with tall candles in gold holders and ivory flowers with a pop of peach. They were served zucchini spaghetti in a tomato white wine sauce or grilled tenderloin with a blue cheese cream sauce, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.

After a night full of dancing and toasts, the newlyweds cut into their three-tiered honeycomb-inspired wedding cake. Susan and Michael chose a Tahitian vanilla bean cake with raspberry mousse and cream cheese frosting, but also offered oatmeal cookies and pistachio, apricot, and vanilla bean macarons for dessert. In addition to being delicious, the sweet treats fit well with the couple’s peach, rose, and dusty blue color scheme.

For this happy couple, wedding planning was all about focusing on the details. “Everything we chose, from the elements that made up the save the date and wedding invitation to the warm oatmeal cookies after dinner, had some kind of significance or meaning to us,” Susan says.

Ceremony Venue: Chapel of Transfiguration || Reception Venue: Snake River Sporting Club || Wedding Planner: Lovely Day Events || Bride’s Wedding Dress: Marisa Bridals || Hair: Debbie Ferrante of L’Equipe Salon || Makeup: Stephanie of Frost Salon || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan || Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux || Flowers: Lily & Co. || Invitations: Ceci New York || Other Paper Products: Of the Earth; Jan Boyd Calligraphy || Music: John Michael Haines and Bill Hummer; Jeff Eidemiller || Catering: Spoons Bistro & Bakery || Cake: Jackson Cake Company || Photographer: Taylor Glenn Photography

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Considering your own destination bash? Then you’ll be inspired by another couple’s epic getaway wedding in Cape Town, South Africa, seen below.

Who Pays for the Honeymoon?

who pays for honeymoon

Photo: Getty Images

Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun, but planning the honeymoon is even more so. Who wouldn’t love daydreaming about an adventure in a far-off location, delicious dinners for two, and as much relaxation as you can handle? But just like the wedding, planning a honeymoon brings up a big question: Who is supposed to write the check? Our experts have a few different options for who will be handing over their credit card for your honeymoon expenses.

Traditionally, the honeymoon is paid for by either the groom or the groom’s family. That’s why there’s wedding lore around newlyweds arriving at the airport, where the groom surprises his bride with their destination (and hopes she’s packed correctly!). And when it’s the groom’s parents who are paying, the couple may both have no idea where they’re headed until they open an envelope and find tickets inside.

These days, however, a lot has changed. In many instances, the groom may plan the honeymoon as a surprise, but he and his bride will foot the bill together. Or, the couple might use honeymoon planning as a welcome break from the stress of a wedding and plan the getaway together. They might dip into their savings accounts to cover the costs, or turn to a newer addition to the wedding scene: A honeymoon fund.

If a couple has arranged a honeymoon fund instead of or in addition to a traditional wedding registry, the answer to who pays for the honeymoon is actually the guests! Especially as more and more couples opt to take their honeymoon a few months or even a year after the wedding, using monetary gifts from guests to cover honeymoon costs is a great way to know exactly how much money the couple has to work with, as well as to ease the strain on their savings account after the wedding has come and gone.

See more: What to Do When You and Your Husband Can’t Afford Your Dream Honeymoon

Why Rob Kardashian Skipped Kim and Kanye West's Wedding

Why Rob Kardashian Skipped Kims Wedding

Photo: Getty Images

Let us reflect on that fateful day when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West became one — a.k.a. Kimye. On May 24, 2014, Hollywood’s glitterati descended upon Florence, Italy to witness the famous pair tie the knot. From the bride’s gorgeous Givenchy wedding dress, to a towering flower wall, a Versailles rehearsal dinner, and a seven-tiered wedding cake, Kimye’s big day was definitely not short on the extravagant. But that super swanky wedding was short on members of the Kardashian clan. Kim’s brother, Rob Kardashian, was infamously missing from the Florentine festivities, as he made the decision not to attend his big sister’s wedding day. Now, over two years later, the future Mr. Blac Chyna is finally fessing up as to why he skipped Kimye’s “I do’s.”

Kim Kardashian Kanye West First Kiss Official

Photo: Courtesy of E!

No-show wedding guests are bound to make any bride a little bitter. But do you think Kim Kardashian is one to hold a grudge? With the upcoming wedding of Rob Kardashian and his fiancé Blac Chyna looming ahead, we have to admit that the thought crossed our minds. Would the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star repay her baby bro for missing her big day with an empty reception seat at his wedding? Well, we think she’s gotta feel for Rob after he recently came forth with why he checked ‘no’ on her metaphorical RSVP card.

“I was doing my suit fittings in Paris right before the wedding and I just wasn’t comfortable,” Kardashian told to People, explaining that he flew into Paris for those memorable nuptials, but ultimately decided not to attend Kimye’s rehearsal dinner at Versailles or their wedding in Italy. “I’m 6’1 and at my most I probably weighed 300 pounds,” said the reality star, revealing that body consciousness lead him to skipping his sister’s wedding. “There were cameras at the airport on our trip there and I was very unhappy with the person I saw in all the pictures. I’m upset I missed my sister’s wedding but it was a personal decision.”

See More: Blac Chyna Will Change Her Name When She Marries Rob Kardashian

“I just wasn’t down to have photographers follow me, so I made sure I was away from all of that,” Kardashian continued. “I’m very good at disappearing.” And disappear he did. Kardashian famously went into seclusion for the better part of two years, stepping out of the spotlight of his famous family. “I wasn’t happy with myself so I didn’t want my family to see me that way,” he said.

“The way I dealt with my issues maybe wasn’t the best, but nobody can make me happy but me,” explained Kardashian. But now, the celeb certainly does sound happy. Engaged to Blac Chyna and expecting their first child together, Kardashian is now back in the public eye and flashing his megawatt smile at the paparazzi’s cameras. “Now I want to see everybody in my family every chance I get.”

It sounds like his upcoming nuptials will definitely be a family affair! Let’s just hope Kim doesn’t go MIA as payback. After all, she did skip Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s 2013 wedding because of a wardrobe crisis…

#BlacChyna and #RobKardashian are essentially the ???? emoji. | ????: @michelson_ari

A photo posted by People Magazine (@people) on Aug 31, 2016 at 11:11am PDT

6 Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress Ideas to Consider

If an earth conscious wedding dress brings to mind an ill-fitting hemp garment, you couldn’t be more wrong. Whether vintage, or made of organic materials, eco-friendly dresses take on many styles and couldn’t be more beautiful. And in an increasingly green environment, there certainly isn’t a shortage of options. Where to start? Consider the following:

1. Re-wear a gown, such as your mother’s — even better because it has sentimental value. If you’re not a fan of her ’80s-style sleeves, take it to a seamstress to redesign the look. Or, you can buy or rent a pre-worn gown.

2. Take re-wearing a gown to a new level and go vintage. Check out consignment shops or vintage boutiques. You might get lucky and find something one of-a-kind.

3. Look for a dress made of organic fabrics, such as organic cotton, organic silk, or peace silk. A dress made out of recyclable materials can also do the trick.

4. Choose a designer that creates sustainable gowns, whether it’s by hand-making the dress or supporting women in developing countries. Need some options? Try any of these designers…

Daughters of Simone Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Daughters of Simone

Daughters of Simone
Daughters of Simone’s founder Brit Castanos launched the brand by reconstructing vintage gowns from the ’60s and ’70s, and is now on her second collection. Inspired to create gowns for the “soul-baring and tenacious women of the world,” her resulting handcrafted gowns are pure bohemian magic. This off-the-shoulder “Phiffer” gown’s lightweight and airy chiffon fabric edged in crochet lace creates a whimsical touch.

Leila Hafzi Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Leila Hafzi

Leila Hafzi
Leila Hafzi heralds itself as the first high-end ethical and eco-conscious fashion brand. Its design and production company is located in Kathmandu in the developing country of Nepal, works to establish an environmentally friendly production cycle, and is a member of The Ethical Trading Initiative — Norway. The brand’s romantic, feminine, and bohemian designs are inspired by different cultures. This flapper-style “Scarlett” dress infuses 1920s glamour.

The Cotton Bride Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of The Cotton Bride

The Cotton Bride
The Cotton Bride handcrafts their dresses from 100% natural fabrics including cotton, linen, and silk. Dedicated to grace, comfort, and beauty, this brand prides itself in a unique aesthetic that doesn’t follow the trends. This soft and romantic “Myriam” dress is made of 100% English cotton tulle, 100% silk chiffon, and 100% cotton.

Deborah Lindquist Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Deborah Lindquist

Deborah Lindquist
Not only does Deborah Lindquist create her cutting-edge designs out of recycled, sustainable, and organic fabrics, such as vintage cashmere, hemp blends, and organic linen, but she also donates a portion of her proceeds to environmentally conscious and health organizations. This mermaid silhouette made of hemp/silk satin is a body conscious, bias cut slip-dress that balances Art Deco vibes and a modern, minimalist style.

Minna Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Minna

Minna’s description of its label as Eco Luxe is right on point, with stylish designs made of sustainable, organic, recyclable and locally produced textiles manufactured with zero waste pattern cutting techniques. Take for example the “Anya” dress, made from a luxurious silk morocain and complete with a classic silhouette, open back, and subtle, but glamorous floor-sweeping train.

Celia Grace Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Celia Grace

Celia Grace
Celia Grace is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which aims to end poverty. Thus, Grace’s dresses are handmade in Cambodia and India by Fair Trade sewing groups, providing them with safe work, fair wages and benefits, and development. The brand also works to reduce environmental impact by using handmade fabrics, natural fibers, small-batch textiles, and heirloom silks. This “Jane” dress of heirloom silk has a flattering flare.

See More: 50 Things to Know About Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

Why Nicole Johnson 'Loathed' Michael Phelps at Times During Their Relationship

michael phelps nicole johnson

Photo: Getty Images

Nicole Johnson is keeping it real about fiancé and Olympian Michael Phelps. The model shared recently that there were times where she actually “loathed” her groom-to-be before they got back together and were in it for the long haul.

“There definitely were times, and I think Michael would say the same thing, where I hated him,” the 31-year-old shared with Cosmopolitan in a recent interview. “We were at odds at times.” But even though relationship was on the rocks at the time, she was still smitten. “Even when I loathed him, there were still times when I was like, ‘God, I wish I was with him.'” Girl, we’ve all been there.

The former Miss California noted that this time around is different than the last. “Michael and I both know that had we tried to have a child and get married in the previous time we were together, it probably would not have ended pretty,” she shared candidly, noting that they needed their separation to mature. “We both had a lot of growing up to do. We both had a lot of learning about ourselves to do.” A refreshingly honest account of their relationship — which shows how far they have come.

Previously, Johnson and the 23-time gold medal-winning Olympian dated in 2009 but broke up numerous times, according to ET Online. Now after finally reconciling, the two are parents to their 4-month-old son, Boomer, and last year Phelps made it official when he asked his leading lady to be his wife.

See More: If Your Guy Has These 21 Habits, Marry Him Right Now

Clearly these two have come a long way, and they now understand what it takes to be in a relationship for the longterm. “I don’t think you can be in a good relationship unless you love yourself to the fullest and you want to help the other person become a better person. We definitely needed that time apart to recognize that about ourselves and to appreciate one another.” Wise words, Mrs. Soon-to-Be Phelps!

On the topic of her fiancé retiring, the model says Phelps probably won’t swim professionally again, but if he does, it would only be for the cutest reason ever: Boomer. “Then again, you never know. Maybe he misses it so much and maybe Boomer convinces him that he has to go back so Boomer can remember it.” The good news is her man has four years to make his decision, so our fingers will be crossed for a while. In the meantime, we’ll be ready and waiting to stalk their wedding photos — Boomer as best man definitely has a nice ring to it.

So excited to spend a lil r&r with these 2!! @m_phelps00 @boomerrphelps #mymen

A photo posted by Nicole Michele Johnson (@nicole.m.johnson) on Aug 17, 2016 at 12:57pm PDT

My happy lil family ???? @m_phelps00 #proudfianc?? #family #bestfriend

A photo posted by Nicole Michele Johnson (@nicole.m.johnson) on Aug 16, 2016 at 3:26pm PDT

Amazing date night with my amazing fianc??e! So honored to introduce @future!! #vmas

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on Aug 28, 2016 at 11:28pm PDT

Gotta love when you play rummy and you go against the one person you're not upset if you lose 2!???? #bestfriendforlife

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on Aug 25, 2016 at 12:22am PDT

How to Handle a Bridesmaid Who Wants a Refund (Yes, We're Serious)

bridesmaid drops out of wedding asks for refund

Photo: Getty Images

Picking a bridal party is something that takes careful planning, deduction, and thought. So after all of the decision-making you do pre-wedding when it comes to your best girls, it would be tragic to have one of your ‘maids drop out of your bridal party, or worse, having to ask one of your bridesmaids to “step down.” But, after the fall out, the unimaginable happens: your bridesmaid asks for a refund. What should you do?

Whether the reason for this falling out is due to a friendship that’s been on the rocks for a while — or because you’re dealing with a friend who is just not showing her supportive side to you during a time when you need it the most, having a bridesmaid leave her role pre-wedding is something that isn’t out of the norm. But unfortunately, this awkward (usually one-sided) conversation ending your bridal party unity can continue on a downward spiral with the request for a refund. If this does happen, here’s how to handle it.

If your ex-bridesmaid does ask you for a refund, it can get tricky. They may want you pay them back for the bridesmaid dress they ordered — or even some of the money they spent on your bachelorette party and bridal shower. When this request comes your way, you will wonder if you should dig into your wallet or worse — your wedding budget — to return the money they spent.

Before you respond about her request, first consider the core reason behind her removal from the bridal party. If it was purely your bridesmaid’s decision, then you don’t owe a refund. If you had to ask her to leave your bridal party because of her unruly behavior or lack of support, you may want to cover the costs that she incurred — or at least offer to give her back money for the dress.

Ultimately, it is up to you if you want to return the money and more importantly, salvage the friendship. But both of those things shouldn’t be decided upon or discussed during your wedding planning process. You’ll be under enough stress and to-do list tasks — and the emotional stress may be too much to bear. Once you’ve made your decision or accepted your ex-maid’s decision, it’s best to ignore the drama until you’ve come back from the honeymoon fresh, rejuvenated, and ready to handle the situation.

See More: Ways to Help Your Bridesmaids Save Money on Their Dresses

Jen Glantz is a “Professional Bridesmaid” and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She’s the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.

This is the Most-Pinned Bridesmaid Dress on Pinterest — And It's Shockingly Affordable


Photo: Getty Images

Saying “I do” to being your BFF’s bridesmaid comes with a lot of responsibility — not to mention a lot of money. From paying for the out-of-town bachelorette party to your wedding-day makeup look, the price you have to pay to stand by your bestie’s side on her big day can be a little, well, disheartening. But luckily there’s one thing you can probably save on. After Pinterest reps did a deep-dive into their database for BRIDES, they found that the most-pinned bridesmaid dress is surprisingly affordable — AND totally on trend.

Pinned more than 170K times, it’s not a shocker to see why girls all over the social media site are flocking to this simple yet elegant bridesmaid dress featuring a lace illusion neckline. And with a price point of $160, we may just stock up on this dress ourselves! The flowing, floor-length gown comes in a variety of colors, some of which are blush, wine, navy, and black. Because these colors are so simple, it’s super easy to find other mismatched bridesmaid gowns that fit the same color scheme. Totes trendy!

Some other notables on the top bridesmaid dresses board:

These light blue, off-the-shoulder gowns from Amsale have completely stolen our hearts. In such a muted shade of blue, it’s perfect for brides who want a light color palette.

Going for a little bit more of a glam vibe, this chiffon, halter bridesmaid gown is great for a bride who is seeking bling for her bridal party.

See More:The Maid of Honor’s Guide to Avoid Going Broke Before the Wedding

If your ‘maids can afford pricier attire, why not go for this $900 M’oda ‘Operandi stunner? With see-through panels and a gorgeous print, it’s ideal for an elegant, seaside wedding.

Have champagne taste on a Bud Light budget? Go for these simple (and $64!) Lulu’s maxi dresses that feature a stunning open back.

So now that we’ve covered the bases of top bridesmaid dresses, check out the top engagement ring, wedding dress, and wedding cakes that are trending on Pinterest. You may be surprised!