Hi Everyone, I am still new in these parts and I have noticed that you all give one another great advice so I wanted to try my luck. I do not need advice, but I would LOVE the opinion/perspective of an issue from people who are related to it in NO WAY. Here is the issue and really want to know what you would do ( I appreciate all honesty and sorry for the long post): Okay, so I was asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding that will be taking place during the third weekend of January. A childhood friend of mine is finally going to marry her fiance of two years who came home from Iraq (thank God all in one piece) recently. My friend values her mother's opinion over her own sometimes because she does not know how to speak up. When she first got engaged, she already had designs for the bridesmaids gowns - completely gorgeous! When her boyfriend went to Iraq, she scrapped all the ideas ( I have no idea why). Well now, things have changed and even with the military money, she and her fiance are struggling and instead of borrowing money (they have pride issues), they agreed to let her parents pay for the wedding (like tradition). Well here is where it goes sour. Her mom agreed to write checks for ANY amount as long as the following was met: she got to pick out the hall, bridesmaids gowns, photographer/videographer, and catering company - not the food. It sounded like a deal at first but when my friend showed us the dress her mom wants us to wear - I almost died. It has to be one of the most hideous, dated gowns ever. I recieved an email from her mom saying that I am by far the "prettiest" of her bridal party and she wished I was chosen as the maid of honor. She also went on to say that as a gift of appreciation and thank you, the bridal party would all be rewarded with a great designer handbag (I trust her taste - I drool in her closet), however, she wanted me to lose 30 lbs before I even THINK about getting fitted for one of the gowns!! So I contact the other girls who will be bridesmaids. I thought her request of me was crazy (even though I have been losing weight anyway) and I find out she has requests for dental surgery, laser hair removal, hair weaves, skin therapy...the list goes on! We all agreed that the jist of it all was "Improve yourself by [fill in Extreme Makeover procedure here], come to the wedding in that God-awful dress, and as a thank you, you get a great handbag." 2 of the girls were so offended they decided not to be in the wedding and now my friend is scrambling around looking for people (she even asked a co-worker she has never mingled with outside of work!). One of the girls contacted the bride-to-be and asked her about the gift, and she said she and her mom alotted a couple of grand for our gifts and basically we would each get a handbag that was from $800-$1200 in value. What I want to know is, would u go thru with the wedding ugly dress, radical makeover and all for a handbag coupled with your friend's happiness in the end? Also, it is important to mention that the 2 girls who decided not to be in the wedding contacted the bride to be because they were very offended (one was told to get skin therapy and lose 20 lbs, the other was told to get laser hair removal, and a few other treatments) however the bride-to-be did not acknowledge their feelings about the whole situation and basically dismissed it as being "out of her hands". Opinions needed...mine is coming soon.