I have been asked to be a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding. I love her and her fiancé and I'm honored to share this experience with them. However, I recently found out that as a member of the bridal party, I am financially responsible for a portion of an engagement party for 30 of the bride and groom's friends and family members. I have also been summoned to help with the planning and organizing. After meeting with the other bridesmaids, it looks like the party is going to cost close to $1000 — that's about $200 for my share. As far as I know, the engagement party is traditionally hosted by the couple's parents. This is especially concerning because I know we will have to pay for the bachelorette party, dresses, shoes, hair and makeup, and I'm sure there will be more. Is this the new norm, and how do I tell them that I really can't afford it — I'm a grad student, nuff said? Any advice on the matter would be so helpful!