When Should a Bridesmaid Not be a Bridesmaid?


Being a bridesmaid for your friend is an exciting and often emotional experience. Helping your friend, the bride try on wedding dresses, pick out invitations, and celebrate her engagement creates a ton of fun opportunities for you to bond and become even closer. But while your role as a bridesmaid, is to support the bride as she plans for her big day, certain situations make it completely acceptable to tell the bride “no.” Such as:

When It is Breaking the Bank

  • If you’ve never been a bridesmaid before, you might be in for a bit of a shock when it comes to the total expenses of participating in your friend’s big day.
  • The cost of the dress
  • The gifts
  • The bridal shower
  • The bachelorette party
  • Travel arrangements to the wedding

This could put a dent in your wallet if you are not prepared.  So before making any decisions, have an open and honest conversation with your friend the bride. Find out what her expectations are regarding the bridesmaid dresses, bachelorette party location, etc. If you cannot afford everything, be upfront about your situation and offer to help find ways to cut cost for the bridal party

If you still cannot work it out, then you should tell your friend, the bride that you cannot be a bridesmaid, but would still love to be part of her support system leading up to the wedding.  The bride will appreciate you being a great and honest friend about your situation and being good friends, the bride will not want you as a bridesmaid to go into credit card debt on her behalf!

When It’s Creating Difficult Scheduling Conflicts

Sometimes it seems as if everyone decides to get married during the same season, all while you are juggling business travel, graduations, family reunions and more. Unless you live under a rock, chances are pretty good that you will have a few obligations that interfere with your bridesmaid responsibilities.

To avoid hurting someone’s feelings you should discuss with your friend the bride that you will have to miss some of her engagement activities do to other commitments.   By telling the bride early on about your commitments she can take that into consideration when choosing dates for her pre-wedding events.

When It’s Hurting Your Friendship

Unfortunately some women stop being the friend you know and love the minute they get engaged.

But before you jump to conclusions, give the bride a moment to adjust to the stress of planning a wedding. Keep in mind that she may be overwhelmed by having to organize a large, expensive event, all while trying to please two families. However, if the bride becomes;

  • Insulting,
  • Belittling
  • Completely unreasonable

Speak with the bride privately about your feelings, and be open to apologies and attempts to reconcile. If that does not work, it is best to step down from your bridesmaid position and remove yourself from the situation before it escalates even further.

Yes, sometimes a bridesmaid can say “No” because girlfriend friendship is forever!

Planning your wedding?  Let Windermere Elegant Weddings be your professional planner and help you create your DREAM wedding while you be a guest at your own event!  Call today 847-309-9478