Post # 1
I’ve never posted anything emotional or personal on a board but I’ve grown to love the bee board. Here goes:
I have a small family (no dad) and a large wedding party (14ppl). They are my chosen family; I am walking myself down the aisle. I took care to ask each girl to take their time as being in a wedding party is a time and financial commitment. They wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they declined. As soon as we secured our venue we contacted the party to give them the date and let them know that the rehearsal would be TH for a SAT wedding and were there any problems? Everyone was okay. I’m a reasonable girl; I even think I’m a reasonable bride 😉 I know things may come up and some people will miss the rehearsal. I work in events – I know things happen. But something coming up and this to me is different:
One of my BMs mentioned that she may have an issue with school and getting there early (she’s a teacher in London) bc they don’t let teachers take a day off on a long wkd. I asked her to see what was possible (sick day comes to mind but I didn’t say that) Yesterday she emailed me to say that she booked a hotel for the night of the wedding and she won’t be flying in until Friday night at 11pm bc she used up all of her vacation days. Then she listed four different scenarios and could I help her choose where to stay (is a mutual friend of ours going to be at his apt in NYC so she could crash there, are there other people coming in from NYC that she could stay with, and kind of hinted at someone picking her up from the airport – 2.5 hours away the night before the wedding) There are closer airports but she didn’t choose it.
So one – she fibbed to me about the vacation days, two – she wants me to figure out her accomodations (i can make suggestions but jeez she knows lots of people coming including ppl in the bridal party – and what about emailing my MOH?) but the biggest issue is she won’t get to the city where the wedding is until 2-3am or if she decides to do so, the next morning.
I understand that some people will let us down in some ways, I also recognize that she’s flying out for my wedding to be there for us. The hotels I blocked are so affordable but she chose the one on the 10th which is double the price of the other (I know her- it’s because it’s by the beach, even though it’s Oct in New England). I’m not sure what to do: I am not disinviting her or demanding that she be at the rehearsal and although she is a very good friend this is her big flaw – it’s not the first time something like this has happened during a major life event. She’s deceivingly high maitenance.
I’ve had heart to hearts with her. I don’t want to be curt either. I am a very up front person – I don’t do passive aggressive. And I do love her. My Fiance is upset for me and doesn’t think it’s fair that everyone else has made arrangements to be there early to help and she’s just "showing up". I kind of see things both ways.
What would you do?
Post # 3
It sounds like you’ve taken appropriate action already (speaking with her directly). I totally agree with you about avoiding passive-aggressive methods of dealing with such situations. However, since you do not sound like you want to disinvite her from the wedding party, you’re stuck with addressing her problem. I assume that in addition to being clear with your wedding party about their availability that you were also clear about their responsibilities: arriving on a particular day/time, ordering dresses/other attire, being available to decorate your venue, and other tasks. Being a member of a wedding party is not just about wearing a poofy dress with a big bow on the butt and opportunities to hook up with groomsmen, but it also involves responsibilities to help out the bride and groom when asked.
Here are a few options: You could talk to her again and gently remind her about her responsibilities in being a Bridesmaid or Best Man. Maybe follow-up with an email stating all the things you expect her to do while she’s in town. You could pass her off to someone else. Perhaps another Bridesmaid or Best Man or friend could pick her up or share their room. You could tell her that you’ve given her all the tools and given her all the outs you think are necessary to her making informed decisions. Make her figure it out and get back to you with her decisions by a certain date. You could give her some assignments for the day of or day after the wedding and give the rest of your wedding party a break.
Sorry you have to deal with this. That just sounds like no fun! Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.
Post # 4
So do you think she fibbed about vacation days because originally she said it wasn’t a problem to be there for the rehearsal, but now says she has no vacation days? You also said, you understand if things come up and someone misses the rehearsal. So are you upset about her missing the rehearsal or simply that she is getting in so close to the wedding?
As far as her involving you in securing accommodations, I think you can plainly tell her you are a little swamped and to call one of the other Bridesmaid or Best Man, or this mutual friend who she thought to stay with. Or if you have a website, maybe direct her there so she could look them up herself.
As for her cutting it close to coming in for the wedding, I’m a little torn. I can completely understand being nervous. Will she be a zombie at the wedding? Will her flight get cancelled and she wonn’t make it? Maybe you can bring up those concerns and ask if there’s any way to try to come out at least earlier in the day?? Maybe there is a flight that leaves Thursday evening after school? Do you have some time now to look into that and tell her about the flights you found? (In October, at least weather most likely won’t be a factor.) Other than that, I think she’s really trying to get to the wedding, with what she’s been dealt. She is spending a lot of time and money to fly from London. The school system doesn’t seem too flexible. If she had vacation time, it sounds a little like she might not even be able to use it on a long weekend. I don’t know how London schools are. And I’m not a teacher. But I have friends who are. They don’t get a ton of personal days because they get summers off.
I think I would try to be supportive of her efforts to make it across the ocean to get to the wedding. But I would also ask if a flight even just earlier that day would work. And definitely direct her down another avenue in deciding where she’ll stay. It sounds like she’s friends with other girls in the Bridal Party.
Post # 5
It is really discouraged for teachers to take days off, since it creates a loss of instruction for students (think of how much you learned on the days when you had a substitute teacher in high school!). Because we have so many vacation days (summer, spring break, winter recess) it is expected that we will try to schedule our personal lives for these times.
I don’t think that you can request that she take off any more time from work since it is really expensive and stressful to travel so far for your wedding.
You can choose to either (a) politely request that she not be a member of the bridal party since she cannot attend the rehearsal or (b) just leave her in your bridal party and assume the risk that she may be tired or not make it in time. You will have to choose which option will cause you less stress on your wedding day.
Post # 6
Just tell her that you’re super swamped and can’t help arrange her transport and accomodations so she should just get in touch with the other folks she knows and ask them for help- offer to provide her with their contact info.
That’s more than enough help.
Post # 7
Hi there pinwheels, I don’t post much but something about your scenario struck a chord. I don’t have as many people in my party (6 gals), but I thought carefully about asking them to be a part of this — and when I asked them, I realized that they would all play different roles in supporting me and my fiance on this day. Some of the gals would be really involved in the planning, and play the more traditional role of bridesmaid in helping out with the planning. Some of them I knew wouldn’t, but it mattered more to me that they stand up as witnesses to our union. I assume this friend falls into the latter category for you — since you say she has previously acted like that. You probably chose her despite that fact. You say that you asked them as your chosen family, so I imagine that although this girl can be high maintenance, she really means a lot to you. And that it matters that she be there, with you, on the day you get married. She might not be there early, she might not be there for the rehearsal, but if she is a good friend, she will be there for the ceremony, and will always be a formal witness to the event. Someone who stood up with you. So, my advice? Deflect her planning questions (tell her you are too busy, which I’m sure is true!), tell her how things will go the day of, and exactly what is expected of her, and then let the rest go. Good luck!
Post # 8
I’m very interested in other responses, and I’m sorry I have little insight, as I’m in a nearly idential situation!
One of my Bridesmaid or Best Man is coming w/ her Boyfriend or Best Friend a looong way. As long as yours is coming. We’ve only had preliminary plans in place regarding the wedding week, but for several months at least we knew we’d be having a welcome cocktail party Thursday, the Rehearsal Dinner Fri, wedding Saturday. We’re also planning on "doing" Vegas the weekend before the wedding, and most of the bridal party is attending. Anyhow, aforementioned Bridesmaid or Best Man was sending lots of texts/emails for details- where to fly in, when to get there, questions about the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses etc.
One day she texts me to tell me they’ve booked their flights- they’re arriving in the wedding location city while the rest of us are in Vegas, flying to Vegas as the rest of us head to the wedding location city (she plans on having her Bridesmaid or Best Man dress, that she picks up from my mom on her "overlay" altered while in Vegas (!)), and arrives back into the wedding location city the day before the wedding around noon- exactly the time I’d expected I’d be with my girls, getting out mani/pedi, or perhaps doing a Bridesmaid or Best Man lunch. Not to mention completely missing the coctail reception on Wednesday that my parents are hosting for out-of-towners and the bridal party, of which she is both!
It would be one thing if they could not arrive at all until that Friday- but I’m so annoyed that they’re basically avoiding an event, making the day before more stressful by arriving in the middle of things (she’s also a bit high maintenence and will probably expect to be collected etc.), and choosing an extra day in Vegas (they’ll be there 5!) over joining the rest of the bridal party for an event she was told about early on.
I am not very confrontational, and when all I could bring myself to say was I wish she’d reconsider getting into town a day earlier, and even went so far as to look up if her airline tickets are changeable (they are). She didn’t get my "hint" at all, and said that Vegas is something she and her Boyfriend or Best Friend have always wanted to do together, and schedule-wise they cannot do it after the wedding.
Sorry to take over your post, but seriously, it was like reading my own situation.
Post # 9
Hey, me again! I too am having activities start on Wednesday — rehearsal is on Thursday, followed by the dinner. I made it clear to everyone that I would love to have people get in by Thursday, in time for the rehearsal, but fully expect that some people won’t be getting in until the last minute, even missing the Friday night reception for all the out of town folks. Everyone has their own lives going on — either they can’t take the vacation time, or they choose to spend their vacation another way. That’s their choice! I know we all want it to be about us, and feel like it should be. But there have to be limits on what we ask of our friends and family. Unless you explicitly said that being a bridesmaid meant arriving on such and such day and doing such and such actvities, I think that you have to respect their chioces. I’m sure they will all be honored to stand up as your bridesmaid, and fully supportive of you at your wedding, even if they aren’t there for all the pre-wedding festivities.
Post # 10
thank you so much for everyone’s thoughtful feedback.
A few things I failed to mention: she has been in a bad relationship and she can’t seem to get herself out – her taking trips with boyfriend is the reason she cannot take another day off – not the school. The other thing is that we are all traveling across the country and her flight is actually shorter than anyone else in the bridal party – most of us are in LA, another is London too, and one lives in Scotland. Wedding is in CT. So we understood if people declined because it was too much but they didn’t.
I am a little worried about flight being late, her being jetlagged but I can deal with that. When I said I understand if something comes up for other people, I meant an emergency. Life happens. If something unusual happens, it can’t be helped. This could be helped. One of my other BMs just got pregnant and she called me to sort it out (also lives in London). She knows that I am so happy for her and the decision is hers. I would be happy to have her as a guest or if she can’t make it at all, I understand that too. She still wants to be in the party – that’s just her.
She emailed me this morning ignoring us talking on the phone – more questions about travel and accomodations. Oh and shes fine with money. She makes an extraordinary salary for a teacher – more than most mid level execs.
I will deflect the hotel/accomodations to my Maid/Matron of Honor (although I did send her a few easy options and saved her a ton of $) and I asked if we could speak on the phone so we can have a heart to heart about being a bridesmaid.
@carrieitly :I’m so sorry – yours seems a little more straightforward. It’s unbelievably rude. I think what the ladies have said is true though – not everyone is going to be the Bridesmaid or Best Man that’s going to be there before and help pre and post wedding. If she’s still important to you for her to stand beside you on that day, then I guess you can’t really force her to do anything. You were pretty upfront and she flat out said she’s going to Vegas. I would do what I am doing and have a heart to heart about being a Bridesmaid or Best Man. Put a little back on her and she what she says.
Thanks all – will keep you posted!
Post # 11
I think you should just be thankful that you have a large wedding party who will be able to help you and you don’t "need" her to be there to help with everything. It’s unfortunate that she’s being weird about her arrival time; I agree with you that it probably would have been smart for her to plan her vacation days around the fact that she was going to be coming to your wedding as a bridesmaid when she accepted the bridesmaid position. I would be frustrated too; even if she is missing the rehearsal, flying in the day of the wedding, or so late the night before that she won’t be able to get much sleep, probably isn’t a good idea. It probably won’t have an effect on your wedding at all, but it is one more thing you have to think/stress about.
I agree with other posters here; I think you should express to her that you’re disappointed that she won’t make it to the other fun events scheduled (that can be really light-heartedly or more seriously, depending on how you feel) and say that if she has questions about reservations/how to get somewhere she should ask the NY friend or give her the MOH’s phone number. Then, don’t worry about her anymore. If she comes, great, if not, you have lots of other people to celebrate with and you are learning about the "real" her either way.
Post # 12
@cantabrigian: LOL on the Bridesmaid or Best Man duties! You forgot "hold the bride’s dress while she pees!"
Post # 13
ha! that was indeed a good laugh.
I so know this is not a huge deal but when someone lets you down, I like to think about it before responding right away.
The update is that she did book the night before at the hotel we blocked off and she’s looking for a slightly earlier flight that gets in a little earlier than 11am so I got through to her as much as she’s going to give. I went ahead and helped her with hotel and flights bc it was much easier for me to check really quick and respond to her…even though all the info is on the wedding web site. I can’t tell you how particular I was about giving people detailed info on the web site and she signed the guest book but oh well (airports, links, distance from airports to hotel, sites I use to book my travel, transportation info and so on)
She will not respond to us talking on the phone – I know that sounds weird but with me living in LA and her in London we always set up phone dates otherwise we’d always miss each other.
I will not ask her to come earlier but I will ask what happened there. I need to focus on her responsibilities as a bridesmaid on the day of. She’s kind of known for going to bed really early and leaving other people to do the work. You could be 3/4 of the way through dinner and she’ll start putting her coat on. Of course she has lovely qualities too. This is just not one of them.
I just don’t want other people in the party to pick up her slack when she is actually there, you know? I’ll make that clear.