Declining a bridesmaid invitation by FSIL….advice really appreciated!

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
3369 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I’m flattered but I would rather not be a bridesmaid, but would be more than happy to help in other ways.

That’s exactly what my (F)SIL said to me! 

Post # 4
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

If your only experience as a bridesmaid was negative, why wouldn’t you try again and try to make it fun?  It sounds like you have the best situation here…someone who probably doesn’t expect much from you, so all you have to do is be supportive and wear a pretty dress.

Sorry to say that declining because you had another experience that was negative might hurt the bride…you’re assuming that being in her bridal party will be as bad as the last time. 

It takes a lot to ask someone for their support.

Post # 7
Member
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

If you don’t want to then just decline. I asked my sister in law and she didn’t really want to I don’t think  and she tortured me the entire time due to her lack of excitement. I would have much rather just had her say no.

Post # 8
Member
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@violet25: First you said she has several bridesmaids… then you said she has only asked two. Big difference.  IMO, you shouldn’t decline because you had a bad experience before.  Have you even taken into account that this is not just about your FSIL, it’s about your brother.  Don’t you think he would want you standing up there in the bridal party?  You can even stand on his side if it would make you feel better. I’m sure your family would be happy as well to see you up there. Be happy you have a FSIL that likes you enough to ask you.  The decision is ultimately up to you and if you really find the need to turn her down based soley on a prior bad experience, I would recommend to try and not to burn any bridges – this person will be in your family now and at every holiday gathering, ect.

Post # 10
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m wondering what exactly will make you so uncomfortable? If anything maybe this experience will bring you closer.  It is a special thing that she will ask you to be in the wedding party, because it is a joining of families and you joining her would probably mean a lot to both your husband and FSIL.  Maybe when the time comes, you can have a discussion with her and tell her politely before declining, that you might not be the most comfortable and see what she says.  Maybe she won’t even care if you don’t help out, but just wants you there as family support.

Post # 11
Member
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

Eh, I’d decline. Too many stories on the Bee were this did anything BUT bring them closer. Heck, I was at a wedding yesterday where the bride asked the FSIL to be nice and they can barely stand each other now.
I would have been slighty uncomfortable too, if my SIL had asked me to be a BM and I didn’t ask her for the same reason. Ask your FSIL if she would prefer you to be her ‘go-to’ person on the day of – that’s basically what my SIL did – moving the card box to the reception, setting out programs, bubbles, helping pack things up at the reception. All the little things that didn’t really fall under anyone’s responsibilities. It was SUCH a big help and I really appreciated it.

Post # 13
Member
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@violet25: I turned down mine, she was having a vow renewal. Frankly, people should appericate your honesty. Same as you, I think she felt “obligated’ to ask. was feeling it  out with my FH. I told him thanks but no thanks. I’d rather not but I’d be willing to help with anything else. She was cool with it as far as I know (and she secretly wasn’t, oh well). Her two other BMs are her long time friends. And I know she is very particular, so I really didn’t want to deal with that whole dynamic. .We have a cool relationship but we arent’ “friends” per say and I also didn’t have funds to spend on dress.

The whole thing just didn’t sit right to me, so I refuse to put myself in an uncomfortable situation. I just have never seen the BM role as some kind of internship exercise where you guys can get “closer”. BMs IMO should be people who are time tested and true blue friends/family. I knew when I would be time to have my wedding, I wasn’t gonna ask her. So I refused to set myself up.

When it came to the wedding, I was wrangling her youngest son (my god child) for most of the day (he acted up big time, crying and just carrying on) and I helped pack up several things during clean up. So I more than did my part.

If you turn her down, I wouldn’t use your other negative expereince as an excuse, because that shouldn’t have any bearing on this situation.

Post # 14
Member
1473 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I asked my FSIL to be a BM in my wedding because I knew it meant alot ot my FI. Her and I were not really close, just friendly. But now since I had asked her to be a BM, her and I have gotten really close and now I consider her a very good friend. She is older than my FI by 2 years meaning she is 3 years older than I am and is more like a big sister to me than my own.

Honstly, I would have been hurt had she said no. I want all of my family to be with me that day and since she will be my SIL, she is now family.

I wouldn’t let a negative experience being someone else’s BM deter you from being hers. If you asked a BM you wanted in your wedding and she said no, would you be hurt?

At the end of the day it is your decision so good luck and I hope it all works out well!

Post # 15
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I asked FI’s sisters to be bridesmaids…. We aren’t that close, but I love them and wanted them to be a special part of our big day… If they had said no I would have been hurt…

But you know your situation better than anyone… if you think it will be okay to decline it probably is

Post # 16
Member
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@violet25: It’s not a horrible thing to decline, but your reasons for declining as you stated was “I had a bad experience before”. So in my thoughts, why should that stop you?  But now you are stating that you simply don’t want to be a bridesmaid and that you never want to.  Some experiences can be really great.  I hope your close friends understand in the future that you will never stand up and that it’s never an issue for you.  I would be hurt if someone simply didn’t want to stand up for the sole reason of the fact that you were part of a bridal party once and had a bad experience and never wants to again.  I truly hope your FSIL will understand and it will not create any future problems.  What I would ask the bee’s now is advice on how to let your FSIL down when she asks you.

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