Post # 1
My co-worker is getting married in August and she asked me to be her bridesmaid. She didn’t ask me personally but she left a card on my desk asking if I would want to be her bridesmaid. I’m a bit surprised because we’re not really close. I haven’t even met her fiance. Only once and it was from afar. He was picking her up and she introduced the guy to us from across the street. Also, I’m getting married in July, overseas, so I’ll be gone for a while. Her wedding is in August which means I wouldn’t be able to do any bridesmaid duties other than on the day itself.
Is it okay to decline? And how do you do it politely? (She’s known to be quite sensitive in the office)
Post # 3
@alyssa247: I would much rather have someone decline than not be able to commit money or timewise. Particularly if you are getting married shortly before. We have friends that are getting married 3 weeks after us. We have asked the groom to be an usher but really don’t expect them to be able to commit a lot of time or money to our wedding when they have their own coming up!
Post # 4
Perhaps she has trouble making friends (perhaps her sensitivity is due to some social awkwardness). That may be why she asked a colleague rather than a friend to be her bridesmaid – because she doesn’t have many. The fact that she asked in a card suggets she possibly didn’t feel confident enough to ask in person, or feels a bit embarrassed. Would it really be difficult to stand up for her on her day? You can’t be expected to do more, since you aren’t going to be around much beforehand – make this clear to her, before accepting or declining. If you really feel in your heart it would be wrong of you to do it because you feel no bond with her, then by all means decline. No-one can force you to do something like this, and you have a reasonable excuse to get out of it. I would urge you to consider it, though.. It might mean more to her than you realise.
Post # 5
You have perfect and valid reasons to say no. You are not close, and have your own wedding the month before.
“Thanks for the honor of thinking of me, but it just won’t be possible for me to be a bridesmaid.
I would love to attend your wedding, if that’s not too forward of me.”
Post # 6
Hmm, I don’t think it’s ever right to decline. To me, it’s an absolute honor to be asked to be in someone’s wedding. You have to decide what you’ll do & have no regrets doing (or not doing) it.
Post # 7
@lyra: I think she asked me through a card because she had been out on field work this week and I’ve been in and our of meetings so we haven’t really seen each other in the office much. I don’t know a lot about her life outside work, if she has many friends or just a few. But she seems ok in terms of getting along with our co-workers. We’re just not close. I feel akward being asked because of that. I guess I’d tell her first about not being able to commit a lot of time because of the timing and all.
Post # 8
haha, I love how close our screen name is!
I would just let her know that you wont be able to commit to a lot of the bridesmaid duties since you will be planning your own wedding. And let her decide if she still would like you to be in the wedding (if you want to be in it).
Post # 9
It’s okay to decline, but I wouldn’t provide a reason. That just opens things up for debate. If you say you can’t make the time commitment, she might respond that she doesn’t want a shower or a party and just wants you to show up for the ceremony, and so forth. A simple but polite response like “I’m touched and honored, but I’m afraid I can’t accept! I do look forward to celebrating with you, though!” should be appropriate without starting a big back-and-forth.
Post # 10
@Rubbs: I agree, I would never decline. All I am asking of my bridesmaids is to order the dress I told them to and wear it at my wedding. I would just tell her you’ll be busy with your wedding and traveling so you won’t be able to help out much, but if that’s ok with her then I’d just suck it up and do it.
Post # 11
I know that it’s ok for you to decline, but how about you consider it doing it? I’m sure it would mean a lot to her.
Post # 12
There’s sooooo many posts on the bee about brides being disappointed when their bridesmaids aren’t excited, enthusiastic, and helpful. Even assuming the bride didn’t expect the OP to do anything like DIY or throwing parties, she’d probably expect a certain level of enthusiasm and interest. The OP isn’t close to the bride and it’s really hard to get excited for people you don’t feel close to. Wouldn’t the OP agreeing out of obligation be risking even bigger disappointmemt to the bride?
it’s an invitation, not a summons, and it’s perfectly okay to say no— to many, that would be better than just going through the motions and taking up space!
Post # 13
I disagree with anyone who says its impolite to say no. You are perfectly within your rights to politely decline. I’m assuming you are in the US inwhich case the financial commitment is huge. Even based on that it’s not fair on you considering she’s not a great friend. She’ll get over it!!
Post # 14
You don’t have to feel obligated to be anybody’s bridesmaid.
It’s a request, not a subpeona.
Post # 15
You are totally able to decline…but, she asked you for a reason. I’d bet money on the fact that she doesn’t have many friends (like PPs have suggested). Maybe she wants to get closer to you, and is hoping that this will do it.
I don’t know, if I were in your shoes, I’d do it. I’d be honored just to be asked, and I’m not usually one to turn down a friendship.
Of couse, you should make it clear that you won’t have a lot of time to dedicate to it- but I don’t think she would mind too much, considering she’s already going out on a limb by inviting you.
Post # 16
Like some pps, it really frustrates me to see posts encouraging someone to do something that isn’t best for her. Especially since there ARE so many posts about unenthusiastic bridesmaids. That’s just too much to ask of a person.
Being a bridesmaid carries a lot of responsibility and cost, and honestly I wouldn’t be interested in doing it for anyone that isn’t a DEAR friend or relative.
It’s not your responsibility to spend lots of money and time and energy acting as a bridesmaid to someone, all to spare her feelings. If she doesn’t have many friends, she doesn’t have many bridesmaids. That’s not your problem.
I know everyone is entitled to her opinion, but I just really hate when people feel obligated to do things they aren’t in a position to do- I think it’s unfair to both parties.