Post # 1
This is a long one….I am in need of serious input regarding one of my bridesmaids. "S" is a friend I have know since the 10th grade. In high school she & another no-longer-friend (irrelevant to this issue) were my best friends and we were inseparable for years. After college we saw each other less, but she still considered me to be her best friend (I don’t, but still a close one). When I got engaged last year, she automatically knew she was a bridesmaid before I even asked. All was good, she was close to getting engaged and was planning to get married most likely a few months before me. A year has gone by and everything has turned inside out. In November she had what I can only describe as a complete breakdown, put the breaks on her relationship with her boyfriend and virtually disappeared from my life. It was actually a month before I knew anything was even going on with her. Since then I have only spoken with her twice, I call her, but she never answers the phone. She told me that she is in a deep depression and although she is seeing a counselor, is getting worse. A month ago I planned the bridesmaid dress shop day and she assured me two weeks ago that she would be there (this was the only time all 6 girls would be in the state at once). Last week I started calling her on Wednesday to confirm the Saturday appointment. I called her everyday & twice on Friday, only to get a voicemail finally on Friday night stating she wasn’t well and could not make it. I understand depression and I do not want to create any further problems for her, but at the same time I really do not know what to do. I left her another voicemail late Friday night and asked her to call me this week and discuss things, but have not heard a word. We all went without her & chose the dresses on Saturday, the rest of my bridesmaids (none are friends with her) & my family/FI all feel that I should politely excuse her from the wedding. I think I agree, but I’m really not sure how she is going to take it. Not to mention, she is impossible to get in contact with. My wedding is not until October, but I don’t feel that with the way things are going now, and the planning that still needs to be done, that I can really wait for her to reconcile all of her current problems. I feel awful, but at the same time, I can’t help but to be a tiny bit angry. She has a long history of managing to make everything about her (ex: she signed up as a bride when she went with me to a bridal show even though she isn’t engaged) and although I am not denying her depression or the seriousness of the issue, it’s almost typical of her. I would love some advice or feedback on the situation…. Whether removing her from the party it is right or the sensitive thing to do at this point??
Post # 3
I think it ultimately depends on you, if you’re unhappy and having her a part of the wedding is going to make it difficult for you, then you pretty much got your question answered. But that is a sad situation your friend is in, and though I don’t have experience with dealing with depression or knowing anyone in that same boat, I definitely think your friend could probably use some positive influences, letting her go might make her feel more depressed do you think? Perhaps she could still be there for you in other ways. She might feel better about herself when she’s helping you. I know I feel really good when I am able to help someone out. Good luck to you and your friend.
Post # 4
Wow… This sounds stressful and emotional. But, I must say, I think it’s a tad early to be excusing your friend from your wedding party. This girl sounds like a close friend who is going through a hard time, and I think that maybe instead of calling her to excuse her from the wedding, you should call her to go to her house for some serious and quality girl time. What would you hope your friend would do in the reverse situation? If it were you with a broken engagement? Are you willing to lose a friend over wedding planning?
Perhaps put the friendship in check before worrying about the wedding. October is a long time away, and your friend just lost her fiance and has admitted depression. It sounds like she is dealing with these issues the best she can. There’s plenty of time left for dress shopping, and it sounds like there are things that might be more important to her than that right now.
If this is someone that you want to be in your life and to be there for, maybe wait this out a little longer. She may snap out of this in a month or so. Then again, only you know best–Do what you think is right and don’t listen to those around you.
Post # 5
hmmmm……your situation is delicate and tricky…and its hard to give advice since i am sure there are soo many other elements in play here.
i think i agree with what said above about how there is a good amount of time left before you have to make a firm decision on whether to keep her as a bm or not. her dress could be ordered in May and you would still have plenty of time for alterations and such.
you should feel her out. test the water. go to her house. spend time with her and figure out what is going on with her. once you are in her space and get a feeling for whats in her head you can make the best decision about whether to include her in this roll.
i empathize. i have a somewhat similiar situation with one of my bms. she has admitted depression before and has retreated a lot since. when i called on her in the beginning of my planning, she wasn’t available to me at all. always having something else that needed to be done and i got the feeling that i was being put off. so over the past few weeks, i have pretty much decided to keep her in. know that i can’t really depend on her for anything and leave it at that. if it becomes too much of a burden to her to as we near dress ordering time (i’m thinking June for my Nov wedding) then she is free to bow out. i’ll leave it up to her.
Post # 6
You’re definitely going through a situation that many brides experience. It’s your most important day and and exciting time for you, so you feel like everyone should be there for you and support you.
It’s easy to forget that life happens, and not everyone’s life will be put on hold or focus as much as their attention on wedding plannign that you are.
It’s absolutely reasonable to expect your maids to show up when they say they will, and you shouldn’t have to place daily calls to confirm! So much unneeded stress for you.
A couple of the posters above were right, though. You asked her to be in your wedding for a reason, she’s a close friend. She’s going through a rough time and on top of the depression, knows she should be happy for you, but being aroudn love and wedding planning probably makes her feel worse.
Best advice I can give is to be open with her. Tell her you care about her and want her to be a part of it, but if this is a bad time for her, you’d understand if she would rather not participate. It’ll drive you crazy if you wait around for her to decide, so have the talk soon and set a time limit…give her a couple of weeks to make her decision.
If you don’t hear from her within that agreed upon timeframe, then it’s completely appropriate for you to proceed with planning without her. Good luck!
Post # 7
There is a lot of discussion (on this board and many others) about BMs not being responsive and hard to get a hold of and constantly unavailable for dress appointments. And brides being worried that BMs aren’t going to get their alterations done in time, etc. And they usually end up with the "dilemma" of whether to remove the offending BM from the bridal party.
And I’m really not sure what the concern is. I understand that friendships are complicated. And I understand that in a perfect world, these BMs would be all sunshine and light and would fall all over themselves to help us with our wedding prep. But when push comes to shove, all we really need from these girls is to show up at the appointed time and be in the proper dress. Do we really think that’s not going to happen?
Tater, I’ve got a friend who’s super flaky and she’s a BM. When she was impossible to schedule around for dress shopping, the rest of us made a decision without her. I’ve told her where the dress is, when she needs to order her’s by, and how much it’s going to cost. And I have now washed my hands of it, assuming that whatever it takes, she’ll get it done. I suppose it’s possible that it could come back to bite me in the butt and I’ll be short on BM on wedding day, but I doubt it. I have to imagine that she’s more worried than I am about whether her dress fits. =)
Post # 8
I’m so sorry, this is got to be tough on you and her.
In my honest opinion, I would let her know that you don’t want to add any extra stress to her life, and it’s seemed quite obvious that she is distant and needing some time on her own and you’d like it if she could back out of the wedding.
I think this is totally fair. My first thought while reading this is "OMG she won’t show up for the wedding"
Ask her to take on role like Personal Attendant – but like the 2nd one (pleasnty of people have 2) and this way if she doen’t follow through you still have someone else there and she won’t feel totally booted from the wedding.
Post # 9
I appreciate all the advice and agree with many of you on giving her a deadline- the rest of the girls are ordering by May 15th. I don’t want to seem callous or appear to be a bad friend, but it has just been a really difficult situation to deal with. It doesn’t help that she doesn’t get along very well with some of the other BMs. At this point in her mental state, I can’t imagine her showing up at my wedding, let alone being a part of it. Hopefully she will be getting the medical help that she really needs over the next few months. It is definitely not a case of being "flakey", before these problems arose she was always late, but always there. I am and will continue to be there as her friend, but this is also my only wedding and I don’t want to be worried the entire day that she is going to have a meltdown. This extends a lot further past just missing a dress appointment.
Post # 10
As someone who has actually suffered from serious depression, I have to tell you that first and foremost, depressed people are not reliable. You can’t really expect your friend to be involved in the details of your wedding if it is a huge struggle for her to get out of bed every morning. People in a serious depression are barely hanging on to the things the HAVE to do, like getting to work often enough not to get fired. They don’t clean their houses, they don’t shower, they don’t eat, and they certainly don’t show up for dress fittings, or even for weddings. You can’t really look at being a BM as some sort of therapeutic exercise for your friend – as if enjoying dress shopping is somehow going to pull her out of herself sufficiently to correct a major chemical imbalance in her brain and make her better. You should also know that taking her out of the wedding is not going to somehow push her over the edge – she may even find it a relief.
You have a lot going on in your life, possibly too much to spend a lot of time worrying about your friend, but the best thing you can do for her is encourage her to get some professional help. And then be there for her when she is actually ready to have some kind of a social life again. Having a lot of anger over how she "let you down" isn’t really going to be conducive to that.
I would let her know (in person if possible) that it seems to you as if she has a lot to deal with, and that because of that you think perhaps it would be better for her not to have to worry about being a BM. Maybe you can suggest another role for her – one that involves less responsibility, and that is easier to have somebody else step in should it appear that she can’t actually perform.