Post # 1
Good morning all,
I’m struggling with a dilemma over a very dear friend of mine whom I asked to be a bridesmaid. I am considering offering her the opportunity to quit, but I just don’t know how to approach it.
She’s the mother of two young girls and also teaches. The college she works for decided to completely switch up the curriculum at the last minute, so she’s having to restructure the entire course mid-stream.
Additionally, she and her husband had to move out of their very small house after their second daughter was born and rent a larger house. Well, the owners of the house they are renting have decided to try to sell it and want to start schedule showings immediately. So she has to scramble to get the house (show-ready), along with all the other stuff she has going on. Not to mention find another place to live because their house is currently occupied (and really, really small).
She lives pretty far away and I have never expected her to conduct all the traditional bridesmaid duties because of that, and my Maid/Matron of Honor is fine with this (there are only two BMs). She plans on driving four hours to attend my shower, but she might bring her entire family and rent a hotel room because our house isn’t big enough to accommodate everyone. I don’t know if it’s because it’s an opportunity for her family to vist the area (they used to live here) or if there are child-care issues involved. I am hesitant to ask because I don’t want to be rude.
But they are strapped for money and, as you know, being a bridesmaid isn’t cheap. There’s the dress, the hotel room, (in her case) the traveling, etc. Given the fact that they might have to pack up and move at any point between now and May and that she hasn’t purchased her dress yet (she’s buying off the rack), I was thinking of somehow giving her the opportunity to bow out of being a bridesmaid in order to attend to all the other moving parts in her life. Honestly, the last thing I want for anyone involved in my wedding is to add stress and hardship to their lives.
What do you guys think? Should I tell her that all I expect from her is to be there for the rehearsal and wedding and be available on-site for decorations and other things, or should I go ahead and give her an opportunity to quit altogether? We are good enough friends that I know she wouldn’t assume I don’t want her to stand up for me because she can’t “fulfill her duties,” so to speak. She knows that isn’t how I roll and that I understand what a commitment something like this is. I just don’t want to add stress to her life during a pretty uncertain time for her.
Post # 3
I would just ask her if she is still happy being bridesmaid, if she seems unsure then offer her the option of backing out. Let her know that the most important thing to you us that she is part of your big day and you are happy to have her there as a guest if she would rather that than be in the wedding party.
We have just had a similar conversation with the best man and he has now chosen to attend as a guest.
Post # 4
Appraoch it as “You’re such a wonderful person and I asked you to be apart of my wedding because _____________. I’ve noticed you have a lot going on in your life right now and I feel for you. I don’t want my wedding to be any added stress to your life so if you feel like you just can’t be apart of it right now I won’t be offended at all. If it’s not too much for you then all I expect for you to do is _______________.” Be supportive, positive and clear with your expectations.
Post # 5
It’s very sweet that you’re concerned about her, but I wouldn’t give her an out. If you are that good of friends, then she’s probably comfortable enough to step down if things get too much for her or she doesn’t think she can afford to travel to your wedding.
If she is stressing for money, and is telling you so, could you offer to help pay for her dress? Also, she really only needs to show up the day of the wedding, clean and sober, and in the right dress. be great if she could make it to the rehearsal and help with decorating, but if she can’t make it or help for whatever reason then it’s ok. You can certainly ask for help and ask that she be there, but if she can’t, then just reassure that it’s ok and that the important thing is that she’s there for the wedding.
Post # 6
@RunsWithBears: Agreed with RunsWithBears. She’s an adult. She can decide if she can’t handle it. If she says nothing, I would assume everything is fine for the wedding. Though I would spend the next while trying to be a good friend by offering to listen if she needs to vent, or offering to babysit so she can have a free night out.
Post # 7
I would maybe have a normal conversation about her that delves into her situation, and just say something like “I hope being in my wedding is a happy escape for your rather than just another obligation. I’d hate to be a burden to you in any way.” THEN if she grabs that as an opportunity to bow out, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to put the “you can leave if you want” words on the table.
Side note – I hope she’s negotiating a massive discount on rent for basically living in a show home.
Post # 8
Once again, RunswithBears beats me to the punch! Its great that you’re concerned about your friend’s financial situation, but let her decide for herself. Giving her the option to step down may very well backfire and could hurt her feelings.
Post # 9
Thanks to everyone for your replies. The consensus seems to be not to offer her an out, which I agree with. I let her know that I’m understanding of her needs and challenges, but I think she’s pretty psyched to be a part of this. She’s known me for a long time and heard of my ups and downs (mostly downs) on the dating front. She’s pretty psysched that at 43 years old, I have finally found someone to marry. It’s a pretty big deal for both of us, I think. We’ll play it all by ear. 🙂