Post # 1
Has anyone had reluctant bridesmaid experiences that worked out OK? (i.e. without broken friendships, etc.)
My FI and I have planned to have three attendants each. There were three ladies I wanted to ask, but I knew that each would have some sort of difficulty (financial and/or family) and that if one of them couldn’t make it I could ask a really good guy friend from college who I know could make it and my FI has a female friend from elementary school who he wanted to ask to keep the bridal party balanced. We’ve decided to purchase the bridesmaid dresses because each bridesmaid will have to travel here and we want to help offset the cost.
Two of the three ladies were estatic and very excited to be asked and be part of the bridal party (one had some reservations that were centered around logistics, but were cleared up by a phone conversation). The third was somewhat of a different story. She seemed to brighten up when I said that FI and I were going to buy her dress, but pretty much ruled out attending the rehearsal the day before and made a big deal about a lot of other stuff (mostly money, but I don’t want to get into it here). I get that she is really stressed out right now and I said that I understood her situation and if she would be more comfortable attending as a guest (in person or in spirit) that it wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all, especially as my FI and I are trying to have the most laid back, easy wedding possible and don’t want to make people feel put out on account of us. We already have important guests who can only be with us in spirit on our special day.
I want to order the bridesmaids dresses sometime in March/April (wedding is in early November – I want time to get the dresses and send them to each lady to make sure they fit and have time for alterations) and we’ve decided that I can call our reluctant bridesmaid at the end of this month or early in February to ask her how she’s doing and feeling about being in the wedding. I’m just feeling stressed out right now because I was very upfront about how it was OK if she couldn’t make it or didn’t feel up to being in the wedding party and she was very wishy-washy about it. I really don’t know how to respond to that!
Has anyone had reluctant bridesmaids that have eventually come around? Or did they step down and still go to the wedding or maintain the friendship?
Post # 3
Well, first of all, i’ve never understood making the wedding parties “even” – if someone is important to you, I think they are worthy of being in the wedding party.
If you are buying the dresses and don’t have big expectations about a giant expensive shower/bachelorette and are not requiring the girls to get hair/makeup professionally done, I don’t think there’s much else to worry about.
Post # 4
@crayfish: We’re having a small (50-60) wedding; if we had everyone who was important to us in the bridal party we’d have 40 people up there!
I’m getting my hair done, but am doing my makeup myself. I’m not requiring the ladies to get their hair or makeup done.
Post # 5
I didn’t demand much similar to you. She was half -in and half – out, made my planning stressful, was absolutely fine the day of the wedding, and then ended our friendship immediately after and I’m still jaded about it.
Hope it works out for you.
Post # 6
@Sunshine09: I went back and looked at some of your previous posts. How frustrating/infuriating! I’m sad that was something you had to experience.
Her response was really surprising to me; she seemed very happy/excited about it on facebook and then when we talked over the phone she was completely different about it. I’m trying really hard to not let it bother me since there is a lot of time between now and the wedding, but I also feel like her indecision affects which dress designer I go with (she’s religiously conservative and I’d like to ensure she has a few dress/shawl choices), when I can order the dresses, etc. I get the bigger problems she has right now; I’m just hoping she doesn’t want to be a bridesmaid out of a sense of obligation only. I’ll bring this up when I speak to her, but I also don’t want this to eat at me for the whole month when I need to be focusing on other things (photographer, caterer, grad school!).
I never would have thought “please show up, be pretty and happy, I’ll get your dress” would be too much to ask for, especially after “I understand that you have family/financial obligations and if this is too much for you I won’t be offended if you say no”.
Post # 7
@Anise: Yeah it’s really too bad when people act like that, you have enough on your plate without needing to chase people down.
There is a lot of time but while people say that, time goes very quickly when you’re planning a wedding, especially when you have a wishy washy bm. You have to be able to make decisions and move forward.
I’m sorry I feel for you, I know how it can drag you down. I know you were being nice by offering her the out but that may have given a mixed message, just be clear that you want her in the wedding and see what she says. I think you might have to be the bigger person here, bc it’s not stressing her out I can guarantee that. It really only affects you.
Post # 8
I could tell one of my bridesmaids was reluctant right when I asked her, but it was because she knew she was going to try and get pregnant this year. She ended up getting pregnant and is due a month after my wedding. I told her I understood if she wanted to step down. She did & we are still great friends (I asked my cousin instead & she is very excited). But I was releived it all worked out fine.
I’m not sure what you should do, since your friend is so wishy-washy. I’d maybe give her a date you need to know by to order the dresses & hope that she follows through…