Thank you all for your thoughts and insight! I was DEFINITELY overcomplicating things, as is my nature haha. To give a little more context to clarify, the first friend I’ll call M is the best friend of one of my closest friends I’ll call J. I haven’t spent a lot of time with M on our own (partially because I moved out of state not too long after meeting her), nor do we talk a lot just the two of us, but we do have a running group chat with the three of us and have group Skype dates sometimes, and when I visit my home state we usually hang out as a group. Through the group chat we all talk frequently and have supported each other through so many things, so I’ve come to consider M a close friend too. However, thus far our friendship has essentially been centered around J (as the group chat and getherings were started by J wanting to talk to her two best friends at once) and being friends as a group, so while I care about her and like her and she was always absolutely invited to my wedding, I wasn’t sure if we were close enough friends in our own right independent of J, if that makes sense. I’d love to hang out with her on our own and develop our friendship more when I return to my home state this year, but I wasn’t sure if we were “there” yet. So that’s why I didn’t initially think of asking her to be a bridesmaid. Growing up I also had a lot of friendships where I considered people my good friends who thought of me more as acquaintances too, so I guess a bit of it was insecurity and worrying about overstepping/being weird by asking her to be such an involved part in my day. Anyways, so that’s why I suppose her making me her bridesmaid was “validating”. While I know that it doesn’t necessarily obligate me to ask her to be my bridesmaid, first of all I do want to, and second of all things are complicated a bit by the fact that M, J, and I all got engaged in the span of a few months and are all getting married this autumn (in fact, two weeks apart in a row, starting with mine, then J’s two weeks later, then M’s two weeks after that). We are all thrilled about it and it’s been fun going through this time in our lives together, and we’ve been supporting each other through the planning process and will be starting “craft dates” to work on diy stuff for our weddings in a rotation through the summer. And M and I are both in J’s wedding together (I am Matron of Honor, and M is actually officiating), and now J and I are both bridesmaids in M’s wedding. So that adds to my desire to ask her a bit- J is a bridesmaid in mine, and if I don’t ask M it would be the only wedding one where M is glaringly excluded. So, I definitely do want to include her because we have gotten closer over the last couple of years via the chat, she is a awesome and supportive person, and I am honored to be her bridesmaid and want to include her in my wedding too. Maybe it will be a great opportunity for our friendship to develop more. She does know that J is already one of my bridesmaids, so that’s why I was worried about it being too obvious when I ask her that she wasn’t initially going to be one. She wouldn’t get mad about it or anything, I just don’t want her to feel awkward. But, I think I’ll just try not to complicate it and I’ll just ask her (privately of course) soon, and then make a bridal party group with her in it as per your suggestions.
I know that the “numbers” don’t have to be even, and that was never really a factor. Initially, fiance had 5 friends he wanted to invite, and I only had 4 and that wasn’t ever an issue. But when he changed his mind about one friend, we thought we’d just leave it even for simplicity. Now that I am adding M, however, he thinks it would be nice to ask his other friend, not as a “prop”. It’s not like we decided that based on “oh now we need another guy so let’s think of somebody”, it’s someone he’d considered the first time around anyways. And while I do of course know that it’s normal to not include partners (we have many other couple friends in the bridal party, and only one person in the couple is invited and it’s not an issue because we were friends with the one person first/are closer to them), the only reason I felt a bit weird about it is because yes I do spend time with just the girlfriend sometimes and we only met them both a couple of years ago upon moving to a new state so it feels a little different than asking an old friend but not his girlfriend. She’s awesome and has been so cool with wanting to hear about the wedding and everything, so that’s why I felt a little weird with fiance asking her boyfriend but me not asking her. However, I think you’re right again that I’m overcomplicating it.
Ultimately, both situations might end up feeling slightly awkward, but we’re all adults so hopefully it’s not too weird for anyone. Thanks again for your replies and advice!
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