Post # 1
I have a childhood friend, who I haven’t seen in at least 5 years, who got engaged a few weeks ago. I’m excited for her, but we are not terribly close anymore (we’re both 26 and were friends elementary-high school).
We’ve been playing phone tag, and I’m terrified that she’s going to ask me to be a bridesmaid. Here’s why…
Boyfriend and I will be getting married next summer, probably 2-3 weeks before she does. We are paying for all of it ourselves. We are also building a house right now and I live about 400 miles from where she will be getting married. I think by the time she gets married next summer I won’t have the time or money to be a good bridesmaid.
They are having a large Catholic wedding with expensive hotel ballroom reception. It will be beautiful; but I’m not sure I want to be one of 12 bridesmaids.
I’m supposed to call her back tonight, and I’m trying to think up what I’m going to say if she asks me to be a bridesmaid.
Has anyone politely declined to be a bridesmaid before? Any brides had someone on their list decline? What is the best way to handle this?
Post # 3
I haven’t declined, but I think it’s perfectly ok to tell her that you have money issues. I don’t think it’s a major surprise now a days, and I don’t think she’d be offended by that. My friend asked me to be a bridesmaid, knowing that I’m currently unemployed. We’re very good friends so of course I said yes, and she ended up offering to help pay for the super expensive dress.
Post # 4
Just say no from the getgo. As a bride I’m sure you now have a full understanding of how much more frustrating it is to have someone say yes and then drop out at the last minute because they tried to take on too much.
Post # 5
Respond the same way you would want one of your friends to respond to you, if you asked them to be BM’s but were pressed for time and money.
-be gracious (thank her for wanting to include you)
-be straightforward (don’t beat around the bush. ie: While you are honored to be asked, you must respectfully decline because of the time and money constraints you will be facing in the next 12 months.)
Good luck and let us know what happens!
Post # 6
I have, and for similar reasons. My high school best friend and I fell out of touch for awhile (we didn’t talk for the past 5 years). We recently met up and started talkign again and she asked me to be her Bridesmaid or Best Man next year. I was honest with her and told her that being in nursing school, working full-time and planning my own wedding, I really didn’t have the time to be a good Bridesmaid or Best Man. I said of course I would love to attend, and keep me updated on the planning. She understood and wasn’t too upset by it. i think she expected me to decline.
Good Luck! I hope it all goes well for you. Honestly really is better than accepting and then regreting it later and/or backing out.
Post # 7
I’ve never declined, but I would simply say if she does ask, “Oh my gosh, thanks so much for thinking of me, and I’m really flattered. But honestly, we’re in a tight spot financially right now with our wedding and building a house, and I don’t think I’d be able to fulfill all the duties, and I wouldn’t want to let you down. But I would be honored to attend as a guest and celebrate your day with you!”
Post # 8
I’ve never done it, but I think it’s totally okay to decline her offer, if she asks you to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man. I think you’re better off doing that than committing to be in the wedding if it’s going to be difficult for you.
I think Oracle’s suggestions are right on. You can be gracious but straight-forward–thank her for thinking of you, but tell her that you won’t be able to accept due to financial contraints.
I hope this discussion goes okay. Be sure to let us know!
Post # 9
How did it turn out CHK? Are you the type to hate saying no? I’m kind of that way, and would dred turning down a Bridesmaid or Best Man offer. But I thin kyour situation is perfectly understandable. Just make sure to let her know you were honored ,and would have been in the wedding if circumstances were different.
Post # 10
no, but if i asked someone and they couldn’t do it, i wouldn’t mind if they declined (ok…i may cry for a day, but then i’d get over it). i’d rather have someone who’s there 100% rather then feel like they had to be there.
Post # 11
I declined once. I was my friends Maid/Matron of Honor for her first wedding, when I lived in town, and had a decent job. It was a lot of fun, and I was glad to be there, even if it didn’t work out. She asked me to be a bridesmaid in her 2nd wedding, which I would have loved to do, but things are different now. I live across the country and I’m in grad school (ie, broke). So I declined, saying essentially what everyone else here has suggested:
“Thanks so much – I feel honored, but I simply can’t do it right now. I really wish I could, and congratulations!”
It wasn’t a big deal – she kind of expected it, and I appreciated being asked a second time. I do really wish I could have been there, because this guy is a keeper, but it wasn’t feasible at the time.
Post # 12
I would tell her the reason. Well, I would tell her that you will be planning your own wedding i.e. paying for it and building the house so you don’t feel you will be a good bridesmaid. I would not be offended if I was told that. In fact, since we got engaged way before we started planning the wedding and I jumped the gun asking the girls to be BMs, I gave each one of them an out once I started planning but none of them took it. 🙂
I did decline being Maid/Matron of Honor. But, my situation was different. It was for a co-worker who was much younger than me…not even 18 at the time. I did not agree with the relationship or how quick they decided to marry, but I did my best not to be judgemental since it wasn’t MY daughter. I also think even though we spent a lot of time at work, we really weren’t specifically close. FI and I escorted her to Buzzfest one year but other than that we never hung out so to say. and I think it was a plus to her that I am older, established, don’t live with my parents (haha) i.e. would have more funds to do Maid/Matron of Honor duties than her other friend who was her age. I gave her the excuse of the fact that I was going to be planning my own wedding and it wouldn’t be fair that I couldn’t pay so much attention to hers. She made me a bridesmaid but low and behold the actual wedding never happened.
Post # 13
One of my very good friends who I asked to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man declined-she said that she would love to help with the wedding in any other way, but was just in a wedding and couldn’t afford to do it twice in a row. I TOTALLY appreciate her honesty. She offered to cut the cake, man the guest book, etc.-anything she could do to help. She is helping throw a shower for Fiance and I-a couples, UGA tailgate style shower which will be a blast in late September and has done some other wedding things with me, like go to help me decide on my wedding band (I just couldn’t choose), etc.
Post # 14
I’ve never declined, but I wish I would have for one of the weddings that I was asked to be in. If I knew that I was going to be as cash strapped as I am (and if I knew I would be planning my own wedding @ the time!), I definitely would have figured out a way to say no.
If you’re not super close with the girl, don’t do it out of obligation! You’ll just end up regretting (and resenting) a lot of the things that were asked of you. At least that’s what happened to me….
Post # 15
I’ve done it before. Although I can’t remember exactly what I said, it was along the lines of being extremely happy for her but not being able to committ the time she needs and deserves.
Everything turned out fine. We’re still good friends.