So, without knowing the situation, I would say this. This person was/is your friend. You chose her to stand with you on this day because she matters to you. This wasn’t a future in-law, a sibling, or some other “have to” that you put into your wedding party. The wedding is one day out of your life- albeit an incredibly important day, but one day. How much does this person mean to you? Have you valued your friendship up to this point? Is this someone you want in your life? If so, I’d be on damage control- my bet is that she is incredibly hurt and that this is likely a friendship ending move.
I’m often astounded on the Bee by the things people expect of their bridesmaids. The expense often seems out of control. Bridesmaids seem to be viewed as props in some cases. And, some expect the bridesmaids to be at every wedding event, with little regard for each bridesmaids particular circumstances. In some curcumstances, it also seems like there are a group of bridesmaids who form a clique, while one or two other bridesmaids are left out. I have no way of knowing if any of this went on in your case, as I’ve also read horror stories regarding the bridesmaids (holding the dress selection hostage so that they can get the dress they want, showing up late, argueing with everyone, leaving the wedding after the ceremony, bailing at the last minute, etc.), too. Only you know what happened and what you are willing to do to fix this. On the embarassment front alone, I think you may not see her at the wedding.
And, even in the best of circumstances, these things leave a lasting memory. I was in a family member’s wedding twenty years ago. I was a single parent in graduate school. While the bride was reasonable, her maid of honor and mother were a nightmare. Every time I turned around, I owed money for something. The kicker was for an additional shower (that I could not attend as I could not make the six hour each way drive one more time for one more event and yet anohter expense) that was small- just close friends and family- at her mothers house. The maid of honor and she organized and the mother of the bride made the food. I was told “my share”, even thought I could not attend, would be around $15 – which I was fine with- it was about twenty people (and, remember, this was twenty years ago). Even though I was in school, working only part time, and essentially living off scholarships and loans, I had put money aside for these things (and, oh were there things!!! all drive by the mother of bride and MOH!). But, I then came home one day to a message from the Maid/Matron of Honor telling me that my share had actually come out to $85! Just for the food! Not for a group gift that I didn’t know about, hadn’t been consulted on, and I’d already sent a gift! So, do the math- 20 years ago, shower for 20 people, 8 bridesmaids, and $85 each! For reference, minimum wage was just over $3 an hour and this was typically the amount I spent for groceries for an entire month. I still remember this so vividly, as I had a toddler and she called again twice the next day, not to remind me, but wondering why she hadn’t gotten the check yet (I guess she had also expected me to overnight it) (my father finally ran the money over to her- I hated for him to bail me out, but I didn’t have it). Then came the phone calls for the group shower present. Then, the phone calls for the group wedding present- hand-made (by a friend who was an exclusive cabinet maker) dining set (hand-carved cherry table and chairs) $$$$$$$$$$ (and, I had already gotten a very expensive hand-made quilt set for the bride and groom, as I was a relative and they had been searching for a wedding ring quilt for a long time!). You get the idea! And, trust me, there was oh-so-much-more! I have to say, I never again agreed to be in a wedding after that. The expense was overwhelming. Dealing with the Maid/Matron of Honor and the mother of the bride was overwhelming. I had truly no idea how demanding, over-the-top, expensive, and overwhleming everything would become- and none of this came from the bride, who really couldn’t have been lovelier. I’m sure to this day she has no idea what happended or why I develop a significant eye-twitch whenever she mentions her MOH’s name!
All I’m saying is this- she mattered to you before this. There are often hurt feelings and unrealistic expectations on both sides. Does this person still matter to you? Is the freindship still important to you? This is one day….