(Closed) Can you ask a bridesmaid to retire?

posted 9 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
Member
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

You’re not out of line at all! I think she needs a swift reminder of what the ‘maid’ part of ‘bridesmaid’ means. while the dress may be out of her ideal budget, when she agreed… she agreed to that too. you are not at all being selfish…you’re the bride and she is the one being selfish. could you or another Bridesmaid or Best Man talk to her? or if really won’t solve the problem…maybe having her step down is the best option. it seems like she just needs a good lesson on the roles of being a Bridesmaid or Best Man.

(and depending on what designer you’re Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses are…netbrides.com offers tons of designer dresses for a fraction of the cost. i just got one for a wedding i’m in for $119…all the other girls paid $180 at the boutiques they went to)

Post # 4
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

first of all, though it may have been unintended, you win for the funniest subject line!  ‘Can you ask a bridesmaid to retire’ cracks me up.  When I first read it, i was like "has she been a bridesmaid at too many weddings?"  But getting to your point, I think you may want to ask her if being your bridesmaid may be more of a commitment, financial or otherwise, than she can handle (being unemployed and all) at this time, and maybe she can help out or contribute in other ways to your wedding.  I tend to be the type to just let things be, so I may actually offer her help paying for the dress, getting organized or whatever – but if you really think you are too stressed, unhappy, etc with your situation, put it on her and give her a way out – she just might take it.

Post # 5
Member
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’m sorry you’re feeling so frustrated with your friend right now, and I think that at times like this a little perspective can be a wonderful thing. That’s why it’s great to have a place like the hive!

I think I would ask myself what’s most important for you with your wedding. It becomes really easy to get wrapped up in the idea that our friends and families have to focus all their energy on us and our weddings, but that’s just not realistic. So, is it more important to you that you’re surrounded by friends who love you, matching dresses or not, or to have a "picture perfect" day as you’ve envisioned it thus far? Would you be open to letting your girls pick a dress they can afford (and are more likely to get more use out of) with some basic parameters (such as floor length & dark grey) so that your friend could have a little financial burden alleviated? Or could you quietly offer to help her a little with the cost of alterations if it’s important to you that she wear the dress you chose? 

In regards to her not returning your calls, it could be the case that she is either embarassed about the fact that she doesn’t feel she’s been a "good" bridesmaid thus far or that she can’t afford the dress. She might even be picking up on some of the resentment you’re feeling. 

If you’re close friends, it seems like it would be worth it to call her or get together over coffee and talk this out. Let her know that you want her to be part of your wedding, that it means a lot to you, and find out how you can work together to make it easier on and fun for both of you. I’d hate to think that such a good friendship could be damaged over drama surrounding one day. 

Good luck! I hope this helps!

Post # 7
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

beachwedding92509 – after reading your response, i am pretty clear on what i would do.  a ton of the girls may disagree with me on this, but if it were me, i would probably just bite my tongue and deal with it.  it totally stinks, but it is a fact of life that friendships do wane.  honestly though – do you want all of the drama that would go along with disinviting a bridesmaid?  again, if it were me, i would just chalk it up to a lesson learned and go through with it.  to me that would be preferable over the fallout of telling my friend i no longer wanted her in the wedding.  btw – my wedding party is just my siblings, my FI’s siblings and their spouses – no friends at all.  This way, if they are jerks about the wedding – I sort of have to deal anyway 😉

Post # 8
Member
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Ah, the information about your location is really important.  I was originally concerned about why you would have chosen such an expensive dress if one of your bridesmaids was unemployed or a student, but you had a really good reason to make that choice. 

Is it possible that she booked her trip to Vegas before you asked her to be a bridesmaid?  If the tickets/hotel were nonrefundable, it wouldn’t have helped for her to cancel her trip.    

I’m sorry – it sounds like you are in a really tough spot here.  You might want to offer to pay for her dress, or give her an opportunity to bow out gracefully now that she knows how much it will cost to be a bridesmaid.  

Post # 9
Member
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

* * long post ahead, but i’m in the same boat * *

unfortunately, i did ‘retrench’ both my Maid/Matron of Honor and 1 bridesmaid – two very long time friends (since junior high) with whom we had always assumed would be other another’s bridesmaids when any of us got married (i am the first).

sad to say that for my case, they were unresponsive and displayed no interest at all in the wedding. we would hang out, talk and laugh abt everything under the sun, but they never initiated talk about the wedding. no "so how’s the dress?" or anything, questions which even casual acquaintances / co-workers ask! and just go "oh ok" to things i say. e.g.:
"Hey we’re not having the wedding at the museum anymore, cutting the guest list from 150 to 40"
Maid/Matron of Honor: "Oh ok"
*silence*

i went as far as to ask them point-blank (nicely) whether they’re interested in being part of the wedding and they said oh yes, of course, don’t be silly yadda yadda, but at the end of the day, i’m still dealing with zero interest, no responses. 

i finally had to face the reality that i would be better off without having another issue to deal with, so i told them that they can "just come as guests" to the wedding.

guess what?
not only NO drama, i got a "mmm ok" and they proceeded through dinner with nary another comment.

and that was the end of it! 

i’m slightly perplexed because the friendship doesn’t seem strained – they just don’t seem to be interested AT ALL. so at the end of the day, i just took a deep breath and did away with bridesmaiding – i’m quite confident of managing on my own. it is a tiny fuss-free event. 

perhaps finances could be an issue for your friends – you did mention that shes unemployed. i suggest that you talk things through with her, or at least give her the opportunity to explain herself if she wanted to. 

best of luck!! 

Post # 10
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Hey beachwedding — does your bridesmaid realize how long it can take to get a dress and have it altered? Maybe she thinks she still has a ton of time and just means she can’t afford to buy it this very moment.

Post # 11
Member
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I went through a similar issue with my Maid/Matron of Honor – feeling like she could really give a s&*^ about the wedding and as an extension, me. Since you say this person has been your friend for a while, I think you need to really sit down and talk to her. But make sure you make it very clear that you are not concerned about the wedding, you are concerned about your friendship. Because truthfully, bridesmaids are not required to care about your wedding, and ask probing questions about it, but your friends are, or at least, that’s what you expect from a friend.

Post # 12
Member
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Could you offer to help her out with the dress at all? I know it really sucks, but if she claims money is THE issue, ask her if you gave her $100 if that would make it ok.

Maybe she is embarassed about the dress? I know lots of people who are uncomfortable in situations depending on their size and find any reason to stay away from the spotlight. Sorry if that’s offensive, but I know people like that. 

Maybe she is worried about the dress PLUS the gifts PLUS everything else? If she is that important to you and you want her there no matter what, make sure she knows you don’t care if she can’t afford the presents and parties and stuff, you just want her THERE with you. I’m relatively broke and a friend of mine picked out expensive dresses. I told her (nicely) not to expect anything too expensive from me present-wise. She said she doesn’t care but i feel a lot better knowing she knows that. 

Post # 13
Member
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’m thinking she probably booked the Vegas trip before you asked her in January…  If that’s the case, I know I wouldn’t want to cancel a vacay just because I know I am gonna be a Bridesmaid or Best Man at some point, especially if I might lose some deposits, etc.  Not only that, February was a couple months ago now, so maybe she really is experiencing new financial hardship.  Maybe she is worried about keeping her job, or has other expenses of which you are unaware.

 Even if the friendshp is drifting apart, you already asked her to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man.  Try to see what you can do to make things more affordable (helping her out or something), or let her know what other possible expenses could be so she can more fully advise you of whether she will be able to participate.  By the way, asking her to "retire" basically pushing her out of your life (even if she doesn’t play that active of a role anymore anyway, I surmise she is still important to you).

 Hope it all turns out okay.

Post # 14
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

My feeling is that it would take a lot for me to call someone up to tell them I couldn’t afford something…so I probably genuinely couldn’t.  And I, personally, don’t think it’s fair to make assumptions about why/how she took the trip to LV (maybe someone else paid?) or how she should budget her money.  There are just too many unknowns.  I’m guessing she’s not returning calls b/c she’s emabarassed about the money.  You say she’s one of your best friends, has she ever been so distant before?

I guess that you need to decide how important it is to have her in your wedding, and whether you can help her out financially.  Maybe she is making excuses, but give her (and yourself) the benefit of the doubt here…She might genuinely feel bad that she can’t do what she needs to for your big day b/c it is so important to her.  It might not be malicious.  I’m guessing she does really care about you…but having been a Bridesmaid or Best Man several times, it’s hard, financially too.  I saved up for almost a year to be in two of my friends weddings back to back while in grad school.  If I had less notice, I’m not sure what I would have done.

If you can’t help her out financially (and that may be the case b/c weddings are expensive too), why don’t you let her know that she’s important to you and you really want her to be a part of the wedding so include her in some other way as others have suggested.  I don’t know…I think that it’s easy to become testy about BMs and feel like they don’t care (I’ve definitely gone through that feeling a couple of times so far, and I’m sure I will again)…but it’s usually not about you or your wedding at all.  We just all need extra support b/c planning can get so stressful, and if someone hasn’t been there there’s a limit to how much they can understand.  But we’re all here for you on Wedding Bee 🙂

Oh, I wanted to add that I ended up asking a friend to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, mostly b/c of history.  It has ended up bringing us much closer together again.  Maybe if you can clear up the financial stuff this could happen for you too.  My sis actually advised against it b/c we’d been drifting, but in retrospect I’m so happy that I did.

 

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