(Closed) Can you decline being in a family member's wedding party?

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

For me, it would come down to whichever decision would cause less drama overall so I’d probaby just suck it up and be in the wedding to make my Mother-In-Law happy.  Unless you anticipate a major falling out if you’re a bridesmaid and don’t live up to expectations.  In that case, I’d broach the subject with your Mother-In-Law and ask for her advice so you can get a better read on whether she would actually be upset.  Maybe she’d be willing to talk to your SIL and smooth any ruffled feathers if you decline.

Post # 4
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Instead of decline outright, could you let her know up front that you wont be able to be super active in the planning parts. Something like “I’m so flattered you asked me to be your bridesmaid.  I’d love to do it, but I feel bad.  I’ve got so much going on right now that I wont be able to do a lot of wedding stuff with you.  If you’d be ok with me just being a part of the rehearsal and wedding day I’d be honored, but I totally understand if you want to ask someone who can do more with you ahead of time.”  If she want you to do it, you could probably bite your tounge and suck it up for two days, and if she chooses someone else you’re off the hook. 

Post # 5
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@noopnoop:  Honestly? I think you need to talk with her about the reasons you don’t want to do it. She’s part of your family now… and it seems like she really likes you. Is it possible she doesn’t realize how rude she can be? 

If she already knows she’s rude, then forget what I just said, and I would say beg off by claiming you are too busy and start dropping little comments about how you’re focusing on work lately. Just sort of slip them in every day conversation with your relatives, don’t make it obvious and make certain you don’t just do it around her.

After that, if she makes a fuss, it’s on her. 

Post # 7
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I really don’t think it’s okay to let these digs at you go unchallenged and just all of a sudden do something drastic like decline to be in her wedding.

If she says something unacceptable/hurtful/untrue you need to say “Jackie, it really hurts when you say that your brother and I (insert untrue thing here). That’s simply not true and I don’t know why you would say such a thing.”

Say it in a mature, calm but firm manner.

Then if it continues you will have a reason for declining. This woman is family, like it or not, and declining to be in her wedding, especially without giving her any warning that you’re upset, is dramatic to the max.

Post # 8
3305 posts
Sugar bee

I would just say I am too busy and the Bridesmaid or Best Man roles require someone who has enough time and attention to devote to the bride. Let it be about her and maybe she will get over you declining.

Keep us posted- I want to know how she acts afterward.

Post # 9
7385 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I did decline once, because I knew the imprending drama that particpating would bring. I can’t bothered with her ego and attitude on a normal day much less seeing her cranked up on Bridezilla juice, no thank you.

Post # 10
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

A lot of things in life can REALLY be solved with a good heart to heart. Sometimes it’s easy to tell a complete stranger that they are rude, as opposed to bringing up your feelings to someone you care about (or once cared about). It sounds like you have a LOT of built up resentment and I know I am probably only getting a taste of what you have been through with her (hard to post the entire relationship history on a MB, but still). Anyway…you should consider gently talking with her about how you feel (try to remember specific examples), then tell her that’s the reason you’ve backed off. Do you MISS being as close to her? Do you HATE her? I mean, if you are just upset over things YOU have let simmer in your heart and head then how is it fair to her and the entire family dynamic? I would consider (even though you don’t want to) having a frank conversation – she may surprise you and not even realize how she has made you feel. And, look at the bright side, if you basically tell her how she makes you feel she may not ask you to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man at all – or you can (at the very least) tell her you want to work on your feelings and your relationship and let her day be all about those people that are closer to her. 

When I was 20 I worked for a huge corporation, I felt very young and naive (because I was!) and there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t feel very inferior to my team that I worked with. One of the ladies previously held my position,  constantly underestimated my abilities (but unlike most 20 year olds I had been doing  admin since I was about 16 so I had 4 years experience). Anyway, I overheard this girl one day “talking smack” about me. I wasn’t a gossip or that type in HS so I really had never had any life experience dealing with catty women! So I approached my boss and asked for advice because even at 20 I knew it needed to be nipped. So, I asked the girl to go to lunch. I told her that I respected her, that I looked up to her and had always felt comfortable asking for help/direction since she was my predacessor. I also told her that I overheard her talking about me and that it hurt because I wasn’t that type of person. I told her if she felt that I was doing something incorrect or not up to company standards that I would welcome the help. She did a complete 180. From that day forward I finally felt like part of the team, I also felt as if she was helpful, instead of hurtful and I really felt like I had learned a valuable lesson (because I had)! 

Now, I know this scenario is totally different, but the lesson that I learned at a very early age is that when someone rubs you the wrong way by being catty or rude – you take the bull by the horns. HOWEVER, you do NOT treat it like a bull! She may not even realize that she treats you as she does and I promise you’ll be so relieved by saying what you have to say.

I also agree with other posters – that you may want to do damage controle before-the-fact to the Mother-In-Law. Her mom knows her way better than you and this may not be the first time she’s made people feel the way she does. In the end I would hope that they will both respect you as a woman who can voice how she is feeling.

Another important thing to point out is that – as human beings – we sometimes don’t LIKE how we feel – but it does NOT change the fact that we feel as we do. You can start the conversation with “I really hate how I am feeling, but I can’t shake these thoughts/emotions” and go from there. Make her feel as though you aren’t being that way as a choice, but rather your emotions bring that out in you. 

Good Luck! OH, and post an update when you figure this all out! 

Post # 12
944 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

My Future Sister-In-Law hates me, so when I asked her to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, she was happy to decline – and I was happier that she did! Now if she could only not show up for the wedding…

Post # 13
1774 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I am in a similar situation.  My brother is engaged and I am very concerned I will be asked to be a bridesmaid.  I don’t want to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man because my brother is an awful person who did a lot of terrible things before my wedding, and I also have major concerns about their relationship.  He agreed to be in my wedding, and two days before, he bailed.  (I would have been fine if he had politely declined to begin with.)  I am trying to avoid them, and if asked, I will politely decline.  If his Fiance asks, I plan to say that I am not comfortable being around him.  

I am less concerned about causing drama, but that is due to a difference in family situation.  I think it is far easier when the situation is with the family you’re born into than the family you marry into.  Family loyalty usually sides with whomever was born into the family.    Therefore, if I were you, I would consider a white lie- you have a crazy work schedule or some other reason you wouldn’t be a good bridesmaid an be polite but firm.  I would be very careful on giving the money excuse, as someone could offer to pay for your dress.  Good luck, and please let us know what happens!

Post # 14
711 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

My brother declined to be in our wedding party. He is a very self conscious person and he hates being up in front of people. I completely respected his choice. He enjoyed the wedding much more sitting as a guest then he would have up at the front feeling uncomfortable.  I think you need to do what feels right for you.

Post # 15
4429 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

sure you can. my cousin asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding and i said thank you but i would rathet just go give you a big gift and enjoy your day. im too old to be a! bridesmaid now Maid/Matron of Honor is a diffrent story lol

Post # 16
7560 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

@viewfrmhere:  I agree with all of this.

You should tell her when she upsets you, and you should be a part of her wedding. If for no other reason than because she’s family and she helped you with your wedding. 

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