Post # 1
I’m a long-time Wedding Bee lurker (not engaged yet, so there wasn’t much of a reason to post) who’s hoping to get some advice from brides-to-be.
My "ex" best friend just got engaged. She’s mentioned before that when she and her boyfriend became engaged, she was planning on making me a bridesmaid. However, nothing was ever firmly laid down — it was purely hypothetical.
She just got engaged last night. I’m happy for her, but concerned that she’s going to ask me to be a bridesmaid. Although we were best friends for years, I have been letting the friendship die a slow death because over the past 3 or 4 years she has become a very mean-spirited person — the total opposite of the sweet, kind-hearted person that she used to be. She is so passive aggressive that I have been brought to tears many times, and she has repeatedly made sexual comments to and about my boyfriend of over two and a half years, sometimes in front of her now-fiance. Talk about awkward.
The situation is complicated by the fact that her fiance is my boyfriend’s roommate.
I’m sure that if I agree to be her bridesmaid, she will expect the same from me when my boyfriend and I get engaged. However, I have no interest in surrounding myself with a person that I find stressful to be around, particularly when wedding planning (so I hear!) is stressful enough.
She may not even ask me to be her bridesmaid, however, if she does ask, I’d like to have a way to politely decline at the ready.
As a bride-to-be, can you please suggest a way for me to decline while sparing her feelings as much as possible?
Thank you in advance!
Post # 3
I don’t have a good way for you to decline, but I wanted to tell you that in no way possible you should feel obligated to have her in your wedding party. You have the right to choose who you want to surround yourself with, not just because you feel like you’re obligated to! If she’s upset about that, then that’s all the more reason to feel confident in your decision not to ask her. Hopefully she’s mature enough to understand that a bridesmaid is an honor, not something people do out of obligation!
Post # 4
wow, this is definitely sticky…the easiest out would be financial, but then you risk her offering to pay…can you use your schedule, saying "I would only want to do it if I could do a really good job, but I am going to be crazy busy on xyz"…could you volunteer to do something else instead that utilizes your talents, more? Or something that usually people don’t want to do but is a small commitment like cake cutting or guest book?
Post # 5
I like cannotwait’s idea of coming up with a time excuse. Just say something like, "It’s really nice of you to think of me, but I’m going to be so busy on XYZ, and I don’t think I would be a reliable bridesmaid. I don’t want to let you down, so I think it would be better for me to not be in the wedding party." Unfortunately I think declining will be a bit awkward no matter how you do it, but it’s still a better option than standing at the altar in a $200 dress with a woman who won’t stop hitting on your boyfriend!
Post # 6
I think honesty is always best, even if it’s not the easiest. It’s YOUR choice, not hers. Remember that. If she does ask you, you could tell her you are thrilled for them and you will be happy to support their marriage, but you would rather not be a part of the wedding party. It won’t be easy since you guys run in the same circles (and no doubt you will be at the wedding since your boyfriend is close to the groom). But trust me, if you go ahead and stand up for yourself to begin with, you will not have to endure months and months of harbored resentment as miss former friend turns into a total bridezilla. Trust me, if she’s "stressful to be around" now, she will become a raging witch when it comes to planning her wedding. Save yourself while you still can! Good luck!
Post # 7
Hmmm, sticky situation. I like the time excuse. As a bride-to-be, I would be more likely to understand if a friend had important time/job commitments than if she simply declined my invitation for no other reason than the fact that we weren’t close anymore.
If she gets to the point of asking you to be in her wedding, she’s putting herself out there and very likely hoping you will say yes. Like you said, you want to spare her feelings and get yourself off the hook. I think the time excuse is best.
Post # 8
There is no easy answer here, and for once I think all the advice you have gotten is consistent! I’m only going to make it slightly worse-I think you have to draw the line in the sand on your friendship! Either you attend as a bridesmaid or you dont attend. Here is why, by agreeing to be a bridesmaid you are "standing up" for her, for the couple, attesting to the match, giving your stamp of approval to her character–its not just a day in a silly dress. By refusing, boy I wish I had a simple answer. I think your only option is to say you are busy and give any plausible excuse. Or just flatly say, firmly NO and then you are saying so much more.
On the other end of the spectrum, it is hard for girls who dont realise that it is an honour but also a responsibility and when they flake out or say no–it is personal. I think having a conflict is your only option. One of my friends said she didnt really believe in marriage and you can bet I never asked her!
Post # 9
It’s sad to think that you were very close friends for years and that you both will be getting married soon. You two could have so much fun.
Rather than focus on negativity, could you be the bigger person and find a way to work thru your differences and begin restoring the friendship? It would make both of your lives better and for both of your men in your lives.
Sometimes it is more difficult to take the higher road, but in this situation, I think it’s best. Plus you may be rekindling your friendship and this might turn into one of the best things you’ve ever done and go thru this period supporting each other and having the time of your lives.
Post # 10
Obviously, since your boyfriend is her FI’s roommate, you’re going to have some interaction with her even if you’re not close friends. You don’t say whether he Fiance is a good friend of your boyfriend, or whether they are roommates by circumstance – which probably affects how much time you will ever spend with them after they get married. But seriously – my husband has friends that are just his friends. I see their wives occasionally at a party, but I wouldn’t call them friends.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with going to their wedding if you’re invited – on the premise that your boyfriend is friends with the groom. As long as you don’t hate the girl, which it doesn’t seem like you do, you don’t have to stir the pot by refusing to even come to the wedding. However, you sound like you have good reasons for not wanting to be close friends – and being a bridesmaid is pretty much a job for a close friend. I would guess that she’s probably figured out you guys aren’t great friends anymore, and so if she asks it’s probably just because of your history (or maybe because she’s equally horrible to everyone, and just doesn’t really have any friends). There’s nothing wrong with just telling her that while you’re really happy for her, you have a lot of other things going on in your life over the next year and so you just don’t think you can be in the bridal party.
If you think, somewhere in the back of your mind, that you might actually like to be better friends with her again – then go ahead and accept. I disagree with bellenga – rekindling a friendship with someone who is generally negative and unpleasant to be around, and has been actively mean to you, is probalby not going to be one of the best things you’ve ever done. In fact, it’s probably a really bad idea to spend any more time with her than you have to. It’s a lot better to refuse politely at the outset than to go into it with reservations, have a few horrible things happen, and then quit after a big fight, or go through months of basically being abused and miserable.
Post # 11
Thank you everyone for your thoughtful advice!
Unfortunately, rekindling the friendship isn’t something I’m going to attempt to do, mostly because I have tried in the past and just felt worse for it. I agree that it is sad that we have drifted apart. I’m still nice to her when she comes to visit her fiance and have never been in an argument with her, so luckily it’s not awkward for my boyfriend or her fiance. However, I have been trying to keep her at a distance by not calling her up to chat or make plans. It’s been working for me.
If she asks, I think I’m going to answer with the time excuse that many of you suggested.
Thanks again for your advice! It was really helpful to hear different perspectives.
Post # 12
I know this is a bit late, but I wanted to add a little bit of perspective: I am in the same situation as you, except that in my case, I’m the bride and my maid is the friend with issues. I asked her to be in my party despite having problems with who she’s become because we have so much history. It was a tough choice. But in my case, I’m hoping that this will bring us closer.
I understand you saying that you don’t want to rekindle your relationship with her, and many people would agree. However, since she’s going to be in your life, you might think about addressing some of the issues you have with her. For instance, if/when she comes onto your man (my maid has done this, sadly), you should ask her about it in a non-accusatory way. "Hey, Rob said that you made a kind of weird comment to him about your boobs…what’s the deal with that?" (hypothetical example) I’ve gotten into the habit of calling my bridesmaid on her bad behavior, and even if it isn’t solving her problems, at least her jabs don’t get to me as much. And it has helped to curb her flirty ways around my future husband. If you resign yourself to sitting back and taking her passive aggressive actions, your confidence could suffer.
Sorry for the sticky situation! I feel for you. Completely.