Post # 1
Okay, we’re going for an intimate wedding with a large wedding party. One of my very close friends has recently converted to a religion so she could marry the man she loves. They’re happy together, hes laid back-but she has now decided to cover her hair. This is not a requirement, he has not asked her to do this and most of the women in his family do not do this.
I was the Maid/Matron of Honor at her wedding and again, the large wedding party, so she certainly can’t be left out.
How do I try to manage this situation when the rest of the 7 bridesmaids will be wearing short, strapless dresses at our hot summer beach wedding??
I certainly don’t want to offend her by bringing it up, but it definitely seems like this ‘need’ to cover herself from head to toe [when she didn’t at her own wedding to this guy] is for show…
Any advice, have you encountered this?
Post # 3
define “cover up.” like complete head to toe or just a headscarf/shoulders covered?
Post # 4
If she is your friend I think it’s respectful to honor her decision regarding whether she covers her hair or her whole body. Remember, the important thing is to have your friends standing with you – it’s far more important than whether they all create a “look.”
Post # 5
I’d ask her about it and just be open and honest, not in the least mean. Tell her you respect ehr decision either way, but you’d really like for all the bms to look the same and how does she feel about that. Maybe you two can come to something open and honestly. Maybe ask her husband for advice since it’s his religon.
Post # 6
Please don’t ask her husband because it reallly has nothing to do with him. Yes, she converted to his religion but covering up is her personal decision. You can invite her to be in your wedding but tell her what you want the BM’s to wear. Be prepared for her to refuse the invitation.
Post # 7
Just tell her that you’d like for her to be a bridesmaid but you’re concerned she might be uncomfortable with the dresses. Tell her what you’re envisioning and ask her if she’d be okay with wearing it.
That leaves the decision up to her – she can either forgo the headcovering or opt out of being a bridesmaid. I think it’s a little different (as far as asking if she’s comfortable not doing it) since this is a recent development and there was a time when she didn’t cover her head.
Just out of curiousity, what did she wear for her wedding since you said she just now decided to start doing it? Did you have to be covered in some certain way as the MOH?
Post # 8
Thank you for these notes…
I’m not concerned about discussing this with her husband, he is more wrapped up in playing basket ball and video games. This is her decision.
She wore a fairly standard gown with see through lace sleeves, open chest and didn’t cover her hair. She picked a long strapless dress and didn’t ask me to cover my hair.
I think I’m going to take Camrie’s advice and present her with the options and hope shes receptive to making a few small adjustments. I’m happy to have her wear a shrug over her dress (vs adding traditional sleeves) and seeing if we might be able to go with an alternative length for her dress.
*I certainly accept her for who she is-there is a difference here between a practicing religion and simply changing how you want to be viewed though.
Thanks again 🙂
Post # 9
I have an example from a Muslim wedding a friend attended in Syria a couple of years ago. She was a good friend of the bride’s brother and traveled with him and his wife to the wedding. Knowing the family to be religious and conservative, she assumed everyone would be covered from head to toe and bought a long dress. Upon arriving, her friend’s wife told her they needed to go shopping for a new dress. She ended up with a knee length halter dress. She had to wear a long sleeved bolero over it but was still shocked at what was actually worn based on what she anticipated based on her interactions with this conservative family. So, it could be that different rules apply to weddings and other parties than every day.
However, regardless of what you believe your friends motives are for covering her head and arms, you need to respect her modesty standards. Even if you think she just wants the attention, it is not your place to judge how she chooses to live her life and if she feels she needs to cover her head, you can’t ask he not to withoug ruining the friendship. Really, this is her´now even if this is not how she looked when you met her. I think it is a good idea to talk to her about what you are planning to choose and ask her if she feels comfortable. I don’t think sou should ask her to not participate if she does not feel comfortable in the dress.
Post # 10
Personally, I agree with rachelss – it’s way more important having your friends up there with you than having them all look the same. Why would you ruin a friendship over something as trivial as clothing?
Post # 11
Being a part of a religion that requires modest dressing (not head to toe, just covered shoulders, longer shorts, nothing too risque, etc.) I can say that I wouldn’t alter my dress for anything. I understand that some people aren’t really religious, so these issues don’t come into play for them…but for me it does, and if someone were to ask me to be in their wedding, they would have to respect that I would wear something modest and that’s that. In reality, if I were to wear something less modest, would I get kicked out of my church? No, because my church believes that it’s members should be able to make the choices for themselves, but we know what we “should” do and what we believe is right. And for this reason, I choose to be modest…kind of like your friend.
Who knows why your friend has all the sudden decided to be modest and covered up when it’s not a requirement. Maybe it is for show, maybe it’s not…whatever the reason, it’s her choice and her religion is obviously important to her. You mentioned in your subject line that this could ruin a friendship. Really? Seriously? Her desire to cover herself up (for her own personal religious reasons) is going to ruin this friendship for you? If this is really going to ruin a friendship, then why in the world are you asking this girl to be in your wedding? To me, this ranks up there with asking a bridesmaid to cover up a tattoo, change her hair color, or choose one because she was skinny and not fat…You choose your bridesmaids because you love them for who they are.
Post # 12
I think you need to talk to her about it, and come to some conclusion about what you’re each comfortable with – like, you’re happy for her to cover her arms etc, but not her hair, or you’d rather she took the scarf off for photos etc, and then she can also decide what she’s comfortable with – will she compromise at all for you, or not? And if her new views on clothing are not compatible with being your Bridesmaid or Best Man, could she perhaps have another important role in the wedding instead, like doing a reading or witnessing you sign the register? We asked a close friend to do a reading, and she declined because she can’t bear to speak in public, so she’s being a witness instead.
I think it’s a bit naive to say that there’s not an aesthetic consideration in the role of a Bridesmaid or Best Man – otherwise why do they have to have matching dresses, fancy hairdos and bouquets?
Whilst her choice is valid, it is not more or less valid than a Bridesmaid or Best Man who won’t wear a particular colour, or feels intensely self-conscious about their arms/legs/bust whatever. All of it is about what someone feels comfortable wearing. And either you can come to an agreement over it, or you can’t. If you can’t, it doesn’t make either of you wrong, or bad people.
I did think of lots of things about being a Bridesmaid or Best Man that close friends would not enjoy before asking them to be BMs – one hates having her photo taken, is really phobic of it, so it would seem really cruel to make her stand up in a million formal shots. Another never EVER wears a dress – not even to a ball – and so it would be torture to force her into a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress. Not every close friend can be a Bridesmaid or Best Man. I don’t love these people less – I just thought they’d hate being my BM!
Post # 13
Even if it’s doing it for show – you won’t do yourself any favors if you go into it with that even in the back of your head. You received some good advice and I agree with those that said to just tell her what you are thinking – ask her how she feels about it – and then if you aren’t comfortable with what she needs to do to cover up – then perhaps give her a different role in the wedding (if you so choose) – like a reader or something. That way – she can wear whatever she wants and will still have a position of honor in your wedding.
Post # 14
If she’s close to you, you have two options: 1. give her the option of wearing what the bridesmaids wear (you can add a shrug or something) or being a reader
2. accept her as she is (I vote for this one.) I chose the three most supportive friends with zero regard to anything else. One is in a wheelchair. Do the pictures look different than most? Yes. Do I care? Not a bit. I was proud to have my best friends around me and the people at the church were awesome in adjusting. If anyone thought any less of the bridesmaids not looking “the same,” well…I wouldn’t invite someone like that.