Post # 1
My bridal party has four people: My Maid/Matron of Honor (best friend since 7th grade, which makes 23 years); my current best girlfriend, another very close girlfriend, and my brother. My fiancee has a female groomsman (a very close friend of both of ours), his best male friend, and his 2 brothers. I am very happy with all these choices.
Unfortunately, I have another close girlfriend who is part of a group of friends that includes me, the female groomsman, and the two bridesmaids. There has been various stress and tension issues over the years between her and both the female groomsman and one of the bridesmaids, but she and I have remained friends. I didn’t ask her to be a bridesmaid because she is a very high-stress, high-maintenance person, and because she has been very preoccupied in the last few years with remaining single while the rest of her friends are marrying off, one by one (we are in our mid-30s). When her best male friend got married, she spent weeks crying and saying she was never going to find anyone, etc.
I totally understand her issues and how difficult it is to be single at this age if you’re not happy with that (I have many happy single friends, including the two bridesmaids). But ultimately I decided that I did not want her in the bridal party because I felt she would require a lot of emotional maintenance (& stress me out) and might ultimately be resentful of our wedding, like she was her best male friends.
But now the time has come where I have to tell her about the situation because the STD’s are out and people are going to start talking about what they’re wearing to the wedding, etc. I dread having this conversation. I care about her and she’s a great person, but I know she’s going to be very hurt. I’ve considered just asking her but I can’t imagine having to deal with her during the planning process (my current BMs are being awesome and laid back). Any words of wisdom on how I can make this easier on her? I hate hurting her.
Post # 3
Choosing your Bridal Party is a personal thing. You don’t owe her an explanation. I would avoid a lot of wedding talk around her, and if she decides to bring it up (tacky IMHO), then just explain that you & FH decided to keep your Bridal Party small.
Post # 4
Yeah, don’t tell her anything unless she brings it up. She doesn’t need an explanation at all.
I’m worried I’m going to encounter this with my on again off again friend. If she does bring it up, then I’m just going to tell her the truth – WE wanted people that were there for both of us throughout our entire relationship, not just one of us. Would that maybe work for your situation for her too in case she brings it up?
Post # 5
I agree, this doesn’t necessarily deserve a conversation. If she does ask about it, maybe you could say that you’ve seen how stressed she’s gotten being in a Bridal Party in the past, so you thought she could best enjoy the wedding as a regular guest. Maybe you could consider including her in a more low-key way. For example, we wanted to keep our Bridal Party “small” (5 or less on each side), so we didn’t include our opposite sex siblings (his sisters, my brothers). I’ll still ask them to hang out with me in the morning, and also invite them to get their hair and/or makeup done with us at the salon. Maybe if you are having a group breakfast, or a rehearsal dinner, you could invite the friend to that. Then she is more included than the average guest, but less involved than the Bridal Party.
Of course, that is ONLY if YOU want to include her in that way. You don’t “owe” it to anyone to include them in certain aspects of your wedding.
Post # 6
I just wanted to back up your decision to choose your party carefully. My stepsister was one of my choices, and is like your friend is also single in her thirties – and it was only during the wedding process that it really came out how much issues she had with this. I had to deal with her getting herself overly wasted at events and flirting with my friend’s husbands; teliing everyone that this was her 7th time being a bridesmaid, and acting completely depressed and out of control the whole time.
So, sounds like you made the right call on your friend. You don’t need that, believe me. It was not fun for me to have to deal with that. Just saying. I don’t think you need to say anything, it will be awkward, yes, but only address it if she brings it up.
Post # 7
@LiliKitty: +1 to “Yeah, don’t tell her anything unless she brings it up. She doesn’t need an explanation at all.”
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2013 - The Down Town Club, Philadelphia
@Miss Otter: I’m in a similar situation, and I have decided to not mention it unless she does. This is easy for us bc the crux of the problem is though we used to be close, we haven’t seen each other more than 2 times this whole year!
I thought about taking her to lunch and letting her know that she’s not a bridesmaid, but my Maid/Matron of Honor thought that was overkill, and unnecessary. If she ever brings it up, I will tactfully explain my reasons. I do feel badly about it, but things change, life changes, and sometimes it’s better not to open a big can of worms.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2013 - The Down Town Club, Philadelphia
Don’t know why my reply went to Miss Otter. Sorry bout that!
Post # 10
Agree with PP – don’t discuss the subject with her unless she brings it up. If she does, tell her you and your Fiance agreed on having a smaller bridal party. Then maybe you can ask her to be involved in another way — like a reading?
Post # 11
I can relate to these issues. My fi wants a smaller party, limiting his guys at three but I feel so trapped by the fact that my choices for Bridesmaid or Best Man number three would require me to draw a line between several friends who I love equally. I have no idea what to do and i’m afraid no matter what I do, someone’s feelings will be hurt. I know I can have more than his number in my Bridal Party in today’s world but it’d be great to keep it even… However, in your case, knowing this friend’s background it makes perfect sense that you’d be weary. Stick to your guns and involve her in other ways- don’t bring it up until she does but be prepared with a solid answer just in case. Your delivery makes all the difference, if you believe what you’re saying she will too! Goo luck!