(Closed) How to tell bridesmaid she’s being demoted

posted 6 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
Member
9483 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Bichon Frise: It’s going to be a hard, sticky situation no matter how you do it though.  I would explain your feelings as you have with us.  Honesty is the best policy.  I’m sorry you have to go through this though.  I can imagine that it’s hard especially because it is family.  Perhaps give her a warning first though after explaining your feelings.

Post # 4
Member
647 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

She’s only 17 years old.  You’re still more than 6 months away from your wedding, she probably can’t even fathom that bridesmaids dresses need to be ordered so far ahead of time.  I’d keep at it trying to get her measurements even though it’s frustrating, I think it’s going to be a really sticky situation if you demote her.  I go by the standard of only demoting a bridal party member if you don’t want to be friends with them anymore after the wedding, and I think that is really complicated if it’s family.

At some point the problem is going to solve itself.  I think you say to her (in person or on the phone) that the bridesmaid dress HAS to be ordered by a certain date or it won’t arrive in time.  Tell her that if you don’t have her measurements by then, you’re sorry, but she won’t be able to be a bridesmaid.  She’ll either get you the measurements or demote herself.  For the rest of it “not being excited enough”… she’s 17.  To her it’s probably like planning for prom 6 months in advance.

Post # 5
Member
2463 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@gcwest: i totally agree. give her a deadline for ordering the dress/giving her measurements and let it play out from there. 17 is really young–have you had a talk with her (and the other bms) about what you expect from bms? i just don’t think it’s fair to “demote” someone if you’re never clear about what you expect from the outset

Post # 7
Member
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Hmm… this is a sticky situation 😐 I agree with PPs though, you need to tell her upfront what is going on. While I was interested in weddings when I was younger, I definitely wouldn’t have understood why I needed to order a dress so early on. Maybe try explaning things from that angle? 

Post # 8
Member
9483 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

@gcwest: Yes, but her mother is no help either (as OP has mentioned).  Someone should put some pep into her step.  I think OP has every right to feel as she does.  The girl would be freaking out if it was her prom dress.

Post # 9
Member
2086 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

So you gave her a deadline of Thanksgiving and she didn’t give you any info? 

I’d give her a last deadline.  Tell her that if they dress isn’t ordered by X date, it won’t arrive in time.  If she misses that deadline, perhaps she’s making a choice not to be a bridesmaid?

 

It stinks that this is causing you hurt and stress.  I’m sorry.

Post # 10
Member
647 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@Rouquine:I didn’t say that the OP has no right to feel frustrated.  I’m sure it IS frustrating.  I’m just saying that she probably needs to manage her expectations because the girl is only 17, and a wedding 6 months from now probably doesn’t feel close at all or as if there’s any need to rush (because I’m sure she isn’t freaking out about a prom dress yet either).  I also did advise the OP to “put some pep in her step” by giving her an absolute deadline.  My opinion comes from thinking of the relationship beyond the wedding day, and demoting someone could really threaten that relationship, which is a big deal if it’s family. Everyone has the potential to suffer here, no matter who is actually at fault.

Post # 12
Member
26 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I had a similar problem with 3 of my 9 bridesmaids – my solution – I planned a girls day a month in advance and told those BMs to have at least $100 (most dresses require a 50%-100% payment for the dress to be ordered) – then I picked up the 2 local ones and then drove 3 hours to the 3rd one and took them all to the dress shop together and they all ordered their dresses that day.  I knew when i asked those BMs to be in my wedding that they would be the ones to procrastinate and to be short on cash if not organized ahead of time.  Since they are my friends and I really wanted them in the wedding, I made the decision to put in the extra effort to make it work for me.  The setting the deadline is also a good suggestion but if you really want her to be in your wedding, i would recommend taking control of the situation instead of letting her have the control and having to deal with not knowing how the sitaution will play out – you have enough things to worry about, you don;t need something like this distracting you.  you could also appoint a trusted Bridesmaid or Best Man to follow-up with her and keep her focused.

Post # 13
Member
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@Bichon Frise: that was a good way to handle it.  I basically did the same thing you did… explain the situation and even though I didn’t expect much either, she was relieved to have it out in the open and stepped down.  She actually isn’t even coming to the wedding either… so there won’t be any awkwardness on the day of.

Post # 14
Member
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Just a suggestion, don’t demote her outright but the next time you get her on the phone give her an out. Tell her that you think all of the responsibilities that come along with being a Bridesmaid or Best Man might be too much for her and you should have realized that before asking. Stress that there are no hard feelings, but if she would rather come as a guest that would be totally fine. While you’re making your case, point out that you have all the other BM’s measurements and they have been more involved in the planning so you just get the sense that you might be asking too much of her.

This way if she’s no longer a Bridesmaid or Best Man, it is her decision and as long as you word everything nicely and don’t accuse her of anything during your talk there will be no hard feelings. And if she decides to still be a Bridesmaid or Best Man I almost guarantee she will send you her measurements right away and start to shape up a little. You still won’t get the same level of interest and commitment from a 17 yo cousin that you would get from a same-age friend, but I’m sure you knew that when you asked her and were OK with it.

Post # 15
Member
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Sounds pretty harsh considering that we are talking about a 17 year old! I wanted my cousin who is about that age in my wedding, and I paid for her dress – yes, it was a bit tight for me financially, but it was important to me that she was in the wedding so I made it happen. Demoting a 17 year old because they’re unaware and in some ways not capable of normal Bridesmaid or Best Man duties and have trouble paying for a dress just seems kinda mean in my opinion, and I’m betting it would crush her considering how close you two were when she was growing up. Teenagers social lives are always super important to them, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about you and the wedding.

Post # 16
Member
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would send her a message with a deadline for her to send you the info so you can order the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses. If she doesn’t send you the info by then, then she isn’t fulfilling the only bm duty there is which is to buy a dress. You wouldn’t even necessarily have to “demote” her at that point, she herself decided not to participate.

I would cut her some slack since she is a teenager, and I agree with a PP who said give her the choice if she still wants to do it.

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