How to tell cousins they won't be bridesmaids?

posted 11 months ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
14966 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I dont get why you have to draw attention to it and tell someonne they are NOT a b/m.  Surely they will just figure it out when they’re not asked?

Post # 3
6842 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I were you, I would not send this out, and not ask the kid to be a flower girl. They don’t need their noses rubbed in the fact that you don’t want them to stand up with you, and using a child as a consolation prize (and/or photo prop) is lame. You obviously dont have a “cousin connection”, and it seems a bit gross to me. 

Post # 4
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

You dont need to say anything, and bringing attention to it makes works especially phrasing it in a way that says I am so lucky to be popular and your not close enough with me to stand up beside me. Which is what your message comes off as

Also unless you are actually close/see the potential flower girl all the time she doesnt need to be in wedding for some sort of cousin connection. So odd

Post # 5
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think your heart is in the right place, but that letter comes off as SO incredibly patronizing. Like a previous poster, I am also raising an eyebrow at including the 4 year old as a flower girl, as it sounds like you’re not particularly close to her.


Choose the bridesmaids you want, and let the chips fall where they may.

Post # 6
206 posts
Helper bee

I agree, no need to mention it until its brought up. And politely decline the offer for your aunt to throw a luncheon if you believe theres a chance she thinks her daughter is a bridesmaid (your gut is usually right). No need to include that flower girl unless you really want to. The “cousin connection” is that they are invited.

Post # 8
206 posts
Helper bee

champagnefluff :  I used to be close to several of my cousins but they arent even invited as I’m trying to keep the wedding under 100 guests and I havent talked to them in a few years. If you actually want to include her as a flower girl then I think that’s a good idea. Ask the aunt if the 4 year old would like to be a flower girl. It may or may not lead to discussing Bridesmaids but if not then I think that’s enough implication.

Post # 9
21 posts

I understand how you are feeling because I’m currently in a similar situation.


I have 3 girl cousins. I was/am very close with 1 of them and she has mentioned to me several times that she can’t wait to be a bridesmaid. However I think its best to just not include any cousins in my bridal party as to not make anyone feel left out. I don’t want my other cousins to be upset (I lived with another one of them during college) and the other is her sister who I know would be very upset about not being included (she always got upset that we left her out while we were growing up). 


I already have 6 friends I want to be bridesmaids so I think I’m going to make it easy and just do no cousins in the bridal party, however I’m not sure how to break that news to the cousin I am close to… I know she will be upset :/

Post # 10
954 posts
Busy bee

Do not tell them. They’re big girls and they’ll figure it out. I would probably not ask the 4yo to be flower girl either….it’s like of like saying, “you (the mom whose wedding you were in right??) aren’t close enough to me to be my bridesmaid, but I’d love your daughter to be a prop for my wedding so I can have a cute flower girl in my wedding.” 


I also don’t see the big deal about 9 bridesmaids but I live in the South so…. I would never cut two girls out because 9 is too many. I would not include them if we weren’t close currently as adults. Your posts kind of go back and forth so it’s hard to tell if you aren’t close or if you’re stuck on numbers.

Post # 11
653 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

If you’re going to have 7 bridesmaids…just have 9 and avoid the whole issue/possibility of family drama/rift etc…surely 2 more hardly matters if you are already having a huge bridal party.

Post # 12
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Scotts ~ Walnut Creek

Like a pp I can’t tell whether you’ve chosen not to include these cousins bc you’re no longer close or bc you feel a certain number of bridesmaids will be too many. The former I can understand, the latter I find a poor and/or dumb excuse sorry. Either way please leave the flower girl out. You assuming she’ll get a kick out of being one is not a justifiable reason. It doesn’t sound like your close to her and it’ll also be almost like a slap in the face to her mother to ask that her child be used as a cute photo prop. Had a cringe moment reading that terrible plan. 😖

Post # 13
1218 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I was in a similar situation- I’m fairly close to my cousins on my dad’s side (although they all live far enough away that I typically only see them once a year at Christmas) and was in two of their weddings. But by the time I got married they all had their own kids and it meant a lot to me that they even made the trip for my wedding. I didn’t bring it up at all to them and (as far as I know) there are no hard feelings about it. I’m sure they were also just a little bit glad to not have to worry about getting a dress and being there for all the events and everything!

I would only choose the 4 year old to be flower girl if you really want her to be in it. I had to draw the line on that since my aforementioned cousins by then had 10 kids among them, so I picked the one who was my goddaughter (also 4 years old) to be the flower girl. I think if you truly want her to be included then I think your plan of just asking about her and using that to imply that you won’t be asking them to be bridesmaids should work. 

Post # 14
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

I will be having 9 bridesmaids (or at least, I will be asking 9 girls if they will be my bridesmaids, hopefully they will accept!). I think if you don’t want them as bridesmaids because they’re not close to you then that’s absolutely fine. But I don’t think not wanting 9 bridesmaids is a good reason. I know traditionally people don’t have 9 bridesmaids, but if there are 9 people you would like up there with you then who cares if it’s traditional?! If the reason is that they’re not close, then I don’t know why you would want the child to be a flower girl. Presumably you’re not closer to a 4 year old than to them?

I just don’t see the reason to risk a family arguement or even just upsetting cousins who you used to be close with if deep down you would like them there and it’s only numbers which is holding you back.

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