Post # 1
Hi everyone! I’m curious: do people find it stressful to be asked to be a bridesmaid? I have a really close friend whom I love (and visa versa). At first she wasn’t a part of my bridal party because I had family members and much older friends who filled all the spots (we didn’t want too large a bridal party).
One of my cousins has dropped out and I want to ask this good friend to be a bridesmaid. The thing is, we are having a destination wedding and her mother was recently diagnosed for the fourth time with cancer, and this time it might be fatal. My friend is really focused on her mom, and I’m wondering if asking her to be a bridesmaid would make her feel pressured into attending the wedding and being by my side. I will make sure she understands there’s no pressure whatsoever, but I’m curious: would you feel pressured to be there for a good friend, even if they tell you it’s totally fine to say no? I don’t want to add to her already heavy stress load.
Side note: my friend will definitely not feel insulted being a “second choice.” While she and I are very close, our friendship is relatively young (4.5 years). My bridesmaids so far are either family or friends going on over a decade. I don’t believe she’s even expecting to be asked.
Timing is also a concern. Our wedding is Labor Day weekend. By when would I absolutely NEED to ask her?
Post # 2
I would let her focus on her mom.
Being asked to be a bridesmaid isn’t necessarily stressful but even if you say it’s totally fine to say no and I don’t want you to feel pressured, that doesn’t really take away the pressure to not let a friend down. Plus there’s all the expectations that tend to come with being a bridesmaid even if you never even mention it, people assume certain expectations a lot of the time.
Post # 3
shortbread654 : Dont ask her. She has enough to deal with and many people do not find being a bridesmaid fun or affordable. I dont know one person who likes being a bridesmaid come to think of it.
Post # 4
I wouldn’t presume to know how she would feel, and neither should you.I will have to take your word for it that she won’t feel like a second choice. She will know that balancing your numbers is important enough to you to make her a Plan B.
If you are friends, you should be able to talk. I would meet with her for coffee or a walk, and tell her that you would like her to be Bridesmaid or Best Man, but will understand completely if the timing is not good for her. Who knows? She may appreciate a break from dealing with and thinking about her Mom’s illness. Make it clear that there are no other expectations than showing up on the day with the dress. And even if she can’t because the timing is bad, you will understand and be here for her.
Post # 5
It depends; my culture has the expectation that the bridegroom forks out all the costs involved with being a bridesmaid minus of course, pre-wedding parties, which are not entirely mandatory.
I can understand that yes she would be super stresseed and overwhelmed with the news of her mother, but perhaps she might need some positivity in her life. Is it in your budget that you could possibly cover her expenses?
Maybe have a chat to her, and instead of ‘asking her’ discuss with her, how she is feeling currently? And then you could move on to how she would feel if she were to be asked to be a bridesmaid? Tell her you love her and respect her as a friend, and that there would be no greater honour than to have her in your bridal party, however, the last thing you want is to cause any unecessary stress to her, and therefore that her circumstances have held you back from asking her because you don’t want to come across as selfiish and sel-centred.
I think she would appreciate that, and because you haven’t “asked” her, it may be easier for her to decline if she needs to.
thinking of you bee xxx
Post # 6
shortbread654 : Yes, I find it horribly stressful. I lost a friendship because the bride and her mother were completely psychotic and made my life hell for a good six months. I’m in a wedding now where the bride is a close friend, pretty level-headed and not bridezilla-y, and I still get stressed out when I’m feeling bombarded by information or requests. I would let her focus on her mom and ask if she would do a reading or something simple if you’d like her to be part of your day.
Post # 7
I am normally of the mindframe that you should never make up someone’s mind for them and present the option and let them decide what is too stressful or expensive or inconvenient, etc. HOWEVER…
1. This is a destination wedding so you’re not only asking her to be your bridesmaid, but definitely committing to the expense and time of a trip months and months in advance whereas every other guest has the option of deciding up to a few weeks out even, depending on accommodations.
2. Your friendship is relatively new (I mean, 4.5 years is still a good amount of time), but you acknowledge that she wouldn’t even be expecting it.
3. Even though you say she won’t be offended (and she very well may not), there is still this icky undercurrent of not only you thinking of her as second string (even though you may not), but also that you think people are replaceable. The wedding party isn’t something intended to rank people and “fill spots” – it’s your nearest and dearest. Even if people are understanding, there’s always that tone of people being replaceable. I don’t know why your cousin dropped out, but there’s also the potential for offense on that end, too, being perceived that she’s just a convenient number and not that important to you since you had a back-up to take her place.
And given that you would be asking her well after you asked all the other bridesmaids, you’re giving her less time and notice to save for any extra expenses, like the dress. I personally, would just invite her as a guest and let her concentrate on her mom. If circumstances work out that she will be able to attend as a guest (finances and mother’s health willing), you can still include her in things like getting ready and pictures and let her know how important she is to you.
Post # 8
I wanted to ask a cousin whose mother was very ill before my wedding. Instead of asking her to be a bridesmaid only, I told her I’d love for her to play a part in my wedding somehow and gave suggestions like doing a reading, being a bridesmaid, etc. I also made it clear that she could pick and choose what she wants to be a part of– that there were no expectations about coming to all my wedding events. She welcomed the distraction from her moms illness and chose to be a bridesmaid but this may or may not work for your friend. For my cousin I think it was actually nice for her to be close to family and reconnect with some people in our fam during this tough time. I’d have an open conversation about it w your friend and leave it up to her. Maybe she wants to just come to a pre-wedding event and perhaps there’s a special role she can play there. Just some ideas!
Post # 9
Thanks so much for all the advice! I’ve actually bought all the outfits for the bridesmaids (they’re sarees) and for the ceremony everyone will be barefoot, so there’s nothing extra she would need to buy or do except put on this specific outfit and walk down the aisle.
I really like the idea of having a conversation with her. We are constantly checking in with each other (my dad just had surgery for HIS cancer) so that sounds really natural for us. I think that’s how I’m going to approach this, and especially make her feel comfortable not only declining being a bridesmaid, or even to attending, since it would mean being very far from her mother.
For those who are concerned that I’m filling a spot, I should clarify: with my cousin having dropped out, our bridal party is actually now even. The reason I am asking her is because I truly want her up there with me, not to fill a spot. If she were to say no, I would not ask anyone else. Thanks again!
Post # 10
busagirl : thanks for this lovely suggestion!
happyandhealthy19 : it sounds like you were really respectful of your cousin, that’s great that she could be a part of your wedding! Funny enough, I totally forgot that this same friend got married while MY dad’s cancer was bearing down on my family and I LOVED helping her out before her wedding for a similar reason: it was a welcome distraction and I could spend some quality time with my close friends. Thanks so much for your feedback!
Post # 11
shortbread654 : Aww that’s so sweet. It’s very possible she may welcome being involved! Good luck in talking with her. Ithink being open and transparent is a great way to approach this. You can even say to her, “I know this is a difficult time for you and I was concerned about asking you because I didn’t want it to feel like a burden.”