@HisQueen2Be: It looks like you’ve already gotten quite a few perspectives & advice. I just wanted to share a bit of our story with you in hopes that it may help to see what it could look like closer to the wedding;
One of my husbands closest friends is an alchoholic (I’ll call him K). He has been ever since I’ve known him, but sober & even tipsy, he’s one of the sweetest guys and I understood why my husband kept him around. He had always been a bit of a flake though…
So my husband asked him to be the best man because he thought that it would be hard for him if he didn’t. A few weeks later, K called, totally waisted and said that he had been thinking about killing himself because he was so stressed out about having to give a speech and all of the other things that came along with the job. As it turned out, he did not want to be the best man and he was happy when my husband told him he could just be a groomsman. Maybe your friend would feel the same way? While it is an honor to be the Maid/Matron of Honor, she may feel the stress herself and may actually want to step down.
However, our situation got worse… K said he wanted to help with the bachelor party, but wouldn’t listen to my husbands ideas. K was talking about strippers, drugs, etc. which my husband didn’t want. But even so, K never actually made plans. The other guys started a planning group which K never participated in. So when my husband called him with the info they planned, K got pissed that it wasn’t his idea & hung up & didn’t call back. My husband kept sending him info & finally called him a couple days before. K showed up but told him he hadn’t planned on going but he was glad he did.
As the wedding got closer, K kept asking my husband to order his kilt for him. All of the other guys were able to figure out how to order on their own. We made it quite simple for them!! Finally my husband told him that he needed to figure it out on his own because he had enough on his plate as the groom. K said he would figure it out. K had also asked to borrow $60 for something and said that he would pay us back by doing some yard work for us (which he had done in the past). My husband gave it to him & that was the last time we heard from him. We have been married almost 3 months now. K never showed up & never said a word. Never even called to apologize. All he needed to do was tell my husband that even being a part of the wedding at all was too much for him & my husband would have understood. Instead, he had to deal with the hurt that this guy who he’d continually saved since they were teenagers didn’t have the decency to even call & wish him a happy wedding.
Hopefully your friend can get it together to find a way to be some part of the day considering you have such a close past, but I would take some of the pressure off of her by telling her she doesn’t have to be Maid/Matron of Honor & even if she is still a bridesmaid, be prepared for anything.
It’s really tough caring about someone with that lifestyle. As adults, there is only so much we can do to help. It is ultimately their decision. I think as a friend, the best thing you can do for her is ask her to step down as Maid/Matron of Honor & be supportive. Personally, I’d give her the option of still being a bridesmaid but leave no expectation for yourself. I’d also phrase it in a way of letting her know it’s because you care about her getting back on her feet and not because you don’t trust her. You may be lying a bit, but in her state, that may be the best way to hear it. You’re right, it is your day & you should not have to worry about her. That was what my husband did. He was fine with the fact that K may never show & was fine with leaving him in the mix until he knew for sure. When K didn’t show up, he was sad, but was prepared for it & it didn’t effect our wonderful day ;).
I wish you and your friend the best!! I hope she gets better, long term & I hope you have a wonderful wedding!!