(Closed) Old friend not a bridesmaid

posted 12 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

It totally depends on what you think is appropriate and what kind of ceremony you’re having, but could you involve your friend in some other capacity? I’m dealing with a similar situation with the woman who was my best friend throughout college. I’ve asked her to do a reading in our wedding, and she accepted.

Post # 4
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Taye has a great idea, try and invlove her in some other way. Even if the ceremony won’t allow it, ask her to do something at the reception! If watching over the guest book seems lame, maybe you could have her announce something, or if shes artistic, do some sort of artistic presentation or song or something….

don’t forget to promise to include her in all the bridal stuff too, when you explain how hard it is to make her a part of the bridal party. You know; invite her to help try on the wedding dress, come to the bachlorette party, etc…

good luck!

Post # 5
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

I’ve been very torn, as I have a maxed out guest list & probably won’t even ask my HS Boyfriend or Best Friend to attend.  It’s hard, but we hardly communicate at all (just myspace occassionally), and it’s been 10 years since we were close.  She got married during undergrad, so she still asked me to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, so it makes me feel even worse…

Post # 6
11 posts
  • Wedding: October 2009

Honestly, I think your friend is being kind of immature. Most people understand that weddings are subject to a lot of constraints financially, wedding party, etc. That’s just life. I’ve been to the weddings of several close friends and was not in the wedding party. Maybe they (or their FI) had a few sisters, or friends from home or college or where ever else. I went to the weddings, and sat with other friends and had a good time. Honestly, being in a wedding party is a lot of responsibility. Sometimes it’s MORE fun to just be a guest! These things aren’t personal. And even if you are offended, it’s rude to confront someone about how they’re throwing their own wedding. The fact that your friend actually said something to you doesn’t say too much about her. She should smile and be happy for you, and go to the wedding if she likes, or stay home if she doesn’t want to attend.

Post # 7
96 posts
Worker bee

Personally, I don’t think she’s being immature.  She is just being human.  People typically expect the bridesmaids to be made up of the closest friends to the bride.  If she considered you a bridal-party-close type of friend, no one can blame her for being a little hurt or upset at not being asked because to her, it might feel like you don’t consider her as close to you, as she feels you are to her.  The truth is, these things ARE personal and it comes down to perceived value of friendships.  I think if you could chalk it up to having a small bridal party, say one sister and one friend, then perhaps she shouldn’t realistically feel so disappointed (maybe she was next in line type of deal) but if you have a large bridal party and she’s still not a part of it, that hurts more.

Now, having legitimate hurt feelings doesn’t mean that it was appropriate for her to say something to you about it (assuming she has), but I don’t know how open of a relationship you guys have. For her to not attend the wedding as a guest, on the grounds that she isn’t in the role she wanted would definitely be petty and wrong on her part.

I would say just go with your instincts and be sensitive to how she is feeling.  Create a spot for her in the wedding (ie. candlelighter, greeter, etc.) if you think it’s appropriate and a gesture that will honestly make her feel better (and not as a sort of consolation prize, nobody wants charity).  Otherwise, I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it.  She’s hurt, yes, but good friends get over these things — don’t worry yourself or focus too much on it if you can help it. 🙂

Post # 8
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Like others have suggested, I would try to include your friend in something fun that is wedding related. For example, if you and your bridesmaids are all getting manicures together a couple of days before the wedding, invite her along. It’s kind of nice, actually, to get to do some of the fun stuff but not have full on bridesmaid resposibility! I think that if you make an effort to make her feel special any initial dissapointment will surely fade 🙂

Post # 9
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2007

I agree 100% with DCKate.  Well said.

You said for yourself you only ‘text’ a couple times a year during holidays and birthdays – and she expects to be a bridesmaid?  

If you’d like to include her in the wedding in some other way then go for it – but don’t feel at all like you ‘have’ to.  It’s your wedding and you need to include the people that mean the most to you.

I have tons of friends like this that I was once really close with and time/location/circumstances have changed the relationship.  I still enjoy them – just don’t have that close bond anymore.

I understand she could be hurt because everyone thinks differently and has different expectations about weddings – which you can be sensitive to but she shouldn’t guilt you into including her.  Sometimes I get invited to weddings and to play rolls that make me think ‘really’?  Are we that close?  But again everyone is different in what they plan and who they include.  Some people invite everyone they’ve ever known to weddings – others invite only the closest innermost circle of friends.

Also this is one of those things that people ‘mature’ about as they get older and as they plan their own weddings 😉

Post # 10
6 posts

Just be straight forward and honest with her. She will understand if she is a good friend. Tell her you will invite her to the parties and events your other bridemaids are doing but you just dont have room. If you dont want to be straight forward you can also say that the groom just dont have enough groom mens for her to be in the party too. lol

Post # 11
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I have mixed feelings about this.  I have a friend I was very close with for a long time.  We pledged to be in each other’s weddings for a long time.  As often happens, we drifted apart… but she didn’t even call me to tell me she was getting married.  When I found out on Myspace, I congratulated her, but realized that it wasn’t reasonable to have the same expectations as before.

In these cases, it is always awkward to deal with changed expectations, but dealing with them compassionately and straight-forwardly always helps.

Post # 12
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

I’m surprised she said something to you.  I was the maid of honor of my BFF from HS’s wedding 4 years ago.  Fast forward to today, I have the same type of relationship as you.  She asked me who I made my bridesmaids and didn’t react BUT she should know that we aren’t that close anymore.  She’s the one that stopped responding to calls, emails, etc.  In any event, since I played such a big role in her wedding and she actually showed up to my bridal shower (I was shocked), I asked her to do a reading.  That was a good way of incorporating her into the day. I think that’s more thoughtful than having her "work" the guestbook or being an usher.  Just my thoughts!

Post # 13
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

It’s true that people have very different ideas about what constitutes friendship, and also that people respond very differently to the idea of how a friendship changes over the years.  Maybe your friend had the idea that, regardless of the differences in your lifestyle and the fact that you don’t really talk or do things together anymore, you were still really good friends.  Maybe she doesn’t have (or never has had) very many good friends, and is beginning to figure that out.  Maybe she is one of those people who thinks "once a friend, always a friend," and so she doesn’t see that the two of you having very little in common anymore should change things.

The fact is, there are a very few friends you will have your life long – whether you live in the same town, or even the same state or country, and whatever is happening in your lives.  The rest of your friends are more circumstancial – in that you will be friends just as long as you have common interests and activities and live close enough to spend time together – and then you’ll just be people who used to be good friends, and you’ll say hello in the grocery store, and give each other big hugs at the class reunion, and maybe send Christmas cards, but you won’t be close anymore.  It probably takes a little maturity to realize that this is okay – it’s just the way things are.  But it doesn’t sound like maturity is this girl’s strong point – if she thinks that a couple of text messages a year is all it takes to maintain a friendship.  If you really think that you want to continue being friends with her, or if you have a big sentimental attachment to the old friendship, I would ask her to help out in some other way.  If you just feel bad because you didn’t expect her to expect to be a bridesmaid, I would chalk it up to the ever-widening gap in what used to be your friendship, and move on.

Post # 14
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Hun, I have the exact same situation as you – my bff and I grew apart and now she’s a hard partyer and I’m settling down. However, when I told her that I was getting married, her VERY FIRST response was, "Who are your bridesmaids?" It caught me off-guard, and since I was newly (less than 48 hours) engaged, I told her that she would be one.

Thinking about it now, I feel yucky that that’s how it played out, but then another part of me realizes that this is a nice way to honor someone who was a huge part of my life for so many years.

The whole situation has made me realize how much the bridesmaid status means to some of the women in our lives. I think if you just recognize that and let her know that you understand how it must make her feel, you’ll go a long way in healing her hurt feelings. Sure, it’s true that she shouldn’t have said anything to you. But since she did, try to be empathetic.

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