Post # 1
Hi ladies, i need help with this. I met my best friend almost ten years ago during our freshman year of college. Like most girlfriends, we’ve fantasized about our future weddings and being one another’s maids of honor but now that that moment has come for me, years later it seems that I am her closest friend but I can no longer say that she’s mine. It’s not that we’ve grown apart, and I love her as a sister just as always, but as her depression has worsened significantly and she was diagnosed with a personality disorder, our friendship has become very one sided.
I support her in everything, have been there for every suicide attempt and hospitalization, encouraged her to stay in therapy, helped her parents stay connected with her during her withdrawal phases, and I’ve never expected anything in return because I fully understand the depths of her illness. However, when I think of the woman that I want by my side on the most special day of my life, and the one who has supported me, my fiancé, and our relationship from the beginning, it just isn’t her.
I know she tries to be supportive, but at this point I don’t even discuss my fiancé with her because her responses make me really uncomfortable (i.e. telling mutual friends that I “have her life and she wants it back,” or saying things like men see me as wifey material but view her differently, and that she’s “just going to live vicariously through me”) It just makes me feel sad and frankly, awkward AF. I know it’s not her fault and I love her dearly and still want her to be part of my bridal party, but I just don’t know how to tell her that I’ve chosen someone else to be my Maid/Matron of Honor because her depression is so easily triggered. This whole thing is giving me anxiety. Please help, any advice from anyone with experience dealing with mental illness would be amazing.
Post # 2
You don’t have to tell her anything. Ask her to be a bridesmaid and leave it at that.
I had two possible friends that could be my Maid/Matron of Honor, I chose the friend that I thought would have my back the most and support me during the process. The other Bridesmaid or Best Man was upset (didn’t tell me until recently, but I expected as much) that she wasn’t my Maid/Matron of Honor… but its not their choice, its yours.
Stop giving yourself anxiety over this, its really not worth it. This may sound mean, but her mental illness isn’t your problem to manage in this situation. Ask her to be a bridesmaid and leave it at that. I would be prepared to answer the question “I thought I was going to be your Maid/Matron of Honor what happened” but even then… you don’t have to justify your choices to other people.
Post # 3
I totally sympathize – I have a friend who has struggled with similar issues who I also met in college. She is one of my best friends, but is not the friend I chose for my Maid/Matron of Honor. We had a similar dynamic, in that I’ve kinda always been the one to give, and she is mostly the one who recieves. It is a tricky dynamic and friendship to navigate, but I can undesrtand being sensitive to our loved ones who struggle with depression and anxiety! Maybe instead of focusing on the fact that she isn’t Maid/Matron of Honor, focus on that you want her to be a bridesmaid. Don’t mention Maid/Matron of Honor. Just find a sentimental, meaningful way to ask her to be your bridesmaid – I am sure she will be excited! And if she does bring up Maid/Matron of Honor, just honestly, kindly, inform her that you understand she has been going through a lot lately, and you did not want her to be put under any more pressure or have further commitments, and just wanted to be able to share your special day with her and enjoy it together as her friendship means a lot to you.
Post # 4
Honestly, I would tell her that assuming the role of Maid/Matron of Honor is a HUGE job and she has so much more going on that the excess stress just doesn’t need to be put on her plate right now. Its ok that you’ve decided to give this role to someone else but assure her that you would love to have her by your side on your special day. She needs to be relaxed as well as you do, so being a bridesmaid just is the better option. She can have all of he fun minus the stress of assuming roles that require her to dwell away from her treatment and getting better.
If she cannot understand that then I don’t think she should be in your wedding at all because she isn’t a true friend. Sending good vibes your way as well as hers – your health and hers is what is most important.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
Have you thought about not designating anyone as MOH? I think it sets you up for some unpleasant conflict and may not be something you want to take on while you’re planning your wedding.
Clearly you have someone you feel you can rely on for the Maid/Matron of Honor duties. Just ask her to take those on and don’t set anyone apart with the title. If you’re really concerned about sparing feelings, leave it at that. You can always take the person you are planning to ask to be the Maid/Matron of Honor and tell her the situation. Hopefully she’ll be understanding
Post # 6
Just ask her to be a bridesmaid (period). If she mentions Maid/Matron of Honor, you can tell her you would prefer not to go into details. She can either accept the Bridesmaid or Best Man role or decline.
You have no control or responsibility for “how” she feels. It sounds harsh but you have to do what is best for you.
Be nice but firm.
Editing: Due to a PP, you should totally have a Maid/Matron of Honor. You should not change your wedding party to not offend someone. You don’t have to be a bitch to her but you have every right to ask whoever you want to be your MOH. I wouldn’t rub her nose in it, but she isn’t fit to be a Maid/Matron of Honor. You need a solid friend you can count on. A Maid/Matron of Honor is more about emotional support, it isn’t about the parties, etc. It is a stable and reliable person you can trust.
Post # 7
I avoided hurting anyone’s feelings by making nobody Maid/Matron of Honor. The ones who are more prone to party planning volunteered to organize my bachelorette and I’ve put them in touch with each other. My fiance didn’t know how to pick without hurting anyone’s feelings either so he is also not having a best man. We are doing a sweetheart table.
Post # 8
Yeah I had a similar issue but I made it easy by only having one Maid/Matron of Honor (my sister) and no one else (no bridesmaids) as my Fiance only has one best man too. She seemed to understand.
You could assign to some other role to her if not a bridesmaid, just to make her feel included. Usher, greeting people as they arrive, maybe say a reading through the ceremony?
Post # 9
Have you considered having two maids of honor? One the friend you discussed it with years ago with mental health problems significantly impacting her life and the other someone you can perhaps more easily count on to do all the things that for some reason MOHs are now expected to do?
Personally I don’t get the point of the distinction between Maid/Matron of Honor and bridesmaid at all. As far as I can tell, one just stands beside the bride and holds her bouquet when necessary. Anytime I’ve been involved in a wedding, the entire bridal party worked together on anything they wanted to do relating to the wedding/pre-parties. When party members are sane, they don’t care about the distinction and just continue with their lives. When they think their friendship somehow deserves the role, are narcissists, have ‘requirements’, etc suddenly it becomes some huge insult have roles distinguished. I don’t see how an almost pointless title is worth all this heartache. I’d go co-MOH or all bridesmaid – there is no logical reason it would somehow throw off the whole wedding to do so.
Post # 10
I’m so glad you understand where I’m coming from! If you don’t mind me asking, how did your friend react when you chose someone else as MOH?
Post # 11
I completely agree, I truly appreciate everyone’s responses but the idea of eliminating the Maid/Matron of Honor position or cutting my entire bridal party for the sake of one friend’s feelings just seems over the top. Thank you so much!
Post # 12
Honestly she was just SO excited to be a part of my day! Which is obviously the ideal outcome. I never framed it as a “I’m not picking you to be my MOH” but, rather just focused on asking her to be a Bridesmaid. She’s super excited, and honestly I think it worked out for the best, she is happy, and I am happy too. There’s something that’s generally contagious about wedding excitement haha. She never asked about not being Maid/Matron of Honor… but I imagine if she had, I would’ve handled it similarly to how I suggested you do if your friend asks.
Post # 13
You’re absolutely right, I’m really trying to stick to my guns and choose myself in this situation. After the other Bridesmaid or Best Man revealed that she was upset with your decision, did your friendship with her change? I don’t want to lose her as a friend but part of me just really wants to be able to enjoy my wedding planning process with as little drama as possible and that just won’t be feasible with her in close proximity 🙁
Post # 14
It’s always rude to tell someone why they are NOT being invited to do something or to receive some honor. Just ask your friend to be a bridesmaid and emphasize how much it would mean to have her by your side. It sounds as if you have been a very supportive friend under some very challenging circumstances. You have nothing to feel guilty about.
I would not eliminate Maid/Matron of Honor if there is someone you feel deserves the honor based on the closeness of the relationship. But there is nothing all that uncommon or over the top about not having one if no one really stands out or you would rather not choose. If this applies to you, also keep in mind that these things are first and foremost honors, not job responsibilities.
Post # 15
I agree with you about the general rudeness of the subject matter and I’m now noticing that perhaps I should’ve rephrased my initial question. I should’ve said “How should I tell a friend who already assumes she’s going to serve as Maid/Matron of Honor (and has since before I was engaged, it was just never relevant enough to refute before now) that this isn’t my plan” I would never say, unsolicited, that she’s not the Maid/Matron of Honor. Trust me I know that as a result her depression she’s too sensitive for that and frankly talking to someone that way just isn’t in my nnature. I just worry about how to broach the subject with her because I know she will feel like I’m “leaving her,” which isn’t the case at all!
Also should’ve mentioned that I plan on asking my first cousin to be my Maid/Matron of Honor, not because of any planning responsibilities or party type stuff, but because she’s truly the most giving, supportive woman I know outside of my mother and such a special person to me.
Man I feel like I need to edit my original post, sorry for the lack of clarity!! I really appreciate your advice!