how to tell your friend she isn't a bridesmaid


You know when you have a best friend but then you realize that they’re YOUR best friend but you’re not THEIR best friend?  That happened to me a few years ago.  This wasn’t just any friend. To me, she was a she-would-be-a-bridesmaid-in-my-wedding kind of friend.  After hearing the news of her engagement, I was eagerly awaiting my bridesmaid’s duties.  Days turned into weeks and I still hadn’t heard anything.  After a few months and no phone call, I realized that the bride hadn’t lost my number…translation: I wasn’t a bridesmaid. 

The wedding was a whole new kind of uncomfortable.  Throughout the ceremony, friends of the bride would get up to read a poem, sing a prayer, and say something sweet about the couple.  I’m telling you, knives through the heart.  The real kicker was when I overheard someone say, “I’m so happy I was able to find a yellow dress!  When the bride called and told me that special people were going to be wearing yellow…”  My ears couldn’t take in anything else.  My heart was already broken.   

It seems obvious, right?  “If I don’t ask her to be a bridesmaid then she isn’t going to be one.”  You know your relationships with your girlfriends so you know who is expecting to be in your wedding.  There are numerous reasons for not having someone be a bridesmaid.  You might want to only have your sisters, if you have a lot of them.  You may have other closer friends who you would rather be in the wedding than her.  She might just be annoying and you don’t want to deal with her closely for the next year.  Any of these reasons are completely understandable.  Yes, it is your day but the next day isn’t your day.  I repeat: the next day isn’t your day.

Most brides’ favorite saying is, “But it’s MY day!”  Yes it is, girl, but I’ll tell you one thing, that way of thinking can become very reckless.  If this friendship means anything to you, you’ll go ahead and approach this situation head on. 

First, I suggest finding a way to incorporate her into your big day so that she knows that she is still important to you.  Reading a poem during the ceremony is an excellent way to involve your girlfriend.  Another idea that I took from my previous non-bridesmaid experience was to ask her to wear a dress that matches the colors of your wedding.  I swear, if my friend had asked me to wear a yellow dress, it would have made the sting of not being in her wedding less painful. 

Second, after you’ve decided on what role you would like for her to play during your wedding, I suggest inviting your girlfriend out for coffee and explain to her that she isn’t going to be a bridesmaid but you would like her to do A,B,C or D.  Nine times out of ten, she’ll be happy and relieved that she wasn’t completely left out.

I know this seems like a lot of work but try it.  At least you’ll be able to say that you thought of her and incorporated her.  Once again, your wedding day is YOUR day but the next day isn’t.  I promise, you’ll thank me later.


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