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“Did My Friend Just Ask Me to Not Be Her Bridesmaid Anymore?”

Bridesmaids

Earlier this year a college friend I’d recently reconnected with asked me to be in her wedding party. I live in Chicago, but the wedding is in a different part of the country over Memorial Day weekend, 2015. I happily said “yes!” as long as she was okay with me possibly not making it to the rehearsal dinner. My work has a weird policy where we aren’t normally allowed to take a day off before or after a three-day weekend. My friend said she would be totally fine with me letting her know later. Then she mailed me a Pinterest-inspired welcoming package complete with a tight pink tank top with “Bridesmaid” bedazzled on it. It was offical.

I got another phone call a few days later asking me to go buy my bridesmaid dress that week, to insure we all were able to get the same one. No problem, I went out the next day and purchased my obligatory satin gown.

A week later she texted me to see if I had found anything out yet about getting the day before her wedding off. Her wedding that was over a year away. I told her that I couldn’t request permission until the 2014-15 school year actually began, but that I’d let her know as soon as I heard anything!

In July, she emailed out a very detailed itinerary for her wedding weekend coming up in a quick 11 months. This included times for hair, makeup, nail and lash extension appointments, which were optional. I nicely opted out of the appointments because I always like styling myself, but I told her that I’d love to hang out with the girls while they got styled. In this email, she again wanted to know my travel arrangements for the big weekend. I responded that I still didn’t know, but that I’d let her know as soon as I heard from my boss. I also casually reminded her that I just found out that I’m pregnant with my first child and would need to figure out newborn arrangements. What does one even do with a baby at an out-of-town wedding when you’re still breast-feeding?

I then received another note asking me about her bridal shower in March. I told her I didn’t think I’d be able to make it because of cost and because I’d still be on (unpaid) maternity leave and a little strapped for cash.

I then received ANOTHER email suggesting a bachelorette weekend in Chicago a month before the wedding. She thought it would be fun to go out in a big city, but she said she and her friends would stay in a hotel and not with us. I responded by saying how fun it would be to go out in Chicago together. I also mentioned that they’d definitely want to stay in a hotel downtown because I just bought a house outside of the city. It would be way more fun to stay closer to the action. I said I’d be more than happy to give a bunch of fun planning suggestions to her maid of honor. She never responded. Was I supposed to host and plan the weekend?

Then today I got an extremely long text and don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do now. She basically said that she had been wondering since our last set of emails if I thought that with a baby and work it would be too much to be in the bridal party. She said she’d, of course, love to have me, but that, if the stress of traveling and so forth was too much, she would totally understand if I would rather be a guest in the wedding and not a bridesmaid.

Is this a nice request to drop out of the wedding? Am I getting booted? I thought I was doing what was expected from an out-of-town bridesmaid. So what am I expected to do now? Drop out and try to sell the dress I had to purchase? I’m attending all I can and am acting VERY excited about all the pink-purple-flowerly weddingness that’s being sent my way! Is this text asking me to do more? Am I supposed to host a bachelorette weekend? I think even that, if I weren’t pregnant, I’d be doing the same amount. Even though I’ve planned my own wedding, it was a while ago and I don’t think I fully understand what’s expected of anyone involved. — Booted Bridesmaid?

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! Second of all, an out-of-town bridesmaid (not even a maid of honor!) should not be expected to plan a bachelorette weekend even if that weekend is in a city near where she lives or where she used to live. Offering to write up some fun suggestions is plenty! Thirdly: lucky fucking you! You get an easy out from being a bridesmaid if you don’t want to be one. Do you know how many women have signed on to be a bridesmaid, realized part-way through the planning how over-the-top things were getting and WISHED they could get out of being a bridesmaid without hurting their friends’ feelings or burning any bridges? YOU get to get out of this if you want to and your friend is handing you your excuses — new baby, work and travel stress, etc.!

So…knowing what you know about your friend and the way her wedding planning is going thus far, plus imagining what having a newborn baby will be like, which will be far more work and far more exhausting than you can probably even wrap your head around right now, really, really think about whether being IN the wedding is preferable to just being AT the wedding. If it is, great, go for it. Tell your friend you will happily continue being her bridesmaid (and then prepare yourself for more of those emails she’s been sending). If you think the combination of being pregnant, having a brand new baby, and dealing with a somewhat demanding bride is too much to handle, opt out now before there’s any damage to your friendship. Use the excuses she has handed to you on a platter and enjoy your pregnancy, free from the worry that you aren’t doing enough to accommodate and celebrate your friend who’s getting married 10 months from now.

And that dress she had you buy the week after she asked you to be a bridesmaid and like 16 months before her wedding? It’s probably not going to fit your postpartum body anyway. Don’t let a dress be the reason you stick with this bridesmaid role if you don’t want to. Your friend seems like the kind of bride who would find a replacement bridesmaid anyway, and maybe that person could buy your dress from you. Or, just to ensure continued positive feelings, you could simply ask your friend if she’d like to pass the dress along to another friend to wear in your place and call it a day. You’ll lose some money on it, but probably not quite as much as you might lose with whatever other extracurricular things your friend might expect of you as a bridesmaid.

P.S. If you’re breastfeeding a newborn baby, you probably won’t actually want to hang with the girls as they spend a whole morning getting their eyelashes extended and the hair blown out. You’ll want to nurse in the privacy and comfort of a cozy hotel room until you absolutely have to put on a dress and go out mingle with other wedding guests.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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{ 72 comments… add one }

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 10:33 am

Oh for fuck sake, what is it about weddings that make people’s brains go mush and lose all perspective?! This bride is a piece of work. All weddings I’ve been in, thankfully, have not had idiot brides like this one. So, as far as my wedding experiences go, no, LW, there is nothing extra you’re supposed to do. I agree with Wendy, lucky you, you have an out! But I wouldn’t take it. She wants you to take it in what, to me, seems like a passive aggressive bitchy move. If she wants you out, I say she can make that decision. So I’d do this: I’d write her back and say that you have been and still are exited to be a bridesmaid, that you’re sorry you haven’t had the work flexibility, time, or money to commit and/or participate in all of the pre-wedding events, and that if she would rather appoint a different friend for the bridesmaid position, you understand, no worries at all, and you will of course will be there for her wedding, and then tell her to let you know either way before you spend more tailoring the dress you’ve purchased. Then I’d probably call up my best friend and say “listen to how ridiculous this idiot is…” Ha.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 10:34 am

* more MONEY tailoring the dress…

avatar MissyC August 14, 2014, 10:43 am

I also thought it was a passive aggressive way to sort of “test” her friend. Like, “Fine if you don’t want to be in my wedding then don’t be in my wedding. If I’m *SOOOOOOOOOOOOO* much trouble for you to arrange your schedule and buy plane tickets and find a hotel and figure out how to nurse your baby and alter your dress and attend my bachelorette that I have so graciously decided to have in your closest city then you don’t have to do it.” Especially if it was sent via text. If she were really concerned about the added stress I think she would (could) have called you and had a discussion about it instead.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 10:52 am

I also love how the bride said “if the stress of traveling and so forth was too much” when the only one who appears stressed about the LW’s traveling (and when WHEN WHEN FOR THE LOVE GOD WHEN will she be able to confirm (before the school year has even started no less) if she can take off the Friday before the wedding) is the bride herself.

avatar MissyC August 14, 2014, 10:59 am

I really want to know what the rest of this long text message said. But yeah after being told (multiple times) that she will not be able to set vacation schedules until after the school year begins it’s a bit ridiculous for her to be pressing her about it over and over again. Ugh I TOLD YOU FIVE TIMES ALREADY YOU HAVE TO WAIT, YO! And also it’s still 9 months away. I don’t even want to *imagine* how she (the bride) will start behaving as it gets closer and closer to wedding time. Yikes.

avatar stillrunning August 14, 2014, 9:06 pm

God, do I love your use of parentheses. And your advice, of course.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 15, 2014, 10:10 am

(these ones?)

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 10:39 am

I actually think the bride was trying to be nice by giving you an out. It sounds like you were not pregnant when you said you’d be a bridesmaid and have mentioned being cash-strapped, etc. to the bride a few times, so maybe she thought you were overwhelmed.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 10:41 am

Also, sending 1 email about being a bridesmaid, 1 about the shower and 1 about the bachelorette party doesn’t seem all that extreme to me really.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 14, 2014, 10:47 am

Yes!! Honestly I don’t think that this bride is that extreme. I mean she just has her shit together. I am in a wedding next memorial day weekend too and already have had the dress picked out and was emailed the itinerary for the day of including hair/makeup appointments as well an emails about showers and bachelorette parties. I agree this bride is trying to give you an out because she probably knows you have a lot going on. If you still want to be in the wedding just say–thank you for understanding I may not be as active in all of the pre-wedding events but if you want me to be your bridesmaid regardless, I would love to stay in your wedding party. If you don’t, just say thank you for understanding how crazy my life is in this next year and going as a guest would make it a lot easier. Also for the Bachelorette party thing–I threw a Bach Party for my SIL because it was in my town-the MOH didn’t really do anything, if any of my friends were having a Bach party in/near my town I would definitely get in on planning events and hosting to a degree–but maybe that is just me. Not saying you have to but you made it sound like “you all will have fun staying dt-etc.” but maybe it rubbed her the wrong way because it wasn’t like a “we” vibe. As in we should get a hotel room and do all these fun things I will look in to it and send out some possible ideas and coordinate for the MOH.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 10:51 am

Yea, I mean, I’m just thinking that if I were the bride and my friend had all this shit going on in her life, I wouldn’t want her to feel like she had to deal with my shit too. I don’t want people to be inconvenienced because of me.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 14, 2014, 10:57 am

Same, if I were the bride in this situation and thought my friend just had so much going on, I wouldn’t want her to be inconvenienced for my wedding either. So in a way I think she is being nice, but I can see how the LW also is like “am I being kicked out?” because she as a friend probably doesn’t actually feel super inconvenienced and wants to be in the wedding you know.

Lianne Lianne August 14, 2014, 11:27 am

Why is the bride sending any emails at all about the shower OR the bachelorette? Shouldn’t the MOH be doing that? I am getting married in December and the amount of input I’ve had on either of those two events has been the guest lists. That’s it. I don’t know what we’re doing or anything – just the date so I don’t make other plans.
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Also, if this bride is concerned about her friend, pick up the fucking phone. What’s with all the emails and texts?!

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 14, 2014, 11:30 am

My friends and I pretty much communicate solely through email and text–it is just easier and we don’t often have time for phone calls. Important things yes-my best friend just got engaged last weekend and called with the news, and we do talk occasionally but all of the wedding planning we have been doing is through email or group text. A lot easier to coordinated with 7+ people. Also IDK why the bride has that input, maybe she is just more of a type A bride–I know for the shower/bach party it has been a coordinated effort among the Bridesmaids and we will just go to the bride for final approval of minor things and guest lists.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 11:33 am

Yea, another person here who usually just texts. People are busy. Idk, just easier.
Most weddings I’ve been in, the bride was involved in planning the shower and bach. party to a degree.
Anyway, as a planner myself, I really see nothing wrong with getting plans in place and emailing everyone saying the dates are X, etc. How else would you do it? Call each and every one every time a new thing has been dealt with?
I agree with BGM here, seems LW is going out of her way to be offended by pretty normal, not bridezilla behavior.

Lianne Lianne August 14, 2014, 11:41 am

I was talking about the, “are you sure you want to be in my wedding?” text. That warrants a phone call.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 11:48 am

Actually, if I were offering something sorta awkward like that, I think I would text it. Then the person doesn’t feel so “on the spot” having to come up with a reply right away.

Lianne Lianne August 14, 2014, 11:58 am

Seriously? I feel like the phone call would show more compassion.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 12:01 pm

Yea, seriously, lol. I prefer not putting people on the spot.

avatar Portia August 14, 2014, 2:37 pm

I can get a little flustered over the phone, so I’m a texter, too. Although for this situation, I would probably call because there’s been so much ambiguity in their interactions so far and it really sounds like texting/email has been contributing to that…

avatar Breezy AM August 14, 2014, 6:31 pm

I would like to say I, and my teen daughter just discussed this, and we would both prefer to know this kind of stuff by text so we can get our shit together and not sit there all weird and awkward on the phone. We prefer being texted.

Dear Wendy Dear Wendy August 14, 2014, 6:40 pm

I would prefer a text to a phone call in this situation, but I think an email would be my top choice.

waterbug waterbug August 14, 2014, 9:00 pm

I feel the same way. I try to text or email stuff that someone may need to think about before answering. And I rather when people do the same to me. It just comes down to knowing your audience I guess.

bagge72 bagge72 August 14, 2014, 11:09 am

Yeah I agree with you here, and I actually feel like what she said is advice that would have been given here if the bride wrote in, instead of the bridesmaid.

avatar Lily in NYC August 14, 2014, 1:40 pm

That’s how I read it as well, that maybe she was just being a thoughtful friend. She doesn’t seem very bridezilla-ish to me. And this is coming from someone who does not enjoy weddings and has only agreed to be in two weddings ever. I’ve turned down mulitple requests to be a bridesmaid (I was gentle about it, no hard feelings from anyone – no one wants a grumpy bridesmaid).

becboo84 becboo84 August 14, 2014, 10:40 am

LW, I don’t necessarily think your friend was giving you the boot. I think she might have legitimately been trying to give you an easy out if you thought it was going to be too much. She does sound demanding, but my wedding was incredibly low key, as were the weddings of my close friends, so maybe her behavior is sort of normalish.

Kate B. Kate B. August 14, 2014, 10:41 am

The universe is smiling upon you. Take the out.

avatar Ani Nani August 14, 2014, 11:00 am

I am a bridesmaid for a dear friend whose wedding is about 6 weeks after my due date. She has been great. I felt so bad telling her that I was pregnant, but she was just as excited as I was. This is my first child, so I don’t really know how it will go, but I am trying to be flexible. I want her to have the best wedding possible. If she expressed concerns about me continuing to be a bridesmaid, I would be hurt but I would back out. I have tried to be as upfront as possible with her about the issues I will be dealing with during her wedding and related events (pumping, childcare, etc). If you have done the same, perhaps your friend is just concerned that actually being in the wedding will be too stressful with a newborn. Wendy is right: before you reach out to her, really take the time to think about the pros and cons of being a bridesmaid. Then give your friend a call and have an open and honest conversation about her concerns and yours.

avatar Essie August 14, 2014, 11:02 am

Lash extension appointments? WTF?

Yes, I think you’ve been dropped. And aren’t you a lucky girl. :) I’d be dancing and running out to buy a bottle of wine to celebrate with.

She dropped you because she’s developed the dreaded OCD variant of Bridezilla-ism. And since you have a life, and worse yet, one that doesn’t revolve around her wedding, you’re just not being a team player.

Yikes.

avatar ktfran August 14, 2014, 11:09 am

If my sis told me I needed lash extensions in October for her wedding, I would laugh in her face.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 11:26 am

She did say it was optional. Not that that makes lash extensions any less crazy :)

avatar ktfran August 14, 2014, 1:16 pm

Is it bad that I’m annoyed with my sister for requiring us to buy matching shoes? Actually, that’s the only thing she has asked that I dislike. I guess I could live with that.

Red_Lady Red_Lady August 14, 2014, 2:05 pm

Haha, I’ve been annoyed when a bride didn’t tell me what shoes to buy. No color suggestions or anything. Another bride said “red flats” which was cool, I had some freedom, but also some direction, but the bride that said nothing, I just had no idea where to start. All other weddings I’ve been in had specific shoes.

bagge72 bagge72 August 14, 2014, 11:29 am

I don’t get it, she doesn’t seem like this at all. Yeah she asked too many times about if she could get the time off, but maybe she is just excited, or planned her rehearsal dinner way to early. The rest of the request are all normal, and petty thoughtful to have everything planned out so people aren’t running around wonder what’s going on, and it as nice of the bride to have the bachelorette party so it was close to the LW so she wouldn’t miss out on some of the fun things, and save some money on travel, while spending more money on travel herself. Then she went and made all of the special treatment the day of the wedding optional to save people money when some brides demand that they get it done by the same person so it all matches.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 11:35 am

Right? Seems like the most normal, sane bride ever discussed on DW! Haha.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 11:38 am

All of that is actually fine. (I mean, I personally think the bride is going a bit nuts with all the pre-wedding events, but that’s just because I think all the traditional pre-wedding events and the hype/seriousness with which brides plan or expect them – are silly; but they are definitely “normal” pre-wedding events.) But the thing that I don’t like is that she is asking the LW to step down as bridesmaid simply because she’s not going nuts with her over all this stuff. I don’t buy for one second that the bride is just concerned about the bridesmaid/LW. The bridesmaid/LW is not stressed about anything – as far as we can tell and as far as she has communicated with the bride. All she did was nicely decline the optional events and then have pretty damn good reasons for not being able to commit to other events. Otherwise, she’d just say “ok no problem!” and move on. Instead she sends a passive aggressive text pretending to be so concerned about the LW. That’s bullshit and that’s the issue I have. But then if you want to also make fun of the bride’s intense planning, that’s cool too, ha.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 11:50 am

Would you not be concerned about your friend feeling overwhelmed? Let’s remember these 2 are actually friends, not enemies. You know?

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 12:01 pm

Would I be concerned about a friend feeling overwhelmed? Absolutely. What does that have to do with anything? I’m just saying here that doesn’t seem to be what’s motivating the bride.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 12:03 pm

So then why would you assume this friend isn’t concerned about her overwhelmed friend?
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Its strange to me why people are jumping to this bride all of a sudden doesn’t care about her friend. If I thought my friend was overwhelmed, I’d tell her not to worry about being in the wedding if its too much. Seems like a completely normal thing to do as a friend.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 12:09 pm

Here the reason I assume the “concern” is bologna is because she’s asked the LW many times about the Friday before and the timing of the text – right after the LW said she can’t attend a prewedding event – and that it wasn’t an inquiry into who she is it was just a conclusion that she wants out of the wedding. If I were concerned, I’d probably ask if she was OK to attend the wedding at the time I found out come wedding there will be a newborn – not only after LW said she can’t make the bridal shower. And if I were truly concerned, I’d go out of my way to let her know she doesn’t need to worry about the prewedding stuff – but she didn’t do that either. … For those reasons, I don’t think the concern is genuine.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 12:15 pm

* meant to say HOW now WHY – the bride didn’t ask how she is. Again, this is my sense about the bride’s motives from the info we’ve been given.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 14, 2014, 11:52 am

IDK though I am so over courteous and feel like anyone going out of their way for me is the worst thing ever, so if I got any vibes from a good friend: strapped for cash, opting out of events, etc. I would be over obsequious in letting them know it was okay if they weren’t up to it–esp since it seems this LW is at a different place in her life right now (about to have a kid) vs the bride who is just getting married.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 12:05 pm

right, let them know it’s okay if they weren’t up for it! but “it” I would assume is spending money and time attending all these prewedding events. but it seems like “it” to the bride then is being a bridesmaid, as if being a bridesmaid is necessarily linked with attending all these prewedding events. Though, some think “bridesmaid” = you have to attend all the prewedding events and to others, like me, “bridesmaid” means you stand up in the wedding – if you can’t make the wedding, then you can’t be a bridesmaid. but if you can’t make the party in chicago or fly to a bridal shower? no biggie. maybe all brides and bridesmaids should sit down and go over what assumptions they’ll have about each other and what conduct will piss each other off and then decide if they should be bridesmaids. ha.

avatar ktfran August 14, 2014, 11:19 am

It’s funny, when I was younger, I wanted to be a bridesmaid in weddings. Now, I’m like, meh. Of course, I’m happy to be my sister’s bridesmaid. And I would have no problem if it were a super close friend (who is low key about it). But big affairs where the bride expects you to do what this bride is asking, no thank you.
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Anyway, LW, I really like Wendy’s advice and if I were you, I would take the out. Regardless of her intentions of sending that text, and I have no way of knowing if they were malicious or kind, send a kind text, or e-mail, or *gasp* call, and bow out. I think you’ll be much happier if you do.

othy othy August 14, 2014, 11:51 am

I hear you on the not wanting to be a bridesmaid. There was one summer where I was a bridesmaid in 3 weddings, and it was exhausting and expensive. (That same summer, I had 3 weddings to go to three weekends in a row!). I am so excited nowadays when I have friends who decide not to have them at all, or just want me as a guest.

avatar Portia August 14, 2014, 1:17 pm

Haha, I feel the same! I used to think it was like the ultimate expression of your relationship (I think at a point people would say it to me like as a way to be like, I consider us such good friends that…), but now I’m kind relieved that I’m only a guest at these things, regardless of how low-key the bride is. I was almost a bridesmaid once, but my friend ended up not having any attendants.

avatar ktfran August 14, 2014, 2:17 pm

Oh my gosh, so, so true. I use to think it meant “I value you more than all my other friends, so please be in my wedding.” Now, I’m like whatever. I was the maid of honor in a friends wedding about, gosh, 10 years ago. We were 23 or 24. We don’t talk much anymore. Maybe once a year.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 2:30 pm

So many people still think that way. Its sad. A friend was just telling me how sad she was that she misinterpreted her friendship being close after she wasn’t asked to be a bridesmaid.

avatar ktfran August 14, 2014, 4:53 pm

Oh, that’s sad. Not that she wasn’t asked, but that she took it that way.
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Honestly, if I ever get married and want a bridal party, it’s now immediate family only. And possibly my bff, she’s like a sister.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 4:54 pm

And me, right?

avatar ktfran August 15, 2014, 9:25 am

Duh.

bittergaymark bittergaymark August 14, 2014, 11:21 am

Look, you obviously don’t WANT to be in this wedding. And are seemingly going out of your way to be annoyed by each and every thing the bride to be does. I know it’s exhausting to read — what? Four emails. Hell, you don’t even want to participate in the fun and easy things such as getting your hair and lashes done as you are above it all because you are so fabulous with make up? Talk about the unenthusiastic bridesmaid…
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Some here are suggesting that the bride is being passive aggressive — but if so, then it is in response to the LW. And I quote: “I also casually reminded her that I just found out that I’m pregnant with my first child and would need to figure out newborn arrangements. What does one even do with a baby at an out-of-town wedding when you’re still breast-feeding?”
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To me this implies RATHER loudly that you want an out. And how.

Now your friend has rather graciously given you one. I say, take it. But go to the wedding. Have fun. Follow Wendy’s advice regarding the dress and then please stop looking for more ways to be offended.

avatar MissyC August 14, 2014, 11:36 am

I agree. The only reason I am saying the bride is being passive-aggressive is because she gave her the option to not be in the wedding any more via text message instead of calling to have a discussion about it and hear what her friend (the bridesmaid) had to say about it.

bittergaymark bittergaymark August 14, 2014, 11:46 am

Honestly? The LW seems to be irritated over even having to read a few emails, so I can’t imagine how much taking the time for an actual phone call/conversation would put her out. ;)

avatar MissyC August 14, 2014, 11:52 am

I mean I agree, it’s not that many emails. But maybe the bride is sending more than the ones she listed. Or who knows what else.
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But really are you saying that if you were really concerned about a friend that you would select to send a text message? It seems so… impersonal. I guess maybe that’s just me.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 11:54 am

I think the LW is irritated b/c the bride keeps harping about the Friday before the wedding after she told her a ton of times she would not know until later – even told her up front so she (the bride) could have said then if that’s a problem.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 14, 2014, 11:58 am

Oh come on, you and I would both think the bride is going nuts. If she hadn’t texted the LW asking if she wants out, I’d say the bride and LW just have different styles but no one is intruding on each other…. All the bride has done was plan plan plan and all the LW has done was nicely say she can’t attend … But with that text, I think the bride is the one out of line. You really think the bride is so worried about the stress the wedding is causing LW?!

avatar jlyfsh August 14, 2014, 11:23 am

It sounds like you guys have very different ideas about what is expected of bridesmaids. And I think she’s been nicely saying since the beginning that she wants you at the rehearsal dinner. I would back out and go as a guest. Like someone else mentioned I would call and let her know that you’d still love to be in the wedding (if that’s true), but that you’re fairly certain you won’t get that day off (unless you’ve talked to someone at that point and had it approved) and that maybe you should not be in the wedding itself. If she was a more laid back bride I’d say to just go with it, but it’s apparent you two have very different styles. Even if everything worked out with the days off, etc. I’m guessing that your loss of flexibility on the wedding day would come in to play and cause friction as well. I do not think you should be responsible for setting up the party in Chicago either. And I personally think you’re doing enough but it sounds like the bride isn’t happy. Call her, sell the dress, and enjoy the much less stressful nature of just being a guest.

avatar tlee8 August 14, 2014, 11:28 am

I don’t see anything wrong with what the bride did. Sounds like she is planning her wedding in good time and is preparing herself for people to drop out. I think she was nice for letting the bridesmaid know she wouldn’t be upset if being a bridesmaid was too much, being pregnant and all. It seems to me that the bridesmaid that is pregnant is going to be more of a hassle than help. Unless you planned your own wedding, i don’t think you have room to criticize , its very stressful and once you see someone might not be up to the challenge its best to give them an out.

findingtheearth findingtheearth August 14, 2014, 11:42 am

There is always the flip side, dear LW. I am in my dad’s wedding on Saturday, and I still don’t know if I need to be doing something special with my hair, what shoes I should wear, if I need to help with set up or not, etc. We just got our dresses like 2 weeks ago because his fiance kept changing her mind about the color. Allegedly she has picked out a different wedding dress too. The only reason I know we are having any sort of rehearsal (which is tonight) is because I texted her last night to see if I needed to be doing anything for the next few nights.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 14, 2014, 12:08 pm

yeah I was just in a really disorganized wedding and it was terrible. I think brides can definitely go overboard but a lot of times the not-planning and over laid-backness causing tons more stress for people involved in the wedding.

avatar MissyC August 14, 2014, 12:38 pm

I agree!! I was in a wedding and didn’t know until the night before the times I was supposed to be there for hair and makeup (beginning at 9am and ending when the wedding started at 6pm) so that was definitely stressful as I was traveling for the wedding and didn’t get details until after I arrived.

TaraMonster TaraMonster August 14, 2014, 11:52 am

I would have been looking for an out the moment I received that bedazzled pink tank top in the mail. Thanks the gods for this out, LW! Though I actually don’t think this bride sounds that bad. She’s just very ahead of schedule. I’ve just been in so many weddings that I dread ever being a bridesmaid again.
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Story time! I love this story because I’m sure my best friend would kick me if she knew I was telling it. :D
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Two years ago we were both in our mutual friend’s wedding. My best friend was MOH and had newborn twins. Somewhere between the first few dances we made our way to the bathroom so I could help her get in and out of the complicated bridesmaid dress so she could pump. It was one of those big, private bathrooms with a huge mirror. So she’s all strapped into the pump machine and she’s making all these ahhhh noises as it starts going, and then she looks at me in the mirror and says, “TaraMonster, I believe we have reached a new level in our friendship.” Yes indeed! And I just have to say, I was so damn impressed with her MOH skills whilst shuttling back and forth to check on her babies. She is a badass.

avatar Miss Lady August 14, 2014, 12:17 pm

I’m giving the bride the benefit of the doubt here. After all, she is a friend, and a friend who feels close enough to the LW to ask her to be in her wedding.
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LW does have a lot going on. The bride might be thinking LW is the one hinting she wants to drop out of the wedding, or she may just realize that being a bridesmaid could be an additional burden on the LW.
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Since she texted the LW, she has given LW some space to consider whether or not she does want to be a bridesmaid. I also think this is better than a phone call. A phone call could seem more compassionate, or it could seem more confrontational and demanding of an answer.
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I think the LW should treat this like a sincere question from a friend, marinate on the choices, and graciously thank the bride for the option no matter which she chooses.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 12:23 pm

wMLs!

bittergaymark bittergaymark August 14, 2014, 12:24 pm

YES! With a phone call you are basically asking for an IMMEDIATE answer.

mandalee mandalee August 14, 2014, 12:22 pm

Do people really think that harassing bridesmaids about events that over a year away a normal thing? Eyelash extensions? Already planning her own bachelorette and bridal shower for next year? No and no. This is all crazy. LW, I’d be very happy to be out of this wedding, so take this as your out. What is it about weddings that everyone gives a pass to being crazy? I had a bunch of bridesmaids/groomsmen miss the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Who cares? Couldn’t make it to the bachelorette party or shower? Great, who cares.
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Even my friend who went a bit off the deep end last year regarding her wedding, was understanding when one of the other bridesmaid had a baby and couldn’t make the bachelorette or shower and came for the minimum amount of time she could the wedding weekend and spent a lot of time in the bridal party suite pumping milk. Everyone’s world/schedule/life events does not need to revolve around one person’s wedding during the entirety of an engagement. To me, having my friends stand along side me the day of, meant much, much more to me than attending all the other silly events leading up to it.

Amanda Amanda August 14, 2014, 12:54 pm

The bride does sound a little intense. BUT I also don’t think she’s done anything egregiously wrong. You said you just recently reconnected, so I’m assuming you two aren’t super close. What I’m getting is that she is offering you an out. And, I think she’s doing this because it kind of comes across that you’re not interested.
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Look at it this way: you backed out of getting together for the styling. You just said you’d give suggestions for the Chicago weekend. You also said you wouldn’t be able to make the bridal shower. I am NOT saying you don’t have valid reasons (you very much do – being cash strapped and having a newborn and all). However, to her, this is the most important day of her life and it probably feels like you aren’t making an effort. EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE. But the more you mention why you can’t attend functions, I’m guessing she feels like you’re saying it’s too much.
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So, graciously take the out. Go to the wedding and enjoy yourself! Support your friend and forget all the (unnecessary) stress of being bridesmaid!

avatar SasLinna August 14, 2014, 1:22 pm

I don’t think either one of you has done anything wrong here. The bride may or may not have read a desire to back out into your actions, and she may or may not want you to back out. Regardless, it sounds like you have different expectations and that’s a good enough reason to back out now that she’s suggested it. It will help to prevent further tension if you can’t attend some of her events, and the fact that you’re having a baby soon before the wedding is a really good reason to just go as a guest.

avatar Lucy August 14, 2014, 2:48 pm

So, if I can count, that’s four emails. I have a hard time seeing this bride as anything but organized. Maybe slightly pushy about the day off, but not OTT. And she’s being nice by offering you an out if you want it. Stop reading the worst possible interpretation into everything. If you expect bad behaviour, you’ll see it everywhere.

avatar lets_be_honest August 14, 2014, 2:58 pm

I love that last line of your’s!!

avatar Laura Hope August 14, 2014, 4:05 pm

I couldn’t even attend my friend’s wedding which was 2 weeks after I gave birth. I hadn’t slept since he was born, was nursing around the clock and the idea of having to shower and dress up was way too much to handle–never mind drive to the hotel and socialize like a human. I think any woman who can clean up, dress up and party with a newborn at home is incredible!

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