Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Got Fired From Being a Bridesmaid!”

One of my friends is getting married soon, and she asked me and my roommate to be bridesmaids over a year ago along with two of our other friends. Two months before the wedding she still hadn’t told us what she wanted us to wear to the wedding. At her bridal shower, we asked, and she said to wear whatever we wanted. Ok, cool. But the other day my roommate and I went out to eat with one of our mutual guy friends. We were catching up when he mentioned that the two other bridesmaids and the maid of honor were wearing matching dresses. That really confused us. So we contacted the bride and asked her if we were supposed to get the same dress as the others and why didn’t she tell us. Apparently, we were no longer bridesmaids.

My roommate cried all day when she heard that. I confronted the bride and told her how much she hurt us by not even telling us until we asked her. According to her, we haven’t made any effort to be in her life and the people who have are the ones who get to be in the wedding party. It’s true that we don’t get to spend a lot of time together, but I work a job that’s twelve+ hours a day, six days a week. My roommate works two jobs with one day off a week. On that one day off — usually Sunday — we have a ton of chores and errands to do: cleaning the house and doing laundry, grocery shopping, etc. The bride lives two hours away. Whenever we find out that she’s in our town, we make an effort to hang out. However, there are many times when we never know she’s in town because she doesn’t tell us. She is accusing us of making excuses.

The other two bridesmaids are choosing her side over ours, and we have been friends with them since kindergarten while we’ve been friends with the bride since high school. It hurts so much that our friendships are being ruined because of a wedding. I don’t know what to do now. — Demoted Bridesmaid

It wasn’t really a wedding that ruined your friendships — it was: a) life getting busy and not any of you prioritizing the friendships as much as necessary to stay close; b) the bride being a bitch; c) not checking in with the bride for, like, over ten months about wedding planning details (see A); being under the false impression that being in a wedding is fun or cool and that getting “demoted” is something to be upset about. Seriously, your bitchy bride friend kind of did you a favor. Now, not only do you not have to spend upwards of $100-$200 (the average bridesmaid spends over $1600 for the honor)”>or even more!) on a stupid dress you’ll never wear again, you really don’t even have to go to the wedding and take time off work and spend money on travel, lodging, and a wedding gift for someone you probably aren’t going to be talking to in a few months’ time.

I mean, think about it: If you guys barely have anything to do with each other now, while you’re all young and likely child-free, imagine how little you’d actually have to do with each other when you’ve got in-laws you have to make time for, and kids you might be raising, and new friends from all these jobs you’ve been holding down whom you might want to connect with as you all move on to bigger and better jobs. Life gets really busy the older you get and, if you want to have truly quality friendships that you show up for (because it isn’t a quality friendship if you aren’t showing up), you have to keep the quantity of friendships to a manageable level. It sounds like you were having a hard time managing the friendship with the bitchy bride and that she wasn’t doing her part to meet you halfway. The friendship was going to fade out soon anyway. The way it’s gone down is painful, and potentially embarrassing, but the silver lining is that you saved the money, time, and trouble of being in her wedding party and posing for photos you’d probably only see on Facebook — the graveyard of high school friendships that no longer exist in real life. Consider yourself lucky, and if you’re feeling charitable, send a nice card.

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

24 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Ashley September 21, 2017, 8:10 am

    I bet if you really thought about it, this isn’t your first sign that your ex friend is a bitch. You point blank asked her what to wear, and she evaded your question, in the laziest and most spineless way possible. I wouldn’t worry about doing anything more for this wedding.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl September 21, 2017, 8:17 am

    LW – I am not sure what outcome you want to happen. If she magically changes her mind and wants you and your roommate to be in the wedding party, would you actually want to stand up with her? The truth is, that while you are making excuses regarding your busy schedule, the bride is out of line. She has had ample time to let you and your roommate know that plans changed. Was she planning on letting you know at the wedding itself? She sounds immature and passive aggressive. Just let it die down, there is nothing you can do to change her mind (as if you would want to), and it is possible that your other two friends will eventually come around. I would take the high road in this case.

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  • avatar

    bekahtravels September 21, 2017, 8:24 am

    This sounds like a wedding for people in their early twenties…. Look friendships change in your twenties. Value the friends that stick by you through the busy times of life.

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  • avatar

    Leslie Joan September 21, 2017, 8:51 am

    Look, I’m not sure what bride in her right mind would reasonably expect that friends who live TWO HOURS away and also work insanely busy jobs leaving only one day free per week would make great bridal attendants, able to hang and travel and chit-chat and celebrate the way she wanted. Obviously this one didn’t. Realistically, you shouldn’t have accepted any such role to begin with knowing that you don’t have the time. Yes, the bride was a little shit for not telling you. But it really isn’t being “demoted;” it’s a gift of just being able to attend with minimal fuss and expense. And you don’t help yourself by getting friends to “take sides.” It’s not a matter of how long anyone has known you; it’s about sharing the same expectations (you don’t) and about communicating openly (neither of you do).

    I don’t think it is an “excuse” that you work the schedule you do. Wendy was unnecessarily harsh. Not everyone needs to have a retinue of friends to hang with routinely, and they can still have meaningful friendships. But not everyone is able to carry that off, and your bride is clearly one who can’t.

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  • avatar

    Ale September 21, 2017, 9:10 am

    Like being in a wedding party is a gift from heaven or something… And bride acting like getting married is some kind of huge accomplishment and her friends need to be “celebrating” her and only some “get to”.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom September 21, 2017, 9:13 am

      I don’t expect the marriage to last when the bride is so entitled. She’ll soon decide that her husband doesn’t value her enough. Of course, he will have to read minds to figure that out because the bride doesn’t use words very well.

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      • avatar

        wobster109 September 21, 2017, 2:30 pm

        I’m actually sympathetic to the bride here. She sounds bad at communicating, but not exactly bitchy. I’m guessing she felt awkward about saying it outright, so she avoided it as long as possible. More “I don’t want to upset this person” than “I’m entitled to her time”. Yes, that’s bad, but also kind of relatable. In all these months, she didn’t ask LW for time or money, and she didn’t demand LW to plan or attend events. Instead she hinted by saying “wear whatever”. Not exactly bitchy or entitled, just. . . conversation avoidant.

        Then LW calls her up about how hurt she is, and the bride is now on the defensive, and she tries to justify her decision. I’d be annoyed too if someone I hadn’t talked to in a year called me and accused me of hurting her, and wanted me to “fix” it by putting her in my wedding party.

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    • Cleopatra Jones

      Cleopatra Jones September 21, 2017, 9:18 am

      Right. I can only imagine that this level of bitchiness from the bride has been an ongoing problem that everyone has willing to overlooked. LW, she did both of y’all a HUGE favor.

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      • Cleopatra Jones

        Cleopatra Jones September 21, 2017, 9:19 am

        jeez, too early in the morning. 🙁

        *that everyone has been willing to overlook.*

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  • avatar

    csp September 21, 2017, 9:12 am

    LW – I understand your excuses and they are valid. Life gets busy. But think of the people you do find the time to communicate with frequently. You find time for them. I think you need to take this time to look at how to prioritize the relationships that matter. Look at this as a learning experience. It gets harder. I have close friends that live far away. We make it a priority to see each other once a quarter. So every three months, we might meet half way after work but we make it work. It seems like you should be able to do this with a close friend. You can text on lunch or set up phone catch ups on your commute home.

    I want you to think about how many hours a week you watch tv and sit on social media. If you were talking regularly, i think this would have gone better. Some friendships fade but if you really care about them, you should fight for them.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie September 21, 2017, 9:31 am

    Oh my god – it’s a bullet dodged. The bride is awful. People have lives, they don’t have time to spend every waking hour thinking about someone else’s wedding. You know who has time for that? Wedding planners.

    It doesn’t sound like she’s made a lot of effort either and she’s probably using her wedding as an excuse to hide behind. But if she wanted to hang out – she would have given you a heads up when she was in town.

    You don’t have to let this ruin your friendships. You and your roommate can be the bigger people here and simply say “We get it. Hopefully in the future, if you’re feeling disconnected from us, you let us know.” And as for your kindergarten friends, well, let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them and the bride and that you’re happy for everyone involved. Fake it if you have to.

    It does sound like your friendships are changing though. It happens but both sides have to tacitly agree on the new model. I have a friend from elementary school, we don’t talk often but I know she’s there for me if I need her. She knows the same.

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  • avatar

    Jane September 21, 2017, 10:24 am

    LW, I know it sucks to lose someone you saw as a friend. Yes, people get busy and drift apart, but with real friends it wouldn’t matter.

    Case in point: I only have a couple of high school friends with whom I keep in contact, and I was recently one of those friends’ bridesmaids. I’ve probably only met up with her fewer than ten times since we graduated high school over a decade ago, but the friendship remains the same. It sounds like you may have a friend like that in your fellow rejected bridesmaid, so don’t worry about the rest. More friends will enter your life with better matched life goals.

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    • avatar

      Jane September 21, 2017, 10:25 am

      *friend’s

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  • avatar

    Brise September 21, 2017, 11:08 am

    It is not clear for me wether you are still a regular guest or not welcome anymore at the wedding. If you are still a guest, but not a bridesmaid, that isn’t grave in my opinion. She didn’t dare to tell you and is know accusing you to be too aloof out of guilt, which is bad but not horrible. You are probably not close enough to be bridesmaid. But if you are not at all invited at the wedding, then this is unfair. Anyway, you shouldn’t say much to her and the best is to make no fuss about it. I believe that when confronted with unfair treatment in your personal life, the best is to express shortly your disagreement but also to remain graceful and it is finally the best outcome. You save your dignity and somehow you shame the other! There will be other weddings for you to enjoy in the future.

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  • avatar

    Janelle September 21, 2017, 11:08 am

    I will never understand why people get so emotionally invested in being in or attending weddings. I really could care less frankly. Like Wendy said, she saved you a bunch of money.

    I also agree that it is very very odd that you go 10 months without questioning plans for the wedding when you are to be in it. I mean, what the???? If you were to wear dresses there is a good chance they couldn’t even be ordered and altered in two months time. You dropped the ball on this one too.

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    • avatar

      Loo September 21, 2017, 12:27 pm

      Honest question: is it a bridesmaid’s responsibility to request the details for ordering the dress? I’ve only been a bridesmaid twice, and in both cases the bride clearly communicated with everyone via email about where to go what her stipulations were on color/style. When I was reading this it sounded more to me like 10 months without details on dresses was a lack of planning from the bride rather than the LW dropping the ball, but I fully acknowledge that I have limited experience.

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      • avatar

        csp September 21, 2017, 2:26 pm

        It isn’t the bridesmaid’s duty but I think over 10 months you would check in with the bride and the way this girl defends how busy she is, I think she barely communicated in all this time. I mean, were they part of shower plans, bachelorette party? They didn’t seem to notice not being involved in any of it.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros September 21, 2017, 5:01 pm

      I also wondered why she wasn’t more suspicious that there were no dress details 2 months before the wedding. But it’s not the responsibility of the bridesmaid to harangue the bride into choosing outfits. And it’s not like the bride would have suddenly allowed her to be a bridesmaid if she had just asked about the dress sooner.

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    • avatar

      Janelle September 21, 2017, 7:37 pm

      I don’t think it’s her responsibility but it would make sense to inquire at some point before it is last minute and for dress orders 60 days can be pretty last minute. I would just think one would inquire at some point in that 10 months about how it is going or what events there might be. The bride should have reached out but for sure weird to not at least ask.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 September 21, 2017, 2:19 pm

    Sure, the bride could have told you up front that you and roommate aren’t bridesmaids anymore. She could have been sympathetic to your busy lives. But be honest here. If she had told you outright, would you have been cool and happy with it? Or would you still have been hurt?

    You’re invited guests, and you haven’t lost money on buying a bridesmaid dress. How about telling her, “That makes a lot of sense. We live far away and are really busy, so it makes sense that we can’t commit the time to being fully involved bridesmaids. We are very happy for you all the same. We’re excited to see you at your wedding as guests.”

    No one should call up the bride or groom to complain about not being in the wedding party.

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  • avatar

    Leslie Joan September 21, 2017, 4:32 pm

    I don’t think the LW was complaining about not being in the wedding party. She was calling because she was hurt about being told she WAS in the wedding party, and then being left to meet some secret test that she didn’t know was being administered and didn’t know she’d failed, without being informed in any way. What the bride did was nasty and passive. It’s not like the LW begged to be a bridesmaid. If the bride can manage to tell her she’s a bridesmaid at the beginning, she can also manage to tell her she’s no longer a bridesmaid. I’ve never seen it where a bridesmaid had to chase after a bride to get basic information; where it’s easy to do a group email and MUCH easier than playing shitty little manipulative games.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros September 21, 2017, 5:00 pm

    It was definitely rude for the bride to do that. In terms of what to do going forward, I’d say nothing. She did a super rude and hurtful thing. I’d say to assume that friendship is over. Her response sounds like she’s done. (I have to wonder, though, you mention her coming to your town — do you ever go visit her?) As for the other friends, this doesn’t really have to be a “side” thing. If you drop this, then you can potentially salvage the other friendships because they won’t have to choose a side. Unless you feel this is a deal breaker for you, in which case, you can choose not to retain those friendships.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom September 22, 2017, 6:49 am

    Don’t try to get the other bridesmaids to take sides because that puts them in a no win situation.

    It was so convenient for the bride to make sure you were invited to the bridal shower. She managed to get a gift from both of you but couldn’t be bothered to let you know when she would be in town at other times so that you could get together. When someone reaches the point of not wanting to see you when they are back in town you know the friendship is over. Skip the wedding and find something else much more enjoyable to do for the day. This friendship is done and over. No need to pretend it isn’t.

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  • avatar

    Morecoffeeplease September 22, 2017, 9:17 am

    I’m sorry. Your friend is an a**hole. She’s a jerk. Really, if you think about it, do you want someone like that as a friend? I know it’s hard now…she treated you both like crap. I think you are both better without someone like that in your lives.

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