Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Whom Should I Ask to Be My Bridesmaid?”

bridesmaids_cover

I am a young woman (24) who has been engaged for a few months and starting to plan my wedding. I’ve been friends with two girls, let’s call them Monica and Phoebe, since middle school. Over the years I always assumed these girls would both be bridesmaids in my wedding. However, lately, for about the last six months or so, Phoebe has become rather hard to contact. She rarely answers phone calls or texts, and she backs out of nearly every event at the last minute. I know she is busy with a serious boyfriend and a new job that is great for her future career, and I’m happy for her, but I don’t think that’s an excuse to become so flaky!

I have heard other mutual friends complain of the same treatment from her, so I can safely assume she isn’t distant because she’s mad at me. Every now and then she will send a cheerful text saying she misses me and we should hang out soon, but, even if I agree and try to plan a time, she will end up having to cancel. The few times we have gotten together she has seemed genuinely happy to see me, asking about my life and updating me on hers. Then things will go back to radio silence.

Meanwhile, Monica and I have stayed close and I would love for her to be in my wedding. I know that if I asked Phoebe, she would be excited and say yes, but honestly I’m not even sure I could rely on her to make it to the wedding with the way she’s been acting lately. Would it be extremely rude to ask Monica but not Phoebe when we’ve all been friends for so long? Should I just invite both of them as guests so Monica doesn’t get caught in the middle of any hard feelings? Do I ask both and hope for the best? Or maybe just elope and save myself a lot of headache? (Kidding…) Both of them have been important in my life, so at what point do I decide whether this is a phase or a permanent shift in our friendship?

I’d love to hear your opinion as well as the readers’. Thank you all!! — Bridesmaid Conundrum

What if…you didn’t have bridesmaids at all? You joke about eloping as a way to avoid the whole bridesmaid conundrum, but, seriously, just not having bridesmaids at all (or even only having one single Maid of Honor bridesmaid) would solve the problem, too. Honestly, I don’t understand why more people don’t embrace this. For all the letters I get from people who resent something about being a bridesmaid, it seems like it would be a relief across the board to just get rid of the whole thing. But if you just can’t bring yourself to do that, then here are a few things to consider:

1. Yes, inviting Monica but not Phoebe when your friendship history and level of closeness has been pretty equal between the two for the last dozen years or so would most certainly alienate Phoebe and potentially ruin your friendship. (Even if she might not care about being a bridesmaid, there are still hurt feelings when you feel like you’ve been overlooked for the honor).

2. Don’t NOT ask Monica, whom you’re close to, to be a bridesmaid just because you don’t want Phoebe to be hurt if you don’t also ask her. If you want Monica to be a bridesmaid, ask her!

3. Maybe you don’t really care if you alienate Phoebe and potentially ruin the friendship. Middle school was a long time ago and it’s natural that a friendship from that era would shift and even eventually fade out completely. It sounds like your friendship with Phoebe might already be on that path, and not asking her to be a bridesmaid would just be speeding up the inevitable. Then again, maybe her recent flakiness is a phase and, in another six months or year, she will be more available to you. (But, you know, by then, you might not be so available to her; this is often how these childhood friendships go, especially once the friends hit their mid-20s and their lives really go in different directions. I can almost guarantee there will be guests at your wedding, and maybe even in your wedding party, you probably won’t ever see again after your wedding. Welcome to friendships in your mid-20s).

4. If you seriously think there’s a good chance Phoebe would skip your wedding even as a bridesmaid, then that says something about your feelings toward her and it just doesn’t make sense to invite her to be anything other than a guest (if that).

5. But maybe you aren’t really worried about her skipping your wedding. Maybe you’re just hurt that she’s been flaky lately and you see not asking her to be a bridesmaid as a way to communicate your hurt feelings. That’s passive-aggressive and I would not recommend going this route.

6. If you aren’t ready to risk losing the friendship/hurting Phoebe’s feelings, but you truly are afraid that she might skip your wedding and you don’t want to risk a bridesmaid not showing up either, how about extending another honorary role to her that could easily be cut or fulfilled by someone else if Phoebe backed out at the last minute. Like, she could a “guestbook attendant” or, she could be the official wedding favor passer-outer or some other role you might make up (be creative!). And if she accepts the honorary role, set your expectations really low to minimize potential disappointment if she flakes out. And if she does flake out, then look at the silver lining: at least you don’t have to be a bridesmaid in her wedding one day!

***************

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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.

41 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite June 16, 2015, 8:23 am

    Sounds like my one flaky friend who I did end up making a bridesmaid. She was super flaky up through the day of, but she was there on time and super fun that day. I have a feeling that that’s the trade-off to be friends with her, at least for now. I’m hoping my friend will mature a bit, but I’m glad overall that I had her as a bridesmaid.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph June 16, 2015, 8:37 am

    I think if you want to preserve your friendship with Phoebe, you should call her (yes, call not text) and have a heart to heart about how you feel like shes been flaky lately, you want to make sure everything is ok, you miss her, etc. Then you can feel her out for bridesmaid commitment. If she really is that busy, maybe she’d be happy to have an out.
    And then, if she sounds into it and then flakes again…so what? Oh no, the sides will be uneven, her name will be in the program, etc.? It matters only in that you want your bridesmaids to be there supporting you and she may not be one of them. That’s it. No catastrophes will befall you if a bridesmaid flakes on your wedding.
    So, to recap: call her, see whats going on. If after that you still want her as a bridesmaid, ask her. If she says no, then hey you all are off the hookl; if she says yes, then accept she may flake, may not have her dress on time, etc. and don’t worry about it.
    On the other hand, if you don’t want to maintain your friendship with Phoebe, then don’t call her, don’t ask her, and don’t worry about her feelings.
    And definitely, if you are close to Monica, you should ask her. Regardless of what the deal is with Pheebs.

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    • coconot

      coconot June 16, 2015, 9:58 am

      Agreed. I think you should straight up ask Phoebe, on the phone not in text.
      .
      FWIW, I had what I thought was a very good friend like this who I actually never saw after my wedding (despite us living in the same city for several months). I didn’t have bridesmaids since it was a very small event, but if I had she would have been one of the three (all of us were a group of friends since middle school just like you guys). I am still happy I invited her to my wedding, because now I have a clean conscience that I at least put in the effort to keep the friendship up, and it was completely on her that things didn’t end up working out.

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  • avatar

    FancyPants June 16, 2015, 8:55 am

    Normally I agree completely with Wendy’s advice, but for once I have something to add. LW, have you actually talked to Phoebe about how she’s been a flake lately? Phoebe probably hasn’t been in a relationship as serious as the one she’s in before, and I can’t imagine that at 24 she’s been in the full-time career tracked workforce for very long. She’s probably still figuring out the whole work/life balance. She genuinely might not have noticed that she’s been being a flake. I had a friend who did a similar thing, and all of our mutual friends had no problem discussing it amongst themselves, but no one actually brought it up to her. Surprise surprise, one girl eventually got frustrated and snapped at her about breaking plans, she came to me and I calmly told her that she had been really flaky lately. She was surprised and immediately started correcting her behavior.

    I think sometimes we’re all quick to passive aggressively stew about things, but be a real friend to Phoebe and tell her that this has been bothering you for a while – without mentioning anything about your wedding. Without being accusatory, ask her if anything has been wrong that she hasn’t been telling you about and mention that she’s been really flaky lately, citing a few specific examples. Then take a few months and observe whether she makes a better effort. Focus on fixing your friendship rather than figuring out your bridesmaid situation. You can choose bridesmaids closer to the wedding and I promise in the long term fixing the friendship will pay off better than the satisfaction of checking off a task quicker on your wedding to-do list.

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    • avatar

      Wendy's Sister June 16, 2015, 10:15 am

      I agree; asking her if something is wrong is a great idea. I know a lot of people who get depressed and bail on plans because they don’t feel like seeing anyone. Then, when they do get together, they pretend that everything is okay. This is probably not the case, given the other factors — your age, the length of your friendship, her boyfriend and job, etc., but it is a consideration. Be sure to ask her how she is and if she needs to talk about anything.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana June 16, 2015, 8:56 am

    I just wish more people would get the fact that in really long friendships, that span the period of half a life and keep on going, there are going to be times when one or both of you is flakier, busier, more stressed, whatever. That is life. It happens and discounting 10+ years of friendship that has been solid and awesome for 6 months of your friend being a flake, is really not seeing the forest for the trees, in my opinion and actually kind of shitty. Just accept that there are times in every relationship where one person is pulling more weight and they do it knowing the other will get them back, or has in the past. You say yourself Phoebe is caught up in her own stuff right now but still does send text messages and is engaged and excited when she sees you. She still loves you and wants to be active in your life, she is just not doing a great job of it right now. I just think your perspective on this is a bit whack.
    .
    Also if you and Pheobe are really close–have a conversation with her about her flakiness. Seriously, talking to other friends about it is shitty. If you have a problem with someone, someone who you are really close to-you tell them to their face, if you care about getting a resolution. This is like one of my adult commandments. A lot of my closest group of girls still don’t do this shit and I just don’t have time for it, when someone is being shitty or flaking, or not pulling their weight, I call them on it (nicely and in a constructive way, I hope) but its like, life is too short to sit back and talk shit about it with your other friends and get angry/upset/hurt/passive aggressive.
    .
    Re your question-I would either a) not have bridesmaids (so agree with Wendy on this) or b) make them both your bridesmaids. Speaking as someone who wasn’t left out of a bridal party-but was left out of being one of three Maid of Honors in the same group of 5 best friends I have had forever, my feelings were incredibly hurt and its something that I will probably always be a bit sad over. If you don’t care about alienating and hurting Phoebe, who has been your friend for going on 15 years, then go for it. But honestly is 6 months really enough time to completely write someone out of being such a big part of your day? It just seems so extreme to me.

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    • becboo84

      becboo84 June 16, 2015, 9:23 am

      Yes, Yes, Yes! I was thinking the exact same thing… no clue why she was debating throwing this friendship away (which is likely what would happen if the LW didn’t ask Phoebe to be in the wedding) over six months of flakiness when she hasn’t even talked to her about it, and talking about it to mutual friends is a huge no-no!!!

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    • avatar

      pebblesntrix June 16, 2015, 5:16 pm

      Totally, agree. People grow and evolve and life gets complicated and with it, relationships. She’s still into the friendship as shown by her behavior around you and the text messages but is working to find a life balance and 6 months of a not-so-stellar go at it shouldn’t trump 10 years of friendship. I would have a heart-to-heart with her and tell her you really want her to be in the wedding (would be honored, etc.) but be clear that it has to be a firm commitment from her — here you can say something non-accusatory about her flakiness like, I’ve noticed you’ve had to back out of a lot of plans at the last minute lately (give a few specific examples) and imagine it’s because you’ve been busy and had a lot of your plate lately so if this will be too much or you think there’s a possibility you might not be able to do it, I understand and don’t want to overwhelm you– leaving it open for her to turn it down without guilt while also communicating the flakiness concern.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra June 17, 2015, 7:55 pm

      Completely agree. I’m actually pretty surprised at this response. To this day my closest friends are friends who I met when I was 13. It would take a HELL of a lot for me to drop their friendship. They have been there through everrrrrything. Yeah our friendship has changed considerably since middle school but you know what? We’re still friends. I still love them like they were my sisters. I get that in your mid 20’s friendships change a lot, but writing someone like that off just because of a few months of her not responding is absolutely ridiculous.

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  • Portia

    Portia June 16, 2015, 8:57 am

    Can I get a hell yes for no bridesmaids? It was one of the best decisions I made in the wedding planning process, hands down. So far there’s no hurt feelings and I have friends/family/future family offering to help and do other things day-of and in advance anyway. I do have a maid of honor, but since she’s my sister, there are zero hurt feelings flying around. So freeing.

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    • avatar

      Essie June 16, 2015, 8:59 am

      Hell yes! People get too caught up in wedding traditions, whether they make any sense or not.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 16, 2015, 9:17 am

      Hell, yes! I skipped bridesmaids, too. I did have my (male) best friend hold the chuppah (along with drew’s brother and two of his friends) and I had my sister sign the license, and we had drew’s niece and nephew act as flower girl and ring bearer because they were 2 and 3 respectively and already had the attire from their aunt’s wedding two months earlier so how could we not? Other than that, no wedding party and it was great!

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      • Portia

        Portia June 16, 2015, 6:00 pm

        I would be a little sad about not having flower girls. I was a two-time flower girl and loved it and have some great little girl pictures from those weddings.

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    • avatar

      ktfran June 16, 2015, 10:39 am

      Yep.. it’s so easy when you have sisters. If you want people to stand up with you, pick your sisters. Done and done. Actually, my sisters and I are taking turns being MOH’s in each others weddings. Baby sis – I was. Middle sis – baby sis was. Me – It will be middle sis if I ever get married.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover June 16, 2015, 12:38 pm

      I think it’s great if that’s what you want. Personally I’m glad I had mine though. We all had a sleepover the night before and it was so fun!

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      • Portia

        Portia June 16, 2015, 5:56 pm

        And that’s great too! But I know when I realized I didn’t need to choose bridesmaids, I felt a lot of relief. I think that because so many weddings have attendants, a lot of times people don’t realize they have that option.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 16, 2015, 6:53 pm

        Yeah, it’s crazy that it’s such a big deal now that someone would be relieved at not having to have them. The wedding industrial complex pushes it so hard and makes up so much unnecessary crap about it. I think it’s a bit more relaxed where I live. Some of the stuff I read on here about what’s expected from bridesmaids is absolutely insane.

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    • avatar

      Ange June 16, 2015, 6:51 pm

      Hell yes! For my wedding neither of us had any attendants and it was AWESOME. I’ve been to so many where either by the time of the wedding or not long after brides and bridesmaids are barely on speaking terms, not to mention it just seems icky ranking your friends.
      *
      I must admit I was a friend’s maid of honour back in 2002 and it was amazing and wonderful but now it doesn’t mean much. We are still friends and I caught up with her a couple of weeks ago but that was the first time in 7 years in person, it seems strange to think we were so close then.

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  • avatar

    Essie June 16, 2015, 8:58 am

    If Phoebe’s a close enough friend that you want her to be a bridesmaid, then she’s a close enough friend for you to talk this out with.
    .
    Just talk to her. Openly and honestly. Tell her you’d love for her to be a bridesmaid, but that she seems to be drifting away lately, not answering phone calls or text, canceling plans, yet. Ask her to be honest and tell you if she’d like to be a bridesmaid, or would rather be a guest, or have some other role.
    .
    And while you’re at it, ask her how she’s doing. If a friend of mine started behaving this way, I’d be concerned about her. Is she going through a rough time at work, or in her relationship? Is she depressed? Are there family problems? People sometimes pull away from friends when things are going badly. Reach out to her.

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  • avatar

    Aubrey Ray June 16, 2015, 9:23 am

    LW here!

    First of all, I think I felt entirely too much relief at the idea of no bridesmaids to not seriously consider it. If anyone has done this or seen it done, I’d love to hear about it!

    Also, I think you all are very right, nobody’s seriously talked to Phoebe about this. We’ve made light hearted comments about how long we wait to hear back from her and she laughs and agrees that she’s horrible at staying in contact, but I don’t think she even realizes that it bothers anyone. I agree that it’s not okay to talk about friends behind their backs, although in complete fairness it has never been “oh, Phoebe’s such a jerk, I can’t believe she’s doing this”, just “I’ve been trying to get a hold of Phoebe and she won’t answer my calls, have you heard from her?”

    It’s probably not normal for LW’s to respond so quickly. It’s just so much easier to see the solution to a problem when you’re not in the middle of it, so I appreciate your input! I will definitely check in and see what she is thinking right now.

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    • avatar

      Sandy June 16, 2015, 9:33 am

      I haven’t done the no bridesmaid thing yet but I am planning on not having any and just have my best friend (who is also a mutual friend of my fiancé) be the maid of honour.

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    • coconot

      coconot June 16, 2015, 10:05 am

      Aubrey, I had no bridesmaids. There’s really nothing that different, they just don’t stand next to you during the ceremony or wear matching dresses. You can still get ready together before hand if you want, and take photos together after the ceremony, and you can still have a “bachelorette party”. If you do have a party though, plan it yourself and make it low key. Plan to pay yourself for things (a couple of rounds at a bar, or a few bottle of champagne or a cocktail party at home) and do not request gifts or make your friends travel for the weekend.

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    • avatar

      zombeyonce June 16, 2015, 10:21 am

      Talking with her could really do some good. And if you decided to tell her that you had been seriously hesitating on asking her to be a bridesmaid because of her flakiness, it could be a real wake-up call for her on how absent she’s been and how that affects her relationships. But I wouldn’t tell her that if you decide to have no bridesmaids at all.

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    • avatar

      ktfran June 16, 2015, 10:44 am

      I went to a wedding last weekend for a close friend. She had no bridesmaids. Instead, a few of her close girlfriends, myself included, helped her get ready and hung out with her the night before and day of the wedding. When the photographer came, she had her take pictures of us. She even said, “if I had bridesmaids, these girls would have been it.”
      .
      A few years ago, my BFF got married in Jamaica. Again, she didn’t have any bridesmaids. However, I threw her a shower and bachelorette. And the day of the wedding, we separated from the group, got our nails done, I was in her room when she got ready, I signed her marriage certificate, I toasted them… basically, I was the unofficial MOH, and I was glad to do that for her even though I didn’t stand next to her or had to get a specific dress or didn’t have my name in a program.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 16, 2015, 12:40 pm

        The first one… it sounded like she did have bridesmaids, she just didn’t call them that. 🙂 Isn’t that pretty much everything that bridesmaids do? The only thing they didn’t do is stand with her during the ceremony.

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 16, 2015, 12:51 pm

        Basically, yes we were. Without spending dough on matching dresses and shoes and hair!
        .
        I find that good friends will act as de facto bridesmaids regardless of whether or not you have actual bridesmaids. Well, that’s how it is my close friends.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 16, 2015, 6:55 pm

        I think that was the original idea of bridesmaids. 🙂 And people can still totally do it, like your friend did. All this other “expected” stuff is unnecessary.

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    • Portia

      Portia June 16, 2015, 11:06 am

      I said a little above, but I’m doing no bridesmaids (MOH is my one sister, she was going to be there anyway). I’ve had so many friends step up and offer to do things anyway – bridal shower, getting ready together day of, offers of help on just about anything, I even have a friend who’ll be my “it’s for the bride” person (like Barney on How I Met Your Mother). One added bonus in guest list planning is that there isn’t pressure to add plus ones (small guest list, no plus ones and very few dates). For the additional parties (bachelorette, shower), we can make more practical decisions on those without worrying about someone else’s schedule.
      .
      Of course I haven’t had the wedding yet, so take it with a grain of salt, but so far so good and I’d highly recommend it!

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    • avatar

      Vathena June 16, 2015, 1:31 pm

      We didn’t have a wedding party either. All of the friends I would have asked had major shit going on in their lives at that time (moving, new jobs, starting grad school, new babies) and it was enough that they were able to come at all. My husband and I walked down the aisle with our parents. I did ask my best friend to do a toast at the wedding, and she also offered to plan a bachelorette event for me. And my friends came to hang out and drink wine while I was getting ready. I’ve been to a number of weddings like this now and it can be really lovely and simple.

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    • avatar

      ange June 16, 2015, 7:01 pm

      As mentioned above I didn’t have bridesmaids either. I also was lucky enough to have a friend whose house I stayed at on the day with her and her husband and another friend and her husband. My friend generously let me invite whoever might have wanted to come and in return I bought the food and liquor (with a little extra for them to keep after) and we ate and drank and hung out. It was a fantastic day, so low stress. Mind you my wedding was at night time, very low key and small so I didn’t have to spend the day in a flurry of decorating or getting on dresses or whatever so YMMV. Good luck to you LW!

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  • avatar

    for_cutie June 16, 2015, 9:34 am

    @Sunshine Brite, I had a long-time fun yet flaky bridesmaid in my wedding. She was a blast, and I am so happy she was involved. I also had a small wedding party of just 3 including my MOH. I think that Phoebe needs to be given a little slack here. Flaking on a dinner date is not the same as flaking on a wedding. There is nothing from the LW to indicate that she would not take this honor seriously. Besides, when I was in my 20’s and starting my career I would definitely, and did, flake on dates with friends when work came up. I convinced myself that by always saying “yes” at work I would get ahead faster. It was false, but I still feel the pressure to always go the extra mile, and last minute, when work asks. Hell, last week I worked a Saturday night event with one day’s notice and I have a husband, 2 kids and just moved into a new house (I have a salaried, 9-5 M-F job). Confession: I was glad to get out of unpacking because I had to work!

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    • avatar

      K June 16, 2015, 11:14 am

      Yes, exactly, I have a feeling she wouldn’t flake out on a wedding, whereas it’s easier for her to flake out on day-to-day things.

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  • Guy Friday

    Guy Friday June 16, 2015, 9:53 am

    Can we also consider the possibility that Phoebe might consider being a bridesmaid to be a bit more important than grabbing drinks or dinner or whatever that she’s been flaking out on? I mean, I know it’s easy to draw parallels here, but think of it this way: I think we’d all say we have friends who we wouldn’t necessarily fly out to visit for a vacation but would definitely fly out to attend their wedding. Why is that? Because we prioritize a major event like that.
    .
    Personally, it seems like the LW wants Phoebe as a bridesmaid as long as she can commit to it. Given that, I think LW should just ask Phoebe to be a bridesmaid. She can say “Look, I know you’ve been swamped, so you don’t have to worry about hurting my feelings if you feel overwhelmed, but I’d love if you could stand next to me at my wedding.” Despite all the drama we read about here, it’s still a big gesture to invite someone to be one of the few people who stands by your side as you say your vows, and people recognize that. I’d bet money she says yes and makes it work. In fact, I’d almost wager she overcompensates for all her flakiness and becomes super involved to the point of annoying you 🙂

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph June 16, 2015, 10:22 am

      I agree that people prioritize weddings. I know I’ve flown out for a ton of weddings to places/friends I haven’t had a chance to visit in years.
      As for flakiness… some people are just natural flakes. One of my bridesmaids is a natural flake and was late to commit to the bachelorette party (so late we went ahead and picked the date without her concurrence because the rest of us had to give notice at work– she did make it though), late to buy her dress, had no idea when she was getting into town for the wedding (she drove), late getting to the venue for hair the day of, etc. That’s just how she is.
      If Phoebe is that kind of flake then she probably would be flaky for wedding events, too, because that’s a personality thing.
      It sounds more like Phoebe is not a general flake though, just is prioritizing work and bf over friend dates. If so, I think you’re right that for a wedding, which would be a high priority event, she would shape up. It’s still probably good for the LW to go in with the idea in mind that Phoebe may let her down so she isn’t blindsided/panicky if that happens.

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  • avatar

    judge sheryl June 16, 2015, 10:29 am

    I am also looking at the timeline… that pheobe has only been flaky for the last 6 Months, but the LW has seen her a few times, that actually doesn’t seem that bad to me!! When you get older, develop serious relationships, get real (and potentially demanding) jobs, and start making new non school friends, then seeing old friends (even those you love and miss very much) just isn’t possible as much as you would like anymore. My BFF lives 20 min away and we see each other approx every 3 months (yes, we have kids too which is another time challenge, but still)

    Like many others have said.. talk to her. And a wedding is very different from catch up drinks in the middle of a busy work week. I really think this is just part of figuring out how to evolve your friendship with your evolving lives.

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  • avatar

    A Mac June 16, 2015, 10:54 am

    I had only one bridesmaid at my wedding my sister. I did it to avoid having to choose between friends and being cajoled to have hubby’s female family members be part of my wedding party. It worked out great.

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  • avatar

    Married by Elvis June 16, 2015, 1:01 pm

    I really thought she was going to sign off as “Rachel” for a second there.

    When you get married by Elvis, you don’t worry about such things. My 16 yo cousin was my bridesmaid because she lived in Vegas and was there. My dad gave me away and was the best man because he was the only man (other than Elvis).

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  • avatar

    wobster109 June 16, 2015, 3:22 pm

    Hi “Rachel”, go ahead and invite both of them. Phoebe knows that weddings are a big deal, especially as a bridesmaid! The ordinary person is unlikely to cancel being a bridesmaid at a wedding at the last minute (even if they cancel Saturday lunches).

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  • avatar

    dinoceros June 16, 2015, 5:26 pm

    I also am curious as to whether you actually think your friend just like wouldn’t show up to the wedding. That’s a whole different thing from flaking out on plans or not calling. For example, I fell off the face of the earth for a while when I went back to school, but I would never have committed to being a bridesmaid and then not shown up. So, I can’t tell if you legitimately think she’d flake (because that’s who she is) or if you’re just irritated by her behavior.

    Obviously, it’s your choice, but I think that bridesmaid decisions and longtime friendships are on a different plane from regular friends we see every day and go to coffee with. I have friends that I see a lot, but I likely would choose friends I have known since high school for a wedding party.

    You can make your own decision, but just be honest with yourself about why you don’t want to choose her.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy June 17, 2015, 4:20 am

    Kind of related (to the subject of bridesmaids anyway): I was on the subway yesterday morning coming home from one of my countless doctor appointments (I have at least two a week now), and I sat next to these two women, one of whom was bitching to the other about being a bridesmaid in her “stupid girlfriend’s” wedding. Her main beef is that her friend didn’t give nice enough bridesmaid gifts. I wasn’t able to make out what it was she got as a gift (maybe she didn’t say), but she went on and one (and on) about the wonderful, thoughtful gifts SHE gave HER bridesmaids when she got married: monogrammed terrycloth robes, monogrammed tote bags, monogrammed cosmetic bags filled with high-end beauty and bath products (most from Lush), engraved flasks, gift certificates, etc. Depending on the quality of this stuff, she easily could have spent well over $250-300 on each bridesmaid’s gift. I felt bad for the “stupid girlfriend” who probably didn’t have the budget (or interest) to compete with that. I would hope no one agrees to be a bridesmaid simply for the expectation of a great gift, jeez…

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    fairhairedchild June 20, 2015, 12:01 am

    Also, a little late on this and a side track, but you never know how much being a part of a wedding may rejuvinate your friendship with her!
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    I had friends who dated while we were in college, and following graduation we all moved to a similar area (maybe 20 minutes away) and I hardly saw them. Much to my surprise, I was asked to be a bridesmaid in their wedding. I was so thrilled (and shocked) at being included on their big day I now see this couple at least bi-weekly. Whereas before their wedding or being asked to be a bridesmaid, I don’t really think I gave it all that much thought about “I should ask them to this event, or see what they are doing this weekend” etc. We were friends, yes, not super close, but I liked seeing them and hanging out in college, afterwards life hit, and I became a distant friend. However, like I said, being in their wedding and part of their plans really made me realize how much I missed them as a couplke and socializing with them. So now I consider them my favorite people to contact to do things with. If I hadn’t been invited to the wedding or asked to be a bridesmaid I probably wouldn’t have ever reconnected with them in such a way and still would be a “I’m having a party with friends that you were also friends with in college so I suddenly remembered we live close together and should invite you too” friend.
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    That was kind of rambly, but I hope you got the picture. Like people said above, flaking out on dinner isn’t really comparable to bigger life events.

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