I was asked by the bride to-be, an old friend that I am most fond of but admittedly not close to, or see a lot of, to be bridesmaid. I was very touched and excited. She mentioned it again a few times at different meet-ups in the following months, and she even introduced me to her partner’s family as a bridesmaid.
Five months later now, and a month before the wedding, I have not heard a thing. I contacted her, admittedly just once, to offer help, as I would bridewmaid or not, but I haven’t heard anything and I have not managed to see her. I am assuming at this point that things have changed. The hen do (bachelorette party) has been organized, and I have not been contacted about the wedding, except for an invite (just for me and not my partner).
I was surprised to be asked to be a bridesmaid in the first place, and I entirely understand that there are more appropriate people/close friends to fulfill the role; however, it seems odd, if the invite to be bridesmaid has been rescinded, as it seems it has, for it not to be acknowledged in any way. I am wondering if I have done something wrong — if I should have tried to involve myself more. I am pretty shy, but improving, and this situation feels the sort of thing I would like to approach with more confidence than usual.
I wonder whether I should acknowledge this with her or friends? Ideally, I would like to remove the elephant in the room before the hen do and wedding, but have I imagined the elephant as she doesn’t seem to be seeing it?! Pretending it never happened feels spineless, as it has bothered me and I feel it is strange.
Friends and her siblings and the partner all know I was asked, so perhaps I am just embarrassed to be left in the dark and scared to cause a drama when I just want it to be perfect for her. Any advice on how to approach this and if I should bring it up (and, if so, how to do so in the most positive way), would be greatly appreciated. — Bridesmaid No More
Bring it up with her directly and not with mutual friends or her family. You say you want to assert yourself, practice being confident, and address the elephant in the room, without hindering your friendship or creating negativity on the bride’s big day. Send an email to the bride or call her to thank her for the invitation, express your excitement in attending the bachelorette party and wedding, and express regret that you have not been a more active participant in both her wedding planning and her life in general in recent years, but that that is not a reflection of your feelings for her. Reaffirm how much her friendship means to you (if that’s actually the case, though I question the validity of that since you don’t, to your admission, ever hang out), and that you hope, after all the wedding activities have passed and she’s had a chance to rest and enjoy life as a newlywed, that the two of you can reacquaint yourselves and rekindle a meaningful friendship. Tell her you understand if your absence in her life or, simply, the logistics and reality of wedding planning, prompted her to change plans regarding the wedding party, but that you hope the invitations you’ve received to her bachelorette party and wedding are indicative of a place for you in her life and that she knows your presence at those events affirms her place in yours as well.
You may not get an acknowledgement of your message, but you can feel assured that you asserted yourself and you did so in a kind and gracious way. Beyond that, I’d advise that in the future when you genuinely want to maintain friendships, you, you know, put in the effort of maintaining them (make time for your friends, call and check up on them, invite them to do things, ask them how wedding planning is going, particularly if you’re a bridesmaid in their weddings!), and that, if you don’t have genuine interest in maintaining a friendship beyond being acquaintances or social media contacts, don’t say yes to an invite to be in a wedding party, even if you’re flattered to be asked.
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