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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“She Hasn’t Asked Me to be a Bridesmaid Yet. Is it Too Early to Freak Out?”

My best friend since high school just recently got engaged and I couldn’t be happier. Aside from her immediate family whom she told the day of, I was the first person to receive a phone call about the news. She’s been the most supportive friend, and we could’ve easily split and gone our separate ways because her older brother (very recently married) is my ex. Not a casual ex, but an ex that I was with for four years and we had been talking about getting married ourselves … It was a heartbreaking breakup (he was unfaithful). She stuck by my side, and she’s my ride-or-die. That being said …

It’s been a few weeks since she’s told me her engagement news and about two weeks since announcing it publicly on social media and she still hasn’t asked me to be in her wedding party. She and I would always spend the weekends together and before school and work watching wedding reality shows and talking about “oh, when you’re my maid or honor,” so naturally I assumed I’d be asked to be MOH or at the very least a bridesmaid. She’s not yet announced anything and I’m not about to ask her because I’d be devastated if she says “no” or replaces me with her new sister-in-law. (I don’t know about their relationship, if they’re friendly or whatever and I can’t pretend to know.)

There’s also the fact that out of our group of friends, I’m the professional student/single gal. I don’t have a job although I am currently looking and applying as I’ll be done with my master’s soon. I understand there’s a stigma that comes with having a jobless MOH or bridesmaid because of the cost of simply being in a wedding – not to mention as MOH you have to throw parties and such. I think she’d be understanding if those events were my big present to her and I gifted her a small token rather than a large gift off her registry. Also, how do I deal if her new sister-in-law is in the wedding party with me? I’m not sure she knows who I am and how I know the bride because, according to family friends and mutuals, my ex (her husband) basically keeps me a secret like some crazy relative they keep chained in the basement.

Is it too early to be freaking out? I don’t have many friends and I don’t have siblings, so if/when my time comes to get married, there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll be right by my side the day of as my MOH. With her new family situation and her brother’s stubbornness, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made his sister have his wife as MOH. – Master’s In Mayhem

First of all, a lot of people would argue that being a bridesmaid isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Being a bridesmaid can even fast-track the end of friendships. That said, if you have your heart set on being a bridesmaid because you think it will confirm your status in your friend’s life, remind yourself that you were the first person outside of family that your friend shared the news with. She wouldn’t have called you right away if you weren’t really important to her, so however the wedding party shakes out, know that you have a special enough place in your friend’s heart that she wanted to share her happy news with you before any other friend.

In the event that your friend’s SIL makes the wedding party cut and you don’t, please try not to take it personally. Weddings involve a lot of moving pieces and, especially when parents are footing the bill, the people actually getting married can be limited in their choices. There are also family dynamics that affect these decisions, and certainly keeping peace with an in-law whose husband dated you seriously for a few years could be at the top of the priority list. If the SIL is made a bridesmaid and you aren’t, don’t let your hurt feelings diminish your excitement for your friend or your support for her through her big day. And if you BOTH are made bridesmaids, or if you are simply worried about how to act around her at the wedding because you aren’t sure what she knows about you, ask your friend for a head’s up. A simple script could go like this: “I’m so excited for your big day and want everything to go smoothly. To that end, do you have any advice for how I should interact with your new SIL? What does she know about my relationship with your brother?” Your friend will let you know what the most appropriate way to handle her SIL is and you can just follow her advice.

Finally, your friend has only been engaged a few weeks. It’s not uncommon for couples to take even a few months before making decisions about their wedding parties. It’s not uncommon for couples to even skip having wedding parties altogether (in fact, I didn’t have one and none of my close friends or family did either). It really is too early to freak-out, as you suggest. But I also think none of this is worth freaking out about at all. Unless you get asked to be a bridesmaid and your friend turns into a bridezilla and expects your life for the next year to revolve around her wedding plans and you bankrupt yourself trying to keep up with her demands. It happens.

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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.

4 comments… add one
  • Avatar photo

    Phoebe March 28, 2023, 8:56 am

    Totally agree with WWS. But also, if this is truly a long-time BFF…wouldn’t it be a natural conversation to talk about it a bit, given that they used to talk about it all of the time? I think it might be stranger to all-of-a-sudden NOT talk about it.

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  • ktfran March 28, 2023, 9:22 am

    WWS, definitely.

    I think it’s too soon to be worried. They just got engaged. They may still be deciding the kind of wedding they want. Or how to handle dynamics. Or a myriad of things.

    I’m a natural worrier. My mom used to be super concerned that I’d worry myself into having an ulcer or something. The older I’ve become, the less I try to worry, especially about events that haven’t even happened yet! It SAVES SO MUCH ENERGY. Take a beat.

    As Wendy said, whatever your friend decides likely isn’t a dig against you. It’s navigating a lot of people / feelings / pressures and some of those might be out of the engaged couple’s control.

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  • Anonymousse March 28, 2023, 3:54 pm

    Your best friend is getting married! Yay!

    Seriously, take a breath and try to relax.

    Why has this got you so anxious you wrote to Wendy? If she’s your best friend, surely you know where you stand with her, right?

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    • Avatar photo

      Copa March 29, 2023, 3:22 pm

      I also wondered why the anxiety around this. I can absolutely understand wanting to feel included, but don’t think this is worth freaking out about at all. And I say this as someone whose childhood best friend didn’t include me in her bridal party! I did feel a little left out — and someone at the wedding even made a comment to me about it! — but I never actively worried about if I’d be asked.

      Is this more about your ex and friend’s SIL than you’re letting on, LW? You even use the word “replace” here to describe how one scenario could go.

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