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Asking somebody to be BM a little later than the other girls... will she be honored or insulted?

sheenabobeenasheenabobeena member
First Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
edited February 2014 in Wedding Party
Hi girls, I was hoping you all could help me with a little dilemma and offer your input and/or advice.  

I am getting married this August and have selected my wedding party months ago.  Well, I am having dinner with a good friend next week.  I haven't seen her in about a year, but we've kept in touch via text and social media.  When I was selecting my wedding party, it crossed my mind several times to ask her to be in it.  Once upon a time we were very close but we had a few rough patches, which made me hesitant to ask her.  Although we are on nothing but good terms and have been for years, I was afraid she would think its weird that I would want her in the wedding. Now that I'm having dinner with her, I'm realizing I regret not asking her.  I would like to ask her when I see her, but I don't want her to think she was a back up choice, or "B list".  She knows I have already selected my wedding party and she may wonder why I am asking her after the fact.  

What makes it even more complicated is that I have a BM that I am about to ask to step down.  She has just finalized a divorce and her ex-husband is in my fiance's wedding party.  I knew it would be hard for her, but when I asked her to be a part of the wedding, she said she would deal with it so she could be there for me.  But up until this point she has barely responded to the BM group emails, hasn't attended any of our gatherings, and has basically been absentee.  She has said she can't go to the bachlorette party because she will be out of town... but we haven't even finalized the date yet! I would never phantom asking somebody to step down but she has totally stopped responding to my emails to her and recently told another BM that she doesn't think she can do it anymore. So I will be emailing her this week to give her the opportunity to back down.  Sigh, that situation is another discussion in itself...

What will my friend think when she finds out about this BM stepping down? I don't want her to think she was just a replacement :( Which she is not, we are not pairing up the bride and groom's wedding party, so the amount on each side doesn't matter.  What do you guys think?  Should I just ask my friend if she would be a bridesmaid or "too late, you made your choices, let it be"??

Re: Asking somebody to be BM a little later than the other girls... will she be honored or insulted?

  • Thank you for your input.  I totally understand what you mean.  But she has told another BM that she doesn't want to be in it anymore and that's why she hasn't responded to my emails. That BM told her that she needs to tell me so I can adjust as needed, and told her she would give her the time to tell me myself.  This was 3 weeks ago, so the BM finally told me herself.  So maybe its a little different in that you actually still wanted to be in the wedding.  Apparently, my friend no longer does.  
  • I would ask the other girl and be honest with her. "I've really enjoyed getting to see you more lately and I would love for you to be a bridesmaid." etc.

    As far as your other bridesmaid I totally agree with @jenniferurs you need to talk to her directly. Also realize that, no offense, she could probably care less about your wedding considering her marriage is ending. I know you want her to be involved and be there but she has a much bigger hand to deal with right now and as HER friend, (she's not just yours), you should be there for her as much as you can be.
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    jenniferursgrumbledore
  • Love_Cam said:
    I would ask the other girl and be honest with her. "I've really enjoyed getting to see you more lately and I would love for you to be a bridesmaid." etc.

    As far as your other bridesmaid I totally agree with @jenniferurs you need to talk to her directly. Also realize that, no offense, she could probably care less about your wedding considering her marriage is ending. I know you want her to be involved and be there but she has a much bigger hand to deal with right now and as HER friend, (she's not just yours), you should be there for her as much as you can be.

    antoto said:
    If she is going to step down, then let her step down.  Kicking her out would be really cruel, and it sounds like she is already hurting.  If you are truly her friend and truly have her feelings in mind you will go above and beyond to help make her feel wanted and loved during this very difficult time in her life - not throw her out of your bridal party.

    If your bridal party is the most stressful part of planning then you are doing it wrong.

    Bridesmaids are not required to do anything other than buy the dress and be there on the day you get married.  If they do not do those things then yes... that would be stressful.  But if you are stressing out because someone isn't responding to a mass email or coming to every party that is thrown then you are just causing yourself unnecessary stress.   


    Thanks for the input.  I have tried to be there for her as much as I can from the beginning of the divorce (long before I was even engaged) but she has mostly shut everyone in her life out, including me. I would have understood if she turned down being in the wedding, but she choose to be a part of it, which my fiance and I truly appreciate.  But we don't want her to be in it, if she is having second thoughts or realized it was harder than she thought.  

    I am buying the fabric for the BM dresses this weekend.  Since she is not responding, I just had no idea if I should get her fabric or not.  She also hasn't responded to me with her mailing address, so I couldn't send her a save the date (even though of course she knows the date).  So yes, it stresses me out a little.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Don't kick the other girl out. If she wants to drop out, let her. Try to contact her one more time and tell her you need to know so you can buy fabric. If she does not respond, assume she has taken herself out. Ask the other girl if you want and just be honest with her. Under the circumstances, though, she may feel like a replacement, so I personally probably wouldn't.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    jenniferurs
  • I agree with the others. Don't give her an out (as nice as you think your being it isn't nice). Try again to ask about the fabric. No response after a few days will signify she has removed herself from the wedding.

    As for the other friend it's your call to ask her or not. It's all on her if she feels like a replacement. You wouldn't be asking her as a replacement, especially if your friend going thru the divorce stays a BM.
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  • Agree with PPs - as for your additional friend, I don't think she'd be offended. I asked my 2 FSILs to be in my party a good 2 months after my other BMs. One of my FSILs was getting married and I absolutely didn't want to take away from her last minute planning with my request, so I asked her and my other FSIL (who was the MoH in that wedding) after her wedding. No one was offended.

    Good luck!
  • AddieL73 said:
    Don't kick the other girl out. If she wants to drop out, let her. Try to contact her one more time and tell her you need to know so you can buy fabric. If she does not respond, assume she has taken herself out. Ask the other girl if you want and just be honest with her. Under the circumstances, though, she may feel like a replacement, so I personally probably wouldn't.
    This. She will either tell you that she can no longer be a part of your bridal party, or her lack of response will be your answer. Don't kick her out or ask her to step down. I was kicked out of a bridal party for not responding to every single group email and not running out and buying the dress as soon as the bride picked it and it destroyed my relationship with the bride.   

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  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    @sheenabobeena - Are you asking this other woman to be in your bridal party because you are replacing the bridesmaid you think will step down?  If so, please don't do that.  I understand the frustration of planning a wedding and then suddenly having one less bridesmaid then you thought you would.  My best friend has had to step down from our wedding party due to a struggle with mental illness.  But I am not adding in another bridesmaid to replace her.  There is no replacing her. We will have uneven sides, and that is just fine.

    In this situation, if it was me, and someone asked me to be a bridesmaid after another bridesmaid stepped down, my feelings would be hurt and I would feel like a I was a second choice or a place holder, whether or not I really was.  So, if you are asking her because you decided you would like her in your wedding party regardless of whether the other bridesmaid steps down, be sure to make it clear that you have been thinking about it for a long time and really want her standing with you.  Do not mention that the other bridesmaid is/may be stepping down.

    And with regards to the current bridesmaid... talk to her.  Ask her if she would like to be in the wedding or if it is just too much for her right now.  (Yes, you may have to start an awkward conversation, I was worried about this when preparing to talk to my friend who decided to step down. Fortunately, she ended up bringing it up first.)  Be her friend and be supportive.  Let her make the decision about whether she wants to be in your wedding.  And be accommodating.  Don't expect her to do anything.  Her only obligation as a bridesmaid is to be there on time, in the right dress and sober for the wedding ceremony.
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  • Thank you for your input.  I totally understand what you mean.  But she has told another BM that she doesn't want to be in it anymore and that's why she hasn't responded to my emails. That BM told her that she needs to tell me so I can adjust as needed, and told her she would give her the time to tell me myself.  This was 3 weeks ago, so the BM finally told me herself.  So maybe its a little different in that you actually still wanted to be in the wedding.  Apparently, my friend no longer does.  
    Maybe she doesn't want to be in the wedding under these current conditions. There's no need to have group emails or gatherings or press the matter of the bachelorette party with her. Perhaps the incessant wedding talk/planning of wedding-centric activities is what has her put off. I'm assuming she's going to be at your wedding regardless, whether she's in the bridal party or not, so I doubt standing up with you on the day of is her main concern here. If that's true, just give her a break on the other stuff and assume you'll see her on the day, until you hear otherwise from her directly. If she hasn't spoken to you, maybe she changed her mind. Maybe she was just venting to the other BM in a moment of weakness. Either way, if she chooses not to be a part of the wedding party anymore, that's fine, but let her be the one to come to you about it. Don't "give her the opportunity," because that just comes across as a passive aggressive way of telling her that you're dissatisfied with her level of involvement and thus assume she's no longer interested. If she truly wants out, she'll tell you. In the meantime, maybe pump the breaks on wedding talk and center your conversations with her around other points of interest.
    THIS is spot on advice.

     

    jenniferurs
  • Hi girls, I was hoping you all could help me with a little dilemma and offer your input and/or advice.  

    I am getting married this August and have selected my wedding party months ago.  Well, I am having dinner with a good friend next week.  I haven't seen her in about a year, but we've kept in touch via text and social media.  When I was selecting my wedding party, it crossed my mind several times to ask her to be in it.  Once upon a time we were very close but we had a few rough patches, which made me hesitant to ask her.  Although we are on nothing but good terms and have been for years, I was afraid she would think its weird that I would want her in the wedding. Now that I'm having dinner with her, I'm realizing I regret not asking her.  I would like to ask her when I see her, but I don't want her to think she was a back up choice, or "B list".  She knows I have already selected my wedding party and she may wonder why I am asking her after the fact.  

    What makes it even more complicated is that I have a BM that I am about to ask to step down.  She has just finalized a divorce and her ex-husband is in my fiance's wedding party.  I knew it would be hard for her, but when I asked her to be a part of the wedding, she said she would deal with it so she could be there for me.  But up until this point she has barely responded to the BM group emails, hasn't attended any of our gatherings, and has basically been absentee.  She has said she can't go to the bachlorette party because she will be out of town... but we haven't even finalized the date yet! I would never phantom asking somebody to step down but she has totally stopped responding to my emails to her and recently told another BM that she doesn't think she can do it anymore. So I will be emailing her this week to give her the opportunity to back down.  Sigh, that situation is another discussion in itself...

    What will my friend think when she finds out about this BM stepping down? I don't want her to think she was just a replacement :( Which she is not, we are not pairing up the bride and groom's wedding party, so the amount on each side doesn't matter.  What do you guys think?  Should I just ask my friend if she would be a bridesmaid or "too late, you made your choices, let it be"??

    Thanks ahead girls... to be quite honest, dealing with the BM has been the most stressful aspect of wedding planning! Even more so than the budget and guest list.  
    For the love of god, you cannot kick someone out of your wedding party.  You might consider hanging out with her AS A FRIEND and not a bride for a start.  No one wants a bunch of group emails about someone else's wedding (trust me, I've been a BM on the receiving end of this shit).  She probably thinks you are being overbearing and rightly so.

    And it is late to ask someone else, especially considering you will look like you are replacing this other BM (even though you claim this isn't the case).

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  • The word is 'fathom,' not 'phantom.'

    Don't kick out the current BM. Ask the other girl if you want to.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    antotoRebl90KaurisSKPM
  • Please CALL this friend. Don't just send group e-mails and expect response to everything.

    As someone else said - if you're wedding party is stressing you out - you're doing something wrong. I'm 10 months away from my wedding and my girls are so excited and supportive. That's because we're super close and love each other....
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    OP, please don't give your bridesmaid the option to step down. I imagine she is going through a terrible time right now. I have experienced something similar to her and while we're different people and I cannot speak for her I can tell you from my own experience that I treated people I love similarly to the way she is treating you and while I'm not proud of it, I was grateful that my friends were understanding. If they didn't understand, they still loved me and supported me. 

    Some of us shut down when we go through difficult things. I wanted badly to still be in my friend's wedding but really wasn't sure I could do it. The way I felt about it changed daily. There were many days where I was in such a deep hole emotionally and mentally that all I could do was get through that day. Force myself to eat. Not to throw up what I ate. To take a shower. To go to work. Most people didn't know that. I would "Fake it" on Facebook so I didn't have everyone knocking down my door wondering if I was alive. And there were a few shining moments where I really did feel okay. They didn't last long.

    Responding to a group email was just not a priority to me when I was in survival mode. I realize that my friendships were one-sided for a while while I got through that hard time. And that it may have been hurtful to some of my friends and I'm sorry for that. And I'm grateful for my friends for sticking by me.

    Just give her love. Sometimes we need love the most when we "deserve" it the least.

    As for your other friend, I would probably not ask her if it were me. If you really can't imagine your day without her you could tell her that you have been thinking about her a lot lately and simply can't imagine her not being there with you, etc. and that you'd love for her to be in your wedding and can't believe you didn't ask her originally.
    jenniferursSKPM
  • WeeshWeesh NY member
    250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    Hi girls, I was hoping you all could help me with a little dilemma and offer your input and/or advice.  

    I am getting married this August and have selected my wedding party months ago.  Well, I am having dinner with a good friend next week.  I haven't seen her in about a year, but we've kept in touch via text and social media.  When I was selecting my wedding party, it crossed my mind several times to ask her to be in it.  Once upon a time we were very close but we had a few rough patches, which made me hesitant to ask her.  Although we are on nothing but good terms and have been for years, I was afraid she would think its weird that I would want her in the wedding. Now that I'm having dinner with her, I'm realizing I regret not asking her.  I would like to ask her when I see her, but I don't want her to think she was a back up choice, or "B list".  She knows I have already selected my wedding party and she may wonder why I am asking her after the fact.  

    What makes it even more complicated is that I have a BM that I am about to ask to step down.  She has just finalized a divorce and her ex-husband is in my fiance's wedding party.  I knew it would be hard for her, but when I asked her to be a part of the wedding, she said she would deal with it so she could be there for me.  But up until this point she has barely responded to the BM group emails, hasn't attended any of our gatherings, and has basically been absentee.  She has said she can't go to the bachlorette party because she will be out of town... but we haven't even finalized the date yet! I would never phantom asking somebody to step down but she has totally stopped responding to my emails to her and recently told another BM that she doesn't think she can do it anymore. So I will be emailing her this week to give her the opportunity to back down.  Sigh, that situation is another discussion in itself...

    What will my friend think when she finds out about this BM stepping down? I don't want her to think she was just a replacement :( Which she is not, we are not pairing up the bride and groom's wedding party, so the amount on each side doesn't matter.  What do you guys think?  Should I just ask my friend if she would be a bridesmaid or "too late, you made your choices, let it be"??

    OP, I sympathize with you when it comes to your situation with the bridesmaid who you think will drop out and you think should step down.  I'm sure it will cause people to clutch their pearls because I know I didn't do the right thing as per etiquette by asking a BM to step down, but I did the right thing for my friend.

    My fiance and I met at a party that I attended with one of my best friends, and he came with his good friend (and neighbor) and his wife.  My best friend and my fiance's good friend are brother and sister, and we met at a family gathering. Long story short, we hit it off, started dating, and spent more time with his good friend and his wife.  Things were going well, and his wife and I became friendly.  She was also the sister-in-law of one of my best friends.  When we got engaged, I thought it would be nice to include her, which was my first mistake.  My bridal party is very small, and I think I asked her more out of what I thought our relationship would turn into versus what it was at the time.

    We sat down and spoke to both of them, and my fiance asked his buddy to be his best man.  I asked her to be a bridesmaid.  She cried; they were both really happy and excited for us.  Things were going well until a month later, when she left the best man with no warning.  She left, wanted custody of their son, and filed separation and child support paperwork.  

    We were all blindsided.  My best girlfriend and bridesmaid was heartbroken, our best man was heartbroken, and we were trying to put together the pieces of what happened while trying to support our friends.  I tried to reach out to her and we spoke via phone or text several times, but there was very little communication after that.  We saw each other once, and I honestly didn't know what to say to her.  She kept saying she wasn't happy and wanted to leave.  I didn't know that, and I was really surprised.  

    Eventually we found out that shortly after she left her husband, she was dating her much older married boss.  She did many things to my fiance's best man regarding child custody agreements and money, and I felt very uncomfortable about having her in the wedding knowing what was happening.  After 5 months, I sent her a letter and explained how I felt.  I also asked her to step down.  I realized that this might be a friendship ending move, but based on her actions and out of loyalty to our best man and my fiance's best friend, I was willing to lose that friendship.  

    She got the letter and texted me to say that she completely understood and that she was still very happy for us.  I know that I made several mistakes starting with even asking her, and then asking her to step down.  But I would still reach out to your BM again, and give her the opportunity to tell you.  If she doesn't, then I would let her know how you feel but realize that it might be friendship ending.  In my case, my friendships with my bridesmaid and my fiance's best man meant more to me than her friendship, but I just wish I had gone with my gut instinct and hadn't asked her in the first place.  
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Don't ask a current BM to step down unless you want to ruin the friendship forever.

    Also, don't ask anyone else to be a BM some time after the rest have been chosen.  Asking her now as you plan to ask someone to step down is going to look like a replacement, no matter how much you swear it isn't.
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