I recently got engaged, and we are in the process of planning our wedding for fall of next year. I know that bridesmaids are typically asked 9-10 months before and that I have some time, I just have a tricky situation that I would like to get ahead of.
I had a very close friend throughout college. We were almost inseparable and even lived together. As to be expected, we made much better friends than roommates. We grew apart, but I still care about her a great deal and want the best for her. I also know that I am not innocent in all of this, I have my flaws and could try harder to be a much better friend.
One of our major issues recently is how busy we are the lack of effort we both put in. She works very hard and has a serious boyfriend who has a son that she helps raise. I understand that she is busy, and so am I. However, she is a known flake. This has gotten worse in recent months and she pretty much dropped out of the friend group when her latest significant other came along. She agrees to plans and then at the last minute confirmation (or the day of) she will cancel the plans due to work/family obligations/money. That, coupled with some other issues, has caused problems in our friendship and I have come to not expect much from her. This causes me to not put effort in either and the cycle just continues.
I already know where you guys think this is going: should I ask her to be a bridesmaid and expect so much from her and then just get let down and complain until my wedding? But that's not. I have already decided that because people don't change, I don't want her to be a bridesmaid. I want her to be involved and be at the wedding to celebrate, but I don't think that being a bridesmaid will make our friendship better.
I do not have high expectations of my bridesmaids in the form of duties and party planning, I want them to be there and have a great time with us. I don't even want to dictate what they wear or what parties I think I need, but being a bridesmaid can still be a large output of time, money, and effort. Those are some things this friend has stopped having a long time ago.
What I really need advice on is how NOT to ask her to be a bridesmaid. I am well aware of the fact that not asking her will end of what little friendship we have left. We were very close and she is going to be hurt, but I really do think it's better for both of us to not have her included. I would like to not ask her in the best way possible, with some sort of explanation so she is not left in the dark. Any suggestions?