Wedding Party

Unenthusiastic Bridesmaid

So I asked my childhood best friend to be my BM yesterday. We have known each other 20 years, talk once or twice a month, and see each other a few times a year. Our families, particularly mothers, have become very close as well. So, no, this is not someone I haven't talked to since elementary school.

Her response was underwhelming. In fact, the only thing she really said about the whole thing was "You're not going to make me buy an expensive dress are you?" (at which point I offered to buy her dress for her, something I was already considering doing.) She begrudgingly accepted, but it certainly wasn't the response I was hoping to get. She wasn't very excited when I told her about the engagement in the first place, so it's probably my own fault for trying to include her. 

I'm going to text her tonight, and let her know that she doesn't have to be in my wedding if she doesn't want to, no hard feeling, it's not for everybody. Being a BM can be a lot of work, and it doesn't sound like she's interested or invested in it. I don't want her there if she doesn't want to be there, for both of our sakes. 

Long story short, is it ok to let her off the hook? Or does that make me a bridezilla for ousting her just because she didn't react the way I wanted her to?

Re: Unenthusiastic Bridesmaid

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    So I asked my childhood best friend to be my BM yesterday. We have known each other 20 years, talk once or twice a month, and see each other a few times a year. Our families, particularly mothers, have become very close as well. So, no, this is not someone I haven't talked to since elementary school.

    Her response was underwhelming. In fact, the only thing she really said about the whole thing was "You're not going to make me buy an expensive dress are you?" (at which point I offered to buy her dress for her, something I was already considering doing.) She begrudgingly accepted, but it certainly wasn't the response I was hoping to get. She wasn't very excited when I told her about the engagement in the first place, so it's probably my own fault for trying to include her. 

    I'm going to text her tonight, and let her know that she doesn't have to be in my wedding if she doesn't want to, no hard feeling, it's not for everybody. Being a BM can be a lot of work, and it doesn't sound like she's interested or invested in it. I don't want her there if she doesn't want to be there, for both of our sakes. 

    Long story short, is it ok to let her off the hook? Or does that make me a bridezilla for ousting her just because she didn't react the way I wanted her to?
    The first thing you need to realize is that no one will be as excited or enthusiastic about YOUR wedding as you.  The first issue was that YOU had an expected response from YOUR point of view.  Not everyone finds the role of BM a fun or exciting role, for a variety of different reasons. Not wanting to be in a wedding party does not correspond directly to someone's relationship.
    In regards to the dress, the best response from a bride is to say, "I want my bridesmaids to wear a dress that matches their comfort level and budget.  When we start to discuss plans, I will stay in the parameters of your budget."  For this reason, my daughter had her bridesmaids buy a little black dress with the parameters that it be knee length, and hopefully in the same fabric.  One friend ended up getting a completely different fabric.  The wedding was not cancelled, the marriage remains valid, and the friendship is intact.
    Why TEXT an important conversation?  CALL HER. 
    And yes, if you want to "oust her" because she failed to squeal in delight, you are way past bridezilla. That was not your only bridezilla moment or comment.  Being a bridesmaid should not be work at all!  It is an honorary position that indicates a strong relationship, not an employment opportunity.  It is your reaction that needs to simmer down.
  • Please don't do this. 

    Nobody is ever, ever going to be as excited about your wedding as you are. And some people just aren't into weddings, so being a bridesmaid may not be appealing to them, no matter how much they may love and care about the bride. 

    Being a bridesmaid should only be as much work as the bridesmaid chooses to do. They are not obligated to throw parties, help with decor, or anything else prior to the wedding, and you shouldn't be asking anyone to do this for you. 

    Also, news of a friend or family member's engagement can be tough for some people. Even if they're happy for you, the news may still be an unpleasant reminder that they're not happy with their love life or even that other things in their life aren't going the way they wanted. It can be tough to be happy for other people when you aren't happy with yourself. Not saying this is the case with your friend, but I've seen it with people I know.

    Finally, giving your friend an "out" is just a slightly more polite way of kicking her out of your wedding party, which is essentially a friendship ending move. I get that her reaction wasn't what you hoped for, but do you really want to jeopardize your friendship with her just because she wasn't as excited as you wanted her to be?
    image
    MesmrEwecharlotte989875short+sassy
  • DO NOT text this - this is a conversation to have in person or on the phone together, and yes, sooner than later...  Yes, kicking someone out of a bridal party is a friendship ending move, and, if it's a situation they're being asked to be in that royally would make them uncomfortable yet obligated to say "yes" to before thinking it over...  For some reason knowing your friendship, it set of a "spidey sense" in you, which is why ASAP in-person conversation so wires can't get crossed is important here.  Casual conversation right away of "hey - I noticed a vibe and I just wanted to make sure you know I wasn't intending to pressure you or anything to be a BM, if it's not something you'd want to do, and should have given you some time to think about if it's not your thing that's o.k. just let me know, I truly want you more importantly as a friend for life.." She may be one of those types that is happy to do everything wedding with you up to the point of putting on a BM dress of ANY type purchased by ANYone...  Or, being a BM just isn't her "thing" and doesn't know how to say "no".  Leave it open ended.  Or, just apprehensive about the cost commitment of being in a wedding, in which case, it's up to you to potentially step in on her behalf if others try to go to her expecting her to fork over money for things like a bridal shower, bach party, etc. or even $$$ hotels.  But no way in heck should this be an over text because there are just some things worthy of in-person communication!

    I wholeheartedly also agree with others in that no one is ever going to be as excited about your wedding as you are, and that's o.k.  Also, so many people put pressure on their bridesmaids to do things related to their wedding and forget the only "job" of the bridesmaids is to show up the day of the wedding wearing designated attire (within their budget, not the bride's), relatively sober, smile for a number of pictures, stick around for dinner, that's it!  
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    short+sassy
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    1. No one is going to be as excited for your wedding as you are. 
    2. Some people just don't like to stand up in weddings - there could be many different reasons for this. 
    3. Make sure to ask your wedding party what their budget is for the dress, and then base your choice off of the lowest number. 
    4. There should be no work expected out of a bridesmaid. There are no duties, short of showing up the day of, in the dress you've selected. 
    5. Do not have this conversation with her over text. Call her, or go see her in person. Assure her that you'll keep the dress within her budget, and that's all she'll need to do. 
    6. Kicking her out is a friendship ending move. 

    charlotte989875
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @MesmrEwe said, "She may be one of those types that is happy to do everything wedding with you up to the point of putting on a BM dress of ANY type purchased by ANYone...  Or, being a BM just isn't her "thing" and doesn't know how to say "no".  Leave it open ended.  Or, just apprehensive about the cost commitment of being in a wedding, in which case, it's up to you to potentially step in on her behalf if others try to go to her expecting her to fork over money for things like a bridal shower, bach party, etc. or even $$$ hotels.  But no way in heck should this be an over text because there are just some things worthy of in-person communication!"

    Yes! In re-reading the OP, she does state that they only see each other "a few times a year".  BM may in fact live far enough away that it takes a toll on her wallet as well as PTO time at work.  If this BM feels as if she will incur travel costs not only for the wedding, but for pre-wedding events, I can see why she might be reluctant to accept the role.  It's also very uncomfortable to place a monetary value, so to speak, on a friendship, which could explain why this friend seemed so awkward.
  • PLEASE - As everyone else already said - do not try to treat this as some kind of job offer.   

    If you're feeling like there are issues or hesitations on the part of your friend then pick up the phone.   Talk to her and ask her how she's doing.   See what's going on.   Tell her how much it would mean to you to have her up there with you on your wedding day and emphasize that this is a ceremonial role.  Please do not end a decades long friendship based on a one sided interpretation without so much as a conversation. 
    MesmrEwe
  • edited January 21
    OP again:

    I understand that no one will be as excited about my wedding as I am, that would be ridiculous. We're talking a conversation that consisted of groaning, eye-rolling, and not one smile. Am I wrong in thinking that that's worth discussing further?

    I have no intentions of kicking her out, I just want to make sure she doesn't feel pressured into accepting. She's never been a joiner/do-er and is quite pessimistic/cynical by nature (she's always been the Bert to my Ernie, to put it in pop culture terms), and I just want to make sure she knows she has the option of saying "no" because it IS unfair to expect anything from a BM, including their saying yes in the first place.

    Which is why I mentioned texting instead of calling, she's non-confrontational by nature, and I don't think if I call her she would be able to say what she was really feeling. She's a great writer though, and way more able to express herself freely through that.

    Would it mean a lot to me to have her up there? Of course. Would I prefer she actually enjoy the day, in role she's happy to have, even if that role is just guest? Absolutely. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    OP again:

    I understand that no one will be as excited about my wedding as I am, that would be ridiculous. We're talking a conversation that consisted of groaning, eye-rolling, and not one smile. Am I wrong in thinking that that's worth discussing further?

    I have no intentions of kicking her out, I just want to make sure she doesn't feel pressured into accepting. She's never been a joiner/do-er and is quite pessimistic/cynical by nature (she's always been the Bert to my Ernie, to put it in pop culture terms), and I just want to make sure she knows she has the option of saying "no" because it IS unfair to expect anything from a BM, including their saying yes in the first place.

    Which is why I mentioned texting instead of calling, she's non-confrontational by nature, and I don't think if I call her she would be able to say what she was really feeling. She's a great writer though, and way more able to express herself freely through that.

    Would it mean a lot to me to have her up there? Of course. Would I prefer she actually enjoy the day, in role she's happy to have, even if that role is just guest? Absolutely. 
    If she's always been cynical, and she's never been a joiner, why would you expect her to treat your wedding any differently? Are you expecting her to morph into a different person because you're engaged? 

    Listen, you've received some good advice here. Ultimately though, we don't know your friend, and can't say for sure that a text would be better than a phone call or convo in person. Use your best judgement. 

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    OP again:

    I understand that no one will be as excited about my wedding as I am, that would be ridiculous. We're talking a conversation that consisted of groaning, eye-rolling, and not one smile. Am I wrong in thinking that that's worth discussing further?

    I have no intentions of kicking her out, I just want to make sure she doesn't feel pressured into accepting. She's never been a joiner/do-er and is quite pessimistic/cynical by nature (she's always been the Bert to my Ernie, to put it in pop culture terms), and I just want to make sure she knows she has the option of saying "no" because it IS unfair to expect anything from a BM, including their saying yes in the first place.

    Which is why I mentioned texting instead of calling, she's non-confrontational by nature, and I don't think if I call her she would be able to say what she was really feeling. She's a great writer though, and way more able to express herself freely through that.

    Would it mean a lot to me to have her up there? Of course. Would I prefer she actually enjoy the day, in role she's happy to have, even if that role is just guest? Absolutely. 
    So you're expecting her to turn into a different person because you got engaged? Your expectations are way out of whack. 

    Unless she's a complete moron, she knows she has the option to say no. If you have this conversation and give her permission to say no, you're telling her that you don't want her in the WP. She's then forced to either drop out, or stay while thinking you don't really want her there. It's really no different than kicking her out. 

    You decided to ask her knowing who she is. If she's your friend, you accept her for who she is. If you don't like who she is (which is what it sounds like), consider whether you're really interested in staying in this friendship. 
    charlotte989875
  • I think you just let it be at this point. She knows she can say no if she wants and you telling her that only has downside risk and no real upside. I’d leave it be. Invite her to events/things you want her at, but adjust your expectations that she’s probably not going to change, or be as excited as you’d like and accept that. Sounds like that’s just how she is. 
    MesmrEwe
  • At this point I'd leave it alone.   This is how she is.     When you have time to talk later then talk: "Hey, I hope you're OK with all of this and if you're not you know we can talk.   I get that this may not be your thing and I really appreciate you being up there with me." 

    You can't expect people to be different even if you're excited. 

    Different story but similar: I'm planning a trip for the family to Disney.  There are a lot of steps to take in this planning and I enjoy the research in meal planning, places to eat, stay, fast passes to book, deals to get - all of it.   DH has said, "If you weren't doing this I would hate it."  I have to know that just because *I* am into this and *I* am excited this process DOES NOT excite him and I need to keep my expectations maintained.  


    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • As others have said, you knew what she was like when you asked her to be a bridesmaid. People's personalities don't change just because a friend or relative is getting married. Considering she's a cynical, pessimistic person by nature, I don't think you should take it personally that she's not excited about your wedding. It's not like she's usually a ray of sunshine and suddenly got cranky over this.

    If she really didn't want to be a bridesmaid, she still could have said no, even if it might have been awkward to do so. I stick by my original advice of not saying anything to her about this. Just keep your expectations of her low, and if she decides at some point on her own that she no longer wants to be a bridesmaid, accept the decision graciously and move on.
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    OP again:

    I understand that no one will be as excited about my wedding as I am, that would be ridiculous. We're talking a conversation that consisted of groaning, eye-rolling, and not one smile. Am I wrong in thinking that that's worth discussing further?

    I have no intentions of kicking her out, I just want to make sure she doesn't feel pressured into accepting. She's never been a joiner/do-er and is quite pessimistic/cynical by nature (she's always been the Bert to my Ernie, to put it in pop culture terms), and I just want to make sure she knows she has the option of saying "no" because it IS unfair to expect anything from a BM, including their saying yes in the first place.

    Which is why I mentioned texting instead of calling, she's non-confrontational by nature, and I don't think if I call her she would be able to say what she was really feeling. She's a great writer though, and way more able to express herself freely through that.

    Would it mean a lot to me to have her up there? Of course. Would I prefer she actually enjoy the day, in role she's happy to have, even if that role is just guest? Absolutely. 
    This is someone you have counted as a friend for 20 years.  This is someone you KNOW prefers to stand back rather than hit the front row.  During your conversation, while noticing her apparently obvious eye rolling and audible groaning, did it never once occur to you (in a lighthearted, laughing manner) to say, "OK.  Alright.  I can take the subtle hints. You know I would love for you to be in the wedding party.  I know it is not on your bucket list.  I still wanted to ask just in case I caught you in a moment of insanity". 
    At the end of the day, this is a 20 year friendship and you are both adults.  Even in a text, despite her writing talents, you still might not get the response you desire. You asked.  She responded.  Let it go.

    charlotte989875
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