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Help! Uncooperative Bridesmaids!

Two of my bridesmaids have been childhood friends, so naturally, I was happy when they said they would be my bridesmaids. One of my friends (friend 1) is dealing with some family issues right now, so I've been very understanding when she couldn't make dress shopping trips or the engagement party. Although, she won't answer any phone calls, or emails, even when I am just checking up on her to see how she is doing or to say hi. The other friend (Friend 2) does not have any problems going on in her life right now. She has been uncooperative about everything and has set up dress shopping trips and cancelled last minute. She is refusing to come the bachlorette party because "she doesn't know the other bridesmaids" when in fact, I have tried to set up times for when they could all meet and she blows me off. I understand that my bridesmaids aren't supposed to be at my beckon call but at the same time, I expect them to be able to still be my friend and care about how the wedding is going. Neither seems to have the slightest interest in either things anymore. I haven't seen either of them in months and have even sent an email saying that I don't hold any grudges for not coming to my engagement party. I don't know what to do with them anymore. I wanted to give them all a say in the dresses, but the 2 of them refuse to come shopping - they cancel every time. I am taking it personally that they have absolutely no interest in both the wedding and me as a friend. Should I kick them out of the bridal party? I'm at a loss at what to do. They have been very uncooperative to my MOH as well, as she is trying to set up the shower and bachelorette and neither seems to be of any help, even in simple things like telling what dates they are free.

Re: Help! Uncooperative Bridesmaids!

  • [QUOTE]Two of my bridesmaids have been childhood friends, so naturally, I was happy when they said they would be my bridesmaids. One of my friends (friend 1) is dealing with some family issues right now, so I've been very understanding when she couldn't make dress shopping trips or the engagement party. Although, she won't answer any phone calls, or emails, even when I am just checking up on her to see how she is doing or to say hi. [/QUOTE]
    She may just not be in the mood to talk.  If you have gotten to talk at her at all, does it seem like the friendship is strained or is she just busy/stressed from family problems?

    [QUOTE]The other friend (Friend 2) does not have any problems going on in her life right now. She has been uncooperative about everything and has set up dress shopping trips and cancelled last minute. She is refusing to come the bachlorette party because "she doesn't know the other bridesmaids" when in fact, I have tried to set up times for when they could all meet and she blows me off.[/QUOTE]
    Is she normally flaky?  If so, this should be expected behavior.  It's okay for her to miss the bachelorette party, particularly if she doesn't like going out with strangers or meeting strangers.  As for other meetings, if she doesn't want to be friends with the other BMs that should not be a problem.

    [QUOTE] I understand that my bridesmaids aren't supposed to be at my beckon call but at the same time, I expect them to be able to still be my friend and care about how the wedding is going. Neither seems to have the slightest interest in either things anymore. I haven't seen either of them in months and have even sent an email saying that I don't hold any grudges for not coming to my engagement party.[/QUOTE]
    They should still be able to be your friends.  But you can't really expect them to care about the wedding unless they are normally really interested in other peoples' weddings.  As for not coming to your engagement party, I feel like that e-mail could turn out passive aggressive since engagement parties are not obligatory events.  Pointing out that you are not holding a grudge indicates that there could be reason for a grudge to be held over it, and there's not.

    [QUOTE] I don't know what to do with them anymore. I wanted to give them all a say in the dresses, but the 2 of them refuse to come shopping - they cancel every time. I am taking it personally that they have absolutely no interest in both the wedding and me as a friend. Should I kick them out of the bridal party? I'm at a loss at what to do. They have been very uncooperative to my MOH as well, as she is trying to set up the shower and bachelorette and neither seems to be of any help, even in simple things like telling what dates they are free.
    Posted by Stephanie<3 Marie[/QUOTE]
    E-mail or call them about dress preferences.  If they reply, they get a say.  Or select a designer, color, etc. and tell them to choose and purchase a dress by X date.  Definitely do not kick them out.  As for shower and bachelorette, they can get an invitation and if they are not planning to attend they can decline the invite.  Doesn't sound like they want to plan it, and it's okay if not all make it to the parties.

    That was probably really long, sorry.
  • Thanks for the advice. Friend 1 has just been avoiding me and I've left her VM and texts to say that I feel she's been distant because the friendship is definitely strainded, but only after I got engaged. She doesnt know my fiance well at all, so it has nothing to do with that. I just don't know how to even react anymore. I've told her I'm here as a friend, not a bride, if she needs me.

    As for Friend 2, she is flaky and selfish. She has a new boyfriend and has been blowing off all her friends for him. I understand that its a new relationship and I respect that, but I feel like she isn't even acting like a friend anymore, let alone a bridesmaid.

    I have given them both the option of going dress shopping and told them that they don't have to come and could just order the dress if they'd rather, but both insisted on going, and changed the schedule to fit theirs and they cancelled days before.

    What happens if they don't order the dresses by x date??
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_uncooperative-bridesmaids-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:199b4a6d-8854-4575-a6a9-5e18d2d5ed1bPost:f5e1e2f4-a451-451c-833d-f7436d74433b">Re: Help! Uncooperative Bridesmaids!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks for the advice. Friend 1 has just been avoiding me and I've left her VM and texts to say that I feel she's been distant because the friendship is definitely strainded, but only after I got engaged. She doesnt know my fiance well at all, so it has nothing to do with that. I just don't know how to even react anymore. I've told her I'm here as a friend, not a bride, if she needs me. As for Friend 2, she is flaky and selfish. She has a new boyfriend and has been blowing off all her friends for him. I understand that its a new relationship and I respect that, but I feel like she isn't even acting like a friend anymore, let alone a bridesmaid. I have given them both the option of going dress shopping and told them that they don't have to come and could just order the dress if they'd rather, but both insisted on going, and changed the schedule to fit theirs and they cancelled days before. What happens if they don't order the dresses by x date??
    Posted by Stephanie<3 Marie[/QUOTE]

    I would just individually ask each of your bridesmaids about their dress budgets (and if any of them don't answer your phone call, then they don't get a say). Then, I would choose a designer, length, and color for a dress (in the girl with the lowest budget's range) and say to the bridesmaids to pick and buy a dress that fits the requirements. Then if anyone shows up to the wedding without the dress, they have removed themself from the weddding. For example (after you have asked about budgets):

    You: Please choose any knee-length dress from David's Bridal in the color Pool. If anyone would like to go in a group to try on dresses, let me know and we'll work something out!

    Fast forward to wedding day: Those who have a dress are in the bridal party, those who do not have removed themselves from the wedding party and may enjoy themselves as a guest.

    Don't assume that they *must* order them several months in advance no matter what designer you're using. It is possible that they could find a dress used on Ebay or the "Trash to Treasure" Board on The Knot or elsewhere. If you put the ball in their court, then it is up to them and you don't have to worry!
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  • [QUOTE]Thanks for the advice. Friend 1 has just been avoiding me and I've left her VM and texts to say that I feel she's been distant because the friendship is definitely strainded, but only after I got engaged. She doesnt know my fiance well at all, so it has nothing to do with that. I just don't know how to even react anymore. I've told her I'm here as a friend, not a bride, if she needs me.[/QUOTE]
    She could feel distanced because she doesn't know her FI well or if a lot of her friends are getting married/in serious relationships and she is not.  But, it could very well be family issues that are causing the problem, she may react much differently than you'd normally expect of her because of them or you may not know the extent of them. 

    [QUOTE] As for Friend 2, she is flaky and selfish. She has a new boyfriend and has been blowing off all her friends for him. I understand that its a new relationship and I respect that, but I feel like she isn't even acting like a friend anymore, let alone a bridesmaid.[/QUOTE]
    That does suck.  Hopefully she'll go back to her friendships once the relationship isn't so new.

    [QUOTE] I have given them both the option of going dress shopping and told them that they don't have to come and could just order the dress if they'd rather, but both insisted on going, and changed the schedule to fit theirs and they cancelled days before. What happens if they don't order the dresses by x date??
    Posted by Stephanie<3 Marie[/QUOTE]
    Assuming that X date is the last possible date to order the dresses (according to the store) and they are aware of this, they have opted to step down.  They may be able to choose and order their dresses by the last possible date, even if they don't make it by the time the rest of the BMs do.
  • Definitely second the pp re: dress advice. This is what I was trying to impress upon my BFF who is getting married. I think it is hard to hear for brides, though, because obviously they want all their good friends to be up there on the wedding day. But, as this is definitely causing you some (mostly warranted) stress, I would ask them all their budgets and find out who wants to go on a group dress shopping trip. Then go from there as to making arrangements for shopping. If no one wants to go, you can pick the dress yourself and give them the information and the date. Then, no dress = no BM on day of.

    With regards to planning the shower and bachelorette, tell your MOH to contact them but if they do not respond then they are obviously not interested. If they are not even talking to you, it is highly unlikely they will be interested in talking to your MOH though. Even more highly unlikely that they are going to be interested in planning the parties. Unfortunately, this may mean that your MOH needs to plan lower budget parties. I know this isn't exactly proper ettiquette, but my friend who is getting married suggested that I contact the MOB and MOG to see if they can possibly pitch in some money for the shower as I can not afford barely anything and I really want to help plan the shower. Perhaps this is an option for your MOH is money is tight, and when is money not right, really?!

    Maybe instead of sending email to say that you're not mad about the lack of attendance at your eparty, you can send an email/leave a voicemail asking them if anything is wrong and if they're mad at you. This way, by asking them if they're mad, you can tell them (just not in so many words) that you're not mad and that you're really worried if they're mad. That has no potential to come off as possibly being passive aggressive.

    I would worry about fixing the friendships first, the lack of interest in your wedding second. Unfortunately, a lot of BMs don't have interest in planning other people's weddings and you will be unsuccessful in your efforts to change that. Not saying that you've done this because it sounds like you've been trying to be a great friend and a reasonable bride but just be prepared for that possibility. Also maybe they will get excited as you get a little closer to the date.

    GL and HTH! :-)
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  • I think you need to focus on the friendship for now and see if anything is going on that may be causing them to distance themselves from you.  
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2009
    Question?

    Does your ENTER key not work? 

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    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • something that stood out for me in your question was, "dress shopping TRIPS". How many have you gone on?? Maybe she is not a wedding person, and although she is happy to be your bridesmaid, wedding planning is painful for her. 
    IMO, she is probably not answering your calls because she doesn't want to get roped into doing anymore wedding planning "trips" and doesn't have the heart (or guts) to tell you. 
    I was in a wedding last year, and by the time it got there, I was sooo relieved it was over. The bride would ONLY ever talk about her wedding, and made her bridesmaids run around for a year. Not saying this is you, but it's something to think about.
  • It sounds like you've been pretty sensitive to wedding issues, namely that not everyone is going to be super excited and/or make all the pre-wedding parties. But it does sound like for whatever reason, you've got some friend issues.

    Don't think in terms of kicking them out of your BP. Think in terms of what you would do if there was no wedding. Personally, if I were having these kinds of problems with a friend, I'd get together with her (or call her if we couldn't meet in person), explain that I was feeling like I'd somehow upset her and ask what was going on.
  • Just for educational purposes it's "beck and call" not beckon call.

    Now to your question:  As a very wise poster has said before you're thinking "My wedding is only 198 days away!  Why aren't my friends more involved and interested?"

    Your BMs are thinking "Sheesh.  The wedding is over 197 days away!  What's the big deal here?"

    Say this to yourself, over and over and over and over and over again:  "No one will as interested in my wedding as FI and I are."  Because it's the truth. 
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • duckie1905duckie1905 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2009
    No one will ever be as interested in your wedding as you are.  If I had to take a guess, they weren't that into weddings before so I'm not sure why they would be into them now.

    While it is nice if they attend pre-wedding parties, it is not a requirement that they attend your engagement or bach parties or even attend your shower.  They have to buy a dress and show up the day of your wedding, preferably smiling and sober.  They don't have to go on dress shopping trips with you or help you plan or create any aspect of your wedding.

    I'm similar to this kind of person.  I'm just not that into weddings (except my own).  I don't like dress shopping or making favors, or showers, or engagement parties.  I do like bach parties but is she shy enough where knowing no one else would make her really uncomfortable?  Maybe you need to take that into consideration, as well.

    Worry about your friendships right now and less about their involvement and feelings about your wedding.  It sounds like maybe there are some serious friendship issues and I'd be willing to be they didn't spontaneously occur; something triggered their behavior towards you.
  • Just to add...I think it's lame that your friend doesn't want to go to your bach party just because she won't know other people there. But I would say the same thing for any special occasion, like you celebrating getting a promotion or just wanting to get all your friends together so they could all meet. Again, it's not a WP thing, it's a friend thing. If your friend would miss those kinds of occasions, then that's just who she is.
  • It looks like you have all kinds of advice already so I'll just add that 2 months ago I was in EXACTLY the same place with all of your issues, with 6 seemingly disinterested WP people. As it gets closer, it has gotten better little by little. It took me some time to admit that more than anything else it was the hurt feelings and disappointment that the reactions I had expected didn't come true, rather than being truly concerned that their disinterest would make the planning a nightmare. Hang in there and know that other brides can identify and are enthused for you!
    Suzie and Tom: Livin' the Dream!
  • In a perfect world, we would all have bridesmaids who are  100 % committed and willing to bend over backwards to make this even special for you. Sadly, this will not always be the case.  In every wedding that I have been a part of, there's always a one or two bridesmaids that are out of the loop. From what I gather from your post, these two bridesmaids have been flakey on a consistent basis.  Do you think they are choosing to be? If so, take it with a grain of salt. It's their loss. The last thing you need to do is get all wrapped up in pre-wedding chaos that leaves you and the supportive bridesmaids at odds with the sketchy ones. Know that you cannot control what people do, but can control how you react to their actions.
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