North Carolina

Booting a Bridesmaid?

Ok, I tend to overreact and I may be overreacting right now but my feelings are hurt so whatever. I'll try not to ramble, here goes.

I got engaged on September 5th, 2010 (though I knew it was coming for a while) and asked 3 friends to be bridesmaids shortly thereafter. No MOH or BM, only 3 bridesmaids & 3 groomsmen.

The 3 friends I asked have been friends of mine for quite a while, though I moved from FL to NC 2.5 years ago so we have drifted slightly since I'm no longer there for the stuff we all used to do together. 1 of the 3 has come to visit me since moving and she has told me she plans to throw me a shower, sent me a planning book when I was stressing, and has helped me put together color schemes & stuff via email. She's been helpful, and I've been very vocal about how appreciative I am because I've been to ONE wedding as an adult and have no idea what I'm doing. 

Friend #2 isn't close with the other 2 friends, lives 3 hours from them, JUST had a baby 3 weeks ago in addition to her 3 year old, and has a house/job/husband to maintain. She told me up front that yes, she'd love to be in my wedding but in the beginning of the planning she may not be as involved as she'd like to be because of everything going on. YET she emails me asking how it's going, signed me up for a bunch of wedding planning catalogs, offered her veil and dress for me to use (which I declined, but it was nice of her) and has overall been a help even though this is the last thing she should be worried about.

Friend 3 is my problem. At one point before I moved, we were extremely close. We went on weekend trips together, exchanged bday & xmas gifts, had weekly lunches, etc. and I had no reservations about asking her to be part of my day, even before I was officially engaged. The day I got engaged, she did say congratulations, but she didn't seem super excited for me like my other friends were and like I would be for her. I brushed it off, but since then she has not once asked me how the planning is going or if I need help, even though she knows I'm doing it 100% on my own up here having no mother or sisters to help. I've sent emails to the 3 of them at once with like a question about height and stuff & she always replies very shortly. When I asked her, she said yes and she'd be honored, just don't put her in anything sleeveless. I basically told them all that they could go to David's Bridal and pick anything long in the color I wanted and I'd be fine with it, mostly because I knew it would make her more comfortable since she's on the bigger side and doesn't wear dresses. 

I've gotten very down several times about the planning process and have had to start from scratch with a new venue. No comment from her, no offers, no advice or input, nada. I know I could ASK for help, but I haven't had to ask the others and they've just kinda been there for me without making me feel like I'm bothering them. I know the wedding is 11 months away but I'm on a budget, have issues with details that make me take twice as long to do things than normal people, and I have no help so that's also making things take much longer. I just don't feel like she cares. At all. And I feel like she'd rather not be part of the wedding based on her overall involvement and excitement level. I wish she would have just said so and honestly, I feel like maybe I don't want to give her the boot because that's what she would WANT me to do and what she probably EXPECTS me to do and I don't want to give her the satisfaction. But that's the vindictive, snarky side that we'll keep under wraps for now.

Anyway, the final straw was yesterday. A mutual friend of ours got engaged for Christmas and posted it on Facebook. Suddenly, engagement is something to spontaneously combust about because my friend#3 posted so many OMG I CAN'T WAIT I LOVE YOU CONGRATS OMG SO EXCITED comments on newly engaged friend's page and status updates that I wanted to explode. Not gonna lie, I'm super jealous over how excited friend#3 was for new bride and that she barely squeezed out a "Congratulations" for me, knowing I was gonna ask her to be IN my wedding. She and the other girl aren't as close and she and I are/were, and they haven't gotten closer since I moved.

I'm just sad, I guess. I feel like she wouldn't be disappointed in the least if I gave her the boot. In fact, I think she'd be relieved. Shouldn't I give her the boot for that, alone? All the other stuff just hurts my feelings and I have enough to be stressed about without worrying about a bridesmaid that may be scheming to get out of her assignment. 

Or should I just talk to her about it and see what her reaction is? Knowing her well, I think it will be something along the lines of "your wedding isn't for 11 months, I didn't think I needed to do anything yet" which doesn't mean crapola because if she sees me in planning mode and stressing out, wouldn't any normal bridesmaid want to help if they cared about the wedding and the bride?

I could just be feeling whiny, too. Who knows. Any input? Thanks :\
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Re: Booting a Bridesmaid?

  • SD3194SD3194 member
    edited December 2011
    You're being really high maintenance. If you would have waited until the recommended 6-9 month mark before asking them you probably could've avoided all of this. I've been in a ton of weddings and never once was I asked or expected to help with planning. Her job is to show up on the wedding day wearing the dress you picked...nothing else. She's probably not showing any excitement about your wedding because you're driving her nuts.

    I'm in the process of planning a wedding and I don't bring up the wedding planning unless my BMs ask first. If you boot her out of the wedding be prepared to sever all ties with her because you're friendship will most likely end.

    I think you need to take a deep breath and let her do her own thing. Your wedding should not be her top priority. I'm sorry you picked your bridesmaid too early and are stuck with someone you're not happy with but kicking her out would be inappropriate and will make you look like an asshole. Good luck.
  • edited December 2011

    I'm sorry that you're going through this

    You can ask whomever you want WHEN YOU WANT to be in your wedding after your engagement.  There is no set amount of time as to when you should ask unless you follow the ettiquette, which is rarely followed these days.

    I don't think that you should boot her out, that wouldn't be the right thing to do.  After all she's a friend; maybe not as close as you were when you lived near each other but still a friend.

    When it comes time to order dresses, make sure she goes to order one.  If she doesn't have one ordered by the time that she's supposed to have one, then you have something to go on; but until then let it all go. 

    If she's not excited for you maybe it's because she's jealous of you.  Maybe it's because she wishes you lived closer so that you can do all of these things for the wedding together.  But if you really want to know all of the answers, you're going to have to pick up the phone and call her.  Don't email her or text her; call her.

    I just wish you the best of luck and hope things get better for you.  Hopefully she'll come around, but PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL HER!!!!

  • SD3194SD3194 member
    edited December 2011
    Waiting until 6-9 months to ask your wedding party has nothing to do with etiquette, it's just common sense. Relationships change and she might have been able to avoid this if she had just waited.
  • Beth0882Beth0882 member
    edited December 2011
    Regardless of the timing (as that can't be changed now anyway), maybe you should call her and try to re-connect with her, without talking about the wedding at all.  Maybe she feels like you guys haven't talked much since you moved, but all of a sudden you are talking to her solely about the wedding and she feels like your friendship has diminished, and you only care about her role in your wedding, and not HER as a friend?  Not to say that that is what you are doing, but looking at it from her side, just something to think about.  Try calling her and not bringing up the wedding at all, just ask what is going on in her life, catch up, etc.  NO wedding talk.  Even if she brings it up, maybe give a brief update and move on, so she gets that you are calling because you want to catch up and not talk about the wedding.

    It sucks that it seems she is not excited, I get that.  You can't expect the bridesmaids to help -- although all mine were thrilled to be included in any way, and were constantly asking me what they could do, so if they do offer to help, or if you ask them for planning advice or suggestions, I am sure they will not be offended.  But it seems there is a bigger issue and maybe you can work on that with her rather than focus on the wedding for the time being.  Good luck!
  • edited December 2011
    @SD person, I started early because 90% of my guests are out of town and everything I read said start as soon as you're engaged if the majority is out of town because to them this is the same as an inconvenient destination wedding. Plus, like I said, I am doing this alone, am a wedding newb, and have other factors that contribute to delays in getting things done. 

    Not to mention the fact that 2 of 3 bridesmaids have money issues to consider. Not only do they have to do the dress, accessories, hair, make up, etc. but they also have to TRAVEL 800 miles and pay for everything associated with getting here. I would be annoyed if I were on a budget and a bride gave me a 6 month heads up of all the expenses I was about to incur. Guess they don't take that into consideration when writing the rules of "etiquette" which is ironic. But thanks.

    @denise, thanks :) I asked another bridesmaid about it and she pretty much said the same thing you did. I'm just gonna talk to her and see what happens :)
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  • edited December 2011
    Whoops, missed Beth!

    @Beth, I actually have made it a point to NOT talk about the wedding at all for the last month. I've discussed work, Christmas, my dogs, etc. but zero wedding talk to actually see if that changed anything. I was planning on continuing it until January. I originally avoided it because I didn't want to feel worse about her not seeming to care, but eventually it turned into wondering how long it would take for her to notice that I hadn't mentioned anything about the wedding in xyz amount of time.

    I know no one has to help me, I just hoped that they would want to be part of it with me. I haven't asked anyone to really help with anything but proofing my wedding website because I don't want anyone to feel like this is a big inconvenience. I dunno. It already kinda sucks to not be able to enjoy the whole process with anyone here, I'd at least like to enjoy it with my bridesmaids from afar, yanno? :\
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  • edited December 2011
    I am sorry you are going through this.  I hope you & your friend can resolve this issue and I really don't think booting her from your bridal party will help anything.
    I am in the same distance situation as you are (I moved to one state away 4.5 years ago, then an additional 1,000 miles away 2.5 years ago), and 3 of my 4 BM's are still in North Carolina (one of them is in Austin with me).  I am not good at picking up the phone and calling people, never have been.  Nobody out of the 4 has been jumping through hoops to help me with planning, but I also don't expect that from them (I've never done it when I was in a wedding) and everyone has been supportive and great any time I have asked for input or help.  I hope things can get turned around for you, I hate to hear people having BM issues. 
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  • TinyTRex321TinyTRex321 member
    edited December 2011
    I think my feelings would be hurt if my bridesmaids didn't seem to care about my wedding. With that said though I do not think you should boot her out of the wedding. I agree with Beth that it seems like there is a bigger issue. And as long as the bridesmaid gets the dress and shows up for the wedding she is doing her part.

    Is your fiance able to help with the planning at all? The good thing is you still have a lot of time. Maybe try to look at the smaller pieces that need to get done instead of the big picture. Good luck with your planning!
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  • edited December 2011
    You're very welcome nb.  Hope everything works out with you and your friend.  I wish you the best of luck!!!!  Keep us posted.
  • NcsuPsychNcsuPsych member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Ok. . .I'll be snarky a little as I just finished a 7 hour drive. . .annnddd this is a bit high maintanence IMO

    yes, you should have waited a little closer to pick the bridal party, but many make this mistake due to excitment, and it's OK. No sweat in picking so early, but I would wait for the dress ordering as people's size / styles change AND you're color scheme could change too (Mine changed 3 months prior to the wedding. . many others do the same).

    With this said. . .bridesmaids are not MAIDS and they do not have to help you in any way as a requirement. Would it be nice? Heck ya! Do they HAVE to? Nope. You asked her because she was a friend and you wanted her beside you when you get married, not because she'd be free help for your planning process. I sympathize that your mom / sister isn't helping and BM # 3 is kind of MIA, but many others have successfully planned a wedding because and it all finishes wonderfully.

    You don't know exactly what's going on in her life so she too could be very stressed about other things and just because it's your wedding (in 11 months!) doesnt mean she has to drop everything and focus on your life.

    So while yes, it would be amazingly wonderful to help and at least send an email just to see how you're doing. . .you could do the same for her (kindness feeds kindness) and just see if theres something going on in her life that could be putting her down that could lower the excitement of your wedding.

    Kicking her out. . .well, that'll ruin the friendship so unless you're ready to say 'bye bye birdie' then no. . this is a bad idea. And personally I feel that if you do this for the reason's you've stated. . .well, I wouldn't think too highly.

    Seriously, just breath a little, calm down, shoot her an email if you need help (she may also not really feel like she can help since shes so far away from you. . .).

    Let it go and don't stress over it. You're really thinking way too much into it. If and when it comes time to order dresses, if she hasn't ordered by the last deadline, then MAYBE have a conversation to see what her situation is (maybe financial reasons).

    Overall. . let it go, stop whining, enjoy your engagement and have fun with the planning process. It's supposed to be fun and exciting so if it's getting too stressful, take a step back and then regroup.

    Good Luck!!
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  • edited December 2011
    i'm under the 5 month mark and finally starting to hear my BMs get excited, and just found out they're planning two showers for me this spring :)

    i know it can be tough- i've been engaged since july 2008, and just because i've been excited & it's a huge part of my daily life, doesn't mean the same for the BMs. there were a few times that i was whiney to FI, but i didn't express anything to anyone else, and sure enough, they've come around. i even had one get in a huge fight with my sister (4 years younger and MOH!) for no reason, and i found out about it during my big work trip to chicago (that you all know i've been prepping for all year!)- it was a mess!

    GL! i know it can be challenging, and i'm sorry you're going through what you've gone through. i wouldn't boot anyone though :)
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  • edited December 2011
    thanks, ladies. im just gonna wait it out and see what happens. i think i may have put too much emphasis in my post about not having anyone to help me. that IS stressing me out, but it isnt my main concern. im more meaning that i dont have anyone to enjoy the process with, to vent to, to tell me if my hair looks bad or if im being too much of  bridezilla, etc. not necessarily to do all the manual labor and legwork. i miss my friends and just kinda hoped that this would be a nice bonding experience for us. i expected to do all the work alone when i chose to have it here instead of FL, i just hoped id at least have someone to talk about it with and share the experience of planning my wedding since i dont have a mom or sister to share it with. but you guys do make valid points & i appreciate it. we shall see how it goes from here :)
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