Wedding Etiquette Forum

Conflicted about a Bridal Party Member

First, background: she is a friend I grew up with--she lived next door to me, and we were the same age, so we were best friends for many years. Around high school, we started growing apart and did not speak at all. We re-connected a little bit when I moved home for a year after college. We are still in touch off and on, and I care for her (she is an important part of my past) but our lives have gone in basically completely opposite directions, and we are completely different people. Our major connection is our history. 

Anyway, she got married a few years ago (a kind of shot-gun wedding--long story, but I wasn't there), but then was going to have a big celebration/wedding in the church. She asked me to be in her wedding party, and I, of course, said yes. I bought a dress and ended up hosting her bridal shower at my parents house. She ended up cancelling her big wedding at the last minute due to a tragic life event (her mom died). I went home to see her and supported her when this happened (hosted and provided food for the wake), because she doesn't really have any solid friends or family in her life to help her. She also considers me one of her best friends. 

So now, the dilemma: I am getting married, and I am conflicted about having her in my bridal party. I don't want a huge number of attendants, for many reasons, including that my fiance will only have one. However, I would be really sad not to have my sister and 2 best friends (not the this girl) not by my side. I know that she will be offended if I have anyone other than my sister and do not include her--she basically told me as much when she was getting married. So I find myself considering just having my sister to avoid hurting her feelings.

Adding to the complication--she's a little bit toxic and aggressive towards me sometimes--I think she resents me that I moved out of town, went to law school, and have a pretty good life. She can also be very socially awkward and makes me uncomfortable sometimes. 

If I had a choice in a world free of consequences, I would probably not include her in my bridal party while still having my best friends. However, I feel an obligation to her (since she initially included me, and since I am important to her) and I don't want to hurt her feelings.

So I'm just wondering what people's thoughts are about this.... Do I have an obligation to include her? Even if there is no obligation, does it make me a horrible person if I still do not? 

Re: Conflicted about a Bridal Party Member

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You have no obligation and I don't think it makes you a horrible person if you don't.

    The fact that she's toxic and aggressive to you at all sounds to me like an excellent reason not to include her.  If she has a problem with that, tell her: "You've been giving me a hostile attitude that I am not willing to put up with-especially not at what should be a happy time for me."
  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited November 2012
    Agree with PP.
    Bridal party isn't tit for tat... and even if it were... she didn't actually ask you to stand up with her at her wedding.
    She was already married. She asked you to stand up with her during her Pretty Princess Day. (And you still had a shower for her even after she was married? That was really nice of you... though based on everything I've read, did she guilt you into it at all?)

    Pick who you want to stand with you. If she gives you grief don't feel the need to explain yourself. If you want to say something, just say something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way. I just couldn't have everyone important to me stand up there. But I really hope you'll come celebrate with me at my wedding. It would mean a lot!" and try to move on.

    Good luck!
  • No, you are not obligated to have a hostile crazy person in your wedding. ;)
    You helped her out when her mom died. That is far more a marker of true friendship and caring than asking her to be a bridesmaid, and I hope she understands that.
  • I would not ask her. It sounds like you really don't want to, and I imagine on your wedding day she may cause you more stress having her there than comfort. My WP was my sisters and very best friends who knew me inside and out. I was relaxed, comfortable, and overall just so happy with my small group.
  • You are not obligated to include her as a member of the wedding party.  Only you can make yourself feel like a horrible person.  Don't give anyone that power. 

    Plan your wedding as you and your fiance wish; have a great time.
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