Wedding Etiquette Forum

Bridal Party Politics

So, my fiancé and I recently got engaged (yay!) and have picked a date and venue and are starting to fill in everything in between. This means, bridal parties, which has ... become tricky.

My fiancé has a huge number of friends. Rather than have twelve groomsmen or have to cut through people he cared about equally, he opted to stay small: his brother, my brother, and his closest friend from childhood.

Try as I might, I can't do three. Currently, I've settled on a very close cousin and four close friends. Two of the close friends, I roomed with in college. We also had a third roommate, and the four of us lived together throughout the years. The third roommate, "Betty", was never my favorite person. We've never talked about this, I've always been friendly with her, and I have no idea if she knows how I feel. Since graduation, she moved to the other coast and we've grown apart, talking occasionally and seeing each other a handful of times in five years. 

I'm concerned that inviting the other two roommates to be bridesmaids will upset her, and possibly cause some uncomfortable conversation, or deep rift. I don't want to deeply hurt her feelings, I don't know what her expectations are towards the wedding, but I assume because we always did things as four, she would assume she would be a bridesmaid - and another friend has corroborated this.

The best alternative, I think, would be to ask Betty to help out at the wedding, but she's a bit flighty and stresses out easily, so I don't think coordination or handling any fine details, or speech making, is in the cards for her. Any suggestions?

I've heard you should select your bridal party carefully, think through who you really want to be there, and who's going to be a part of your life for the long run. She's not that for me ... but do I owe her bridesmaid spot due to our history and to keep from rocking the boat?

Re: Bridal Party Politics

  • 1) sides don't have to be even, so you're fine.
    2) don't ask Betty if you aren't as close with her.
    3) don't ask Betty to do things for your wedding - whether she's a BM or not
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    SP29PrettyGirlLostashmay2015Amanderson1290
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    @scribe95 I think you intended that for the other thread.

    OP, don't ask Betty to be part of the wedding if you are not close with her. If she gets angry about it and let's it be a problem in your friendship, that's on her. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • edited July 2015

    No you do not owe her an invite to be a BM just because the other two are going to be BM. I'm sure she realizes the dynamics of your relationship have changed and you aren't as close as you to to be while you have maintined a close relationship with the other two.

    And don't find a "job" for her to do at your wedding because you feel guilty. Let her come in an be a guest and enjoy the day. Now depending on when she flys in your wedding, assuming that she does, if she flys into town early, you can always invite her to lunch or if you are getting your nails done while she is in town, invite her to join you for some girl time.

  • FosmohFosmoh member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    honestly, don't ask her.   and don't ask her to do other duties or tasks.
    have her invited as a guest if you want but leave it as that.

    I would also let the other girls you're mutual friends with who are in the bridal party know (you really don't need to get into details and be sure that it doesn't come across that you're "bad mouthing" betty) but so that they don't go on and on about the wedding/being brides maids.  you really don't want an awkward situation where say they're all together and people are discussing going for bridesmaids fittings and Betty has a moment when she realizes she wasn't asked to be a bridesmaid (trust me... that's VERY awkward.  i was in a similar situation.  my friend had told me she wanted me to be a bridesmaid and later decided that she wanted her younger cousin to be in the wedding party instead of me to avoid family drama etc... the problem is... she never told ME this and i found out one day when sitting with some mutual friends and they brought up going dress shopping... talk about a very awkward and embarrassing moment.)
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    msh1148 said:
    So, my fiancé and I recently got engaged (yay!) and have picked a date and venue and are starting to fill in everything in between. This means, bridal parties, which has ... become tricky.

    My fiancé has a huge number of friends. Rather than have twelve groomsmen or have to cut through people he cared about equally, he opted to stay small: his brother, my brother, and his closest friend from childhood.

    Try as I might, I can't do three. Currently, I've settled on a very close cousin and four close friends. Two of the close friends, I roomed with in college. We also had a third roommate, and the four of us lived together throughout the years. The third roommate, "Betty", was never my favorite person. We've never talked about this, I've always been friendly with her, and I have no idea if she knows how I feel. Since graduation, she moved to the other coast and we've grown apart, talking occasionally and seeing each other a handful of times in five years. 

    I'm concerned that inviting the other two roommates to be bridesmaids will upset her, and possibly cause some uncomfortable conversation, or deep rift. I don't want to deeply hurt her feelings, I don't know what her expectations are towards the wedding, but I assume because we always did things as four, she would assume she would be a bridesmaid - and another friend has corroborated this.

    The best alternative, I think, would be to ask Betty to help out at the wedding, but she's a bit flighty and stresses out easily, so I don't think coordination or handling any fine details, or speech making, is in the cards for her. Any suggestions?Skip this.  Nobody likes to be asked to "help out" at weddings unpaid, and it will add fuel to the fire between you.  If you're inviting her, just ask her to be a guest. 

    I've heard you should select your bridal party carefully, think through who you really want to be there, and who's going to be a part of your life for the long run. She's not that for me ... but do I owe her bridesmaid spot due to our history and to keep from rocking the boat? No.  You don't owe anyone a spot "to keep from rocking the boat."  That's a lousy reason to ask someone. 

    My answers are in bold.

    I think you need to make clear if she does "rock the boat" that you never had any "obligation" to ask her in the first place.  Who your bridesmaids are is entirely up to you.  And if she's getting the idea that you're going to ask her because your other bridesmaids are talking too much about your wedding in her presence, then I would make clear to them that you'd appreciate it if talk about your wedding does not take place in Betty's presence, because you aren't going to ask her to be in your wedding party and don't want to make things awkward.

  • Unless your brother and your fiance are super close, there's no reason for him to be a groomsman. If you're close with him, you can have him on your side.  The sides don't have to be equal, and they don't have to be split on gender lines.

    And it is NOT an honor to be asked to help out at a wedding. I mean, would you call your friend and say "Hey, I want to show you how special you are to me. Come over and clean my house'? 

    Just because someone isn't wearing a matching dress and walking down the aisle (literally the only responsibilities of a bridesmaid) doesn't mean you can't involve them in everything else. Make sure they're invited to the bachelorette and shower, ask them to get their nails done with you the day before the wedding, hang out in the room you're getting ready in with anyone else you've invited, etc. 
    [Deleted User]SP29
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Agreed- Noooo!

    You do not owe ANYONE a spot in your bridal party, and it is more shitty for that person to be chosen out of obligation.

    Any adult will realize that relationships change- that's OK. Betty (or your other friends) should not expect to be a bridesmaid.

    A guest is an honour in itself.

    Also do not ask her to do any tasks- tasks are jobs. If a friend offers help, sure take it, but if you need a job done, hire someone to do it.

    I have 3 friends I've known since highschool. We have all always been friends, but our relationships have ebbed and flowed through the years either as we got into different things and met new friends, or came back together again. Friend A who got married first asked none of us to be in her BP (at the time, she was much closer to another group of friends). Then I got married, and asked my Friend B to be my MOH, as she has always been my "best friend". Next Friend C got married and had Friend A in her BP. This summer Friend B is getting married and has no bridal party. No one has had hurt feelings, everyones' relationship is different at different times in life.

    At the same time, we have all also helped take part in throwing showers and bachelorette parties for each other, whether or not we are in the BP. We do it because we love each other and have fun at said parties.

    Likewise, if you *want* to (although sounds like you and Betty aren't super close, which is fine too), you could invite her to get her nails/hair/make up done with you and the others or hang out before the ceremony- or not.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Someone who you have seen a handful of times in 5 years barely sounds like someone I'd invite to the wedding, let alone be a bridesmaid. Just because you were all friends together in college, doesn't mean you have to do everything together for the rest of your lives.

    1) Sides do not have to be equal.
    2) Sides do not have to be split by sex.
    3) Ask your nearest and dearest to be in your bridal party, not out of some feeling of obligation.
    4) If you want someone to help with your wedding, you need to pay them (unless they ask if you need help). People don't want jobs.
    5) Being a guest is an honor too.
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