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What to Do if Your Bridesmaid Says No

What To Do If Your Bridesmaid Says No

How to move on if a maid-to-be bails

In the exciting whirl of asking your nearest and dearest to stand by your side, you might take for granted that your friends will exclaim a collective “OMG, yes!” But if you hear a hesitant, “Um, well, actually…,” what then? First things first: Take some time to process your thoughts and feelings. Who wouldn’t be sad and a little hurt? Take a deep breath. It’s really OK. But know that this hiccup doesn’t have to turn into a rift. Read on for a few coping tips on what to do if your bridesmaid says no, and with any luck, you’ll emerge with your friendship intact.

Logistical Challenges

There are many reasons a friend might not be able to take her place in your wedding party. Wedding season is a busy time—is she already booked on or around the date of your big day? Is she pregnant, or planning to be, at your wedding? Are other circumstances in her life less-than-flexible when it comes to travel and time off? It’s hard to argue with logistics. Tell her that you regret that she can’t take part in the day to the extent that you’d hoped, but you hope she’ll still be able to attend a pre-wedding event or two.

Money’s Tight

Is there a money issue? While most brides try to minimize their ’maids financial outlay, including finding great dresses that won’t break the bank, the costs can still add up. If she’s between jobs, about to purchase a home, or saving for her own wedding, she might not be able to shell out at the moment. Navigate the always-awkward money convo with an assurance of your understanding (“Trust me, I know how it feels to be on a strict budget!”) and try not to point out any spending practices you feel are questionable (“Oh, but you can buy a new X, Y, or Z every week?”). You’ll both feel better if you get through the chat without a side of snark.

An Unexplained Pass

If she doesn’t offer a reason for declining, you might just have to go forward without knowing why. Better to be a bridesmaid short than to have one who feels stressed or unhappy about being in a party when her heart isn’t in it. And, rest assured, by no means does the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen have to match up.

Getting Through It

Declining such an important invitation is no fun for anyone. Bear in mind that your friend probably put herself through some tough mental gymnastics before (hopefully!) letting you down easily. After having a candid and caring conversation with your friend, treat yourself kindly and keep in mind that you’re still going to have an amazing, wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime day, no matter what.

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