I’ve written and rewritten this letter several times over the past week, as the situation just keeps getting worse! However, now I really do need all the help and advice that I can get. My very best friend – practically my sister – “Ann” is getting married one week from today in City B, where her family, fiance, and the groomsmen live. She has…well, now I have to say that she HAD four bridesmaids. Now she has two: myself and the maid of honor, “Autumn”. Autumn lives in City C, about 12 hours’ drive away from both City B and City A, where Ann, myself, and the two now-ex-bridesmaids “Elizabeth” and “Danielle” live.
Danielle, Ann, and I spent most of the last year as roommates and we thought that it would be good for us. However, Danielle would be difficult for anyone to live with (demands attention, expects others to clean up her messes, leaves notes around the house about not being respected, etc.) and in particular feels very left out because of how close Ann and I are. While we used to get along very well, she has invested so much effort into a) trying to push Ann and me away from each other and b) trying to get Ann to be “her” friend instead that it has ruined the mutual friendship we used to share. Our lease extends through July, but a month ago I decided that the best thing for my sanity was to pay her my rent in advance and find my own place, swallowing the extra cost of living. I have not regretted this at all; however, Danielle’s behavior has only escalated since I moved out. After six months of Danielle complaining that I was “stealing her best friend”/”making her life miserable” and regularly threatening to drop out of the wedding when Ann wouldn’t do things her way, Ann decided at the beginning of this week that enough was enough. On her request, Autumn (acting in her role as MOH) let Danielle know that due to her behavior, Ann would welcome her at the ceremony as a friend, but no longer wanted her to be involved in the wedding party.
Danielle responded by making a post on social media that she felt betrayed and that Ann was now her EX-best friend, and she didn’t know how Ann expected to have a wedding because she was sure that Elizabeth and her(D’s) boyfriend who is a groomsman were going to drop out as well after seeing how she was being treated. She did this not on Facebook, but on a site that is totally public, and she used everyone’s real names. I was just amazed! This was before she actually called Ann and Elizabeth to tell them how she felt. To top it off, now Elizabeth has decided that due to all the drama flying around, she no longer wants to be in the wedding and may not attend at all as it’s a 6 hour drive one-way from City A to City B. Danielle’s boyfriend has been the best of friends with Ann and her fiance for many years before they introduced the couple just six months ago, but he has let us know that he may or may not pull out of the wedding, too. All this with less than seven days to go.
Danielle is a 27 yo woman and I don’t understand how any grown person can make everything so thoroughly about herself. Ann is considering cancelling the wedding now because she never wanted this kind of stress, planned a ceremony under duress to begin with, and is quickly becoming miserable at the thought of standing up at the altar at all. How does etiquette say Autumn and I should handle this situation? It’s hard on her since she’s so far out of town. We have been doing what we can to encourage Ann to go forward and quietly inform people who know us that contrary to what Danielle says, Ann is not doing this out of a desire to hurt her. I don’t know what we can do if Danielle does come to the ceremony and makes a scene, beyond asking one of the groomsmen to handle it (they are already serving as “bouncers” in case an abusive ex decides to crash the ceremony.) Please, please advise – so far, our use of the Polite Spine seems to be only making matters worse. 0516-15
There is more to this story than we are privileged to know. Long time friends do not drop out of a wedding a week before out of solidarity to a fired bridesmaid friend. I’ve never seen it happen in 30 years.
And I would disagree that Ann, the bride, has a polite spine. What jumped out at me reading this submission is the statement that Ann requested the Maid of Honor, Autumn, to inform Danielle that she had been dismissed as a bridal party attendant. Anyone who has read this site for years or my books knows I firmly believe that conversation must happen in person with the news coming either from the bride or groom. Ann involved a third party to do a task most people would find to be awkward and uncomfortable. Being the bearer of bad news to a fellow bridal party attendant has never been within the sphere of responsibility bridesmaids have. What should have been a drama solely between Ann and Danielle, and possibly you, has now been extended to Autumn needlessly. Regardless of your attempts to assure people that Ann is not intent on hurting Danielle, nonetheless Ann failing to have that conversation with Danielle herself was disrespectful to Danielle. I just imagine the rants Danielle made on social media about that.
And yes, I know Danielle was being a butt head and probably deserved to be “let go” as a bridesmaid, but irrespective of what other people do, we must always strive to do the right thing in the situation so our conscience is clean or for no other reason than to stifle the potential drama. Ann should have informed Danielle herself that it would be better if she were a guest at the wedding instead of a bridesmaid. Autumn should have politely declined to do Ann’s dirty work. I can see why Elizabeth is now hesitating to be involved because the drama levels are rising.
So Ann is considering cancelling the wedding because of the actions of a few people? Nothing dramatic about that (sarcasm off). Should Ann carry through with her threat, her actions will now involve her fiance who appears to be out of the picture so far. He should be negatively impacted because Danielle has a tantrum on social media and one of his groomsmen has taken sides with the fired bridesmaid? What of Ann and fiance’s families/parents? How many bought wedding gifts or made travel plans to attend the wedding? Ann’s circle of people drawn into the drama could keep expanding.
What should you do? I suggest keeping your thoughts to yourself and let Ann, her fiance, and family decide what to do. Extract yourself from the drama. Do not be Ann’s spokesman for news or information Ann has a responsibility to own and disseminate herself.