Fired Bridesmaid, Fired Up Drama

by admin on May 20, 2015

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.

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa May 20, 2015 at 7:32 am

Ann is “planning the ceremony under duress to begin with”?

Then there’s her answer right there. It’s better to call off a wedding than get a divorce.

I almost had a heart attack at the part where she asked Autumn to fire Danielle as a bridesmaid. No, that’s not part of her job as MOH.

Danielle may be a PITA but no one else is coming out of this looking good at all.

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The Elf May 20, 2015 at 9:36 am

I agree, Lisa. But I assumed that it wasn’t getting married that she objected to, but rather a big wedding. (I think we can reasonably assume that a wedding with 4 bridsemaids is pretty sizeable). In any case, it sounds like this whole thing is something that she would have rather avoided. In that case, even with only 7 days to go, the right thing to do is a long heart-to-heart with fiance. Then, together, either decide to elope, call off the wedding, or put the drama firmly behind her and focus on the man she is marrying.

If Danielle makes a scene, and Ann doesn’t rise to it, then Danielle’s drama-queen-ness will be clear to all.

But I don’t think that will happen, because I think Ann is every bit the drama queen that Danielle is. I mean, she asked someone else to do her dirty work. That’s just stirring the pot.

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Lisa May 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

Ok, I can see it being interpreted that way as well, and agree with the rest of your comments.

The only real difference I can see between the drama queeniness of Ann & Danielle is than Ann seems to be a passive aggressive DQ. I’m sure that helps to make her look like a victim when she’s equally guilty in stirring the pot.

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JWH May 20, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Ann is “planning the ceremony under duress to begin with”?

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that Ann (possibly) might like to be married, but wasn’t to keen on having a ceremony. If her social circle is making things this difficult, then perhaps Ann and fiance can bundle off to Vegas. Quite frankly, I’d rather have Elvis officiate my wedding ceremony than be bothered with this petty piffle.

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JWH May 20, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Dang it … I should have said “than be pestered with this plethora of petty piffle.”

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Anonymouse May 20, 2015 at 11:44 pm

I’m pretty sure it’s the ceremony that’s “under duress,” not the marriage. Otherwise I imagine we’d be reading a totally different story…

I can sympathize. Nearly two years after my wedding, my biggest regret is having the ceremony and not just going to the park with a JoP and the required 2 witnesses (and my husband agrees).

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NostalgicGal January 5, 2016 at 3:43 am

Adding late and generally addressing all the comments in this stream from Lisa down.
I live in a state and a county that has no residency requirements, no blood tests, no waiting, all you need to be is consenting adults of legal age with proper ID and two witnesses and $50 for the license. I am on the list and registered with the county that I’m usually home or about town and will come down and marry you on the spot for another small fee. I’ve had some exchange hand written vows, some that wanted the minimum, and …. I’ve had a few do just that, give me a call and say show up at the courthouse and they’d said the fark with the mess and went the simple route. You can be married in ten minutes. I’m no Elvis and I’d rather give you some counseling first, but if you want to be married, you can do it. Announce quietly after and toss a party or reception and call it good.
Over three decades ago my mom had planned a themed wedding for me to the nth degree. I decided that as a broke college student the JP and give us the $ to pay bills with is what I wanted. I can say it was one step away from that, it cost less than $100 period; my mom didn’t speak to me for three months (didn’t bother me, she started talking again when she figured out it wasn’t bothering me at all) and I’m still as married and I didn’t put my dad into debt for what she wanted (her fantasy wedding, her cost factor was off 15x-we were talking serious mortgage level). Their silver was coming up soon and I suggested if she wanted (that mess) so bad, go renew her vows. She started pricing and adding and it never happened.

Repeat, if you’re stressing about the event and just want to go get married, get married. Hold a party or reception later. If people give you grief about ‘but I wanted to be there’ (warble, bawl, screech, huff) tell them that you two decided that you wanted the vows to be about you, then you could turn towards and have a much better reception.

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Shoegal May 20, 2015 at 7:36 am

This sounds like High School drama and here’s what to do – just shut it down. Stop talking about it, stop obsessing over it, distance yourself from it and it will be better instantly. Nothing good is EVER going to come from all of this incessant talk. Just stop. I have to ask exactly what benefit is it to anyone if this wedding is canceled? There probably is more to this story – if you are truly in love and want to marry – you just don’t consider doing anything like canceling not a week out. Ann and her fiance should soldier on – marry – come hell or high water. In the end, they’ll have the people who truly love and care for them there – everybody else were not true friends to begin with.

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clairedelune May 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

Agree completely. Good heavens, these people are 27?

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Ernie May 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm

What you just said is exactly what I came on here to post.

All that is required of a wedding is a bride and a groom, and some sort of officiant. This is all just in-fighting and drama, and probably no one is “right”. How to procede is exactly as planned before all this, minus whoever doesn’t feel like showing up. The bride and all the remaining groomsmen/bridesmaids should stop trying to be out-offended by other people’s actions, take the high road, and go up there and marry/support the person you love.

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Lerah99 May 20, 2015 at 7:40 am

I have a feeling that this drama tornado isn’t as one sided as the letter writer makes it appear.

This letter is FULL of red flags and warning signs that Danielle, Ann, and the Letter Writer are all stirring the drama cauldron.

I would expect this kind of frenzied finger pointing and pearl clutching on a reality tv show or among middle school aged girls. In grown women it is just exhausting and distasteful.

I wonder if Danielle, Ann, and the Letter Writer were roommates because they’d already burned their bridges with everyone else.

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Manoomin May 20, 2015 at 4:54 pm

I would “like” your response over and over, if I could.

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lkb May 20, 2015 at 8:13 am

No real advice to offer but I’m just shaking my head at the wasted expense and effort: two bridesmaids’ attire at the very least and now potentially the entire ceremony, including gifts and travel expenses by all attendees as well as the actual event expenses. Nobody is coming out smelling like a rose here.

Also, whose is the “abusive ex-spouse”? Ann’s? If so, then why, pray tell, is she having what seems to be a BWW?

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PrincessButtercup May 20, 2015 at 9:25 am

Spouse was never said in the story. Abusive ex is probably ex-boyfriend.
My groomsmen were on bouncer duty also because of ex-boyfriends and others who were mad I was getting married and would no longer be “on the market”.

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Lizajane May 20, 2015 at 6:05 pm

Are you saying you feared several people might disrupt your wedding because they wanted to marry you themselves? Or your “running buddies” would be mad you were leaving the gang?

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another Laura May 20, 2015 at 9:26 am

It just says “abusive ex” that could mean boyfriend/girlfriend, so that this could still be Ann’s first wedding.

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The Elf May 20, 2015 at 9:38 am

I agree with no one coming out smelling like a rose, but I take issue with the objection to Ann having a “BWW” (I assume you mean “big white wedding”).

Why not? Frankly, finding love that doesn’t come coupled with abuse is a great reason to celebrate! Go for it, princess dress and all, if that’s what you like!

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lkb May 20, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Mea culpa! It never occurred to me that ex could mean ex boyfriend/ ex fiance rather than ex husband. I stand corrected.

What I meant from my BWW comment is related to that: I’ve always been taught that the Big White Wedding with all the bells and whistles, bridesmaids, etc. was “one per customer” so to speak. Subsequent marriage ceremonies are generally much lower key. (In part, because attendees get a little cranky for having to shell out again for travel, gifts, attire for the same person.)

Of course, if Ann, or anyone else got out of an abusive relationship and has found true love, go for all the bells and whistles. However, I still am not sure where etiquette falls as to how poofy the subsequent wedding can/should be.

If I’m wrong, I’ll cheerfully stand corrected. I’m thankful to not having been in such situations.

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Ergala May 23, 2015 at 7:48 am

lkb I went through a nightmare for my wedding in regards to the BWW rule. In my family if you are pregnant you do NOT get a bww….it’s considered inappropriate. I found out I was pregnant 3 months before our wedding. I had a dress fitting for a few weeks before the wedding, I didn’t want to have it done too far out because I was already starting to show. Thankfully the gown I had chosen was quite forgiving in that regard. I was skinny but with a stomach starting to pop out…yeah your traditional gown just wasn’t going to work. I had picked an elegant white dress that had one shoulder and was Greek style. high waist and very flowey. I was guilt tripped so bad by my family that I ended up wearing just a basic simple dress from a department store. I was told that because I was pregnant it was absolutely inappropriate for me to wear a white dress. This hurt me greatly….I just wanted my dress!!!! But I felt that if I wore it I would look ridiculous and people would be talking about it at the wedding. So I didn’t get the dress. To this day I resent my family for it.

On a side note, my mother (one of the biggest protesters of my wearing a dress) got married a few years ago….her third wedding. She sent me pictures of her trying on all these beautiful wedding gowns with cathedral trains. That’s right, she had all the bells and whistles for her third wedding. Let’s just say I was very very cool to her at her wedding.

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NostalgicGal May 23, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Can understand about being cool to your mom…

Consider having a vow renewal and wear your elegant dress (if you can find or make one).

Ergala May 24, 2015 at 10:12 am

already planning it 🙂

Lizajane May 20, 2015 at 9:59 am

It says “abusive ex” not ex spouse.

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Dee May 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

Yes, the Big White Wedding, with an ex-spouse possibly hovering to crash it, is just another Big Red Flag in this story. No mention of a groom – BRF. Complaining about Danielle airing her beefs online while Ann widely airs her beefs with Danielle – BRF. Getting a third party to “fire” Danielle – BRF – while Ann and Danielle are still living together – another BRF. Elizabeth (who appears to be the only reasonable person) dropping out because, in her opinion, there’s too much drama – BRF. Worrying far more about a smaller wedding party than about the people involved – Huge BRF. The bride never having wanted anything to do with this wedding in the first place – Biggest BRF.

Ann is trying to put on a production, not get married. Most guests will either not notice or not care that the wedding party is smaller than Ann had planned. If the cost and waste of unused outfits bothers Ann (and OP?) more than the fracturing of friendships then what else can be said? This gong show should be stopped before it gets any worse.

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Michelle May 20, 2015 at 8:14 am

There are no other comments as I am typing this, so forgive me if I am repeating.

In addition to what jumped out at Admin, this is what jumped out at me: “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”. She planned a ceremony *under duress * to begin with? If she is not ready to get married, why is she? Sounds like someone is… I’m not sure what the right word is here, maybe bullying (?) her to get married.

I don’t think it’s just about the Danielle drama, although that would certainly make it worse. It sounds like she just doesn’t want to get married at all and is using this drama with Danielle as an excuse to avoid it. Although it would be a terrible imposition on the families and guests, she should probably just cancel the wedding, send back the gifts and apologize like crazy to her guests. Normally I wouldn’t say that, but it really sounds like she just doesn’t want to be married.

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PrincessButtercup May 20, 2015 at 9:23 am

I doubt that planning a ceremony under duress means she doesn’t want to get married. Likely the bride just wanted to elope or have a civil ceremony and no giant fan fare. I know in this age of everything has to be a production, it is hard to believe, but some people really do not feel a marriage has to start with a giant show.

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JKC May 20, 2015 at 9:33 am

It’s also possible, given the wording, that she and her fiance really just wanted to run off somewhere and get married by themselves, and their families are putting pressure on them to have this ceremony. I’ve known more than one young couple who just wanted to go to the courthouse and then have a celebratory dinner, only to share this with their parents and be met with “but you’ve got to have a big church ceremony! It’ll just kill your grandparent(s)/bring eternal shame to our family if you don’t!”. Some religions stipulate that if you’re not married inside one of their churches, you’re not really married and therefore living in sin, a notion that can really create bad feelings between more conservative parents and engaged couples who don’t buy into the idea. Ann may have also wanted to get married in City A, where they all seem to live, and a big part of her stress may be coming from feelings of obligation to have it in City B. Not that this excuses her cowardice in dealing with Danielle, but she’s allowed to love her fiance and still wish they were getting married in a different way.

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KenderJ May 20, 2015 at 6:39 pm

We’ve also seen stories on this site about how the bride just wanted something small and intimate, but the groom wanted the BWW, but she still ended up planning the thing because of the expectation that many still have that the bride plans the wedding and the groom shows up when he’s told.

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The Elf May 20, 2015 at 9:43 am

I assumed “under duress” meant the ceremony, not the marriage. I understand that part. When we married, I really wanted to marry him, and he wanted to marry me. But the whole wedding thing? Not so much. But my parents really wanted a formal wedding, and his mother really wanted something Christian, and I wanted to celebrate (just not so much all the bells and whistles) so we did some compromising. Some elements of the ceremony were uniquely us (I walked down the aisle to the soundtrack from Dune) and some elements were by request (a reading of 1 Corinthians 13). So, you could say that a good part of the ceremony was “under duress” because we acquiesed to the wishes of my family and my husband-to-be’s family. It’s a little drama-llama way of putting it, but that’s how I interpreted the “under duress” part.

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Michelle May 20, 2015 at 11:03 am

Princess Buttercup, JKC & The Elf- After reading your comments, I can see that the ceremony, not the marriage itself, could have been the “duress” mentioned in the OP.

LW states that Danielle is 27, so I’m going to assume Ann is probably around 27. At that age, family expectations and religious/cultural expectations could be considered, but I really would go with what I wanted or compromise- I’ll get married in a church but it will be a very small ceremony. You can never make everyone happy, so on your wedding day, I would worry about making myself happy and I would try to make guests as happy and comfortable as possible, without feeling like I was under duress.

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The Elf May 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm

True. If I had married at 27 instead of 21, I probably would have been less of a pushover when it came to other’s wishes. Took me a while to develop a polite spine!

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NostalgicGal May 20, 2015 at 11:51 am

I had an ‘under duress’ wedding over three decades ago; mostly a clash of religions; my mother’s fantasy wedding (what she wanted and never had) which she was so out of reality over the prices; and yadda yadda yadda. In the end she didn’t speak to me for three months (not a loss on my part) and we’re still just as married, and we didn’t bankrupt anybody. (no the fantasy wedding didn’t happen. I strongly suggested if she wanted it so bad, go have a vow renewal and toss it for herself. It didn’t happen). The two of us wanted to grab two friends and go to the courthouse and get it over with… so yeah, wedding under duress is mostly being pressured into what you don’t want, can’t afford, and isn’t going to happen.

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KenderJ May 20, 2015 at 6:57 pm

My kids (the son I raised and the girl he chose-she’s mine now) narrowly missed having an ‘under duress’ wedding. They had just found out they were pregnant and decided they would prefer to be married before the baby was born. They were planning on going to the JP and then having a nice lunch with the local family to celebrate. Due to various comments over several conversations I got the idea that neither one was really thrilled with the JP idea, but it was what they could afford. So I offered the $600 I had managed to save in my “rainy day” account if they wanted to plan something a little more ceremonial. They were very grateful. Then her mother jumps in and starts planning this BWW, inviting the planet, big frufy princess dress (has she met her daughter? This girl acts like any dress is torture), the works. What the kids had in mind was a wedding chapel in Tahoe with just the parents/grandparents in the area. When they came complaining to me, I told them to have the wedding they wanted because it was one day, marriage is the rest of your life. Now her mom is mad at me for “giving them permission to ignore her” and “overstepping bounds because the bride’s family is supposed to pay for the wedding”. The drama kept going higher, so they called the whole thing off, got married at the JP’s office and told everyone afterward. The funny thing is, bride’s mom never had a rift with the kids, but she is still angry with me for “encouraging” them.

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NostalgicGal May 20, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Then suggest that the MOB have a vow renewal, have her own party, and pay for it herself. As I said I finally said that flat out to my mom that wasn’t getting that what she wanted was NOT going to be whipped up by the family she could rally, on a timeframe that was not going to happen on a budget that was off at least a decimal on what it needed to be. And her ‘ancestral’ church wasn’t my faith and it was small and frankly, ugly. I had been inside it a few times for funerals and it was in my 10 year old words ‘icky’. I had no desire to travel that far either to go there to be married; I had no tie to that church or the congregation; I didn’t want a theme and holiday wedding; and so on. Two broke college students getting married, I had a lot of other things to spend that kind of money on. Henceforth… ignore MOB. You will run into her infrequently by the sounds of it, and as long as there’s no rift between the kids, then leave it lie.

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KenderJ May 21, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Oh, I agree. I don’t want her to be mad at the kids. I just think it’s funny that it’s all my fault that my d-i-l didn’t get the wedding of her mother’s dreams. 🙂 No, we will never be friends, our life philosophies are too different, but we are civil to each other when we do see each other about once a month because we both love our children & grandchild.

NostalgicGal May 23, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Amen, Kender J. I lucked out in having a wonderful MIL. We got along a bit too famously the few times we did get together. I hope the truce lasts for you.

just4kicks May 20, 2015 at 8:19 am

Wow….a whole HERD of “drama llamas” (not you, OP, you are seemingly wedged between a rock and a hard place)!!!!
I agree with Admin that you should keep out of it, as much as possible.
The Bride needs to put on her big girl panties and address all these problems herself, it HER wedding, they should be dealt with by HER.
You seem to be a wonderful friend who just wants to help, but more than likely, your efforts will backfire on you….in a big way.

I was the third wheel in a friendship with two girls in my 20’s.
I had met “Janie” through I guy I was dating, and she had been friends with “Joanie” since grade school.
I didn’t have much contact with “Joanie”, but we were very friendly and got along fine, no jealousy at all.
“Janie” and her husband, and myself and the man who introduced me to them, spent a lot of time together.
We had a blast most of the time.
Once, for a month, “Joanie” went home to Puerto Rico to visit relatives, and since they were pals from little on up, I knew that “Janie” would miss her.
I planned lots of fun activities for her and I, as well as the four of us, to keep her occupied from missing “Joanie”….who was like her sister, and had helped her through some abuse in the past.
One night, after the four of us went to dinner and a movie, we went back to their house to hang out.
A song came on the radio and “Janie” burst into tears, (she was quite the drama llama herself), saying, “Oh! This is our (hers and Joanie) song!!! I MISS HER so much! I can’t WAIT until she comes home, this month has completely SUCKED….I’VE been so lonely without my friend!”
My boyfriend, as well as her husband, both looked at her, and then at me in shock….And said, “seriously?!? Your friend (me), WHO IS RIGHT HERE AND CAN HEAR YOU, has spent every spare moment she had with you this past few weeks!”
Her reply, “it’s just NOT the same!”
Okay….I knew where I stood, and stand I did….to get my things and go the hell home!!!
I was really hurt and angry and our friendship was never the same.
I stopped talking to her altogether a few weeks after that.

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Weaver May 20, 2015 at 2:16 pm

I do not blame you, Just4Kicks, good on you for going home. If she was old enough to be married, she was old enough not to say something so ridiculously thoughtless. (Or, at the very least, immediately apologise for her hurtful comment rather than following it up with another one, just as hurtful.) Grah! I would’ve been fuming. I hope at least that your boyfriend left with you?

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just4kicks May 20, 2015 at 8:16 pm

@Weaver: Yes, he did. 🙂
Another reason I stopped talking to her was she asked me to do a “threesome” with her and her husband for his birthday.
I thought she was joking when she asked me…..her husband confirmed it.
Yeah…..No….just….NO.

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NbyNW May 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Ha! I think I would have told her to ask her good friend “Joanie”!

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just4kicks May 22, 2015 at 1:02 am

@NbyNW: Good one! I should have….
To her husband’s credit, he was as dumbfounded as I was at his wife’s “gift selection”.

MamaToreen May 22, 2015 at 8:53 am

Joanie probably already declined the “honor”

Anna May 20, 2015 at 8:24 am

Agree with admin’s advice. Your job as friend and bridesmaid is to show up, show support for your friend, and smile for the pictures.

That said, one line that jumped out at me was that Ann planned the ceremony “under duress” in the first place. Could she be using all of this drama–and perhaps playing a role herself–because she is actually not ready to get married? You mentioned that she only met her fiance 6 months ago. That is a fairly short courtship.

If someone really wants to get married, they don’t cancel a wedding because of a misbehaving bridesmaid. If that were true, no one would ever get married! The only reason to cancel a wedding is if you do not want to get married (OK, a death in the family is also a legitimate reason, and I’ve known this to happen a couple of times).

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another Laura May 20, 2015 at 9:30 am

I believe the “six months” refered to the length of the relationship between Danielle and groomsman friend.

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JKC May 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

OP, do not, I repeat, do NOT get sucked into the mess here. You did the right thing by quietly extracting yourself from the dysfunctional living situation; you need to make sure, for your own peace of mind, that you stay on the high road. I agree with the Admin that it was a bad idea for Ann to put Autumn in the middle of “firing” Danielle as a bridesmaid.

I think the two of them are way overdue for a face-to-face conversation. Ann needs to listen to anything Danielle has to say with an open mind, spell out her own concerns with honesty and (as much) kindness (as possible), and include an apology for sending Autumn to do her dirty work before. Their relationship may or may not recover, but at least Ann will have done everything she can to control the damage. Then, she needs to go ahead with the wedding and focus on her fiance, as I assume that the whole point of the wedding is to begin a new chapter in her life with him.

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Azalea May 20, 2015 at 8:53 am

Ann is handling everything VERY poorly. She should have stepped up herself and “fired” Danielle.

I was in a wedding once where one bridesmaid did everything she could to stir up drama. The bride very quietly handled it behind the scenes, and only told the rest of us (and even then, gave us only a “‘Jane’ is no longer a bridesmaid”) so we could take her off the e-mail chains. It wasn’t until long after the fact that I got the whole story. No one else was pulled in or involved. It was the adult way to handle it.

This whole story is coming across like middle school girl drama.

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AS May 20, 2015 at 9:04 am

A moderately close cousin of mine could not attend our wedding, as a very close friend of his was getting married over the same weekend. Cousin and his wife made all the travel plans, both of them taking off vacation times from their work (with days included to arrive early to help the friend out. He might have been in the wedding party – I don’t remember). But then, the wedding got called off at the last moment. When I talked to my cousin, he sounded pretty upset, and said that he could have come to my wedding – and it would have been fun to meet me and my dad, who he hasn’t met for a while.

At our own wedding, my husband’s grandmother had just had a surgery a couple of weeks earlier. She urged her doctor to give her medication, so that she can get off her doctor’s visiting schedule for the weekend to attend out wedding – which was a 4 hours drive away. She did not want to miss her oldest grandchild’s wedding at any cost!

Weddings do get canceled for various, sometimes unavoidable and valid causes. The reason I am telling you this story is to point out that wedding guests, especially the out of town guests (which include the MOH in Ann’s wedding) usually go out of their way to make plans to attend the wedding. Not to mention all the non-refundable deposits that have already been paid. The admin already pointed out the feelings of the groom, and the couple’s parents.

In my opinion, if there is anything you want to do, I’d say that you should try to steer Ann away from canceling the wedding. After all, they apparently do want to marry each other. As the admin said, there is absolutely no reason to let her the drama escalate, because some people are giving her a hard time.

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Ernie May 20, 2015 at 1:42 pm

This is a good point. When I plan on attending a wedding, I make my travel plans often months in advance. That means booking flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars with a credit card, and taking time off of work. Sometimes these things are non or only partly refundable/reverseable. While I understand that sometimes a wedding may be called off (though it has never actually happened in my life) for good reasons, I have to admit that I would not be inclined to make plans for the re-do. Frankly, they may get a card, but probably not a gift.

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Kiki May 20, 2015 at 9:05 am

I completely agree with Admin. I wonder what Danielle’s submission would look like. The first thing that jumped out to me was that the bride had her MOH tell another bridesmaid that she was “fired” from the wedding party. I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one that saw that and thought that it was disrespectful. If Danielle is really as horrible as you say, the right thing to do is to talk to her in private and tell her yourself. You don’t ask someone else to give that kind of news. As for the question, again, I agree with Admin. Stay out of it and away from the drama.

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Yet Another Laura May 20, 2015 at 9:15 am

Ah, weddings. You can please no one and nothing ever goes to plan. It’s a wonder the default hasn’t shifted to low-key backyard barbecues.

With social media so prominent in people’s lives, the potential for drama increases exponentially and I don’t blame Elizabeth one iota for deciding she doesn’t want to be involved. I got to that part and inwardly cheered for her.

Ann should have spoken to Danielle herself. It’s not one of the Maid/Matron of Honor duties to be the bearer of bad news.

If Ann didn’t want a huge blowout, why is she planning one? It’s probably a good thing she pulled the plug. The one who wants the huge blowout event should be the one planning it (if that person is the groom) or butt out (if that person is not one of those getting married). Trying to conform to too many expectations from too many sources when it goes against what you want is a recipe for disaster.

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Lady Anne May 20, 2015 at 10:15 am

“It’s a wonder the default hasn’t shifted to a low-key backyard barbecue.”

That may be the duress that OP mentioned. It’s possible that Ann just wanted a simple wedding – it seems to be a second trip to the altar – and one of the mothers is pushing for the Wedding of the Year. Coping with THAT sort of stress can put a girl off her feed.

As for the rest – OP should keep out of it. A wedding ceremony is just as valid with two attendants as it is with four, so that’s no big deal. Let the Drama Llamas (love that expression!) hash it out between them. And the bride absolutely should have been the one to “fire” the bridesmaid, not the MOH.

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Anonymous May 20, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Slight threadjack, but I think I know why people haven’t shifted to backyard barbecue wedding celebrations. Have you ever seen this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNsI9fihzm8 Basically, cell phones, social networking, and all of these different means of instant communication have made people really casual about making plans, everything is treated as tentative, and “Maybe” is an acceptable response to a Facebook invitation (to a real-life event), so it’s gradually shifted into being an acceptable response to pretty much ANY invitation, along with its transparent cousins, “I’ll have to see what I’m doing that day,” and “If nothing else comes up.” So, weddings seem to be one of the last bastions of traditional etiquette–invitations are sent (usually via real mail) months in advance, people RSVP (again, usually via snail mail) months in advance, everyone is dressed up, and it’s a Big Deal. This isn’t a great way to promote etiquette either, because it gets people into the mindset that RSVP’ing in advance, and showing that you’re interested in seeing someone, and actually arriving at the event on time, are “formal etiquette,” rather than just plain good manners. So, if people started having backyard barbecue weddings, I think the invitees would get stuck on the “backyard barbecue” aspect, and envision a casual event with hot dogs, potato chips, and other picnic food, and everyone in shorts, so in their minds, it’s no big deal whether or not they RSVP, and no big deal whether or not they follow through on that RSVP, and if the happy couple is upset, well, they’re just too sensitive, because life is just SO BUSY. So, I think that’s why weddings are still formal–because people treat invitations to casual events casually, even if those events still require head counts. By the way, I know that not all backyard barbecues are “shorts and picnic food” type affairs–sometimes they can be more like garden parties, with the women in skirts, sundresses, or dress pants and nice tops, the men in nice pants and collared shirts, white Christmas lights strung around for decoration if it’s an evening party, and more upscale food than the typical hot dogs and hamburgers. But, with our new culture of making plans in real-time (or, more accurately, NOT making plans until it’s time), I think keeping weddings formal (or at least significantly more formal than a typical birthday party or Sunday dinner) is a bit of a reflexive, defensive move to get people to take them seriously.

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Ernie May 21, 2015 at 4:48 pm

That’s good insight, Anonymous.

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Inkcap May 20, 2015 at 9:47 am

What if it’s not that Ann doesn’t want to get married, but that she doesn’t want a Big Ceremony? It could be that the wedding, and not the marriage, was what Ann was planning under duress. Religious, cultural, and familial expectations might have made Ann feel pressured into conforming to a set of standards. Maybe she would’ve been just as happy with an elopement, or a quiet immediate-family-only affair. It could be that she doesn’t feel comfortable navigating social situations (having the OP deliver awkward news), would have preferred to keep things small, and is in over her head. Some basic communication would help, here.

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Shannan May 20, 2015 at 10:04 am

Sounds like a lot of growing up needs to happen here for Ann and Danielle. Ann seems to be over- reacting by talking of canceling the wedding. Why can’t she just scale things back so she can have the wedding she originally wanted?? OP there is nothing for you to do other than what you have been doing: staying out of it. Ann made her bed when she asked Autumn to do her dirty work. Let her lie in it.

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Anonymouse May 20, 2015 at 11:58 pm

I do agree with you, but I think that most of the talk about cancelling the whole thing is probably just talk. I know me and my hubby said the same thing almost every day in the weeks leading up to ours, due to drama from my grandparents (part of me really wishes we’d done it). As for scaling back, that’s rather difficult a week before the wedding — with everything booked and paid for, invitations sent out and RSVP’s recieved (in theory). It’s just not practical.

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Michelle Guddat May 20, 2015 at 10:18 am

“Under duress” does not mean she is being forced into a marriage she doesn’t want. While I was planning my wedding, my entire immediate family was neck deep in a major financial/housing crisis that took most of their attention. I ended up doing most of the planning and prep by myself, which was not what I had envisioned but was understandable. The “duress” she is experiencing could be from any number of things from work trouble to loss of a family member. Bridesmaid drama could just be the straw that is breaking her back. Weddings are stressful enough as it is.

That being said, I think it is ridiculous to not talk to your roommate and close friend about why you don’t want her in the wedding party. I can’t imagine how bad Danielle must have been to fire her a week before the wedding, especially considering all the expense she would probably have already put into her dress, accessories, travel and hotel fees. You can’t just put up with the shenanigans, get through the wedding and then cut all ties? It really seems like Ann brought most of this drama on herself. Now she is considering calling the whole thing off and inconveniencing even MORE people who have put money and effort into planning for this wedding? Wow… She seems a little flaky to me. If you are old enough to get married, then you are old enough to know that you don’t poke the drama llamas right before a big event. That just makes it worse. You should do your best to keep them calm then discuss the problem when things have calmed down a bit.

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EdV May 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

A lot of commenters seem to be reading ‘under duress’ as ‘doesn’t really want to get married’, whereas I simply read it as ‘didn’t want a giant wedding’. Maybe that’s my own experience colouring my interpretation – a childhood filled with unending weddings of cousins I barely knew imbued me with a very strong dislike for pretty much anything do with weddings. That doesn’t mean I don’t like marriage, quite the opposite, but I couldn’t stand showers, long ceremonies, and even longer receptions and the idea of forcing everybody I knew through that, while also having to spend so much time and money planning it did not appeal to me. However, as I am my mother’s ony daughter and my husband’s mother was very excited about the wedding, we opted to have a fairly sizeable, traditional wedding. I don’t know if I’d term that ‘under duress’, but I certainly resented any wedding drama that popped up! That said, I never threatened to cancel the wedding, and we purposely made the engagement, and therefore the planning process, *very* short.

Maybe it is my overexposure to weddings, but I am not shocked by bridesmaids being booted out of the wedding party or quitting. I’ve attended 3 weddings that were missing attendants! In every case the bride had the guts to tell the bridesmaid to her face, making your MOH do that for you is 1) cowardly, 2) disrespectful, and 3) opens up the chance that your MOH will say things to the ex-bridesmaid that will upset/rile her even more than necessary.

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lakey May 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

My takeaway from this? If you have a friend who has a history of being difficult, or is a drama queen, don’t ask her to be a bridesmaid. Weddings tend to be stressful anyway. In this situation Danielle has always been difficult, to the point where one roommate, OP, felt the need to move out. I also think that firing a bridesmaid a week or two before the wedding should only be done in extreme cases. From the sound of it, Danielle’s behavior wasn’t exactly a big surprise. Again, wedding preparations are very stressful, it would have been more mature of Ann to suck it up and get through the ceremony, then distance herself from Danielle afterwards.

Also, it was said that Ann is having the ceremony under duress. Does that mean that she is getting married under duress, or that she is having a formal wedding under duress. Some people would prefer to have a small, quiet, private wedding, but are pressured into putting on a big wedding. Is this what happened here, or is she ambivalent about getting married at all? If she’s ambivalent about getting married at all, maybe she should cancel.

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Amara May 20, 2015 at 10:29 am

Ugh, this is one of the most unpleasant stories I’ve ever read on here. It makes me want to take a shower. But since you alone are asking for advice (I assume?) I will just say that I think you should say nothing to anyone about anyone else or anything. Just show up at the wedding and smile. Be pleasant. Have a good time. Then get out of all of their lives if you are serious about not wanting to be part of this drama because I would bet $1,000 that the drama will not just continue but escalate after the wedding.

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abby May 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

Wow- still can’t get over Ann asking her MOH to disinvite a BM from the wedding party. If you ask me, that BY FAR is worse than anything the OP mentioned Danielle doing.

I’ve lived with a Danielle. In fact, while I was reading this, I was trying to determine if my Danielle was the Danielle in this story, because the examples listed are uncannily familiar, and I was wondering if the OP was actually someone in my friend circle. I think it’s just a coincidence though.

Anyways, when Danielle first made her threat- Bride, I’m not going to be in your wedding if…- THAT was the time that Ann should have said, listen Danielle, I totally understand if you would prefer to attend my wedding as a guest, rather than a BM. The second time Danielle made her threat, Ann should have pulled the plug then and there. To enlist a third party to “handle” Danielle was so immature and rude that I can’t muster up any sympathy for poor stressed Ann.

Given the pettiness within this small group, I can totally see why Elizabeth backed out, although I don’t know if a week’s notice is really appropriate. Unless there’s more to the story and Elizabeth considered something Ann did to be a friendship changing move, backing out of your friend’s wedding a week from the event is also pretty rude.

OP, this is an easy one. Admin is totally right. Stay out of the drama and relieve yourself of the need to do any PR for Ann. Ann is also an adult who mishandled several crucial situations and is dealing with the consequences. You can be supportive without inserting yourself in her drama.

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Kristi May 20, 2015 at 10:50 am

Very little in this story makes sense. The entire first paragraph delineating who lives in which city had virtually nothing to do with the actual story, only added more to the already too-detailed account.

As far as the roommating situation…if Danielle acted as described – constant drama about not being the best friend/wanting to be the best friend, accusing you, OP, of interfering with her friendship with Ann, why in the WORLD didn’t Ann shut this down from the get go? Ann is aware that this girl is an immature drama queen (clearly, from your description of her behavior) but yet still roommates with her, still invites her to be a bridesmaid, allows Danielle to continue to harass you about coming between Ann and Danielle….I can’t see where Ann has made many or any good choices here at all, and no evidence of a spine! Who on earth assigns their MOH the task of kicking someone else out of their wedding?

You, OP, I can’t necessarily see where you are at fault much here other than you seem to sort of think Ann’s behavior is ok…the way you set the story up Ann is just a helpless victim of all of this drama – but that’s not true. Ann participated in, orchestrated and perpetuated all of the drama by allowing Danielle to act as she did and continue to be friends with her.

And I sure don’t understand about the rest of the wedding party dropping like flies, a true friend (one good enough to include in your wedding party) is not going to just ditch and run even when there is drama and unpleasantness. The whole entire thing sounds sketchy and like it’s missing pieces.

As for the etiquette aspect of this – stay out of the public drama with Danielle and be there for your friend.

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PrincessButtercup May 20, 2015 at 10:54 am

Bride should have told friend something like “I know you’ve not been very happy living here lately, maybe you would prefer to skip being part of the wedding?” If you’re mature enough to get married then you should be mature enough to do your own dirty work.

At this point, the only thing the bride can do is apologize to everyone for not acting like an adult. Especially apologize to Danielle.
The only thing you as a bridesmaid and friend can do is point out that maybe the stress of the wedding planning put her in a bad mood and maybe she should apologize to Danielle.

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Livvy17 May 21, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Yes, even if she thinks the friendship is over, or wants the friendship to be over, Bride should still call Danielle and apologize for her earlier cowardice in not calling herself.

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Mustard May 20, 2015 at 11:15 am

This reads more like a film script than real life..

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mm May 20, 2015 at 11:19 am

Yikes! I don’t think anyone comes out too well in this story except for perhaps Ann’s groom.

Is it proper for groomsmen to act like bouncers? I feel like if there is a serious threat to security, shouldn’t you hire real security personnel? I just don’t think it’s fair to ask the groomsmen, who are there to celebrate their friend/relative’s wedding day to spend the whole time looking out for an ex or something.

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Ashley May 20, 2015 at 5:01 pm

No kidding, what if it gets really out of hand and a rented tux gets ripped?

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Twik May 20, 2015 at 11:42 am

It’s not rude to have a BWW for a second-time bride, as long as the HC doesn’t expect the full financial obligations on their guests.

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Denise May 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

I have yet to see a polite spine anywhere in the story.

Instead I see a whole lot of drama, immaturity and finger pointing.

If Danielle was so bad, there wouldn’t have been a reason to include her in the wedding party. There is likely a reason she was not only in the wedding party, but thought of the bride as her best friend. It sounds more like there was a lot of discussion regarding Danielle by various parties when Danielle wasn’t present.

If the bride isn’t mature enough to have an uncomfortable conversation with her wedding party regarding their roles, she should re-evaluate if she is mature enough for marriage. Marriage is about so much more that love and a celebration. It’s compromise, tough conversations and work.

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Cat May 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Ok, everyone, just calm down. Weddings are stressful enough with adding a bunch of emotional drama to it. Let’s get this settled here and now. As the Brits say, “Keep calm and carry on.”
Elizabeth-you have to make a decision. Either you are coming and being a bridesmaid or you are not. Which is it?
Danielle, Yes, Ann should have told you herself that your behavior has caused her to rethink your being in the wedding. You are welcome to come if you behave like a guest and not to make a scene. Are you willing to do that?
Danielle’s boyfriend, We need an answer. Are you coming and being a groomsman or not?
Ann, If you love this man and want to marry him,deal with the emotional strife, lay down the law to all concerned, and marry as you intended. If you don’t want a church/whatever wedding, you can marry quietly in the pastor’s study or at a court house. Keep your eye on the doughnut and not on the hole.
We all have to deal with other people and with their agendas. It can get messy and cause turmoil we would have rather not have had. For those of us who are not cut out to be hermits, let’s get out there and deal with it.

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crebj May 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I’ve seen less drama on General Hospital.

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Ernie May 20, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Were I groom in this scenario, I’d be feeling pretty insignificant, crummy, and hurt right now. Calling off the wedding because of some drama among “friends”? I think, were I the OP, I might talk to the bride about considering what this is really all about, and what is really important to her, leaving the x’s and o’s of the drama out of it.

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Anonymous May 22, 2015 at 3:08 pm

That’s good insight, Ernie.

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Weaver May 20, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Good grief, what a load of drama. Three things jumped out at me on first reading:

1) That Ann “planned a ceremony under duress to begin with”. That doesn’t bode well. I’m not jumping to the conclusion that she doesn’t want to marry her fiance at all, but it does sound as if she never wanted whatever kind of ceremony she’s ended up planning, and that isn’t good for anyone involved. I’d say that’s the most worrying sentence in the whole post.

2) As Admin said, that Ann delegated the task of booting Danielle from the wedding party to her MOH. No matter the circumstances, that isn’t cool.

3) Danielle’s boyfriend has let you all know that he “may or may not” pull out of the wedding party?! Well, how very gracious of him. Sounds to me like he’s as big of a drama queen as Danielle herself.

As Danielle is 27, I’m assuming that everyone else involved is also at least in their twenties, and therefore quite old enough to behave a bit more sensibly. (Although, from the information in the post, Elizabeth sounds reasonably sensible). OP, I’m sure that you and Autumn are doing your best, but I agree with Admin – it’s not your job to try to sort out this mess. However discreet you are, taking to other people about this is probably only going to fan the flames further. All you can really do is encourage Ann to make the decisions that she feels are right, and deal with any consequences herself. You can then be there to support her if there’s any fallout.

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Ashley May 20, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Any decisions to call off the wedding or not are between Ann and her fiance. Everyone else stays out of it.

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Daisy May 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm

OP: You can’t put on a drama if you don’t have an audience. Stop enabling all these folk. Pleasantly refuse to be drawn in. Quietly decline to give advice. Step back, hush up, and let the bride and groom make, and convey, their own decisions. Whether their wedding ends up big or small, or down at City Hall, is strictly up to them. Your job is to witness the marriage, express as much joy and confidence as you can, and keep smiling.

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Weaver May 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm

The more I think about Ann considering calling off the wedding, the more I think it raises a huge red flag. It seems to me there are three possibilities: either Ann herself thrives on drama, or Ann has been so railroaded by relatives throughout the whole planning process that she now feels resentful and frustrated that the wedding is nothing like the one she and her fiancé would have liked, or Ann is genuinely having second thoughts about getting married at all, and is using the whole Danielle drama as an excuse to get it all called off or postponed. In either of the last two cases, I agree with The Elf that it’s time for a heart-to-heart with her fiancé. In fact, I’d be interested to know what his position in all this is – he’s conspicuously absent in the original post.

A few commenters have mentioned that if you want to marry your fiancé, not much will stop you, and there’s a lot to be said for that. While I was planning my own wedding, my dad got the news that he had cancer, and that it was terminal. Obviously we were devastated, and it led to further stress because at the time I couldn’t stand my FIL, who’d abused his wife (my MIL) and son (my husband). I was extremely resentful of the fact that he was still alive, while my own father had apparently been given a death sentence. (Although I did try to avoid showing my feelings as much as possible, as I figured my mum and dad were the ones with the most to deal with). My dad, who is a kind and sensible man, asked me if I wanted to postpone the wedding, and assured me that nobody would judge me for doing so, and that the loss of the deposit wouldn’t be a problem. I can still remember the exact moment he made the offer, and I didn’t hesitate for a moment in saying that I wanted to go ahead. Marrying my fiancé was something I wanted without question, and I knew he felt the same way.

Anyway, we went ahead and had a lovely wedding. The only thing you might count as drama was my best friend, who knew the circumstances, cheerfully but pointedly saying to my FIL at the reception “you must be very proud of your son”.

All that being said, I was lucky in that I got pretty much the wedding I wanted: a traditional church ceremony with a few personal touches, my best friend as my bridesmaid, my husband’s best friend as his best man, my two school-age nephews as ring bearers, about fifty guests, and a tea, champagne and buffet reception. I was able to put my dislike and resentment of my FIL away for the day more easily than I thought I’d be able to, because I was just so happy and confident to marry my husband.

As it turned out, the story had two happy endings. A couple of months after our wedding, my dad was offered an experimental treatment, which miraculously worked, and although he’s had a couple of operations in the subsequent ten years, he’s alive and quite fit today. The second good thing is that my FIL turned over a new leaf like I’ve never seen anyone do before, and has since become, to the best of his ability, a loving and decent man. I’m even rather fond of him now. The whole experience taught me a lesson in understanding, patience, and compromise, and I learned not only to recognise the difference between weakness and real badness, but also that people are more important than any particular day, even a wedding day.

Oh my gosh, that got really long, sorry! I think my original point was that if you want to get married, you will. Which is why I actually have some sympathy for Ann, because it doesn’t sound like this wedding is making her happy at all, which it should be.

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Enna May 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm

I find this story a bit baffling. If Danielle was my housemate and such a nightmare with the jealously and trouble making she would not be a bridesmaid at my wedding. Saying that Quaker’s don’t have bridesmaids but you get the idea. I don’t think I would want Danielle to be a guest at my wedding even I did have bridesmaids! She would be the kind of person who I would block on Facebook. The untidiness would annoy me but wouldn’t make me block someone, the nastiness and jealousy would. If I was going to have bridesmaids I would only choose those not only closest to me but those who I new would behave and not make my life a misery.

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OP May 20, 2015 at 8:49 pm

“This reads more like a film script than real life..” Honestly? I’m living this stuff, and sometimes I find myself looking for the camera. I thought it would stop when I removed myself from the situation, but I’m continually getting dragged back in.

Thank you admin and everyone else. I’m sorry that I’m not so good at writing clear stories. Some clarification:

**The ex is the bride’s ex-BF. First marriage for both.
**She WANTS to get married, but does NOT want a ceremony. In fact, the wedding already IS on the “backyard barbecue” level, and City Hall is the only way it could get less informal. However, her FMIL was set on her son having a wedding, so.
**While I don’t want to push her to do something that will make her, personally, unhappy, I also know just about everybody ELSE will be unhappy if she tries to move the wedding. So I feel kind of stuck there, which is why I threw it in. I guess that’s really the central question for me – ignoring drama is a given.

At this point it looks like everything is going forward, the missing people have been replaced, and I’m going to try to just be there for my friend and avoid the crazy. What I really want to know is, IS there actually a way to avoid crazy??

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The Elf May 21, 2015 at 7:33 am

Yeah. Yoga, meditation, screaming into a pillow, lots of exercise, whatever works for you as a stress reliever. That’s the only thing you can do. If you want to give your friend advice, it would be to have that heart-to-heart with the fiance and decide what to do next. That might just very well be suck it up and have the wedding. Or it might be to cancel it. Either way, that’s something only they can decide.

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JS May 21, 2015 at 7:59 am

“IS there actually a way to avoid crazy??”

Yes. You just…avoid it. Don’t take the bait. Put down your side of the rope. Don’t involve yourself in conflicts that don’t actually concern you (even the ones that affect you). What you described in your original post was a series of conflicts between Danielle and Ann, Elizabeth and Ann, Ann and Autumn, Ann and whoever is pressuring her to have a wedding, etc. The only conflict between you and someone else is your living situation with Danielle, which has been resolved. You do not need to do anything. Just listen, if Ann needs a shoulder to cry on.

I say this with all gentleness and respect: this isn’t about you. I notice that you wrote that “Danielle’s boyfriend…has let us know that he may or may not pull out of the wedding.” The “us” is telling. OP, this isn’t your wedding. You are involving yourself in conflicts that aren’t yours. You want to avoid crazy? Crazy thrives on conflict. Decline to get involved, and crazy will almost immediately choose another target.

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Dee May 21, 2015 at 10:51 am

You can avoid the crazy by staying out of the drama from this point on. Ann and her fiancé are the ones responsible for handling this themselves – they always were, but still you were dragged in. And if the missing people have been replaced then what further drama is there? Now you need to step back and “be busy” with your own things until you join Ann on the day of the wedding. If Ann is respectful of you she will stop filling you in on her drama. If not, then you’ll have fair warning for future dealings with Ann.

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Margo May 22, 2015 at 3:36 am

I think all you can do is refuse to be dragged in. If Ann starts to tell you about issues she has with Danielle, you an say “You need to have that conversation with Danielle, not with me”
If other people bring up the situation, you can refuse to participate “Oh, lets no discuss that, we’re here to celebrate Ann & Fiance’s Wedding – don;t you just love her dress / don’t they make a lovely couple”
If Danielle, or Elizabeth, or the boyfriend try to bring up the subject you can say “I’d really prefer not to get involved, and any way today is about Ann and Fiance, it’s not the time or place to get into what happened with Ann and Danielle” If you can manage to sound slightly bored, rather than stressed, that can help

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ketchup May 21, 2015 at 6:00 am

I’ve been through this kind of drama. The reasons for my experiences were: (A) Not being picky enough about friends. Not everyone can be your friend, and if for example your expectations about friendship are too different it’s best to let it go. (B) Friends became friends with friends of friends and maybe even with friends of friends of friends. It often sounds like fun and the more the merrier, but again it doesn’t always work out. And then personalities clash.
I’ve found the dramas were good lessons on how to befriend people healthily and responsibly. It seems you, OP, are well on your way too, leaving the house.
You are never responsible for other people’s relationships. The bride has to find her own way, and asking a maid of honour to ‘fire’ a bridesmaid is not being responsible.

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JO May 21, 2015 at 8:25 am

Everything Admin said, exactly. There’should more than enough drama going on for everyone.

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JO May 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

That should be *there is more.

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Livvy17 May 21, 2015 at 2:54 pm

The OP kind of reminds me of a girlfriend I had back in college. The kind of girlfriend who would seek out your boyfriend, laugh and flirt with him, and then run back to you about how sorry she was that he kept hitting on her. She constantly stirred the pot, and then would then accuse others of what she herself had been doing. The OP identifies the Bride as her “very best friend – practically my sister” but perhaps the Bride doesn’t feel the same? Why is Autumn the MOH, not this VBFF/almost-sister? The story didn’t mention that Autumn was an actual sister, etc.
Also, if Danielle kept threatening to drop out of the wedding, why didn’t Ann just let her? Ann doesn’t seem to have much of a spine at all, much less a polite one. I too, was horrified to read that she’d made her MOH do her dirty work, as if it were her job! Even if she doesn’t want Danielle’s friendship anymore, she owes Danielle an apology for the shabby treatment.
Finally, Elizabeth and a Long term friend of the Bride and Groom both dropped out?
Oh, how I wish I could hear from Danielle or Elizabeth, because I think their stories would be very interesting indeed.

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Elizabeth May 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm

My goodness, OP, stay out of this. You don’t have a role here, none of this is in your control, and any decisions are not yours to make.

And Ann is threatening to cance the wedding over this silliness? How rude to everyone that has made plans and commitments to attend. Ann sounds a bit too immature to be making a life-long decision.

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essie May 22, 2015 at 4:36 am

“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.”

Here’s some more advice; well, it’s the same advice as admin gave, just phrased more colloquially.
Keep repeating to yourself “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

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Angel May 23, 2015 at 3:36 pm

After reading the entire submission, it’s probably for the best that the wedding does get cancelled. If the bride is ready to cancel her own wedding due to bridesmaid drama she is not mature enough to be getting married. I think the OP should just stay out of it and see what happens. Be prepared to stand up if the wedding still goes on–but I would be willing to bet money that it will not.

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ArtK May 27, 2015 at 6:34 pm

Wow. Few people come off smelling nice here.

I agree that if Ann has issues with planning the wedding, then she needs to reconsider whether she wants to get married. If she’s being pressured by her family, friends or her fiance’s family to have a certain kind of event (say a BWW when she’s a registry office kind of person), she needs to deal with that. If she doesn’t have the support of her fiance to have the even that they together (and nobody else) want, then she needs to reconsider him. I know that I’m extrapolating a lot from a single phrase, but we’ve seen that too many times here for it to be unreasonable.

Ann dropped the ball in getting Autumn to do her dirty work. I’ll give her credit for firing a BM who’s making her life harder but she should have stepped up and done it herself.

Daniella, well… Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Elizabeth: Likely a follower personality and may simply be dominated by Daniella. Or it could be that Ann is behaving much worse than the OP describes.

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JenAnn May 28, 2015 at 12:15 pm

I am forever baffled by how people pick their friends. I’m middle aged now, but even by the time I was in high school, I knew how to pick quality friends who knew how to treat others. How is it that people can’t figure this one out? And even if you foolishly consider some of these jerks as friends, it’s that much worse to ask them into significant roles in your life. Well, when you choose to pick immature, selfish idiots for friends, what can you expect? And then in the responses, some apparently could understand/relate to having “bouncers” at a wedding for all manner of possible bad behavior. How did you EVER have these people in your life? It’s all very baffling to me. I’d say I come from a pretty dysfunctional family, but maybe it’s just an instinct that you either have, or you don’t. Bottom line, IMO no one is truly a victim here. The drama was invited in, after all. If you know someone well enough to ask them to be a bridesmaid, don’t even try to pretend you couldn’t have known chaos was just down the line a bit. I’ve personally heard the imbecilic phrase “well, they never did that to ME before” way too many times. It’s hard not consider someone stupid after that comes out of their mouth.

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JenAnn May 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Just to add…..who the heck cares how Ann handled the “firing” of the bridesmaid? She totally dropped the ball long before it got to this point by creating this absurd situation. I honestly couldn’t care less about that part of this discussion. If you create drama, I am not going to care about the details, I’m already checked out.

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