Author Topic: I don't want to be a bridesmaid  (Read 4512 times)

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Twirly

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I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« on: March 13, 2013, 10:33:12 AM »

My DH and I socialize with a couple (Sam and Amber) fairly often, sometimes once a week sometimes a couple times a month but definitely more frequently than anyone else we hang out with. The four of us have a very good time together and several other friends in common whom we all socialize with as a group. The problem is Amber just asked me to be a bridesmaid in their upcoming wedding and I really really donít want to. For many reasons but mainly because I donít really like her all that much. DH and Sam are great friends and like I said the four of us get along great but Amber on her own drives me up the wall with her needy and attention-seeking, childish behavior. I can handle it in a group setting, and to be fair she is tons of fun at parties, but once I realized what a drama fiend she is I quietly made it a point to refrain from socializing with her individually. Until last night. She just had a major falling out with two of her best friends/bridesmaids and really needed to vent and asked me to meet her for a drink and some advice.

There's tons of back story and really it doesnít matter what the fight was about and in my opinion there were overreactions and drama from every side,  but both girls dropped out of the wedding . I am also good friends with Fran, one of the "fallen bridesmaids", and this is so not the first time these two have fought like middle schoolers. They tend to both vent to me about it, knowing I refuse to take sides or say anything beyond "you're both being stubborn. She's been like this for 15 years, it's not going to change. Either end the friendship or be the bigger person and apologize." That is my oft-repeated Toots Special if you will and all I ever say to both of them because its always true. I actually like Fran quite a bit, hang out with her individually and usually think she's in the right (though I keep it to myself!) but she and Amber are both stubborn as anything and bring out the worst in each other.

Sooo the end result of all this ridiculousness is last night I broke my self imposed rule and met up with Amber to give her a shoulder to cry on. She tells me she loves me, I am one of her closest friends and would I please fill in for one of the now open spots. I'm sure I had that deer in the headlights look but at least was able to think quickly and say I needed to get back to her as I am the MOH in another wedding the month prior. I am a major people pleaser and terrible at giving rejection so I'm worried I'm going to feel bad for her and just say yes. I donít want to make things awkward for DH as Sam is one of his only friends in this area (we moved here a few years ago and met everyone around the same time)  and also a truly great guy. It would feel weird for me to be in the wedding but not DH when he actually the closest link to the couple.

So that ended up being way longer than I anticipated, cookies if you made it this far. I donít hate Amber but think of her more as an acquaintance I happen to see a lot rather than a friend, how can I tactfully decline being her back-up bridesmaid?

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TurtleDove

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 10:38:28 AM »
I am confused why your DH is not a groomsman if you spend so much time with the HC!  With that knowledge, I think declining is made easier though.  I wouldn't make a big deal about it but just say you cannot afford the time and money since you already agreed to be MOH the month before but that you and DH look forward to the HC's wedding.

lowspark

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 10:39:23 AM »
I think you have the perfect out. You're in another wedding one month before, and you simply can't commit to the time & money that it would take to be in another wedding so soon after.

Coralreef

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 10:41:53 AM »
Exactly has the previous replies said.  Just say that since you're MOH for another wedding, you don't have the time, energy and money to be a bridesmaid in another in such a short timeframe. 

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lowspark

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 10:43:18 AM »
I also meant to add that since she's only adding you because others fell through, you really don't need to feel that bad about declining. She apparently doesn't feel you're that close of a friend either, or she would have asked you in the first go-around. And by the same token, the fact that your DH is not a groomsman indicates that they both feel that way about your friendship as a couple. Nothing wrong with that, but it might make you feel better about declining.

bah12

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 11:34:15 AM »
"Amber, I thought about your offer for me to step in and be a bridesmaid at your and Sam's upcoming wedding.  Thank you for asking, but unfortunately, I must decline.  Like I said, I'm MOH in another wedding the month prior and I don't feel like I can handle helping with two weddings at the same time along with my other responsibilities (work, family, whatever)." 

Daydream

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 12:09:43 PM »
I agree with what everyone else has said.  Plus, the fact that you didn't say yes last night should give her a hint that you're leaning toward not being able to do it.  She shouldn't be surprised when you tell her you can't.

PastryGoddess

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 12:10:57 PM »
I think that giving her reasons for declining are just going to give her ways to get you to agree.  Remember don't JADE. 

"Amber, I've thought long and hard about your request to be a bridesmaid and I'm going to have to decline.  It's simply not going to be possible at this time"
If she asks you why just say "Because it won't be possible" and beandip beandip beandip

And don't offer to "be there for her if she needs anything" to soften the blow. 

WillyNilly

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 12:20:54 PM »
I agree with everyone else. Just say "no". Say it gently, and all, but without guilt. Don't tell her all this, but just bear in mind:

* She didn't initially think you were close enough to ask when she asked her first round.
* You are already busy being a MOH during an overlapping time period.
* You don't really like her all that much and this is a huge and emotional day for her and she deserves to have someone who loves her stand up for her.
* You dislike being put in the middle of your friend's feuds, and since you be replacing a close friend who dropped out...
* You would much rather attend the wedding as a guest with your DH who is not in the wedding party.

If you remember all that, it won't be too hard to say no.

As for being a 'people pleaser' think about this - if you do agree to be a bridesmaid, will it be upsetting and stressful for you?  Will you vent to your DH and close friends?  So be a 'people pleaser' for them, by saying "no", because trust me, it will please them more to not have to deal with you being stressed and unhappy.

lowspark

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 12:21:26 PM »
Yeah, in some circumstances not JADEing is appropriate. But here, I'd say, it would feel kind of creepy to just say "no" without any kind of explanation. If she tries to insist after Twirly says no (with reasons) then, yeah, further answers should be of the "not possible - period" variety. But I think you have to give Amber the benefit of the doubt here and go on the assumption that she'll understand. It's not as if Amber is asking for something unreasonable, in which case the flat out "no" makes sense. She's asking for a favor, and I think the kind and courteous thing for Twirly to do is at least tell her why it won't be possible in her initial reply.

NyaChan

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 12:24:54 PM »
I think that giving her reasons for declining are just going to give her ways to get you to agree.  Remember don't JADE. 

"Amber, I've thought long and hard about your request to be a bridesmaid and I'm going to have to decline.  It's simply not going to be possible at this time"
If she asks you why just say "Because it won't be possible" and beandip beandip beandip

And don't offer to "be there for her if she needs anything" to soften the blow.

I know people advocate for not JADE-ing a lot here and instead suggest this, but I honestly don't think that works in a positive way where a person is interacting with someone they have a social relationship with that they plan to continue or with a family member they are close with.  Doing this with a stranger who is making an unreasonable or unwanted request? Absolutely.  But with someone who you hang out with and is close enough to cry on your shoulder? You are going to do some damage to that relationship which could easily go away if you say, "I'm sorry, I am going to be a MOH in another wedding just before yours, so it won't be possible for me to stand up for you."  No need to go into details re: money & time, but give a little bit so that it doesn't seem arbitrary and unfeeling.

Deetee

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2013, 12:29:10 PM »
Personally I think you handled the the initial "ask" well by saying you would get back to her. I also think saying no is exactly the right thing to do. If she had asked you first then declining would be a bit harder on the friendship, but the rile of backup bridesmaid is a bit insulting.

I have no real advice on wording, but just think you are correct to decline.

Winterlight

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 12:45:51 PM »
Yeah, in some circumstances not JADEing is appropriate. But here, I'd say, it would feel kind of creepy to just say "no" without any kind of explanation. If she tries to insist after Twirly says no (with reasons) then, yeah, further answers should be of the "not possible - period" variety. But I think you have to give Amber the benefit of the doubt here and go on the assumption that she'll understand. It's not as if Amber is asking for something unreasonable, in which case the flat out "no" makes sense. She's asking for a favor, and I think the kind and courteous thing for Twirly to do is at least tell her why it won't be possible in her initial reply.

Agreed. If she argues, then it's fine, but don't start out with a flat no.
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BeagleMommy

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 01:58:30 PM »
"Amber, I've thought about it and I have to decline because I won't be able to give your wedding the time and attention that every bride deserves."

JenJay

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Re: I don't want to be a bridesmaid
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 02:00:57 PM »
I am confused why your DH is not a groomsman if you spend so much time with the HC!  With that knowledge, I think declining is made easier though.  I wouldn't make a big deal about it but just say you cannot afford the time and money since you already agreed to be MOH the month before but that you and DH look forward to the HC's wedding.

Exactly the reasons I'd give.