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Author Topic: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related - update #15  (Read 9085 times)

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faithlessone

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This is more Hen Party related than strictly Wedding Party, but I'm asking for a bit of help and advice, if my lovely fellow eHellions are able.

I'm a bridesmaid and sort of MOH for my best friend in the world (let's call her Bride). We haven't been friends all that long, I met her about 3 and a half years ago, but we clicked immediately. Very similar interests and outlooks.

There are two other bridesmaids.

The first is her sister (let's call her Sister) is well, tempestuous. A spoiled child grown into a spoiled adult. She's 24 but acts about 12 most of the time. She is a bridesmaid because, to be fair, it was going to be more stressful for Bride to refuse to have her in the wedding party. Family drama and all that. She's very self-centred, and doesn't like compromising.

The other is her long-time friend, (let's call her Friend). They've known eachother since they were little kids, still quite close, but quite different people now. She's very shy, very introverted, and a notorious flake.

You can probably already see where my issues are, but let me spell them out a bit.

For a start, neither of them seem to care much about the wedding. Neither of them have shown any interest in helping with the invitations or any other wedding-related things. They were both entirely unavailable to go dress shopping with the Bride for her dress (we ended up going alone). Bridesmaids' dress shopping had to be rescheduled several times due to one or the other of them having issues (Friend had to switch her day off, Sister had a really bad hangover, etc.)

To be fair, we are planning this in "advance". The wedding is in September. Perhaps they will get more excited as the date draws closer, but it's really getting to Bride, and I don't know how to help other than just being there for her.

I suppose it's really come to a head because of the hen party.

Given that we are all busy people, and the fact that the activity Bride and I came up with (archery and assault rifle shooting at a place near Bride's home) does need to be booked in advance, I started trying to get a date about a month ago. We finally all settled on September 3rd, about 2 weeks before the wedding. Perfect. I booked the activity, and sent actual invitations to all the people involved.

Friend messages the group saying she thinks she'll have to work that weekend. Never mind that it's seven months away and she hasn't even attempted to get the day off. She says she can't come. Don't worry about switching the date. She'll see if she might possibly be able to come have drinks in the evening.

Then Sister (same day), says that the following day is her boyfriend's brother's birthday, so she'll be down at their family home (other side of the UK) all weekend. Won't be available at all. Can we switch the dates?

Well, no. Since we decided on the date, other plans have been made, and now it really is the only day that Bride can do. And there's not much point doing it without her.  >:D

Bride is annoyed and upset that Sister would rather spend time with her boyfriend's family than go to her hen party, and that Friend has dropped out without even a token attempt at getting the day off. Even more as it's another in a string of let downs.

Apologies for the long post. So, any advice? Is it worth confronting them myself, letting them know how much it's hurting their sister/friend, or should I leave it up to the bride?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 12:34:56 AM by faithlessone »

Harriet Jones

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2016, 03:51:11 PM »
Personally, I'd just drop it, and not expect anything from either of them regarding the wedding.  I doubt that talking to either of them will get them to change their behavior.

#borecore

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2016, 03:52:51 PM »
No, confronting them can't force them to care. I don't know that anything positive could possibly come of it.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but I do think your expectations are too high. As a bridesmaid, I wouldn't expect to have to work on invitations or go wedding dress shopping (though I might volunteer to help if I wanted to), especially if I were only an obligatory 'oldest friend' or family bridesmaid.

If you wanted them to attend the hen party, you should have scheduled it with them, not told them after the fact. There's no way on earth I'd go to an assault rifle-shooting party -- and I wouldn't want to explain that to a bride who really wanted to do it; I'd just decline. And I wouldn't cancel a vacation with my partner for a single day out that I wasn't consulted about, either.

I'm not saying that's what's up here, just that I can relate to them. Not everyone prioritizes being a bridesmaid. For many, it's just about the day of the wedding, not all the other trimmings.

menley

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 03:57:39 PM »
As I read the OP, I thought the other bridesmaids had agreed on the date and then backed out.

Mustard

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2016, 04:12:45 PM »
I'm not sure whether all the bridesmaids were involved in deciding the date of the hen party, or if it was just the bride and OP; I'd be miffed at being left out of this discussion, especially if I'd known the bride her whole life (sister) or since I was a small child (friend). I wouldn't want to do the assault rifle/archery thing either, so pretty sure I'd be busy too!

I'm not sure what you can do, but confronting them isn't the answer.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 04:18:06 PM »
From the OP it sounds like there was some group messaging involved, but I can't tell if it was just among the bridal party or everyone they were inviting.

#borecore

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2016, 04:27:44 PM »
Mustard, Harriet Jones, Menley -- it's possible I misinterpreted the planning stuff on the hen date, but it sounded to me like they tried to set a date, then bride and OP set it and let the others know.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2016, 04:29:53 PM »
Maybe the OP can clarify. It's not clear to me how many people were consulted on the date.

shhh its me

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2016, 04:41:57 PM »
  If Friend and Sister didn't ok the date (I am 90% sure they did but not certain) then that was a booboo and you're still 7 months out consider changing the date. Depends on how many other people were invited. 7 months out its reasonable but confusing to call the other invitees and say "We made a mistake on the date" Call and Send new invite and then call again (in case someone still has the original date marked down) 7 months is actually really really early to send invites. I would be reconfirming with guests close to the date regardless with invites sent that far out.

If they knew and confirmed the date , just accept Friend doesn't want to, actually that  just reads to me Friend DOES NOT WANT TO. It sounds like she doesn't want to hurt anyone's feeling or ruin anyone's fun by saying "I don't want to do that." , just let her declined the invite.

Bales

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2016, 04:46:28 PM »
It sounds to me like no matter the date, neither BM would make an effort, since after all, we are 7 months out and they already know they have other plans that are the equivalent of "washing their hair."  Unless Friend knows that's a crazy busy work weekend (like tax season in the U.S. for accountants) and just didn't explain that well.  But sister's excuse is flimsy and I wouldn't plan anything around her based on the history anyway.  So, it's best to have the date that works for you and the bride.

As for what to do, the answer is nothing.  You are not the bridesmaid-wrangler.  You are there for the bride and can be excited for her, but you can't make others feel or act the same.  If I were the bride, I wouldn't read into it much anyway - Sister is only there because it's easier than having family discord and since she's known Friend since childhood and knows she's introverted,  she must know that Friend may prefer to take a back seat on the more social aspects of the wedding events anyway. (I'm assuming that about Friend anyway, since OP mentioned that aspect of her personality.)  So, in a sense, the Bride picked them, so now she has to live with those choices. 

Yes, it would be awesome if they put in more of an effort, but don't expect it.  At the same time, don't cut them out - keep giving them opportunities to join in where they can.  If they choose not to, that's on them.  It's nice that the bride has you to help her and to share the excitement.  You're clearly a good friend for wanting to protect her from being hurt, but it may backfire and just cause further stress if her bridesmaids all get in an argument.

Cali.in.UK

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2016, 05:54:01 PM »
I was the MOH for my sister's wedding last summer and I had a really hard time with her bridesmaids. Sister was part of the popular clique in high school and her BMs are a group of adult mean girls who (in my opinion) did everything in their power to exclude me from the bridal party, examples: they wouldn't respond to my messages, they revoked my hen party planning position and ultimately planned an exclusive hen party that I could not attend and then icing on the cake? They ignored me at the wedding, one of them never even said one word while we spent the morning getting ready... it was very confusing and hurtful.

BUT... the advice that I got on ehell, that in retrospect I wish I had listened more to was to not let it get to me. Weddings make people act very strange, and the only thing that you can control is your own behaviour. If Bride's Sister and Friend are acting like boors, just expect them to be that way in the future and do not expect them to change. I would make plans that will be fun for Bride and make it possible for the others to attend but not reliant on their attendance. For example, don't plan group activities that require all four of you. I would even recommend planning a hen night with more girls that will be at the wedding, like cousins and other friends etc.

I ended up planning a second more inclusive hen night and I'm so glad I did because even though I was excluded from the traditional bridal-party-only hen night, I still got to celebrate with my sister and her other, much nicer friends. So try to let their rude behaviour roll off your back (I know it is not easy) and just try to make Bride happy despite them. Good luck!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2016, 05:55:39 PM by Cali.in.UK »

sammycat

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2016, 06:10:04 PM »
No, confronting them can't force them to care. I don't know that anything positive could possibly come of it.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but I do think your expectations are too high. As a bridesmaid, I wouldn't expect to have to work on invitations or go wedding dress shopping (though I might volunteer to help if I wanted to), especially if I were only an obligatory 'oldest friend' or family bridesmaid.

If you wanted them to attend the hen party, you should have scheduled it with them, not told them after the fact. There's no way on earth I'd go to an assault rifle-shooting party -- and I wouldn't want to explain that to a bride who really wanted to do it; I'd just decline. And I wouldn't cancel a vacation with my partner for a single day out that I wasn't consulted about, either.

I'm not saying that's what's up here, just that I can relate to them. Not everyone prioritizes being a bridesmaid. For many, it's just about the day of the wedding, not all the other trimmings.

I agree.

If the bride has a problem with these girls then the onus is on her to sort it out. I don't think there's a need for anyone else to get involved.  From the sounds of it, it might just be a blessing in disguise if these other BMs aren't in the picture much.

I've never come across a single bride-to-be in my personal life (either as a friend/relative/acquaintance) who expected, or even wanted, her bridesmaids to help with bridal gown shopping, the invitations, location scouting etc. Basically nothing other than picking out their own dresses and turning up on the day, and perhaps being involved in a pre-wedding party if one is held. So I can't fault the BMs here for not being involved with the activities in the OP. IME it's the responsibility of the bride and groom to organise all that. (Whoever's paying for the wedding might also get involved).

Lynn2000

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 07:40:54 PM »
While I can see how it's disappointing that the other two bridesmaids aren't as excited about the wedding as you and Bride are, I don't think that means they've done anything wrong, necessarily. The things you/Bride are hoping they will do (bridal dress shopping, for example) are fun extras, but not requirements for participating, or even "done by everyone," at least not in my circle. The wedding is still months away, and Bride has known these two almost her whole life--she might be disappointed but she can't possibly be surprised by their behavior. Expecting them to change will only make things more frustrating for both Bride and you.

I also would not be interested in attending an archery/assault rifle party--just not my thing. If the Bride really wanted it, I wouldn't discourage her, I would do exactly what Friend did and just say I couldn't attend--"no need to change the date" is what tells me she doesn't want to attend, no matter what. How did the idea for this party come up? I got the sense the dates were asked about, but was the activity? Not that the activity has to appeal to everyone, but when it doesn't, people may choose not to attend. I agree with the idea of opening that party up to other wedding guests, like other friends and cousins of Bride. It can still be fun even if the other two bridesmaids aren't there.

In fact, you may want to (with Bride's permission) open other activities up to different guests as well. Bridal dress shopping, assembling invitations, cake tasting, whatever--ask the bridesmaids first, but then if they aren't interested, ask a couple of Bride's other friends or relatives. There's no rule against that.
~Lynn2000

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2016, 08:33:22 PM »
The OP stated that "they ALL settled on the date" which to me reads as the Bride and all of her bridesmaids. So I do think the sister and friend are being rude and flaky by backing out now. Fair enough if they don't want to go rifle shooting (if that is indeed the actual reason for them backing out), but they could at least attend (without necessary holding a gun) to show support for the Bride.

That said, I think the politest option is to say nothing.




lakey

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Re: Issues with my fellow bridesmaids - hen party related
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 10:26:33 PM »
Quote
I've never come across a single bride-to-be in my personal life (either as a friend/relative/acquaintance) who expected, or even wanted, her bridesmaids to help with bridal gown shopping, the invitations, location scouting etc.

I agree with this. I suspect that,for some, expectations of bridesmaids have gone up in recent years. When I was younger, no one would have expected you to change your work schedule to shop for bridesmaids' dresses, much less the bridal gown. Bachelorette Parties consisted mostly of going out for dinner and then drinking and dancing. They didn't require that much expense, time, or planning. If people want these more elaborate celebrations, that's great, but they may have to accept the fact that not everyone wants to invest time and money in it. I personally think the gun range activity would be a blast, but some may not like it at all, and some may actually hate it. I suspect that the bride knows these two bridesmaids pretty well, and may not be that surprised at their lack of enthusiasm. OP can just relax and enjoy the activities.