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Author Topic: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9  (Read 7401 times)

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doodlemor

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2017, 03:53:45 PM »
Your cousin sounds like a very difficult person, OP.  You tried to do the nice thing by asking her to be in the wedding, and she is causing trouble.  To repeat a very worn phrase - No good deed remains unpunished.

I think that you need to approach this whole thing very logically.  Make a list of the pros and cons of having her remaining in the wedding, and a list of the pros and cons of the consequences of her being asked to leave.  Either way there will be consequences, because she is likely to do more things that annoy you if she remains.

Take some time thinking this through, and then discuss the whole thing with your mother, your aunt, and perhaps other relatives.  If you replace her in the wedding party you may have to uninvite her from the wedding, too, if you think that she would be vindictive enough to cause great problems.  This, of course, could affect her parents' attendance, and possibly that of other family members.

If you decide to replace her in the wedding party, she is likely to be angry.  There is no easy way to do it.  The only wording that I can think of would be to tell her that she seems unhappy with the prospect of being in the wedding, you are therefore absolving her of the responsibility, and that you are sorry that the whole thing didn't work out for her to be a bridesmaid.  You could also say that you hope that you and she can work on your differences in the future, and be close again.

I don't have sufficient backstory about her previous misdeeds to offer an opinion as to whether or not you should cut her from the bridal party, OP.  Only you [and perhaps some of your family members] can make this decision.  Best wishes for your wedding, though, and best of luck making a difficult decision about cousin.

PS  I do think that it was rude of cousin to state, not ask, that she was bringing her bf to your "meet the fiance" party.  It does sound like she is trying to upstage you, or else to horn in on your party without spending a dime.  It reminds me of a post I read somewhere about a woman who decided to share some else's wedding, and to get married at the same time and place. 

I also wonder if cousin is jealous that you are getting married first.  If so, then the dress controversy may be just the beginning........

Maria16

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2017, 06:54:10 PM »
Hi All! I need a little advice on how to navigate this situation politely.

I'm getting married in 9 months and most of my bridesmaids(except my MOH) are abroad. So it's been tricky trying to navigate things.

I asked my cousin to be one mostly because I thought everyone in my family expected me to. Growing up we were best friends but when we got to jr high/high school, things drastically changed and I gave her the CD for about 5 years. We made up but it's been more she thinks we're back to "normal" but I still keep her at arms length to make sure I don't get hurt again. My family is completely aware of this situation and were very surprised when I asked her.

I've actually found wedding planning very stress free but every time I get stressed, it has to do with her. At my engagement party, she tried to bring her BF to meet the family(We live overseas so it was my DF's first time meeting the family). This was shot down, but caused issues between my cousin and her mom and the rest of the family. I've been looking for bridesmaid dresses with my MOH, and when I've shown the girls, my cousin has decided to try to give me other options that coincidentally were also much cheaper. Options I'd already looked at and vetoed for various reasons like the colour was wrong or I didn't trust the website. She then complained that I said they could just buy any dress as long as it was the right colour, when I actually said I was thinking about that. All of this was done on the group chat I set up to keep in touch with the girls.

I've now found a wonderful dress that I can order through the shop that I've gotten my own dress at. I was even able to get a discount of ordering 5 or more dresses you get one of the dresses for free. This was perfect since I have 5 girls standing up for me, and then everyone would get a 20% discount! My cousin has refused to do this. Instead, she wants to order from a website and be saving literally $30(20 GBP). This also now means the other girls will have to pay full price.

I'm worried this makes me sound like a bridezilla, but I feel like she is being so selfish and difficult.

So my question is how can I ask her if she wants to step down?

Why couldn't she bring her boyfriend to meet the family? What does that have to do with your DF's meeting everyone for the 1st time? That's very strange. It's not as if he would be able to carry on a convo with every single family member simultaneously. Just give your cousin the $30 and then order the dresses together so everyone gets the discount.

kudeebee

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2017, 08:02:39 PM »
I wouldn't ask her to step down, that will probably create more problems than it is worth.

I would order the dresses from the dress shop and pay the difference between the cost of the dress and what she would have paid from the website.

As to the engagement party and her bringing the bf--you stated that it was a family party and that he had not been invited, so she should not have asked to bring him and your mom was not wrong in telling her no. 

gramma dishes

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2017, 08:25:58 PM »

...  Why couldn't she bring her boyfriend to meet the family? What does that have to do with your DF's meeting everyone for the 1st time? ...

Because the party was being held precisely for the purpose of her family meeting her fiance for the first time.  Had the cousin brought her own boyfriend to this very special event, it would have been a distraction.  Cousin and her boyfriend would be stealing the OP and her fiance's thunder.  Upstaging.

Maria16

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2017, 02:58:17 AM »
Hi all, thanks for the feedback, it's a lot to think about.

Also I kinda think you were out of line saying she couldn't bring her bf to your engagement party. Unless he is very new. Significant others are usually invited and how many times your DF has met the family is irrelevent to if your bridesmaids should be allowed to bring boyfriends.

I didn't say she couldn't, my mom did. He was never invited, it was a family only party which my mother and aunt(not her mom) organised and paid for. They put it on so my grandmother(who is too old to travel) could be a part of the wedding celebrations. My cousin announced she was bringing him to the party so he could meet the family. My family viewed it as her trying to upstage us, our visit was for them to get to know my DF, who they see as becoming a part of the family.

Why can't all the bridesmaids order thru cousin's chosen website to save $30?  The way you describe it sounds like the discount you're getting at your shop isn't as good as what cousin's website is selling at.


The savings my cousin can get only applies to the USA, which would work for one other girl. The other 3 are in the UK and Hong Kong, so the cost to order and ship would be greater than ordering through the shop and I post it to them. I felt ordering from the shop was the best option and my mom was going to take the dresses back to the USA for my cousin and other friend when she came to visit. I did ask the girls if they liked the dress and when I went to look for them, I tried to look for one they could wear again. I actually picked one of the convertible ones where you can change the top based on what looks good/what you'd like. I did run by the cost of the dresses with the girls, none of whom had an issue. All the girls actually make alot more money than I do, except for my MOH. My MOH went with me and we tried to find a dress that wasn't too expensive.

For now, I'm just going to leave it and I'm looking at alternatives for the other girls. I do agree that yes, I am regretting asking her. I suppose a large part of it is I know the history, which I don't want to get into because it's not 100% relevant to this, other than yes, it does colour my perception of alot of what she does.

Your mom was very rude to do this. I can't imagine begrudging a bridesmaid, who is also family, the option to bring her bf. I would have a serious talk with mom about this as it is very aggressive. It seems like mom is the one causing stress bc her behavior was so unkind in this instance, I may question her judgment.

Maria16

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2017, 03:13:11 AM »
Sounds like the family did not know the BF and he was not invited, so yes, it was rude to state that she was bringing him.  Since it's family, perhaps I could see asking.  We don't know how long this person has been the BF, but clearly not long enough to meet the family previously.

If they didn't know she was seeing someone seriously then that's fine. Then they learned she was so bringing him should be a no issue. The OP used the word upstaging which has certain unflattering connotation. I imagine DF would welcome the company. Also, I can't envision a scenario where the party becomes less about honoring the couple to be because another family member brought her new boyfriend unless the new guy is amazingly impressive and socialable and the DF is not. Is it possible mom is concerned DF will seem less than? I would be annoyed at my family and feel offended if they viewed me that way.

Two Ravens

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2017, 07:30:38 AM »

...  Why couldn't she bring her boyfriend to meet the family? What does that have to do with your DF's meeting everyone for the 1st time? ...

Because the party was being held precisely for the purpose of her family meeting her fiance for the first time.  Had the cousin brought her own boyfriend to this very special event, it would have been a distraction.  Cousin and her boyfriend would be stealing the OP and her fiance's thunder.  Upstaging.

Unless the BF was planning to propose to the MOH at the party, I really don't understand how he could "upstage" the engaged couple. Surely the OP's fiancée wouldn't be the center of attention at all times.

If the BF had met the family before, would he still be banned?

Hmmmmm

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2017, 08:11:20 AM »
OP, I won't get into the discussion about the boyfriend and the party. To many issues we don't know. Is cousin the black sheep of the family and hoping for moral support? Is she usually an attention seaker? Are there other opportunities for her to introduce her BF to the family and she's chosen not too? Where any other signficiant other's invited?

But on the issue of the dress.
-Tell her that you'd prefer all dresses to bought from the same sight and offer to fund her $30 difference so that the otehr girls get their 20% discount. If she still offers resistance, then ask her if she is still excited about being a bridesmaid or if she'd rather step down. Tell her you know that it's costly and time consuming for bridesmaids and you understand if right now isn't a good time. Suggest that instead maybe she'd like to do a reading at the wedding. 

FauxFoodist

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2017, 10:42:43 AM »
Sounds like the family did not know the BF and he was not invited, so yes, it was rude to state that she was bringing him.  Since it's family, perhaps I could see asking.  We don't know how long this person has been the BF, but clearly not long enough to meet the family previously.

If they didn't know she was seeing someone seriously then that's fine. Then they learned she was so bringing him should be a no issue. The OP used the word upstaging which has certain unflattering connotation. I imagine DF would welcome the company. Also, I can't envision a scenario where the party becomes less about honoring the couple to be because another family member brought her new boyfriend unless the new guy is amazingly impressive and socialable and the DF is not. Is it possible mom is concerned DF will seem less than? I would be annoyed at my family and feel offended if they viewed me that way.

The OP doesn't indicate this is a serious BF of Cousin.  Her mom and aunt (not Cousin's mom) hosted this party and BF, who they didn't know about, was not invited.  Let's set aside the concern about upstaging and that he is Cousin's BF, he's an uninvited person Cousin wanted to bring.  Mom and NCA were not rude at all saying someone not invited could not be brought to the party.  The fact that he's Cousin's BF is a different issue.  Clearly, it was more important to Mom and Aunt for the focus of the party they organized and paid for to be OP and DF so they're okay with Cousin and Cousin's mom to be upset with this (how many times have we said either the other party could be upset over something unreasonable of them they want but aren't allowed to get away with having or the OP could be upset for allowing the other party to have unreasonable thing the OP doesn't want).  The OP doesn't indicate she was fine with her cousin's BF being there so, no, the BF should not have allowed to attend a party where he was not invited.  Cousin and Cousin's Mom could host their own party where they introduce BF to the family.

gellchom

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2017, 02:06:33 PM »
I think it made perfect sense for the cousin to ask if her boyfriend could attend the engagement party, particularly if it was fairly large, to meet the family.  (Yet another time when regular etiquette rules don't solve the problem.)  He's obviously a serious enough boyfriend for her to care about doing that, not just a casual date.  And this is the time that the family will all be together -- in fact,  especially the OP herself and her fiance, who live overseas, IIRC.  In fact, for just that reason, family events like this are the most common time to make such a request.  I agree with Two Ravens that

Quote
Unless the BF was planning to propose to the MOH at the party, I really don't understand how he could "upstage" the engaged couple. Surely the OP's fiancée wouldn't be the center of attention at all times.
And I think this question is excellent:

Quote
If the BF had met the family before, would he still be banned?

The answer will reveal whether it is really about an inappropriate request (like it might be for a dinner for 6 or a family trip or something) or just fear of anyone drawing even a tiny bit of attention on A Day That Is Supposed to Be All About Us. 

I also agree with the idea of just paying the $30 for this cousin's dress.  Would that all problems had such cheap and fast solutions!  (A more absolutely fair, but much more complicated, solution would be to equalize the price of all the dresses by one person buying them all at the cheapest places for each, averaging out the cost, and billing each attendant, but it hardly seems worth it.)

I agree with other posters that this seems to be a "witch eating crackers" situation.  I am sure that this cousin is every bit as annoying as the OP says she is, but she clearly is seeing everything this woman does in the worst possible light and magnifying it.  (We all do this sometimes.) 

I definitely don't see anything at all that justifies firing her as a bridesmaid -- that is Dropping the Big One, especially for a relative.  It would affect a lot of people, not just this cousin.  And the OP seems to know this, too -- thus the subject of the post, trying to turn it around a bit.  But the truth is she doesn't think her cousin wants to step down; rather, she wants to find a blameless way to fire her just because she finds her irritating.  And there just isn't one.

But, OP, don't worry; it will barely even register a blip on your wedding day.  And in my experience, you never regret including family (even irritating family) and sometimes you are very glad you did when you least expect it.

cicero

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2017, 06:55:08 AM »
Are these two issues -  the bf at the engagement party and the dress -  the only sticky issues pertaining to the wedding?  Because quite frankly,  in neither of them does your cousin sound bratty.  Wanting to bring a bf to a family event sounds like a normal thing to do. She may have asked in a rude way,  but in and of itself it's not uncommon. 

The dress?  When a bridesmaid says to you things like "thus website has very similar dresses for half the cost"  or "I thought you were OK with the dresses being the same color",  they may be trying to say "your requested dress/store are too expensive for me and/or the style you chose will really look horrible on me".  I am hesitant to say you are being a bridezilla but I would discuss it with the other bridesmaids and possibly  rethink the dress issue. 

It kind of sounds like the stress is caused by the history between you.  However,  at this point,  I wouldn't ask her to step down because I don't think she really did anything that would warrant that.

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sammycat

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2017, 07:23:33 AM »
Are these two issues -  the bf at the engagement party and the dress -  the only sticky issues pertaining to the wedding?  Because quite frankly,  in neither of them does your cousin sound bratty.  Wanting to bring a bf to a family event sounds like a normal thing to do. She may have asked in a rude way,  but in and of itself it's not uncommon. 

The dress?  When a bridesmaid says to you things like "thus website has very similar dresses for half the cost"  or "I thought you were OK with the dresses being the same color",  they may be trying to say "your requested dress/store are too expensive for me and/or the style you chose will really look horrible on me".  I am hesitant to say you are being a bridezilla but I would discuss it with the other bridesmaids and possibly  rethink the dress issue. 

It kind of sounds like the stress is caused by the history between you.  However,  at this point,  I wouldn't ask her to step down because I don't think she really did anything that would warrant that.

I agree. 

I've been to heaps of special/specific event parties where people have brought along their new bf or gf for the first time. It's never detracted from, or stolen the thunder of, the main event.  My own DH (then bf) was introduced to most of my extended family for the first time at my grandmother's 90th birthday party.  It didn't take away from her event in any way.  A cousin brought their new bf along to my engagement party.  In both these cases I thought it was incredibly brave of the new SO to jump in the deep end and take on all the family at once more than anything!

rigs32

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2017, 10:56:55 AM »
Are these two issues -  the bf at the engagement party and the dress -  the only sticky issues pertaining to the wedding?  Because quite frankly,  in neither of them does your cousin sound bratty.  Wanting to bring a bf to a family event sounds like a normal thing to do. She may have asked in a rude way,  but in and of itself it's not uncommon. 

The dress?  When a bridesmaid says to you things like "thus website has very similar dresses for half the cost"  or "I thought you were OK with the dresses being the same color",  they may be trying to say "your requested dress/store are too expensive for me and/or the style you chose will really look horrible on me".  I am hesitant to say you are being a bridezilla but I would discuss it with the other bridesmaids and possibly  rethink the dress issue. 

It kind of sounds like the stress is caused by the history between you.  However,  at this point,  I wouldn't ask her to step down because I don't think she really did anything that would warrant that.

OP, I think you're looking at this through the opposite of rose colored glasses because of your history with cousin.

You want the cousin to spend more money to save the other BMs money?  That's not fair.  I agree with those who suggest you give her the $30 extra she has to spend.  It may "only" be $30 to you, but it's not your $30.

I've been the SO excluded from a family event.  It got way more awkward for me when family members asked why I wasn't at that event.  Do I lie and say I had to work?  Or do I tell the truth and say I was excluded for fear of stealing a teeny tiny drop of spotlight?  I also don't understand how allowing the BF at the party would have stolen the spotlight.  Was everyone going to just stare are you and your fiance the whole time?


Pooky582

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2017, 02:46:48 PM »
I don't think OP needs advice about the dresses or the engagement party issue. Those were only offered up as examples of her cousins behavior. Her question was how to approach her cousin with the idea of not being a bridesmaid. And I can't imagine there is a way to do it that won't ruffle any feathers, but if you are truly unhappy with her being apart of this experience, you have to try.

You could say something like " I'm trying very hard to be accommodating for all of my bridesmaids , and found a dress that everyone is happy with and includes a discount that everyone can benefit from. I don't like the idea of you ordering your dress from a separate vendor than everyone else, in case they are different." (And you could offer to pay that difference, if you want, which I am assuming is just $10-20. I think other PP's forgot to factor in the 20% off that everyone would get if cousin didn't get hers separately. So cousin is saving money either way). This lets her know that it is not just about her, but four other girls are involved; and that you do have final say since it is your wedding.

Or, if you really would prefer, be even more straightforward. "Cousin, I've tried to be very accommodating, but you still aren't happy with the plans for my bridesmaids. I would not be offended if you would rather just attend as a guest instead of a bridesmaid. That way there is no stress and you can just enjoy yourself."

Sophia

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Re: How to Politely Ask Someone if They Want To Step Down? UD #9
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2017, 03:00:27 PM »
I can understand the annoyance about the bf at the party.   If he were that serious of a bf, they would have met him already.   Bringing him to the party with the purpose of the family meeting the fiance' sets the bf up as equivalent.  That makes it different than a 90th birthday party.  Also, the cousin's bf is local, and the fiance' isn't.   She can introduce her bf to her immediate family some other time.