Delicate situation - Advice needed

Hello all, 

So, i'm getting married in less than 6 weeks (so exciting!) I have 2 bridesmaids who are my 2 best friends. A few nights ago I went out with one of them who broke down and told me a lot of very personal issues that she has been going through and keeping to herself, she recently had a breakdown and has quite a lot of mental health issues. We had a huge heart to heart and decided it is too much pressure for her to be a bridesmaid- we agreed she should just come as a guest and enjoy herself. She feels terribly guilty and upset but knows it is for the best if she steps down as a bridesmaid. I love her and am happy with this decision and just to have 1 bridesmaid.

She hasn't told anyone else yet and doesn't want anyone to know about her problems. She is going to tell my other bridesmaid but needs a little time to build up the courage.

The problem is, everyone knows that she is a bridesmaid and I am concerned that people will jump to their own conclusions as to why she now isn't- obviously I don't want to put any more pressure on her / don't want to tell anyone about her problems but I also don't want people thinking we've fallen out / gossiping about her.

What do you think I should tell people? Any advice would be appreciated.


  • I think that if she's up for it still let her do a speech on the day... That way it will be obvious that you two are still close and it must be due to other reasons why she pulled out. 

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    Hi Rachie,

    What a wonderful and caring friend you are. It must have been a difficult decision for both of you.

    I really don't think you need to say anything. If you feel you must, I would just be very general with people: "A change in circumstances means 'x' is no longer a bridesmaid, but she is still attended the wedding as a very welcome guest." Something along those lines.

    I think it's inevitable that some may whisper about it, but you'll need to accept that as human nature (though maybe not the nicest trait). Both of you will choose to let that bother you though. At the end of the day, it's nobody's business and as long as you know your friendship isn't affected by this, that's the most important thing! You could be over-thinking this though. At the end of the day, if you had a fall-out, she wouldn't be there, surely?

    One thing you could do perhaps is get a corsage for her. It could be a simple way of highlighting her importance to you (and identify her as being part of the wedding party) without any pressure of a bridesmaid role  x

  • I don't understand?  Wouldn't it be better just to leave it as it is?  People will wonder what happened.

    Is she not capable of going to a dress fitting and walking down with you?  

    I don't see how the above is too much pressure.  She could always skip all the other stuff.  Or is she frightened about being on show?

  • Kate186Kate186 Posts: 92

    It's very nice of you to be so caring. I just want to say that a lot of people find being a bridesmaid stressful regardless of mental health issues or background things and I think this sort of thing probably happens more regularly than we think. 

    Speeches are difficult for anyone but maybe there's a difference unofficial sort of role she can adopt on the day? Like for example maybe she could take your ring to give to your husband. Or something else. So you're still making a nod to how important she is to you but she doesn't need to worry about it until the day.

    Can I just say that, depending on where you are in the planning process would it be possible to leave the role open to her so she can change her mind if she feels more settled? With most forms of anxiety/depression (etc) people do find things that work for them and everything seems easier. When you're in the midst of it though planning for the future seems impossible.

  • MrsG2bxxMrsG2bxx Posts: 868

    Why is everyone saying about her doing a speech? I cant see where Rachietown has said she expects a speech from her bridesmaid? bridesmaids don't usually give speeches and I would see this as something far more stressful than actually being a BM, if the poor girl doesn't feel comfortable being a BM then she wouldn't want to stand up and do a speech.

    Rachietown is also less than 6 weeks away from her wedding so I think dealing with this now is the right thing to do, I don't think her issues need to be brought up at all, you are being a really great support and great friend to her by not kicking up a fuss or making her feel guilty.  It sounds as though your friend just wants to attend your wedding as a guest and she isn't expecting you to find her another role to substitute.  Don't worry about other people, if anyone asks you just say that your friend felt anxious over the role and that you decided together that her being a guest was best for her, then when you two are fine together and having photos and dancing together that will end any rumours that you had a falling out.  xxx


  • MrsTwizbeMrsTwizbe Posts: 3,352 New bride

    Why don't you say that you are happy for her to be a guest, but that the offer is still open if she feels more up to it on the day.

    You can ask her to get ready with you still and perhaps have her dress ready just in case (no pressure)

    That way she can feel involved but can blend into the background if that is what she needs.

  • OKCharlieOKCharlie Posts: 145 New bride

    I expect it won't be as noticeable as you think. There's so much else going on at weddings, people are going to be far more focused on you and the wedding than who is and isn't bridesmaids. It's lovely that you've been so understanding and have made a decision that you and your friend are happy with. 

  • OKCharlieOKCharlie Posts: 145 New bride

    When someone is suffering from mental health problems, it isn't necessarily to do with the actual reality of the anxiety of being a bridesmaid - but if someone is in a bad place, even the tiniest situation can cause huge anxiety. Which to most of us, would be impossible to understand and is completely out of proportion to the situation. I doubt it is something as specific as sitting at the top table. Clearly, rachietown has made this decision already because the health of her friend is more important! 

  • rachietownrachietown Posts: 125

    Thanks for your advice everyone!

    It's a big mix of things for her- being in the spotlight at the minute and actually having to make a commitment to be there on time etc is a big issue for her as she's dealing with a lot of anxiety among other things.

    I think as a few of you have said it's best just not to make a big deal out of it. I think we'll wait and see what she wants to do in the next few weeks and see what bridesmaid number 2 suggests as well.

    The reception is very relaxed, we don't have a seating plan or anything so the only thing that is changing is her walking down the aisle with me and getting the photos done etc.

    I have asked her to come to the hotel to hang out with me and bridesmaid 2 in the morning if she is feeling up to it so I guess we can just keep it quiet until the big day and see how she is feeling.



  • HereitgoesHereitgoes Posts: 206 New bride
    MrsTwizbe wrote (see post):

    Why don't you say that you are happy for her to be a guest, but that the offer is still open if she feels more up to it on the day.

    You can ask her to get ready with you still and perhaps have her dress ready just in case (no pressure)

    That way she can feel involved but can blend into the background if that is what she needs.

    This is such a lovely idea MrsTwizbe and its so true. Maybe the pressure and the build up of expectations has got in the way. On the day when everyone is buzzing with excitement and getting ready, she might actually decide to take part. If not I think you've dealt with this marvellously, what a lovely and understanding friend you are x Don't let any of the stress get to you, 6 weeks will go by so quickly. Hope you enjoy the rest of your planning :)

  • You are clearly a very loving and supportive friend. She is lucky to have you. I think you are doing the right thing in being relaxed and not putting pressure on her.  Everything will fall into place.

    All the best xx

  • RubyCatRubyCat Posts: 272 New bride

    OK so she's anxious about people staring at her when she's on the altar? And maybe the photos etc


    So here's an idea don't have the BMs walking down the aisle or standing up there with you. They could just be there sat down with matching dresses on. Everyone will still know they are BMs and that you haven't fallen out x

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