Losing friends over not being picked as Bridesmaids- Help! :(

Hi ladies,

I haven’t used this site before, but I am really struggling with my emotions at the moment and need some impartial advice.

I just got engaged in December and we have booked our wedding for Nov 2018 so its all been a bit of a whirlwind.

Even before I got engaged I was massively worried about who to pick as my bridesmaids, as I have a lot of friends and knew that a lot of them were expecting to be asked.

I have now asked 4 of my closest friends to be my bridesmaids, as they are a little group that all know each other. However I have had to tell another friend, who I have known since school and am very close to, that I will not be asking her. She is now not speaking to me and I am so upset. The last thing I wanted to do was upset anyone. I still have 3 other girls that I need to let down – all of whom I was bridesmaid for at their wedding over the last few years. I am seriously worried that I am going to fall out with a lot of my good friends over something so trivial.

I cannot afford to have more than 4 bridesmaids and don’t want to have more than that as we only have a small wedding planned (60 guests) and think more than 4 will look OTT and silly plus be a logistical nightmare of trying to organise all their dresses, accommodation etc.

The problem is that a lot of my friends don’t know each other and I think they all think that they are my best friend. I now feel like I’ve been leading people on and shouldn’t have been their bridesmaid if I didn’t intend to reciprocate.

How on earth am I going to break the news to the others? I chickened out with my friend and sent her a text about it which prob wasn’t the best approach but I was honestly so scared of having to tell her in person and see her hurt. She is also trying to get pregnant currently so I was kind of assuming she may well be heavily pregnant by the wedding in any case.

I suffer from anxiety and am a chronic people-pleaser, I find it ridiculously difficult to say no to anyone for fear of rejection/causing upset.

Has anyone got any advice for me?
Is there anyone else who has had a similar problem? Would be so good to have someone to talk to about it that understands!

My fiancé is supportive but he doesn’t understand, I think he thinks it’s all a bit silly and school playgroundy. .. and obviously I cant talk to my girlfriends as theyre the cause of the probs! Feeling so alone :(

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  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,486 New bride

    BMs are always difficult, as everyone worries about offending others- or at least I think that.   I wasn't asked by someone who I thought was my closest friends, and she asked her sisters.  She then said "Oh I would rather have you"  I was hurt, but got over it.  We are still very close, and I never changed our relationship because of her not having me as a BM. 

    There are ways of saying it.  You can't have everyone, as you say, it will be expensive and look OTT.  If you don't want to do it in person maybe create a message and adapt it.  Say you have been looking at BMs, and you very much value their friendship, but that you have had to make the decision to only have a few BMs.  How about finding other ways for them to be involved?  Doing a reading?  MC?  There are lots of options, and really don't worry- a true friend will understand

  • MrsJamesMrsJames Posts: 406 New bride

    I'm so sorry that your friend is not speaking to you because of this. Unfortunately while weddings bring out the best in some people, they do bring out the worst in others. You shouldn't feel pressured to have certain people as your bridesmaid, it is ultimately your choice and I don't think just because you are bridesmaid for someone they have right to assume they will be yours. 

    I personally didn't tell the friends I didn't have as bridesmaids that I wasn't having them as a bridesmaid, I just didn't think it was necessary. Unless your friends specifically ask if they are going to be a bridesmaid or you feel you need to explain your choice to them I wouldn't make a point of telling them they aren't a bridesmaid. If they ask if you've chosen bridesmaids yet then I would be honest and say that you simply couldn't afford to have all your close friends as bridesmaids, I'm sure those who have planned a wedding will understand completely. 

    When you told your friend she wasn't going to be your bridesmaid did you explain why and make sure she knew it was no reflection on your friendship? It could be that she read the text differently to how it was meant, I'd probably start by trying to make sure she knows you still value her friendship and you would still like her to be involved in some way. Like britbird said maybe a reading or a speech, you could even ask her to plan the hen do with you or ask for her to help you pick your bridal accessories etc. There are plenty of ways you can include her.

  • I'm so sorry your friend is reacting like this - there's something about weddings that brings out the most selfish side of some people.  I honestly wouldn't bother trying to make it up to her or giving her any special role - if she really cared about you, she would just be happy for you and happy to be part of your day in any way - why reward her for making such a fuss?!

    Like MrsJames suggested, I simply wouldn't tell people that aren't chosen to be BMs - to do so risks creating an issue where there doesn't need to be one, and some people may perceive it as your rubbing it in that you picked other people....  and if anyone asks, just explain very simply and briefly that you could only afford 4 

  • I understand that it’s a really difficult situation to be in but not one that I think you have caused so don’t feel to blame at all. I personally don’t feel they are owed a ‘sorry but you’re not my bridesmaid’ chat or messagr, unless you have previous suggested they would be at some point in your friendship. If they are not asked then they should not assume they are a part of the wedding. If they talk to you about your wedding plans you can mention who your bridemaids are or how many you have chosen to have; this way they should them realise that it doesn’t Include them without needing an awkward conversation. Obviously I don‘t know friends and how they would take this or whether it would cause a confrontation. However, I think sometimes having a blunt conversation can sound more harsh than necessary.

  • THanks so much for taking the time to respond both of you.

    this is the message I sent:

    “I have asked the girls that I lived with at uni to be my bridesmaids as they are a little group that all know each other really well and will all be staying together at the hotel etc. I hope that you don’t mind that I haven’t asked you, as obviously you’re one of my closest friends, but I thought u wud prefer to come up with Dan and I am hoping you will soon have much bigger and better things to be focussing on this year anyway!!  Love u lotsXx”

    her rrply was: “I really thought I would be one of the bridesmaids” and I have not heard from her since despite trying to arrange to meet.

    i don’t know what else I can Say?! She is not someone that would want to do something like a speech/reading as she isn’t not confident at that sort of thing, and we have already chosen our witnesses. based on her reaction I am so worried about letting down others now, I can’t believe anyone would break friends over something so trivial but there we go!

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,486 New bride
    Anxiousbride2 wrote (see post):

    THanks so much for taking the time to respond both of you.

    this is the message I sent:

    “I have asked the girls that I lived with at uni to be my bridesmaids as they are a little group that all know each other really well and will all be staying together at the hotel etc. I hope that you don’t mind that I haven’t asked you, as obviously you’re one of my closest friends, but I thought u wud prefer to come up with Dan and I am hoping you will soon have much bigger and better things to be focussing on this year anyway!!  Love u lotsXx”

    her rrply was: “I really thought I would be one of the bridesmaids” and I have not heard from her since despite trying to arrange to meet.

    i don’t know what else I can Say?! She is not someone that would want to do something like a speech/reading as she isn’t not confident at that sort of thing, and we have already chosen our witnesses. based on her reaction I am so worried about letting down others now, I can’t believe anyone would break friends over something so trivial but there we go!

    Her reaction is quite immature to be honest- and I think your message was fine in the first place- there isn't much else you can say.  Maybe suggest meeting up at some point, so the ball is back in her court and then just leave it?

  • Ps. I feel that I am partly to blame as i have led these people to believe we are super close (which we are!) and I think at some point in the past (before I had a bf!) i May have said they would be bridesmaid but situations and friendships have evolved since then :( the reaosn i felt pressured to let her down was because because she was making presumptive comments and I could tell she had automatically assumed she would be a bridesmaid... unfortunately I think the same is true with a couple of the others :(

  • For the current situation I pretty much echo what those above have said - I personally wouldn't make a point of telling people that they are not BMs, and your friends shouldn't assume they are going to be, and should be happy for you regardless. That being said, if you really feel the need to make her feel better about it, as others have said there are loads of ways to include her.

    I'd like to offer some advice for afterwards however. You're worried that, by telling your "closest friends" that they are not BM that you will lose them as a friend. Now, hopefully it doesn't come to this, and IF you tell them they will be mature enough to understand. BUT, if they don't take it well, and do fall out with you over it - Do not worry yourself over it, they are NOT worth your time or effort or upset.

    I'm like you, suffer from anxiety and verrryyy much a people pleaser - I used to have a MASSIVE group of girl friends like yourself, some of which I felt very, very close to. I spent years being walked over, being made to feel like the bad guy, and being denied the support I needed and expected from a "friend". Eventually I cut the lot of them off, and I have never been happier! It can be really difficult when you're a people pleaser to see that the way YOU are being treat is wrong...

    If these ladies truly are the close friends that you think they are, they will understand and support you no matter what you decision. If they don't, then they aren't true friends, and you shouldn't waste any more of your time on them. Quality over quantity and all that - You'll be happier knowing the friends you have are true ones! 

    Sorry for the long reply - Just related a lot to this and don't want someone else wasting their time and effort as I did! Good luck lovely x

    Remember, when stressed, simply channel your inner Bridechilla: Take a sand bath, munch some veggies, then chew on a wooden stick... wait... no... that's a Chinchilla... 

    My planning thread
  • You message really didn’t need the response she gave you. As the previous poster said, their reaction is a reflection on them and not a sign that you have done anything wrong. I don’t think it is right for anyone to instantly assume they had a role in someone else’s wedding until asked. 

    Although not related to bridesmaids, I similarly lost a friend due to invites. Like you say about your friends, I had a friend who didn’t associate with my other friends, she also didn’t have many friends in total and so I was quite important to her, I think she assumed she was the same to me. I gave her an evening invite to my wedding, she took that as me saying I didn’t like her anymore and we stopped speaking!

    Friendships are so complicated.

  • MrsJamesMrsJames Posts: 406 New bride

    I personally think your message was lovely, her reaction says more about her than it does about you! I wouldn't have wanted someone like that being my bridesmaid tbh, if she is causing this much fuss about not being a bridesmaid then what sort of a fuss would she have caused about not liking dresses etc.

    Sometimes friendships change for one or both parties and because of past closeness we cling to what the friendship used to be. I experienced something similar with my oldest friend, I like you am very much a people pleaser and so I asked her to be my MOH so that she wouldn't cause a fuss if I chose someone else. From day one she was a nightmare, our friendship wasn't what it used to be but I was kidding myself. As time went on she become more awkward and less interested in the friendship full stop. I had some personal problems that she couldn't care less about and I had reached tipping point, but instead of being honest and telling her how much stress and upset she caused me I tried to be diplomatic. She was expecting a baby (she found out after I asked her to be MOH) and so I used that as my excuse for her to come as a guest so that she could focus her energy on becoming a mother for the 1st time. Like you I made it clear it was nothing to do with our friendship, her response was "it's fine, do what you want" and the friendship continued as normal for a week or so. After that she deleted me on social media, she hasn't spoken to me since and didn't attend my wedding. 

    I think she wanted out of the friendship and saw this as her perfect opportunity, and I don't miss her at all. It made me realise that she was never really there for me, she only resurfaced when she needed something from me. I'm not saying that this is the case with your friend, however it does give you pause for thought. Has the friendship changed recently? Are you the one who makes all the effort? Is she there when you need her? Is she normally like this? If not it could be that there is something going on with her, she could be pregnant and not know yet (hormones and all that), but I would try to see if there is something else going on with her. If it is normal for her to have an outburst like this, I'd say leave her to come around or cut your losses, depending on what is best for you.

  • Your message was lovely and appropriate- her response not so.

    I had a very similar scenario with one of my friends- she'd been away for work on and off for 3years or so and I had seen/spoke to her very little in that time. She came off a contract early and I invited her over to have drinks with myself and another mutual friend. This is when she asked about BMs and I'd told her I'd already chosen and asked- she burst into tears and it was very awkward at the time, but she has certainly recovered from this now and we've been able to chat about the wedding freely. She never makes me feel awkward about my choice and I'm happy that I stuck to my original decision.

    Edit: Sorry I was meant to put that at the time of letting her down, I didn't think we'd ever be close friends again and she was very upset, but she got in touch with me a month or so later and explained how she felt- which I completely understood and we've been able to move forward.

  • Sorry you're having this experience. Just because you've been someone else's bridesmaid doesn't oblige you at all to ask them, though. It's obvious that you don't want to let people down but being clear about it and letting them decide how they deal with it is the best strategy - and as others have said if you lose people along the way, they weren't real friends in the first place.

  • Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to comment on this, it has made me feel reassured to know that people think that she is the one being unreasonable with this. I am seriously feeling hugely upset and down about it all to the point that I am wishing I wasn't having a wedding as its not worth losing friends over.

    This particular friend is someone who has been in my life a long time and is very important to me. The main reason I haven't chosen her as a bridesmaid is because she doesn't fit in with the other bridesmaids -she's very different to them and I genuinely thought she'd feel out of place with them. I also seriously thought that it wasn't particularly appropriate having her given that its 9 months until the wedding and she has told me she is desperately trying to conceive currently.

    I did predict her reaction as it isn't out of character, she can be quite gobby and hot-headed. I just hope that when she calms down she will realise that the friendship is more important and we can get beyond this.

    in regards to the people-pleasing, I think this is a whole issue that I need to address as its something I really struggle with in general (personally and with my work life as well where I have to manage a team). I have a chronic fear of being rejected and being left lonely :(

  • Contrary to other posters I can really see your friends point here! You say she's one of your closest friends but the reason you didn't pick her was because she wouldn't fit in? Ouch! She's probably feeling majorly pushed out/not feeling like she belongs or that you're 'embarrassed' about her. I would think a very very good friend would be able to 'fit in' with other bridesmaids. Granted she probably should have kept her thoughts to herself and gone a long with it, but if I was your friend I would honestly be thinking about whether the friendship meant as much to you as it clearly did for her and I would be prepared for the friendship to be different from now on.

  • The other people that I am worried about letting down:

    - 1 school friend who I was bridesmaid for several years ago and I am Godmother to her little boy. I have asked for the little boy to be a page boy.

    - 1 friend that I used to live with who I was Bridesmaid for last year and who is currently pregnant and due several months before the wedding

    - 1 friend who I have known a long time who asked me to be her bridesmaid at a wedding just a few months before mine - I declined on the basis that I am super busy at the moment with my own wedding plans and with trying to sell my flat/move and because I have already been a bridesmaid 4 times!

    Ironically, the girls that are being my bridesmaids are the ones who I don't think would have minded at all if I hadn't asked them, as they are true friends... which is the reason I chose them! 3 of them are single and without kids, and all good friends with each other... I just thought it would be less complicated and make for the best dynamic. I've also asked 1 girl to be MOH who I was bridesmaid for several years ago and am Godmother to her little girl.

     

     

     

     

  • Completely  understandable Anxiousbride. I actually had a conversation with h2b last night about how this is our year and we've got to be slightly selfish in order to have our day the way we want it. Everybody else already has/will have their time, we all need to do what is best for ourselves sometimes.

  • rainbow80 wrote (see post):

    Contrary to other posters I can really see your friends point here! You say she's one of your closest friends but the reason you didn't pick her was because she wouldn't fit in? Ouch! She's probably feeling majorly pushed out/not feeling like she belongs or that you're 'embarrassed' about her. I would think a very very good friend would be able to 'fit in' with other bridesmaids. Granted she probably should have kept her thoughts to herself and gone a long with it, but if I was your friend I would honestly be thinking about whether the friendship meant as much to you as it clearly did for her and I would be prepared for the friendship to be different from now on.

     

    Thanks for taking the time to write as I am interested to hear the other viewpoint. I do agree with you that I would probably have been hurt too in the situation, but would NEVER have said anything or made it into an issue because the friendship would mean more to me than that.

    The problem is that I have probably 8 people at least who I think of as close friends and who would all have expected to be picked.. and I simply cant have all of them! So I was stuck in the situation of knowing I was going to upset somebody. in the end I decided that thinking about the dynamic of the group was the best way as any to make a choice. And went with the philosophy that it is my day, my decision and it is quite selfish of someone else to make a fuss about it and not be supportive.

    I guess I do see the friendship a little differently to how she does, because for me she is one of many friends and for her I believe I am her only real close friend... but that doesn't mean she isn't just as important to me...

    Do you have any thoughts on what I can possibly do / say to make things heal between us?

    I guess what I am asking is: what do you think I should have done in this situation? Had all 8 of them? Had none?

     

  • Personally, in my opinion, if there are too many friends for bridesmaids. Have no friends as bridesmaids only having family members eg, sister, sister in law, niece etc then no-one feels left out as no-one has been chosen. TBH time is probably the best, she will get over it I'm sure. Unless you do have her as a witness or she can do some other kind of role.

  • rainbow80 wrote (see post):

    Personally, in my opinion, if there are too many friends for bridesmaids. Have no friends as bridesmaids only having family members eg, sister, sister in law, niece etc then no-one feels left out as no-one has been chosen. TBH time is probably the best, she will get over it I'm sure. Unless you do have her as a witness or she can do some other kind of role.

     

    We don't have any sisters and I have no family except for my parents and brother (no cousins, nieces etc), I think the reason I have such a big friendship group is to make up for lack of family..... if I didn't have friends then I would have had no bridesmaids therefore... I did seriously consider having no bridesmaids to save the hassle but felt that I would be missing out just to keep everyone happy and In the end I decided why should I miss out on having that support that I need. Having been a bridesmaid 4 times myself and done so much for others I felt that it was finally my turn!!! Maybe it is a selfish decision, but part of me feels that I should be able to be selfish about my wedding day:( I have spent my whole life trying to hard not to upset anyone and I cant keep it uP! :(

     

  • MrsMcSMrsMcS Posts: 235

    I don't think you've been selfish at all, you're in a difficult situation and the solution you've chosen makes sense.

    I've never been a bridesmaid because all of my close friends have been in similar situations to you, where if they had everyone it would be too many. I have never been offended because it's their day and their choice. Plus, I get to wear what I want and enjoy the day as a guest :)

    Hopefully your friend will calm down and come round. This is probably quite an emotional and stressful time for her if she's trying to conceive, so she may be projecting some of that onto this. But if she doesn't come round, it's her choice and her loss. 

  • In that case just do it! She will either come around or she wont, if you don't want to add her on and have 5 bridesmaids. Otherwise just look forward to enjoying your day.

  • I certainly don't feel I should just add her on to keep her quiet- it's not the right reason for choosing a Bridesmaid.  And I think you're right MrsMcS that the trying to conceive must be emotionally hard for her as I think they have been trying for a little while now.

    I think I am struggling to understand it really because I have personally never enjoyed being a Bridesmaid and really hope I never get asked again! It really isn't all its cracked up to be - you end up spending loads, having a load of hassle trying to organise a hen and get money out of people that you don't know, and then on the day your Partner has to travel separately etc. whilst youre stuck wearing an outfit you (probably) don't like. I'm so happy I turned down the 5th one as am so looking forward to turning up to that wedding with my partner for once, enjoying the day without any stress and wearing a dress that I've picked out myself.

     

     

     

  • Mrs_BadgerMrs_Badger Posts: 1,440 New bride

    I've had the same thing, I've not had certain people as bridesmaids and it's been made obvious that they are annoyed.  We are also having a small wedding so inviting more people to the evening than the ceremony and I've had friends 'go distant'.... Some haven't even responded to the RSVP.

  • It is always a difficult situation. I mean you can't have everyone and i genuinely think you've made the best choice as your group of friends seem to be at different stages of life. i don't feel like you need to send texts to explain why people havent been chosen, i think that just makes more of a drama, like you have done something wrong. 

    My best friend, we took different paths in life and she done the whole uni thing and travelling while I had children, but she is my bridesmaid this year. She has a close group of uni friends like you and I wouldnt be annoyed if she chose them(She probably would as i doubt she would want to put the pressure on me with my children), i would just be happy she is getting married. Maybe give her the opportunity to do something wedding related with you, it sounds like she could be slightly jealous and just needs the reassurance that your friendship is still real x 

  • Ambam19Ambam19 Posts: 586 New bride

    I think that if I was her I'd be a bit upset with the reasoning that you put in the text but would still say that I understood. I may even say something like I thought i would be a bridesmaid :'( and then would go on to say i understood and ask questions about how you are or what you're up to etc etc.

    You absolutely must choose who you want though. I agree that true close friends will understand. How long has it been since she replied? She might just need a couple of days to get out of stroppy child mode. 

    If she doesn't then it goes to show that you weren't that close after all x

  • I agree with you anxiousbride I would be happy not to be asked again as much as I enjoyed being BM ! Please don't stress about upsetting the others, agree with all the comments above. If the others say they are upset acknowledge how they feel and try to move on with your friendship as normal. I'm only having my sister but I did let a few know who may have been expecting to be asked. They were all completely fine about it so don't think the upset/angry reaction is everyones. Hope it all calms down for you. 

  • It is obviously a distressing situation for you. I must admit if it had been a close friend of mine for whom I had relatively recently been bridesmaid for, I would have told her to her face, not sent a message like that.  She may be upset at the mode of delivery as well as the rejection.  I appreciate your anxiety may have made this difficult for you though.

    I had 5 bridesmaids for my wedding of 44 guests and yes, anymore would have been OTT.  You have to do what is right for you.  I disagree with some posters saying that you should not have to explain why someone is not a bridesmaid.  If you are close friends and have been a BM for them recently(ish) then I think an honest conversation is better than leaving things unsaid and people to misconstrue the situation and facts as they stand for you.  

    Best of luck to you xx

  • Thank you everyone for all the comments, you have really helped me :)

  • MrsMc2b2017MrsMc2b2017 Posts: 319

    I haven't read all the posts, but there are a few points I can make (I think) 

    You say that youre a people pleaser, and struggle with saying no. 

    You've picked girls who are friends with you but also friends with each other to make it easier

    You're worried that since you have been bridesmaids to these other friends that youre obligated to ask them. 

    1. It seems like you have tried to be a people pleaser by asking the girls who you know will get on easier together, rather than pick the friends who you want deep down - just because it was easier or that they already knew eachother

    2. The ladies you have chosen have yet to be brides or mothers, so they may feel the same when it's their time about asking you

    I think the major issue here is that rather than thinking about what you wanted, you immediately opted for the easier (or what you thought was easier) option and it's backfired massively as you've now got the ladies whom you have been a massive part of their life (godmother and bridesmaids) looking to you and possibly wondering what these other 4 girls have that they dont. 

    It is fixable though, because if these girls know you and are such close friends they will understand if you are honest with them from the beginning and unlike other comments I think these ladies do deserve a personal 'let down so they can understand your reasoning. 

     

  • babydeerbabydeer Posts: 34

    Hi I believe I have come a bit late to this post but I wanted to share my input. 

     

    Last year my friend was upset that her childhood friend who lived next door to her did not ask her to be a bridesmaid and instead asked four girls she only knew for a few years. She did not assume she would be one but the bride just brought the subject into conversation and it became clear that she was not going to be asked. My friend was extremely upset as she always imagined that there friendship was much closer an stronger than what this girl obviously felt. She asked her after a few days why she didn't get asked in a very nice and polite way and the bride just turned round and said that as much as they were friends she picked people she was closer with. This bride clearly had her own reasons for picking the bridesmaids she did and this actually opened a new discovery that these girls were not as close as my friend thought and since then they actually come closer. 

    When it came to picking my own bridesmaids I choose people who did not know each other at all as they were all friends from different parts of my life. My MOH was my school friend from high school, I had a bridesmaid whom I met on a study abroad in China in my 3rd year of uni, a bridesmaid from my college before I went to uni, a bridesmaid from uni and also my MOHs sister. I did also ask someone else but she isn't my BM anymore. I wanted different people up beside me who represent different times in my life as they each helped me grow and become a better person. I can understand why your friend is upset and not speaking with you. The way she sees it you have chosen girls you haven't know more than say a few years over her, a childhood friend. My thought when the situation with my friend came up was: why doesn't she just ask her to be an extra one as its just another dress. Bridesmaids tend to pay for their own hair and make up now anyways. I am sure you have resolved this situation by now and it is a very difficult decision to make when picking bridesmaids but don't worry I am sure your friend will come around. 

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