Forum home Emotional support

Do you have to return the favour if someone had you as their bridesmaid?

Hi Ladies,

I have been a Bridesmaid 4 times. I am now having 4 Bridesmaids myself, however only 1 of them (my maid of honour/best friend) is someone I was myself Bridesmaid for.

2 of the girls that haven't been asked back have been fine about this, but 1 of them has been so horrible about it. I am a very sensitive person who put a lot of thought in to my bridesmaid choices and never wanted to upset anybody let alone lose friends over it! I have a lot of close friends and couldn't have 8 bridesmaids so knew that I was going to upset someone, but I have tried my hardest to include everyone by giving them roles like witnessing, reading etc.

At my hen do this weekend this girl basically sat with a grumpy face on throughout not speaking to anybody and really making me feel upset. When I messaged her after to ask what was wrong, she has replied saying she is still very hurt that I haven't had her as my bridesmaid. It is 17 days until my wedding, I am quite stressed and quite a sensitive person as it is, and I feel she is being so selfish and horrible to say this to me now!

I should add that I am Godmother to her little boy and I am having him as my page boy and have bought him a little outfit and asked him to play a role in the ceremony.

Am I being unreasonable?? Is there some unspoken rule I was unaware of that says you have to return the favour if someone has you as their bridesmaid? When I was agonising over who to choose everyone said to me 'its your day, have who YOU want' but it seems that even on my wedding I can't for once have what I want :( argh! Anyone else going through this?! x



  • Can I ask, what was the reason for not asking her? Did you discuss your reasons? One of my friends has not asked me to be bridesmaid, but I asked her because my wedding is bigger and I wanted 5 bridesmaids. So I know her not asking me was a personal attack. Does your friend understand this?

  • The main reason to be honest was simply that I couldn't afford/didn't want 8 Bridesmaids and that's how many close friends I have! The 4 girls I picked are a natural group of friends that I used to live with and all know each other, and she is separate from that. She also has 2 children, so I thought she would be busy with them and having her little boy made more sense.

    At the time when I asked her little boy I did explain all this to her and she said that she understood.

    I don't know what I could have done different as I don't regret my decision to not ask all 8 friends, so there was always going to be somebody upset :(



  • 8 is a lot of bridesmaids yup so I totally understand. The problem with wedding parties is that someone sensitive is always going to be upset if they expect to be included and then find out that they aren't. Moral of the story; never expect anything! Having said that, you say her little boy is included which is a more than fair trade off. You could argue that the little boy has a bigger role than a bridesmaid because people love a little one looking cute! She sounds a bit petty and feels left out which is ridiculous. I wouldn't waste your energy on this as it sounds like she is loving making you feel bad.

  • MrsTraceyMrsTracey Posts: 837 New bride

    Of course you can choose who you have as a bridesmaid, and I do think your friend is being really selfish and childish behaving this way. Having said that, I can understand her upset, especially if her son is your godchild, it does sound like you’re really close. Could it be you’ve not properly communicated the reason you didn’t choose her? Is there a specific reason?

    I would take her out for a dinner and have a real heart to heart, explain why you’ve not chosen her and reassure her that you’re still so glad she’s a part of your day. There’s not much else that can be done now, so I’d focus on your friendship and smoothing over the upset.

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 942 New bride

    I can understand why she is upset having been in a similar situation myself - passed over as bridesmaid by my best friends when other friends have been chosen. That said, I never mentioned it to them or made a fuss. Their day, their way.

    Ultimately it's your choice,  and you shouldn't be made to feel guilty over it.

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    I can understand why she is upset, if youre close enough you are her childs godmother I would assume you are close enough for her to be BM. By choosing a group of friends just because they are from the same group it comes across that them as a group are more important than her (and the others not chosen), but I am firmly in the camp of if you cant have all then have none (which is what I have done with my closest friends, I have used none as I couldn't afford all). You have 8 friends, 4 of who know each other and 4 who dont, you basically put them into 2 camps and decided those other 4 are the better choice. I would have chose none.

    However, I would hope I would be better at hiding my disapointment than your friend, who is doing a pretty poor job of keeping it to herself. 

    Can I ask what role you have given her (and the others?) as you mentioned you had given them all roles

  • I understand why she may be upset but I think she is behaving very badly about it. If I wasn't chosen to be a bridesmaid by a close friend I may be upset but I would put it to the back of my mind as it's obviously not meant to be malicious. And as others have pointed out, her son is your Page Boy so you obviously value your relationship with her! She's just going to have to grow up and get on with it.

    I'm only having a maid of honour and one bridesmaid as all my other friends are all equally close to me so I would end up with over 10 bridesmaids which is ridiculous! But no one got upset and they've all been super excited about attending my big day which is how your friend should be feeling. I hope she makes an effort on the day, but don't let it spoil your fun if she's being childish :)

  • cs2thecoxcs2thecox Posts: 260 New bride

    I know I'd be cross and stressed out in your situation, particularly as your friend said it was ok when you explained it and invited your godson to be a page boy. After that, it's not really on getting stroppy about it at your hen do with 2 weeks to go.

    I think this is on her. If she was truly hurt and wanted you to do something about it (which she shouldn't - it's your day!) then the decent thing would have been to tell you months ago so something could have been sorted out.

    I agree with maybe taking her for dinner or something, but only if it doesn't stress you out more. It would be good to resolve the situation before the day, cause it's way too close to change anything now. Is there another friend who could intervene to help?

  • Lucy266Lucy266 Posts: 176

    No I wouldn't mind. This happened to me!  Neither me nor my husband have sisters, whereas two of my bridesmaids do. 

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,136 New bride

    I understand her being upset / disappointed but she really should handle it better especially at this late stage. Any disappointment and bad feeling should have long been aired and cleared - a week before the wedding is not the time to upset you and it’s incredibly childish to sit with a face on at your hen do. It sounds as though you’re honouring your relationship with her by having her child in the bridal party (assume above other friends’ children?) and have maybe given her another role too?

    I’d politely explain again why you weren’t able to choose everyone you wanted and reaffirm what your friendship means to you and then move on and leave her to get on with it. I can understand the disappointment I really can but life is full of disappointments, you have to suck it up and move on! Hopefully she has the good sense to do so before your wedding day and can enjoy being mother of the page boy and supportive best friend.

  • Thanks Ladies. I totally understand the disappointment, however I wouldn't in a million years dream of saying something if I was in that situation, let alone 2 weeks before the wedding! I just think it comes across as childish, selfish and jealous.

    I did have a talk with her about it all at the time of asking her little boy (back in April!) and explained the situation and she said that she totally understood. The girls I am having as my Bridesmaids are girls I lived with for a long time and am a lot closer to. She never did the whole Uni/living away (went straight from living with her parents to with her fiancé) so she doesn't get that and I've stayed as her closest friend (from school), but for me I have moved on and made closer friends since (and I should add that her wedding was now six years ago). Obviously I didn't say to her that I am much closer to the others, but I explained the situation.

    I'm upset that she's upset but I don't know what else I can do. I don't regret my choice as she is not a particularly close friend anymore, although I do adore my little Godson. I didn't see why I should miss out on having the support of my closest friends on the day (which I need and want!) just because it risked upsetting others.



  • MrsTraceyMrsTracey Posts: 837 New bride

    Sorry, I just have to be honest, I do find it a bit odd that you say you’re not that close anymore, yet you still asked her son to be a pageboy. But that’s just me, it’s a contradiction in my mind and I couldn‘t do that. 

    I suppose all you can do now is let her know you’re upset that she’s upset, but make it clear that you have to move on. What’s her role in the wedding? Maybe focus on that and say how you can’t wait to hear her reading etc (or whatever she’s doing!) 

  • Ruth126Ruth126 Posts: 40 New bride

    I don’t have a particular gang of female friends and am marrying relatively late (early 40s) so my perspective may be different. 

    I don‘t think you should feel at all bad about this and your friend should probably grow up a bit. I was bridesmaid for my cousin when a child, a friend when I was 28 and my sister when I was 39. Of those only my sister is getting a return favour. The friend is a childhood friend and we have both moved on since her wedding 13 years ago (though she is coming to my wedding from quite far away). She wouldn’t expect me to ask her. 

    My other bridesmaids are my partner‘s and my own nieces plus my godson’s sister and my goddaughter. Both their mums are good friends of mine and I don’t think have ever been bridesmaid for anyone, at least as an adult. However as I see it - and I am pretty sure they understand - I am giving the “honour” through their daughters who they and I know are tonnes more excited about it than either of them would be. We haven’t even properly talked about it. That said if I’d been bridesmaid for them I/they might feel diffferently ... yet I still think they’d see what I was doing and appreciate that. 

    Each bridesmaid outfit and other stufff costs a lot of money and you can‘t do that for everyone. You are spending the money and giving the honour to her son. Perhaps offer her the chance to say if she is hurt but I’d hope she could get some perspective. 

    Sorry if my point of view jarrs though. I never got chance to do all this at the same time as my friends so tend to see it differently. 

Sign In or Register to comment.