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Bridesmaid Disappointment

Hi everyone,

I was just looking for your take and advice on this please.

One of my bridesmaids is going through a bit of a transition in life, she moved home from New York when her relationship broke down.

She has been living with her parents and working various contracts over the last couple of years. Each time we meet up she has a different plan; to settle in the UK and buy a home, to go travel, to go work abroad etc.

The latest plan is to spend a number of weeks in Asia, a timeline that overlaps with my hen. When I said to her ‘so you are missing my hen?’ she said she has to make her own plans in life and the timing is unfortunate and will let me know if her plans change… no apology nothing. I just feel like she isn’t really making an effort to go to the hen and travel.

Naturally I am pretty upset about this. I (consider myself) to be very relaxed and not a demanding bride. My hen is in the city where we live, I am paying for everything myself, I have paid for all the bridesmaids dresses, bags, hair, makeup , gifts and accommodation for the wedding. My bridesmaids wont be out of pocket apart from our one night out for the hen and whatever drinks they have at the wedding (in addition to the wine and champagne provided)

I just feel like she is deliberately either a; trying to get out of being a bridesmaid for a reason I don’t know or b; trying to make it about her. I wanted to treat my bridesmaids to dinner in a few weeks too but she said she is planning a weekend away and it will probably be that weekend (after saying she was free that weekend and I booked on that basis)

Am I being unreasonable? 


  • I don't think you're being unreasonable, but that doesn't necessarily mean she is either. I thin k you both have different expectations of whats involved as a bridesmaid, and its just that you arent on the same page. 

    That being said its obviously upsetting, and i think its worth maybe asking her how she feels about it, and maybe putting it to her in a way that explains while you don't expect her to do anything in particular for the wedding, you do feel a bit let down as a friend that she isn't supporting you and sharing the experience with you as you had hoped. 

    It sounds like shes had a rough few years to be honest, and it might be that shes struggling to deal with the change, her life is probably not on the trajectory she had thought and it might be hard for her to see others still living their lives and being happy. It doesn't mean she doesn't love and care for you, but we all handle these things in different ways so hers sounds a little like she is trying to escape the reality of it. Lets face it we all feel like life's good when were on holiday!

    I'm sorry you're going through this, but whatever decide remember you have other friends who do love and support you, and you're going to be marrying your best friend, someone who will always have your back. 

    I hope it works out <3
  • CoffeeDogAddict Thanks so much. I agree with everything you said. I just hope we can move past it if she decides to make herself unavailable in the run up to the wedding 

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 947 New bride
    How long ago was her relationship break-down? Having been through some horrors myself I can understand the need to get away and start a new life!

    I had a similar issue with a bridesmaid, though on a much lesser scale. She broke up with her long term boyfriend just a couple of months before the wedding, and I noticed she did clearly take a step back from me and several of the events she had already said she would attend which were wedding-related. Yes, it bothered me and made me sad, because she's my best friend and having her around is so much fun. But from her point of view she had just had a terrible break up with the man she still loved but couldn't be with, so how could I expect her to throw herself wholeheartedly into the celebration of my love for my husband? She had been hoping to marry this man, and within weeks of breaking up with him she was expected to flutter around a blushing bride being all supportive and gooey when she probably just wanted to climb under her duvet with ice cream and not think about marriage at all. She also ran away to New York (albeit only for a week) on the weekend of one of my hen events.

    So she was very flaky and cancelled on a lot of my pre-wedding bits. However, on the day she was the best of the best and I hope she had a lovely time, despite everything.

    Maybe your bridesmaid is deliberately stepping away from the wedding because she can't deal with it right now? Perhaps make some time for her and don't talk about wedding stuff?
  • Honestly, let her do her thing. You’ll be disappointed, yes, but in the greater scheme you’ll be a better friend for it. People sometimes do have to take time for themselves and do what they need to do, and I wouldn’t expect any of my friends to put that aside or on hold for my hen do. One of my best friends was away travelling for my hen and wedding, and yes I would have loved to have had her there, but I don’t feel any major sadness or disappointment or any bad feelings, because that time was what she needed. 

    Put yourself in her shoes. She’s just had an awful breakup and life shift, maybe being at your hen do and wedding could be really tough for her. If I were her, I would probably be upset that the first thing you said when she told you was “so you’ll miss my hen?”. Look outside of your own bubble and try and really support her. Our weddings and hens can really take over our lives and are really important to us, but people have their lives to get on with. I would her go and be as supportive as you can.
  • Ruth126Ruth126 Posts: 40 New bride
    edited February 2019
    I agree with that others have said though can understand its disappointing for you. I am getting married for the first time aged 42 in April. I have had decades, literally, of other people’s happiness when my own life hasn’t been always quite where I hoped it would be. I have got through it by taking time for myself (including through travelling which can be a great way to sort your head out). I have still turned up to countless weddings, mostly on my own, and gone to hen dos and been as happy and supportive as I can be. But it can be really really hard. The hardest was my little sister’s wedding where I was bridesmaid. I was in a bad place in my life but organised the hen do and just tried to throw myself into the day as I love her and want her to be happy .... but I had many meltdowns (none to her!) along the way. I got told by some family that it was all about her and I had to be happy for her however I felt .... I did try and she knows that. For both our sakes, I wish I could have been as happy for her as she has been able to be for me now I am getting married 5 years later. But now I am the bride I am massively more grateful to all my single friends who are coming and celebrating with me and being supportive ... and to those who want to get married but have a partner who doesn’t want to .... because I know their happiness is not unequivocal like that of my married friends or those expecting a proposal. I have had a couple of slightly grudging comments and it has hurt a little bit but I totally get where they are coming from. All I am saying is I know it’s hard when you want to have your special time with those who mean a lot to you and you want it to be perfect, but I sometimes think we have the idea in our society that everyone should be there cheerleading those in happy circumstances when it’s not always that easy or simple and not everyone’s life is on the same track. I hope you are both able to connect over your wedding in some way. She might really wish she could be there for you more too but sometimes we just don’t have the reserves. Loads of friends, including some close ones, are missing my hen do as they are travelling or going to other weddings abroad but I still have plenty people going and we will have a good time! Hope you do too x
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    I think sometimes people still love you and want to be there for you, but they just don't have it in them. Coming out of a long term relationship when all your friends are coupled up is bloody scary - I know, I've done it. She will still be grieving the life she hoped she would have with her ex. Try to spend some time with her and really try to show her some support and understanding, and hopefully in time she will be able to reciprocate. I understand we want our 'time as a bride' but often people just have bigger fish to fry - I'm getting no wedding support from my family but they are all coping with other really stressful situations so I understand. 
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