Being a bridesmaid is a huge honor, but it is also a massive commitment, and for one reason or another, one that you don’t want to undertake. Despite what you may be led to believe, it is okay to politely decline the role and here is your guide to doing so.
You just don’t have the time
Being a bridesmaid can require a lot of time commitments, such as going to dress fittings, organizing and attending bachelorette parties, helping with planning. Perhaps you are super busy with school or family, or you know you’re going to be traveling a lot with work. Whatever it is, if you know that the time restraints are going to be difficult, it is okay to decline. Make it clear that you don’t feel that you will be able to give enough time to be a good bridesmaid and that you don’t want to give the bride any extra stress.
You’re a bit low on funds
We all know that weddings are not cheap, and this extends to being part of the bridal party. Buying your dress, paying for your hair and makeup, spending money on the bachelorette party and also any travel and accommodation for the big day itself – it can all really add up. Maybe you are in the process of buying a house or are just a little strapped for cash. Be honest with the bride and if she is a good friend she will be understanding.
You’re already doing bridesmaid duties in a million other weddings!
It’s great that you are a popular bridesmaid, but it can really be a stretch trying to juggle so many bridal party duties! Explain to your friend that you wouldn’t be able to give her your full attention and so she should choose someone else, but soften the blow by offering to help out in some way – perhaps you are particularly good at DIY wedding decorations, or you will go along to help her find the dress.
You are pregnant (or hope to be!)
You don’t know how you are going to feel by the time her wedding comes around, or in the weeks leading up to. You might be suffering from morning sickness, exhaustion or very swollen feet! It is important that you put yourself (and your baby!) first in this situation and a good friend will understand that her special day is just one day, and will be happy for you growing a new life.
You don’t like her
Okay, so this is an awkward one, but we all have that ‘friend’ who is actually not particularly nice. They are bossy and rude, so add wedding planning to that mix, and it will be a disaster! Perhaps it is your husband’s sister, and she feels obliged to ask you, or just someone you’ve known for years and never cut out. You don’t want to be a bridesmaid for this person, and when your relationship eventually fizzles out, or you have a big bust up, she will be glad that you didn’t end up in her pictures. This is the only example where honestly probably isn’t the best policy, so try to use one of the other above reasons instead to soften the blow.
Remember that a wedding is just one day and not being a bridesmaid doesn’t make you any less of a supportive friend. If your friend is a decent person, she will completely understand and will be willing to accept that you can’t be a bridesmaid. Good luck.