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Reasons a Friend Might Not Want to Be a Bridesmaid

It's probably nothing personal!

If a friend does say no to serving a role at your nuptials, try to be understanding and remember that it’s very hard to say no to such a request, and she probably did not do so lightly.

Relationship Advice
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Photo: Jennifer Lindberg Weddings

When you first get engaged, everything is exciting. Any dreams and ideas you’ve had about your wedding can now come to fruition. While it might not affect the design of the day, many brides eagerly anticipate the moment they get to ask their best gal pals to serve as bridesmaids. In many cases, this is mostly a formality. Much like the real proposal, a “yes” is expected, especially if you daydreamed about being in each other’s weddings when you were younger. However, situations can change, even if the friendship is as strong as ever. “Bridesmaid proposal” boxes are fun, but it might be a good idea to gauge the ability of your prospective attendants first. If a friend does say no to serving a role at your nuptials, try to be understanding and remember that it’s very hard to say no to such a request, and she probably did not do so lightly.

why a friend might say no to being a bridesmaid, reasons to decline being a bridesmaid
Photo by Bryan Miller Photography

Keep the below reasons in mind for why she might have had to turn the offer down:

- Her work schedule won’t allow it. A high-pressure, important career may take up too much attention, or a new job simply won’t have the amount of vacation time necessary.

- She’s about to have a baby. Plenty of pregnant woman serve as bridesmaids, but every woman’s pregnancy is different. If your wedding date falls close to her due date, it just might be too difficult.

- Her budget can’t handle it. Whether a grad student, a freelancer going through a slow period, or someone who just had a major financial expense, being in the wedding might just be too costly. You can consider offering to pay her way if you can afford it, but be prepared for her to still pass.

- She’s simply unavailable that weekend. A brother’s wedding, a sister’s graduation… if there is a major event the same day as your wedding, there is just not much your pal can do. 

Discover the pros and cons of a big bridal party and how to get your bridesmaids to bond.