What If a Friend Says "No" to Being In the Bridal Party?

How to go about dealing with a bridesmaid proposal rejection from a close gal pal.

What If a Friend Says "No" to Being In the Bridal Party?

Photo: Rob and Wynter Photography

When you agonize over seemingly every aspect of your wedding day, you often look forward to the moment your know for sure that everything has been taken care of. Once the gal pals have been selected to stand up during the “I dos,” many brides immediately start to visualize their friends in long gowns and beautiful ‘dos. However, what happens when that beautiful bubble is suddenly burst? What happens if one of your intended ‘maids declines your invitation to join the bridal party?

If this happens, take a few deep breaths. Don’t panic. First of all, let us reassure you: both sides of the bridal party do not need to be a one-to-one match. You do not need to replace your bridesmaid, as the title isn’t a position that needs filling. You should only have selected the group of people you absolutely could not get married without.

Your friend will likely explain to you why she cannot participate in the wedding – life conflicts, doesn’t have the funds, etc. – though, if she doesn’t, respect her privacy. After all, being a member of a bridal party can become highly expensive. Don’t try to convince her to reconsider her decision. It’s your job, as a friend, to let her know that she means a lot to you and that you understand. Her inability to be a bridesmaid doesn’t mean she cannot participate in pre-wedding festivities, such as the bachelorette party and any showers thrown in your honor. Hopefully, she will be able to attend one of those fun events as well as the wedding itself.

The main thing to remember if faced with this obstacle is that your friendship with this person is greater than a wedding party. The urge to take her “no” to heart might be strong, but it’s no match for the power of your relationship. These things happen: sometimes, life gets in the way and prevents us from doing things we’d like to do. Hopefully, your friend will get involved in your nuptials in one way or another – why not ask them to do a reading at your ceremony? – but there are no guarantees. Stay excited, stay organized, and be thankful for the wonderful friendships you have as you move forward with planning the celebration of your love and commitment to your partner!

Find out 10 ways you may be irritating your bridesmaids, discover how to talk to your partner about finances, and read up on informing your children that you are engaged. You can also check out our guide on how to be a good bridesmaid for your best friend.

Opening photo by Carasco Photography