I’ve been a bridesmaid over 125 times. Here’s how I told 5 friends I couldn’t be in their wedding parties.
- After being a professional bridesmaid for hire for over 7 years, I’ve learned how to say no.
- When I know a wedding is going to take too much time or money from me, I’ve turned friends down.
- I’ve also figured out alternate ways to support my engaged friends and family members.
When I was a bridesmaid for my friends, I thought I had to go with the flow and always say yes.
But when I started my company, Bridesmaid for Hire, seven years ago, I realized that people who aren’t getting paid to do it shouldn’t have to agree to everything that’s asked of them.
Here’s how I told five different friends I wasn’t going to be in their wedding party.
When I couldn’t fully commit, I suggested an alternative option
When one friend asked me to be her bridesmaid, instead of just saying no, I decided to ask if I could take on a different role at the wedding.
Based on my schedule, I knew I wouldn’t have time to go to her bachelorette party or participate in pre-wedding events.
I offered to be her officiant so I could be there for her in a special way without the extra time requirements.
Sometimes it’s easiest to be direct when telling someone no
Another one of my friends is the kind of person who’d expect a lavish bachelorette party and expensive bridesmaid dresses. So when she asked me to be a bridesmaid, I simply said no.
I didn’t feel bad about it because being in her wedding party would’ve put me in debt.
Though she was disappointed, she understood and instantly asked someone else.
Staying true to my boundaries and limits has resulted in losing some friends
One time I agreed to be a bridesmaid for a friend who got so caught up with wedding stress that her personality changed. She went from calm and reasonable to demanding and rude.
After she asked me to change my hair color (because she didn’t like the way it was highlighted) and buy a second dress for another $300 (because she didn’t like the one I bought and altered), I had to step down from the role.
I realized that if I didn’t back out of being a bridesmaid, our friendship would be ruined.
When I brought this to her attention — in hopes of helping her realize how she was acting — she uninvited me to her wedding. We’re no longer friends.
When my workload is busy, I show my engaged friends support in other ways
A cousin of mine asked me to be her bridesmaid during a really busy time. I was working six weddings in the same month, and I knew I couldn’t support her the way a bridesmaid should.
Instead of being her bridesmaid, I wanted to compromise and be an awesome wedding guest instead. I offered to plan parts of her wedding, read a poem during the ceremony, and help with DIY wedding decor.
Offering to help with these smaller tasks let me support my cousin without overworking myself.
I’ve had to be brutally honest with people making far-fetched requests
A few years ago, a distant friend asked me to be a bridesmaid. This was the type of friend who I hadn’t spoken to in over two years, and we’d drastically grown apart.
When she asked — over text message — I decided to handle the situation with honesty. I wrote back thanking her for the opportunity but told her I didn’t feel comfortable since we hardly had a relationship as close friends anymore.
She was upset but understanding.