What to do when a friend declines being a bridesmaid

Photo by  Andre Hunter  on  Unsplash

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

It doesn’t happen often, but there’s always a chance when you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, they will say “no.”  It’s easy to be overcome with hurt feelings and then maybe a little resentment, especially if you are close or you were in your friend’s wedding.  But when it comes to declining to be a bridesmaid, trust me when I say it can be a difficult decision to say “no.” 

So what do you do when your friend says “no?” How do you cope?  Here are some tips to consider when a friend declines your request:

Tip #1: Ask for the reason. There are many reasons why someone would decline, oftentimes the main factor being finances. Being a bridesmaids or groomsmen can add up financially.  Aside from participating and helping to plan for your bridal shower and bachelorette; there’s also the cost of the bridesmaid dress, shoes, hair, makeup, and jewelry for the day.  Not to mention gifts for each event.  Depending on where you live, being a bridesmaid can cost up to $1,000 or more.  And for many people, saving for the additional expenses may be difficult.

Knowing what the reason is for declining can make moving on easier and it'll help you understand their position better.  Just don't try to change their mind!

Tip #2: Is there another way they can be involved? Maybe they don’t have to be part of your bridal party, but it is possible for them to have an honorary role such as a reader for your ceremony or saying a speech during your reception. Or if they sing or play an instrument they can do a performance.  It’s a great way to have them be a part of the special day without them having to worry about the cost that comes with being an actual bridesmaid.

Tip #3: Accept their decision. Your friendship is hopefully long-lasting and even though it may hurt to have them not be a part of your wedding, take a few days to process their decision and then accept and move forward.  They’ll be there as a guest and can share in your good fortune in other ways.

Tip #4: Decide if you want to ask someone else. Now that you have your answer you have to decide if you want to have someone else fill the spot or if you will have a smaller bridal party than you originally intended.  Bridal parties can range in size, some small with just a maid of honor and others incredibly large.  The largest one I have seen was 9 bridesmaids!  And there were junior bridesmaids, flower girls, and sponsors walking down the aisle as well.  It was very elaborate and very large.  But that doesn't have to be you.  You can either ask someone else to replace the friend that has declined or you can just be short a bridesmaid. 

Just remember, when it comes to your bridal party, you get to decide who will walk down the aisle with you.  And if you can’t have the people you desire, hopefully you can accept their decision, not take it personally, and don’t let it ruin your joy of wedding planning.

Have you asked your bridesmaids to be a part of your wedding yet?  Has anyone said no to you?  What did you do when they declined? Share with us below!