Being a bridesmaid can be a fulfilling and exciting experience. It can also be stressful and dreadful, if your sister/best friend/new sister-in-law is a Bridezilla (there’s two sides to every coin!)
For the most part, it’s an experience like no other, one that you get to share with the people that you love. So, when the time comes to slip on those fancy shoes and do your part as Bridesmaid #2 (or Maid of Honour, if you’re so lucky), you need to be ready to take on everything that comes with it.
Image via Bridesmaids
But what if you don’t want to take on the job?
Maybe you don’t have the time or money, maybe you want to enjoy the day without the added responsibility, or maybe the bride has bad taste and you can’t bear wearing pink taffeta – whatever your reason is, here’s how you can say no and still make up for it.
Let Her Down Quickly And Gently
The first rule in declining a bridesmaid offer is to be kind. While it sounds like a no-brainer, you should remember that brides are often already stressed with all the wedding planning, so miswording your response may not be taken so well. If she asks you to be a bridesmaid and you know that you can’t (or don’t want to be), be clear from the start so she has time to find a backup.
Weddings are expensive, and being a bridesmaid isn’t a free ride. If you know that you don’t have the budget to pay for a dress or if you don’t think you’re up to the task, let her know. Chances are she’ll appreciate your honesty and accept your reasoning. Just make sure you’re telling the truth, otherwise you won’t have a way of saying no when she offers to pay for you.
Offer To Be There In Other Ways
Just because you’ve said no, doesn’t mean you can’t still be there for her. Once you’ve managed to decline the role, offer to help in other ways. You can help her with finding suppliers, create something yourself if there’s a DIY element to the wedding, or just be there when she needs someone to talk to. In the lead up to the wedding, take her out for a nice dinner or take her out for a pampering day.
Although you may not want to don a dress and walk down the aisle, you can find ways to include yourself in the wedding, albeit to a much smaller scale than a bridesmaid. Once you’ve said no and given your reason, offer a compromise. This could be as simple as doing a reading at the ceremony or taking candid shots on the bride’s phone throughout the day.