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Do I have a right to say no now? (bridesmaid?)

Posted by sweets98 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 23, 07 at 8:21

A friend of mine and her boyfriend just decided at the beginning of December to plan a wedding. They set the date for Oct 21 and started planning. She asked me to be in the wedding at that time and I figured I had plenty of time to save up money for the expenses. (I'm a SAHM, we have one income and we have two doesn't always come easy.)

Less than two weeks ago, V calls and tells me that they decided that since they're using their income tax refund, she's decided to move the wedding up to April 14th! I still thought I had a bit of time to have to worry but I was wrong. She finally went last week (Tues) to pick dresses and called to tell me what it would cost later that evening. Then the next day she tells me she would like for me to get up (she lives almost an hour away) there that week to get my measurements done and put the money down. At that point, I couldn't do that because I had things arranged for the week (doctors appointment that I had already re-scheduled because of sick kids, taxes, grocery shopping, birthday supper and I had to take my Gram to the airport Friday). Normally I have nothing planned but last week was quite busy. The times it suites for me to go up, doesn't for her and I have to be home here before 3pm to get DS off the bus.

I told V that I could get up there on Monday (yesterday). Well, at 2 am, DD woke me because she had an ear ache and then DS got up and was coughing so much he threw up. So I had to schedule doctors appointments for them and I wasn't dragging them out in the freezing cold just to go to a dress shop and turn around and come home!

She called yesterday before I left and informed that I HAD to get there by today (and I can't because our truck is in the shop and DH has my car!) because the dress shop owner said that it can take 12 weeks for the dresses and it's 11 weeks until the wedding! Really is this my fault? I'm not the one that moved the wedding up 6 months and gave my bridemaids barely enough notice about the dresses!

My friends best friend since Elem. School actually was to to be the MOH and she had to step down already. I think I may have to do the same....I just can't swing it!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Do I have a right to say no now? (bridesmaid?)

It sounds like the wedding is the last thing you need on your plate right now, and don't forget that there will be showers, the bachelorette party, the rehearsal, and the wedding - all coming up very fast. If it were me, I would step down before any more time passes and while your friend can either choose another person or rearrange her wedding party.

You may want to talk with your husband and see how he feels and then make your decision. Sick children do get well, but the bills are still there and you would be adding possibly several hundred dollars in wedding expenses to the medical and car bills.

RE: Do I have a right to say no now? (bridesmaid?)

I agree with sweetpea. You have a lot on your plate right now without all the added concerns, expenses and responsibilities being a BM might add.

Your life sounds very full right now, and it could get even fuller between now and the wedding day. I think I would be tempted to bow out gracefully now. If she is truly a friend she should certainly understand your circumstances and concerns.

RE: Do I have a right to say no now? (bridesmaid?)

I would apologize for the complications your sick kids have given the situation and the change in date problems. Explain that your family must come first and that though you would love to be in her wedding, that the timing is just not going to work for you. Call her promptly to let her know. She clearly has no idea how busy you are, and it is not going to get any better. Give her plenty of time to find someone else to be a MOH or bridesmaid.

RE: Do I have a right to say no now? (bridesmaid?)

Please let us know what you decide and how things go.

Wishing you all well.


RE: Do I have a right to say no now? (bridesmaid?)

I don't understand why the OP couldn't call her measurements in and mail a check.

As you live an hour or so away, I don't think you need to volunteer to shop with her, etc. And you are NOT responsible for giving any parties -- not because you're busy (who isn't, after all?) but because NO ONE is ever required to give a shower or bachelorette party. Many brides seem to believe that a MOH has a "duty" to give a shower, but think about it: then you could never have a sister as a MOH, because immediate family members don't give showers, or someone who lives across the country, or a teenage cousin, etc. Giving a shower is a lovely and generous thing to do, but it is never a requirement.

Participating in a wedding is always going to be SOME trouble and expense, though, and the OP knew that when she agreed, although the change in time frame has made it harder. But I would try hard not to drop out, although you might say something to the effect that you regret that the distance, your budget, and your schedule with your kidz makes it hard for you to do all the things you would like to do as MOH, and you'd understand if she wants to have you be a bridesmaid instead -- something like that. Would that feel right to you?

RE: Do I have a right to say no now? (bridesmaid?)

"what gellchom said" (as usual)

Heck, you could charge the dress to your credit card over the phone!

The timing of the expense has changed, but could you find a way to "replace" the money afterward instead of saving up beforehand?

And I would tell her that you won't be able to do the shower sorts of things.

and if you know the best friend, maybe you can call her, and see if she'd throw the shower, even if she's not in the wedding. If you can offer to help with some of the expense, that would be nice.

The thing is, bridesmaids and MOH's do those "helping to address invites"/"throwing a shower"/"shopping for dresses" things not because they are officially attendants, but because they are the bride's FRIENDS and family. They care about her--that's the first step. "being an attendant" and "helping the bride" each spring individually from that.

And that former MOH can do all those things even if she can't be in the wedding. Esp. if she knows, from you, that you wouldn't consider her to be stepping on your toes, and that you will not be doing those things.

RE: Do I have a right to say no now? (bridesmaid?)

Yeeps! Definately wouldn't want to get into debt over this. It sounds like you've got your heart and priorities in the right place and that you really are trying hard, and I'm sure she it too. My personal thought is it's insensitive for a bride to require her bridesmaids to pay out so much money for *their* wedding. I'd just explain the situation as lovingly as possible, and ask what she'd do in your situation. Chances are it's the same thing. There are loads of other ways to be an involved part of the wedding party, without having to worry with extra expenses and what not. Either she'll figure out a way to make it work, or you'll be home free.

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