It’s a huge honor to be asked to be in a wedding party… but you’re also expected to make huge sacrifices, from handing over your hard-earned dollars to buy a dress you’d rather burn than wear, to giving up your precious weekends for “parties” that involve invitation stamping and favor assembling, to saying goodbye your dignity when you’re pressured to suck appletinis through a penis straw. And some brides just aren’t worth all that. Here’s how to tell you should decline the “privilege.”
Related: 20 WTF Engagement Photos
You’re surprised you’re invited to the wedding at all.
With the amount of time, effort, and money that goes into serving as a bridesmaid, you likely won’t have the resources to play the part too many times in your life. So you have to be picky about whose invitations you accept. And that girl you recently became Facebook friends with doesn’t fit the bill. You should not only be sure you’d be included in the wedding but also that this gal is someone who’ll be in your life for the long haul.
You’re being asked just weeks before the wedding.
Hello, afterthought (that’s you). A bride should want you as a bridesmaid from the get-go, not when she belatedly decides to even out the number of male and female attendants–or worse, has to replace a woman she kicked out. Speaking of…
Other bridesmaids have already backed out.
There are lots of reasons wedding attendants may change their mind about being in the party. But the most popular motivator for dropping out is an unruly bride. Maybe she expects too much of her bridesmaids. Maybe she doesn’t expect much but can’t stick with a single decision. Or maybe she thinks getting married is a license to treat her closest pals like poo. If you weren’t close enough with the bride to be asked to be in the bridal party originally, you’re definitely not tight enough to deal with the BS that caused others to relinquish their roles.
She’s kind of a beast in everyday life.
Since even kind, reasonable women can morph into bossy brides, you don’t want to know what bitchy broads become when they’re under wedding-planning stress. If a friend is demanding and inconsiderate to start (why are you friends with her, btw?), odds are calling the shots for her wedding will only amplify her unappealing traits. There’s no reason to subject yourself to that — and you will be her subject until she leaves for her honeymoon.
You don’t like the groom.
It’s difficult enough to attend a wedding when you don’t like one of the people getting married. It’s that much worse when you’re up at the altar, pretending to be one of the most supportive people at the ceremony. Plus, as a bridesmaid, you’ll be forced to spend more time with the half of the couple you don’t like at the rehearsal dinner and maybe at the shower, when the groom shows up at the end.
The bride didn’t ask you.
Is your brother tying the knot? Congrats! Your future sister-in-law will invite you to be a bridesmaid if she wants you in the party. If your sibling’s the one that pops that question to you, you probably should decline. Odds are, the bride isn’t so keen on including you, and you won’t feel super-comfortable at the bachelorette party or while bridesmaid-dress shopping. If your bro’s asking you to be his attendant, though, that’s a totally different story — accept away.
Meredith Bodgas is the blogger behind the wedding, marriage, and baby blog MeritalBliss.com. She’s written about weddings for Glamour.com, pregnancy and kids for WhatToExpect.com, and other sexy subjects for women’s publications like Redbook and WomansDay.com. She’s married to her junior high school sweetheart and lives in her native New York. Follow her on Twitter @mereditor.