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To not want to be a bridesmaid?

(33 Posts)
stargirl04 Sat 02-Jan-16 20:33:55

My dear friend has asked me to be a bridesmaid and I really don't want to be.

I'm very touched, of course, but I just don't feel up to it. I have an anxiety problem and hate doing anything that draws attention to myself - I prefer to keep a low profile. I've felt depressed lately and withdrawn - I certainly don't feel up to being jolly and "out there".

Plus, there is the expense of dress, shoes, hair, nails etc etc, on top of wedding present, train fare and a hotel, as we live at opposite ends of the country, and I am self-employed, so it does have a financial impact on me.

I care about my friend very much and don't want to offend her.

MarchEliza Sat 02-Jan-16 20:36:56

I think if you really feel you can't it's best to say now.

Explain carefully that it's nothing to do with her or her wedding - just that you'd be so nervous as to be useless on the day and that even the thought of it makes you feel sick with worry.

I think saying you'll do it and then having to pull out nearer the day would be much worse.

ElfOnTheBoozeShelf Sat 02-Jan-16 20:37:27

Just tell her. If she's your friend, once you've explained all of the above, she'll understand. Unless you've already agreed and the wedding is next week or something...

Girlwhowearsglasses Sat 02-Jan-16 20:40:59

I think what you've just written is a good start- what did you say when she asked you though? Do you know that you will have to bear all those expenses? If you have anxiety around it is that part of a general anxiety issue - is it something you've controlled in other parts of your life?

If you have a general anxiety problem maybe you can use this as a way to tackle it. If you could deal with the anxiety (CBT, talk to GP, mindfulness, and so on) is it possible that you might be able to enjoy the experience (it can be lovely to help someone you care about get married).

Maybe separate the money and anxiety out when you decide. And do be honest and talk frankly with your friend sooner rather than later - I'm sure she will understand

RandomMess Sat 02-Jan-16 20:45:14

Absolutely tell her asap by talking to her. Also the positive thing of "I want to enjoy your wedding and am happy to help but I would hate being a bridesmaid and would be so anxious I would be no help to you on the day"!

stargirl04 Sat 02-Jan-16 20:45:46

No, I haven't told her already that I would do it. I told her that because of work commitments, I wouldn't be able to take much time off and therefore didn't feel I could do justice to the role. She said "no worries". All of this was by text, which is not ideal but I didn't have time to call her and explain, and she had invited me to be bridesmaid by text.

The thing that is making me worry is that a couple of people I've told in RL said they were surprised and couldn't understand my decision at all, and one said to me: "Are you sure she realises you are not going to be a bridesmaid?"

Which has made me question myself and worry ....

saura Sat 02-Jan-16 20:48:03

Personally I would rather you told me as I would hate one of my bridesmaids to be hating it. If she is half decent and you explain your reasons I am sure she would also rather you told her.

Do it sooner than later for both your sakes. Good luck!

stargirl04 Sat 02-Jan-16 20:49:55

I have had counselling for anxiety and nothing much helps, tbh.

I am a shy person who hates drawing attention to myself, and even if the extra expense was not a factor, I would still feel uncomfortable.

I have no rational explanation for my feelings at all, I'm afraid.

LumpySpaceCow Sat 02-Jan-16 22:43:08

I don't think you are BU. The cost alone would put me off. I may be on my own but I just don't get this asking someone to be a bridesmaid and then expecting them to pay for everything. I was in a similar situation and initially agreed as I thought, well I'll be buying a dress anyway; but after initially saying we could pick our own and would be able to wear it again, she turned into a bit of a bridezilla and chose 400 quid dresses! In the end, I felt like I was basically paying for her pictures to look good and couldn't afford it so backed out. We are still friends.
I didn't have a never ending pot of money for my wedding and had 7 bridesmaids but I just budgeted well for everything as I wanted to treat them and wouldn't have asked so many if I couldn't afford it.

Orda1 Sat 02-Jan-16 22:45:42

You're not being unreasonable. I hated it when I was one.

Osolea Sat 02-Jan-16 22:49:24

You need to talk to your friend. Say that you're honoured to be asked, but because of your anxiety and how uncomfortable you'd feel, as well as the distance, you don't feel like you'd be able to do a good job for her, both on the day, or by organising a hen night.

If you don't want to do it then make sure you don't get railroaded, it can happen easily and depending on the bride, it can be quite a big task which doesn't always become apparent early on.

Leave the money out of it when you talk to her. Any decent person wouldn't expect you to pay for your dress, hair, etc anyway, and the other expenses are only those that would be associated with being a wedding guest anyway.

Noodledoodledoo Sat 02-Jan-16 22:51:04

You are not being unreasonable but please call her soon.

One of my bridesmaids agreed and went through the motions for 9 months (we only spent a year from engagement to wedding) ordered dress, shoes, hair and make up booked, etc etc We were paying for everything.

She bailed with 2 weeks to go and a lot of horrible things said in her defence of why she wasn't happy, it was all my fault and I had put her in a horrible position in asking her - is a family member so still have to see her.

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 02-Jan-16 22:53:00

I think it's best not to mention the money side of things. What about:
"Hi dearfriend. I just wanted to explain, I'm really touched that you asked me to be your bridesmaid, but unfortunately I'm having difficulties with anxiety at the moment, and I just wouldn't be able to cope with the public role. If you don't mind I would be much happier just being a guest. Thanks again for asking me though, and I'm really looking forward to the day."

NinaSimoneful Sat 02-Jan-16 22:55:21

Yeah 'no worries' might mean 'dont worry, you'll be fine' as opposed to 'it's fine if you don't want to bridesmaid'. If you don't want to do it just be sure that she knows.

Mmmmcake123 Sat 02-Jan-16 22:55:36

Tell her soon so you can stop worrying about it.
Unless, part of you would like to push yourself. CBT is OK, but not if it needs to involve the bride, as the timing would be inappropriate IMO. Good luck with what you decide xx

Quinoa20 Sat 02-Jan-16 22:58:20

Wow, I paid for every last thing for my bridesmaids. I think it's rude to ask someone to be a bridesmaid and expect them to fund it so I agree OP.

I know this isn't exactly what this thread was about but I really think that's bad.

Kpo58 Sat 02-Jan-16 23:00:18

Maybe find out what she expects of you as a bridesmaid? It could be quite low key.

When I got married, my to be SIL was my bridesmaid. All I got her to do was follow me down the church holding flowers and out afterwards. After that, she had no more duties and so could enjoy the wedding like a normal guest.

Elledouble Sat 02-Jan-16 23:06:16

Not unreasonable at all! I feel awful saying I hated being my sister's bridesmaid but I felt ridiculous - few years older, divorced, less successful, just ridiculous. I am very, very glad that I will almost certainly never be asked again (as I have only the one sister and most of my friends are now married!).

steppemum Sat 02-Jan-16 23:06:34

Call her and tell her that you would feel very uncomfortable as a bridesmaid, but would love to be there with her on her big day, maybe help her get dressed, or whatever, just not a formal role.

You and she would be much happier if you are up front.

Griphook Sat 02-Jan-16 23:09:50

I felt the same about being a bridesmaid for my brother. I said no. I knew it would cause me so much stress in the run up. I'm glad I was honest straight away

Griphook Sat 02-Jan-16 23:11:25

Anothe friend asked me to be bridesmaid I also said no that time, but I helped her choose her dress went shopping with her, basically everything bar walking up the aisle with her.

Warmworm Sat 02-Jan-16 23:12:22

It's not something everyone enjoys. I've hated it, twice. I think you should be clear and tell her why. But don't beat yourself up, I'd say no now to any of my friends if they asked! I'm sure she'll understand if you're honest.

HowBadIsThisPlease Sat 02-Jan-16 23:17:11

I think you need to phone her as I would not be sure (from what you have said) whether she understands you are saying no.

It is fine to say no, but do be clear about it and say lots of nice things about how important she is to you and that you do care about her and her wedding. But be assertive, don't be talked into it if she tries that.

YouMakeMyDreams Sat 02-Jan-16 23:27:39

Tell her soon. I had a close friend pull out when the invitations had gone out so pretty close. I'd bought her dress, accessories some gifts everything. I was really hurt and really angry she had left it so long. Especially as we had conversations building up to this and I began to get suspicious she would do that and I gave her an out then yet she said oh no I'll be there.
If she had been honest even at that point I could have lived with it. I'd have been upset but nowhere near as upset as I was that I felt she had lied to me.
I asked her because she was important to me. I had been her bridesmaid and we were so close.
I would tell her the truth and do it soon.

BackforGood Sat 02-Jan-16 23:32:46

Just phone her up an TALK to her. Presumably - as she's asked you to be her bridesmaid - she's a pretty close friend.
Just give her a ring and say you hope she understands why you don't feel you will be able to do it (the anxiety bit - don't mention the cost, that should be borne by the bride anyway), and, as others have said, say you'll be around an willing to help her with anything on the day, but can't face the idea of standing there with people looking at you. But do it now, not some vague time in the future...well, not literally at this time of night, but tomorrow wink

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