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Erin
Just Said Yes October 2020

Best friend with anxiety/depression as bridesmaid

Erin, on March 12, 2020 at 1:00 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 6
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I am getting married in October 2020 and I just asked all my bridesmaids to be in my wedding. My best friend of over 10 years is one of them. She has had generalized and social anxiety for most of her life, and was diagnosed with depression about 2 years ago. This has been a very difficult journey for her, but she has come a long way and we have remained best friends, even with being 5 hours apart.
She is unsure if she wants to say yes. We have talked about it a lot, but I’m still not sure what to do. She doesn’t want to make it more stressful for me, but I want her to be part of the day. We have talked about this since we were teens and have always said we would be each other’s bridesmaids. Her parents, sister, and boyfriend are all invited because I love them all and want her to feel as comfortable as possible. She knows she cannot do anything that would put too much attention on her, but I feel that is part of being a bridesmaid. I would hate for her to draw more unwanted attention by being there but not doing all the “bridesmaid duties”. She knows she can’t walk down the aisle, and is unsure about sitting at the head table. She can do pictures but may have to take a break. I asked if she could sit with the rest of the bridesmaids during Mass, but she said churches give her anxiety and she always sits in the back. I haven’t asked her about being announced at the reception. She suggested being an “honorary bridesmaid” (wearing the same color, being in photos & the program, etc.) but to me that sounds as if she couldn’t make it the day of, or if she’s no longer with us.She has expressed if it is too much to coordinate, that’s okay. I really want to include her, but I don’t know what to do. I am wondering if anyone has any advice. Thank you!

6 Comments

Latest activity by Samantha, on March 12, 2020 at 4:39 PM
  • Katie
    Expert January 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag

    I think she's trying to let you know very subtly that she isn't comfortable being a bridesmaid. If you want to have her as an "honorary" and that's what she wants, I say go for it. She can still be one of your best friends without being a bridesmaid, it sounds like it will be tough for her. It's also really hard to know how anxious you will be on a given day in a given circumstance, maybe she'll feel great and want to be in pictures, maybe she won't want to do anything. I would just have an honest conversation and ask what she is most comfortable with and not have expectations.

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  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
    • Flag

    I think being her best friend, and being compassionate and respectful of her issues with anxiety is more important than her being a bridesmaid. It would be great if it wasn't an issue, but it sounds like it is, and she would be a lot more comfortable being a guest.

    You can still take photos with her, as she is your best friend. But it's not right to insist that she be a bridesmaid, when everything about that role sounds like it will make her anxiety worse. It also sounds like she's trying to tell you in a gentle way, because she doesn't want to hurt you. Not everyone can just deal with it. Be her friend. Tell her you don't want to hurt her or make her uncomfortable in any way. Tell her you will understand if she decides she doesn't want to be a bridesmaid. As your best friend, she can be involved in other ways, and still support you.

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  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    I agree with pp I think it’s better for her to come as a guest. Or perhaps if she could be a reader? I mean it sounds like she would want to take part but only briefly.
    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Master November 2020
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    I think her being included if her being there the day of. I think what matters is that she is there the day of you wedding in support even if she is not acting as a bridesmaid. Have her attend the bachelorette party and bridal shower for sure. Sadly her mental situation is nothing she can control. I think it would feel worse if she were not there at all. Could she sit in the front row with your family as a special nod to her?

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  • Katie
    Devoted March 2019
    Katie ·
    • Flag

    I agree with pp that it would be more appropriate for her to attend as a guest. She has made it clear that she cannot do some of the basic elements of being a bridesmaid (walking down the aisle and being seated at the front of the church). She does not want to tell you no because she doesn't want to feel like she has let you down, but read between the lines....she is saying no.

    Not only will this be best for her, as she's stating what she wants, but it'll also be best for you. In the least harsh way this can sound, you are so thoughtful for finding ways to accommodate your friend, but you also don't want to spend your wedding day worrying instead of being present in the moment and enjoying it with your new spouse. Make a point to snap a few professional pics with her, invite her to the showers and bachelorette (whether or not she attends, she will appreciate the gesture), and drop the bridesmaid subject. Accepting her answer and moving on from it will be the best for your relationship as there will be no residual pressure or guilt. Good luck!!

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    VIP October 2020
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    I don't think there's anything wrong with letting her be an honorary bridesmaid. It doesn't sound like she is reasonably able to stand up with you and that's okay. Just include her in another way and let her know that you love her regardless.

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