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Katherine
Savvy August 2022

Bridesmaid can’t make shower

Katherine, on June 10, 2022 at 9:10 AM Posted in Parties and Events 0 21
My shower is this weekend and one of my bridesmaids who was supposed to come told he she probably won’t be able to make it a few days ago. She lives 6-7 hours drive from where the shower is located and doesn’t want to drive the whole way by herself and pay for all the gas. One of my friends also coming to the shower lives about halfway between the 2 locations and is willing/able to give her a ride for the 2nd half of the trip to help break it up. I offered for her to stay at my house etc no problem but she still says she can’t. We invited like 50 people to the shower and only about 28 are coming. My fiancé’s family (7 ladies) may cancel too because of a recent death in the family (and I certainly understand that). So the event is kind of falling apart 😢 and my mom has put in a tremendous amount of work to make this shower super special.
For some reason though her canceling hurts more than the rest. Can/should I offer to help pay for her gas or really try to encourage her to come? Or is that being self-absorbed and I should just accept her no and leave it at that?

21 Comments

Latest activity by Mackenzie, on July 6, 2022 at 10:00 PM
  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
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    I would accept that she declined. That's a long distance for someone to drive over a weekend, whether it's by themselves or not. It's totally valid to feel disappointed that she won't be there, but she probably already feels bad about not being able to make it, and I wouldn't try to pressure her into coming anyway. 28 people is a great turnout for the shower! It will still be special, regardless of how many people attend. Focus on those who are able to be there, and enjoy the bridal shower!

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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2023
    Cece ·
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    I think it would be ok to reach out to her and offer to pay for her gas. I’d keep it super casual, no pressure. Something along the lines of “I’d really love for you to be able to come. If gas is the only reason you can’t make it, I’d be happy to cover that expense. But if there are other reasons as well, I totally understand and won’t be hurt. Just wanted to extend the offer.”
    If she declines again, just tell her she will be missed and leave it at that.
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  • Sloane
    Rockstar May 2022
    Sloane ·
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    I don’t think it’s being self absorbed as it’s obvious that you care about her presence. I would make the offer and see where that lands.
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  • PermaGrin
    Devoted June 2022
    PermaGrin ·
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    6-7 hours is a long drive and means this would kind of take up her whole weekend as well. The offer to cover the gas is nice - I am not sure if she would feel pressured - but you know how to phrase it to her I am sure

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  • PermaGrin
    Devoted June 2022
    PermaGrin ·
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    Also it will be a beautiful shower - I agree it stinks. When the VIPs can't make it - it hurts more - so I understand your feelings!

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  • S
    Super September 2022
    Sarah ·
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    This is what I would do. It’s very kind to offer to pay for her gas considering gas prices are so high right now. But that is far to drive for a shower, so again, don’t pressure her, but it’s okay to offer.
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  • Paige
    Rockstar October 2022
    Paige ·
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    It definitely sucks when people can't make it, especially those closest to you, so you're definitely not being self-absorbed by being hurt about it. 2 of my 3 bridesmaids couldn't make it to my shower, and the day before my uncle went to the hospital so my aunt (who was brining like 5 people with her) had to cancel. We only ended up with about 20 in attendance, but it was still a really great time.

    If you don't think she'd take your offer to pay for gas the wrong way, then I think it would be a nice gesture. But she may also have other reasons that she can't make it, so I wouldn't push it too much. I'm sure you'll have a great shower regardless Smiley smile

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  • Michelle
    Super August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Generally a bridal shower is a shorter event 2-3 hours maximum. It is asking a lot for a 12-14 hour drive, even in a culture that is used to driving distances over flying. Perhaps you can reserve some time with just her during your wedding weekend, when she will be driving this route. A 20 person shower is not small, it's intimate and will still be fun and special. Focus on the love that's there.

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  • Jm Sunshine
    Jm Sunshine Online ·
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    I completely agree with this!
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Accept her declining the shower because it is optional. As long as she shows up on the wedding day, you are fine. It is never expected for anyone to travel more than a couple hours’ drive (one way) for pre wedding parties. That is why it’s common to have multiple showers in various locations because not everyone is local to one spot and it’s asking a lot to expect them to do so.
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  • Jacks
    Champion November 2054
    Jacks ·
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    I would accept the decline graciously. Pre-wedding events are optional anyway, and that's a really, really long round trip for a shower. I would let her know you totally get it. Sounds like your mom has organized an amazing event, enjoy it!

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  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
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    Agree with PP to accept the decline graciously. Showers are optional, and I would never expect anyone, bridesmaids included, to drive more than 2 hours to a shower. 28 is an amazing turnout! I had 12 at my shower for reference. I have never attended a shower with more than 20 people, and I've attended probably 20 bridal showers.

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  • D
    Dedicated July 2022
    Danielle ·
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    I completely understand how you feel - most of my bridesmaids are out of town and haven’t been able to participate in many pre wedding festivities. It’s unfortunate they can’t come, but I also realize it is asking a lot to be a bridesmaid in general and am grateful they will be a part of the big day. As much as you want them there, I don’t know if I would put any additional pressure on them. Sounds like it is going to be an amazing bridal shower regardless! Enjoy those individuals who are able to be there - and congratulations!!
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  • R
    Rosebud ·
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    Aww man that's a bummer but 6-7hrs is a long drive (is that one way). I d tell her she ll be missed and to let you know if she changes her mind you d be happy to help her out with the gas. If its 6-7 hrs each way though that really is a long trip for a weekend. Try to enjoy your day and if she can't make it maybe she can attend virtually for parts of it!

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  • Erin
    Rockstar May 2022
    Erin ·
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    Pre-wedding events are optional. Bridesmaids are only obligated to show up to the wedding and wear their dress. I had one bridesmaid just not RSVP to my mom and didn’t show for my bridal shower. One bridesmaid had to pull out of my bachelorette because she couldn’t arrange care for her baby. Both live near me. Things happen.
    I do get wanting a lot of people there to celebrate you. I felt the same way as declines came in for mine. I will say though that 28 is still a really great turnout. I only had about 12-14 people at my bridal shower. It still turned out really great, and the ones that did show were loving, supportive, and made it a wonderful event!
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  • Arianna
    Just Said Yes September 2023
    Arianna ·
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    I say accept the “no”…she better get you a gift though 🤣😁
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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
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    This is perfect. It would be too long of a trip for me to do even for a good friend and especially alone, so it may still be a no, but as long as you present it in this way, accepting a no, I don’t think the offer would hurt.
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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
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    Ohhh I like this phrasing a lot ! “If you change your mind, I’d be more than happy to help with gas” but in that way, you’re accepting her no, but leaving it open
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  • Mrs.evans
    Rockstar October 2022
    Mrs.evans ·
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    I am sorry that you have some cancel but you still can have a great time with the guest that will be there. And yes my dear that you have to take it as a no even tho you were offering her suggestions. Please put this in the back and have a great time at your shower
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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
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    Accept that she doesn't want to come. You've already done a lot to make it easier for her (halfway carpool, free place to stay), and she's still balking. Are you prepared to accept how you will feel if you offer to pay for gas and she still says she can't come?

    6-7 hours one way is a considerable drive for what is probably only a few hour long event. I would honestly never expect someone to do that in the first place. This person is obviously traveling for (and paying to do so for) your wedding, which is the bigger, more important event, so let the shower participation go.

    Additionally, you can have a great event with 28 people. We invited about 80-90 people to our wedding and only had 48 guests attend. My baby shower was 16 people, other than myself and my husband, and it was delightful. Bigger isn't better, and with Covid, inflation, etc people are selective about the social events they go to.


    Enjoy being able to actually spend quality time with and interact with the 28 guests who do come to your shower.

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