Natalie
Savvy August 2019

Bridesmaid with mental health issues- 1 week until wedding backout

Natalie, on August 16, 2019 at 10:28 AM Posted in Planning 0 29
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Cliff notes to my long story:

-My wedding is in one week! (eek!)

-I asked my good friend of 12 years to be a bridesmaid (used to be super close/roommates in college) 6 months ago and she said yes

-We've grown apart a bit in the last few years which I think is natural. When we'd meet up it was always like no time has passed

-I am really sarcastic and joke around all the time. I always have. She used to be the same way but has changed. Apparently I offended her with something I said but she won't tell me what it was?!

-She seemed distant at my bridal shower. That evening was my bachlorette party. Went to a local dueling piano bar and had a blast but she up and left without a word.

-Tried texting her after and she rarely responds (usually takes at least 24 hours to hear back). She just said she got "overwhelmed" and had to leave. Radio silence after that

-I checked in with her this week to remind her of rehearsal dinner details. Now she says she will "try" to make it. I asked if everything is ok and she starts with "I don't want to stress you out but..."

-I've known she has been struggling with depression/anxiety the last few years but she is now blaming me for her anxiety. I don't think I have asked much of the bridal party- just BM dress shopping & show up to bridal shower/bach party. Everything else I have done.

-She has told me three times now she will be there "if I want her there" but basically we can't be friends after.

-Also said she's felt this way for the last three years but yet waiting until 1 week before my wedding (after she agreed to be a bridesmaid) to tell me any of this


So what do I do? I am usually a go-with-the-flow kind of girl. Not a fan of drama. At this point, I think it would be more stressful if she was there than if she wasn't. I don't want to tip toe around her to make sure shes OK all day and if we're not friends anymore (according to her) then what's the point? Should I just cut ties now?


I've told her often that I'm here if she needs me but don't pressure her to talk if shes not feeling well. I understand mental health is important but I just don't fully understand what she's going though so it's hard. I get one wedding day, I just want to be happy and carefree on my one day.


29 Comments

Latest activity by Fmv, on August 18, 2019 at 2:28 PM
  • T
    Dedicated September 2019
    Teresa ·
    • Flag

    Well, I think it's a bit rude of her to wait until 1 week before your wedding to be like "Hey i'll come but only because I have to and oh by the way i'll never speak to you again so bye"!

    I know that seeing your friends get married can be difficult for people to watch. The movie Bridesmaids put a funny spin on that idea but it's actually a really huge issue for a lot of wedding parties and can cause a lot of drama.

    I think, for your sake, you should let her drop out of her duties and thank her for being there and also wish her well. If she doesn't want to talk to you then that's her choice. Letting people choose to walk away is sometimes the best option for your sanity. Her possibly being there will only serve you more stress on your wedding day and no one wants that.

    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    I agree with PP. I don't think it's ok for her to basically say she's not going to be your friend anymore after the wedding.
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    VIP October 2020
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    If she doesn’t want to be your friend, just respect that and move on. I don’t see the point in prolonging your friendship breakup until after the wedding and having her in all your pictures.
    • Reply
  • Danielle
    Master June 2019
    Danielle ·
    • Flag

    Based off what you described, and what she said, I would go ahead and cut ties.

    • Reply
  • Sara
    Expert February 2020
    Sara ·
    • Flag
    Honestly..i would tell her that no..i don't want her to be there if she feels obligated to come and doesn't want to be friends anymore. Release her from her obligation, wish her well, and move on. It sucks..but it happens.
    • Reply
  • Formerbride
    VIP June 2019
    Formerbride ·
    • Flag
    I agree with Danielle. I wouldn't even acknowledge her anymore. You don't need to be stressed!
    • Reply
  • Erin
    Expert November 2019
    Erin ·
    • Flag
    That’s really sad, but I have to agree with others in this discussion. There’s no reason to have her be such an important part of your big day if she’s decided she does not be your friend after the wedding. Don’t wait, just let her free of her obligations. Be nice about it, wish her well, and move on. Sometimes people are only in our lives for a season and that’s okay.
    • Reply
  • sandy
    Dedicated October 2019
    sandy ·
    • Flag

    Cut your ties..

    • Reply
  • Susan
    Devoted October 2021
    Susan ·
    • Flag

    You don't want to be looking at her in all the pictures and feeling that confusion and sadness and whatever for the rest of your days... Tell her "thanks anyway" and cut your losses and move on.

    • Reply
  • Chandra
    Master May 2019
    Chandra ·
    • Flag
    So I was on the other side of this with my BM. I was basically done with her drama and BS like a month before the wedding but she had already sunk money into plane tickets and things. Part of me wanted to drop her but I didn't. She annoyed the piss out of me the day before the wedding, rolled her eyes and scoffed through the entire ceremony (guests even pointed this out to my parents) and left the reception early. Didnt even text me to say anything to me the next morning before my parents drove her to the airport.
    I'm not petty enough to delete the photos with her in them, but if this person doesnt want to be your friend after the wedding, do you want them to ruin your day by acting out? Do you want photos commemorating a dead friendship?
    • Reply
  • Keri
    Expert November 2019
    Keri ·
    • Flag
    I'm sorry your friendship is over. It doesn't make sense on why she would stand by you on the big day yet has already told you the friendship is over.

    I'd probably say it would be best for both of you if she came as a guest. However if she really is ending the friendship she will decline the invitation.

    • Reply
  • Alicia
    Dedicated October 2018
    Alicia ·
    • Flag
    I’m sorry that’s happening. I know some people have abandonment issues and some people test you and say things similar to her, like “we can’t be friends after,” to see how far you will go to fight for the friendship. However, a week before someone’s wedding is not the time to do it. I know some people with borderline personality disorder (I’m not sure what her diagnosis is) who have unrealistic expectations in relationships, and if they feel offended in any way they go from thinking someone is the best to thinking someone has betrayed them and want nothing to do with them. You are in a tough situation, but I would honestly be angry she’s waiting a week before the wedding to tell you this. I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do!
    • Reply
  • Misty
    Super October 2019
    Misty ·
    • Flag
    A situation like this (although difficult not to take personally) cannot be about your needs or expectations.

    Mental health is truly one of THE most difficult things to be transparent about in such a way that allows others in, helps others understand, or leaves the person suffering feeling vulnerable.

    Additional to the issue of mental health.... friendship / family are select few relationships that really only demand understanding, love, and communication. This is a great opportunity for you to show grace in understanding and lay aside any expectations of her.

    It probably crushes her to "let you down" and coming from a negative and unhealthy mindset anyway, this could be causing the radio silence. But rather than speculate about what or why... my feelings are that you just focus on what she has told you, show her grace, and understanding. Simply say "you will he sincerely missed and you are ultimately loved. Take your time to figure things out, know I'm here for you when and if the time comes that you need to talk... we will move on without you there, but will keep you in our minds and hearts. "

    There are a ton of solutions for a wedding party or bridesmaid dipping out... there is only one solution for being a friend. And even if you feel that she isn't being the best friend to you right now.... you should always take every opportunity to be the best friend you can be.

    Your day will be Beautiful and amazing and you will be surrounded by tons of wonderful people who want to see you so extremely happy. Give her the opportunity to gracefully bow out.
    • Reply
  • Natalie
    Savvy August 2019
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    Thank you for all your replies. I am sad because if I do ask her not to come- that's it. 12 years of what I thought was a good friendship down the tube. But pretty sure it's over anyways. I honestly feel relief when I think of her not even being there. She refuses to meet me in person or answer my calls so I'm afraid I'll have to end it by text. I hate that idea but not much more I feel I can do. There's a lot I want to stay to her but I'll keep it short and sweet. Wish er well and hope down the road she gets help to deal with her anxiety.

    • Reply
  • J
    Master October 2019
    Jolie ·
    • Flag

    If she knew she had mental health issues and would have things flare up due to maybe over-exposure to things for the types of pre-wedding events that occur, she should have never said yes in the first place. Especially if she said she felt the friendship had drifted, then again why say yes in the first place. If she isn't going to be your friend after the wedding or leading up to it then kindly ask her not to come at all. You don't want to remember your special day with the ex friend there in your wedding party. I understand depression and anxiety is draining but if it doesn't allow her even the capacity to be a decent friend to you then that's not your fault.

    • Reply
  • M
    Devoted October 2019
    Melodie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    This is so eloquently put, Misty. I agree 100%.

    • Reply
  • Liz
    Dedicated September 2019
    Liz ·
    • Flag

    Hi. I actually had a VERY similar experience. Actually this was earlier on though maybe 6 months before wedding but same situation.

    Best friends since 6th grade (I am 29 now). Recent years shes been battling mental issues (mainly anxiety and depression). I tried my best to be there for her but we live in different counties so we did start to drift apart.


    Moment I realized things werent right was when we went to the first bridal dress appointment. She lived the CLOSEST out of my bridesmaid. One of my bridesmaid drove 2 hours to go to my appointment and didnt complain. This bridesmaid was maybe 30 min away and complained morning of she was going to be late and that the place was far.


    As time went on, every time there was any plans regarding for her to make an effort she would give me an attitude. She was originally supposed to be MOH since we were childhood besties but because she didnt step in and help i actually didnt give her the title and just said everyone was bridesmaid to be safe. Luckily I had a bridesmaid who was willing to be a pseudo MOH and not have the title.


    Things got worse and at some point I decided to confront her about it. I boldly asked her if she wanted to be a bridesmaid and that I know when you get asked sometimes you dont realize the full details of what it entails and what responsibilities are. In the end she ended up blaming me for a lot of things and we cut ties.


    I still wish her well and don't hold a grudge against her but cutting her out of my wedding made things A LOT easier on me.

    • Reply
  • L
    September 2019
    Lorri ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I have to disagree and say you are not being fair, Angelena. No one knows when their mental health issues are going to flare up. The BM probably thought she would be fine and wanted to support her friend when she said yes. It is sad that she is being the way she is, but sometimes it just cant be helped.
    • Reply
  • Florida Marlins
    Expert October 2017
    Florida Marlins ·
    • Flag

    I would tell her, in person, that you feel it would be best if she were not in your wedding. I am no fan of "firing a bridesmaid" but she has all but told you she doesn't want to be in the wedding. I would express it in a way that it is NOT because she is being flaky or whatever, but that you have genuine concern over her health. If she has told you she will not be friends with you anymore after the wedding, just tell her we can put a pin in it now. I would be very clear that you will always be concerned with her health and that she can reach out to you anytime for help, but truly she sounds like someone who needs professional help. Are you concerned she may harm herself?

    • Reply
  • Colleen
    Master September 2019
    Colleen ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Yes this just a nice as possible cause she is going though a lot. While she is not being fair to you. You should not have to worry about this near your wedding.

    At that tine she may not know she is being rude and hard to deal with. When people get in that state of mind that tends to be the case.
    • Reply

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