Aleida
August 2022

Not a bridesmaid so how much should i help plan?

Aleida, on August 5, 2019 at 1:37 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 20
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I wasn’t really sure where to post this so thought I would give here a go.

Recently my best friend got engaged and knowing her and her family dynamic I knew there was a very good chance I wouldn’t be asked to be a bridesmaid even though I would be completely thrilled to be asked but I made peace with it just because there’s a lot of complicated relationships there and I knew it would make things less stressful for her to ask family members ahead of me.

Because she is my best friend I had already started helping her plan things. I had taken her to a bridal expo just because she had expressed a very mild interest in wanting to check it out and from that she has now booked her wedding venue and chosen most of her vendors.
I am also a jeweller so I’m gifting her and her FH their wedding bands at cost price meaning my hours of hand labour which normally would be hundreds of dollars is their wedding gift. And because she is having two rings made just for her and one for her FH this has been quite stressful for me to make sure they’re exactly what they both want.

Anyway fast forward to today I went for a visit and to my surprise I found out this girl who is a self proclaimed “best friend” of my best friend, who my best friend has previously said they are only still friends because of how persistently this girl holds onto the friendship and my best friend has said quite a few times she prefers the times we spend together but she is now going to be in the bridal party when I had previously been told it would be a family only affair.

Up until this point she had told me it would be her sister and her cousin, because even though she isn’t close with her sister and her cousin is doing a very good job of making this wedding about herself by saying such things as she cannot plan for the date she wants because the cousin is going on a three month overseas holiday or that she doesn’t like the style of wedding she wants to do because it doesn’t suit the cousins needs, she says she feels her mum would expect her to make them bridesmaids as a condition of paying for the wedding.

So I had been all chill about everything because her sister is from what I’ve heard quite judgemental and her cousin is a handful and I just wanted to drive home to my friend “It’s your day and I’ll do whatever makes this easier on you.”

But... I won’t lie and say I’m not hurt that now two more bridesmaids have been added to her bridal party and I still haven’t been asked despite helping her plan over most of the details.

One of the new bridesmaids is her god mother which I totally get (still family) but when it comes to the self proclaimed best friend it really does hurt that she will be asked and I won’t be. Especially when my best friend was telling me what “Will you be my bridesmaids?” gifts she plans to get for them.

It also cut a bit deeper when she was telling me that her FH doesn’t plan on having any groomsmen and that it didn’t matter to her at all that there would be an uneven number of people up at the altar. So it’s not even a matter of making the sides match or having some form of evenness for the photos.

I was also one of the first to actually find out about their engagement. In fact I knew before she told her mother. I also knew long before the self proclaimed best friend was told. So I guess I’m also a little confused as well as hurt as to why this girl who seems to not be as close has been asked ahead of me.
I am also one of only three people who know what her wedding dress looks like. One is her sister who works in the industry and took her to a sample sale and the other is her god mother who she also took with her to the sample sale. I have seen so many pictures of my best friend in wedding dresses and I have seen the actual physical wedding dress she has purchased even though two of her bridesmaids haven’t.

I am hearing the “Well I think my mother would expect...” a lot but today she also told me she’s learning to be firmer with her mother and putting her foot down on the things she really wants because she is channeling me in the way I keep telling her it’s her day and to not let people tell her what to do so she doesn’t end up unhappy.

Now I am fully aware this is HER day and is in no way shape or form about me. But that doesn’t mean my feelings still aren’t hurt so I was wondering did anyone else find themselves in a similar position and how did you go about dealing with your emotions from this?

My best friend was saying things like “Bridesmaids have to do so much work anyway and you and I will just get to have a fun relaxing day!” Which yes, I get, I won’t have to buy the dress or the shoes and I won’t have extra stressors on the day but I’ve already helped her plan so much.

To add to this she had originally wanted a destination wedding which her FH wasn’t for so now instead she is planning a destination bachelorette party which I know she expects me to be at because she has stated previously.

But now I’m wondering if I’m not a bridesmaid and I’m not supposed to be doing all this work should I be pulling back on that? Because I have been helping her run through all of her ideas and all of her emotions surrounding her turbulent bridesmaids but she has now specifically told me that because I’m not a bridesmaid I won’t have to do as much work.

Also going on a destination bachelorette party is a lot of money so do I opt out of that considering I’m being excluded from this other group? A holiday like that isn’t necessarily cheap and would be something I would have no choice but to charge on credit and slowly pay off and now I’m just questioning my importance of being there when my importance hasn’t been considered in being in her bridal party.
I also question if non family members are being added to the bridal party and I’m still not being asked am I even going to still be considered close enough to go on this trip at this point?

Also is it okay for me to say to her I’d rather not discuss bridal party favours because despite our closeness, despite the fact that it is unimportant there are matching numbers in the bridal and grooms parties and despite she is no longer asking just family it does hurt a little I haven’t been included?

As you can tell I have a lot of feelings about this and I do not want to be like her bridesmaids and make this situation about me but I’m also trying to find a healthy way to navigate these feeling without putting any stress on her. Any advice would be so appreciated.

20 Comments

Latest activity by Aleida, on August 6, 2019 at 7:24 AM
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    I understand why you are hurt. She is her own person, she should choose her own bridesmaids without worrying who will care. If I were you, I'd stop helping at all with wedding planning. Obviously continue the rings since you committed to that, but other than that just act like a normal guest. She can't expect you to do bridesmaid things if you aren't a bridesmaid. If she brings up stuff I'd say "I understand you didn't want to ask me to be a bridesmaid because of how your mother would feel, but I'm still hurt. I think the best person to discuss wedding things with would be one of your four bridesmaids. I'm still very excited to go to your wedding but I don't think involving me in bridal party things is the best since I'm not in the bridal party." You still need to stand up for yourself and think of your feelings too.

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  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
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    You’re allowed to be hurt, but you need to feel these feelings and let them go. This whole post was a lot to process, but it sounds like your friend has a lot of outside influences on her decisions and she doesn’t need you to make her feel guilty as well. I also think you need to accept that your friend is closer to this “self proclaimed best friend” than you think and that she’s allowed to have other close friends besides you. You said in the beginning that you weren’t expecting to be in the bridal party and were clearly more than willing to help with wedding related tasks, but now you want to pull back because you’re not in the bridal party. It’s totally okay to not want to help with planning, but the fact that you’re doing it just because of the bridal party issue is a little petty.
    • Reply
  • Liza
    Dedicated September 2021
    Liza ·
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    There is really no way to know what your friend is thinking unless you talk to her. She might not realize you are so hurt by this exclusion. Since I do not know either of you, I cannot fully understand your relationship. But even if you are really really really close friends, asking to be in her wedding party or telling her you are upset by this exclusion could still be awkward and upset her. If you think you can have the conversation without there being drama/fallout - go for it. Otherwise I would just only participate as you feel comfortable.

    You can stop helping her plan or skip the bachelorette party if you can't afford it. But make sure you are doing these things because it is best for you and not a punishment for her. If you do not go to the bachelorette, you should blame it on the cost or time off from work and not on being excluded.

    If your friend is saying things like "Bridesmaids have to do so much work anyway and you and I will just get to have a fun relaxing day!" then I am willing to bet she is trying to avoid the exact situation you are in and is hoping you can be Okay with her decision not to include you in the bridal party.

    Sorry you are feeling hurt by this! Weddings can cause so much stress for everyone.

    • Reply
  • C
    Super December 2021
    Casey ·
    • Flag
    I agree with FutureMrsD, I'd continue to make the rings as they are your gift to the couple and you agreed to do them. I also agree that you need to stand up for yourself and your feelings, too. In the long run it would probably be best for your relationship, anyway, because if not you may become bitter and resentful against your friend and friendship.
    It sounds like she invited you to go with the group to pick bridesmaids dresses and shoes? That, among with discussing favors and inviting you to the bachelorette? The words FutureMrsD gave you are good- be kind but honest. You just tell her how you feel and that while you understand you wish not to be involved in matters involving the bridal party.
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  • Yam
    VIP September 2019
    Yam ·
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    I’m sorry but if I were in your shoes I’d be feeling straight up used. It’s ok to have you as free labor but you can’t even be in the wedding somehow? I get that she had family members to be her bridesmaids but after she added non-family to the list, she should’ve at least considered you.
    It’s her bridesmaids tasks to plan her bachelorette party and go with her to expos and visit vendors, not you. She’s also using you to bounce off wedding ideas. Why is she telling you about all of her wedding stuff if you’re not in the wedding party? It feels rude to treat you like a bridesmaid but then exclude you.

    Maybe she’s going through a lot, maybe she doesn’t realize how bad this is, but I think this is flat out wrong.
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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    Tbh I don’t think I am being petty. I am pulling back because she has specifically told me to and that I don’t need to do as much work. And so far her bridesmaids haven’t really been helping her with much. As far as she has told me her bridesmaids and her family aren’t helping her do anything and this has been one of her constant complaints.

    As these revelations with who is in her bridal party are all fresh and new to me (like literally today)I was asking for advice on how to move past the feelings because part of me was still holding hope that had she decided to ask extra people I might be asked too. And I am well aware she doesn’t need added guilt as why I am posting here rather than bombarding her with my feelings.

    I also have no doubt she is close to this “self proclaimed best friend” but the quotation marks were not an indication I was being sarcastic this is literally a comment she makes constantly and I think the friend thinks even she is closer than what my friend thinks they are.

    She is more than welcome to have whoever she wants in her wedding as it’s HER wedding. I’m just also trying to figure out my feelings and what exactly my role is as she has been acting like she expects one thing and saying she expects something different so I’m trying to work out the line without causing her added stress because it seems my ‘role’ is not actually a role.
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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    Thanks FutureMrsD

    Yeah that’s kind of how I’m feeling. Like she will more than understand if I say hey I get your decision to not have me as a bridesmaid but also it kind of hurts that someone who I viewed as being on the same level as me who is also not family is now one and I’m not.

    I will continue with the rings because that’s a labor of love and I want that to be perfect for them. ☺️
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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    Yeah that’s kind of how I’m feeling a little tbh. Like I really had no expectations but it just cut deep to know there are now four bridesmaids who aren’t helping her with anything and I’ve already helped her with so much. Even my partner and I went above and beyond for their engagement party and... I dunno I guess even just if she had of actually had the conversation with me of “I’m sorry you’re not going to be a bridesmaid.” Might have been night too. But I’ve just had to work out I’m not being invited by the language she’s using.
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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    She hasn’t actually invited me to do anything with the bridesmaids and I wonder if I’m only invited to the trip because she said to me when she mentioned it that she thought only me and the self proclaimed best friend would actually come and if that’s all that comes she’s okay with that. But yeah if that’s the only thing I’m actually invited to I feel rather defeated about it tbh. Like I wouldn’t not go just to punish her because it would be a fun trip but it will also be expensive so it might not be as big a priority for me to save for it and put myself under extra pressure when she’s telling me I don’t have to. But yes I agree also that I need to just let her know what’s hurting me but still continue on with the commitments I’ve made ie the rings. Beyond that I didn’t actually make any other commitments.
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  • Kelly
    VIP October 2020
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    I think you should only do the rings. There's clearly a lot happening here and it's okay to be hurt, but you pointed out several other people in the bride's life are dictating what's happening so try to remember that she isn't holding all the reigns and she might have wanted you instead.
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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    I think you’re right in that she might not realise I’m hurt. I didn’t even realise I was hurt until I properly thought about it. But I would never ask to be a bridesmaid because it’s not my place. Her cousin has already been in her mother’s ear about it and her mother has already said “Can you please hurry up and ask her because she’s freaking out.” So I know she just doesn’t need added stress and I’m definitely not going to add to it especially when she has enough bridesmaids making it about them instead of her.

    Thank you for your advice though. A lot of what you said was so validating and there’s so much power in validating someone’s feelings to help them move past them. ☺️
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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    Yeah I can definitely see that if she had had more control maybe I would have been an option.

    Thank you so much for the validation. It’s a tricky situation. I’m trying to help her feel supported but also protect my own feelings at the same time.
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  • Cher Horowitz
    Master December 2019
    Cher Horowitz ·
    • Flag

    I can see why you're hurt. It seems like your friend's mother is running all over her. A bridal party is never required to have "jobs" anyway. I hope you're able to have a talk with her about your feelings and reach a solution!

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  • Michelle
    VIP December 2019
    Michelle ·
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    I don't think you're being petty at all. And if it were me I would be pissed!!! I wouldn't do anything else and she is using you because she knows she can. How can she tell you she's not really friends with this person and then turn around and put her in the wedding and not you. Sounds like she thinks of the other girl as more of a friend than she does you. You need to let her know how you feel. I would need an explanation if it were me and I really wouldn't be her friend anymore. No bridesmaids is fine. No bridesmaids except family is fine but when you put someone ahead of me who you claim to not really care for and I'm your BEST FRIEND, I have a big problem with that!

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  • Thea
    Dedicated August 2019
    Thea ·
    • Flag

    I see why you're hurt. But food for thought. I originally only asked three people to be my bridesmaids - a cousin who is like a sister, my best friend of 15 years who is basically family, and my FH's sister. I have another very good friend who was MOH in another wedding this year, and I thought about asking her but initially didn't because I didn't want to put my wedding stress on her. I invited her to the shower and bachelorette because I thought she would enjoy those things and I wanted to see her, not because I expected her to do anything for them. Eventually it came out that I had considered asking her, but didn't want to stress her out. She laughed at me and told me she would still love to be a bridesmaid, scrambling to get a dress one month out. In short, she's amazing, but my point is that some brides (like me) might feel like it's a burden to be in the wedding party and don't want to ask too much of their friends.

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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    Yeah see she already knows I would love to be a bridesmaid because I’ve said to her many times “You know I’d love to be a bridesmaid but if it’s going to make your day less stressful then I won’t be.”

    I guess after sleeping on it I’m just hurt that I wasn’t even considered to be asked but more so irked at her other bridesmaids because other than her God mother and her sister helping her to go and buy her wedding dress literally no one had helped her do anything.

    We were texting and I told her that I thought when I get married to my partner I’m just going to elope because I can’t be bothered with it all and she said that she would have loved to do that and I asked well why didn’t you just do that and she flat said family obligations.
    She also said it helped once she nutted out what she really wanted and thanked me for helping for my part it that. So she sees and recognises the work I’ve done but still... I dunno I guess because there’s no family obligation to ask me she won’t because she isn’t going to ask me just because she wants to.
    Like every single person she has asked it’s been a “Well my mum would expect me to.” And not because she wants to. And I’d rather be asked because she wants to. I guess I was just shocked that she was asking non family members now and it became painfully obvious that I wasn’t going to get asked.

    I’ve also tried to think of it from the perspective that she doesn’t want to stress me but if she didn’t want to do that it makes me wonder about the bachelorette abroad. Because affording that and the time to go is far more stressful than helping her organise and dressing up on the day but that’s just in my opinion.

    I’ll be okay I’m just trying to settle with the idea I’m not going to be asked regardless of her seeing how much I’ve helped and she may never tell me why.
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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    Oh I have no doubt they are friends. They were friends as children then they stopped being friends through school then they reconnected I think when they were 21 at a mutual friend’s birthday party and since then the other girl has made a point of making everyone else in her life know she is the best friend. Quite frankly sometimes it makes her look quite insecure. But I definitely do not doubt they are friends. I just thought based on what my friend has told me that I was as close to her as this girl. But apparently I got that wrong.

    Like my friend messaged me today to thank me for getting her to this point because before all of my help she had just wanted to elope because it seemed too overwhelming to her. So she definitely sees all the work I’ve done and appreciated it. But I am also probably not ever going to be asked to be a bridesmaid and I’m just trying to deal with feeling hurt by that because I honestly believed that if she expansed the group to include this other girl that I would have been too.
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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    Yeah her mother’s attitude really irritates me. It’s not her day and not her wedding. I’ve had to pep talk my friend a lot to get her to understand she is allowed to stand up for herself.

    And yeah i know bridesmaids aren’t supposed to have “jobs” persay but my friend had made quite a few comments that she believes they are supposed to at least help her kind of work out what she wants or help her with some decisions and she’s said to me many times that they haven’t done anything.

    Like it was actually quite saddening to see her say that none of her family “bridesmaids” (in quotation because she said this sarcastically) have helped her do anything.

    But yeah at the end of the day I’m just going to have to learn to accept that I’m not being asked because there is no family obligation to ask me and she probably isn’t going to ask me just because she wants to.
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  • earias
    Champion December 2017
    earias ·
    • Flag

    This would hurt me too but I am a more direct person and would simply ask my friend why she didn't ask me to be a bridesmaid.

    Also, something I noticed from your post: you seem to do a lot for her, and it seems, make excuses for her. Can you name all the things she has done for you in turn? The reason I noticed this is because I was in a very similar situation as you several years ago with a friend. I considered her my best friend and supposedly I was also her best friend too. I did a lot for her because that's what friends, especially best friends, do. She had this other friend who was also the "self proclaimed best friend." When my friend and I were together, she would put down this "self proclaimed best friend" and just seem to distance herself from their friendship while she was with me (which makes you wonder - what is she saying about me to her "self proclaimed best friend?). Funny thing, though, when she got engaged, who did she ask to be a bridesmaid? You know the answer by now. Even then I didn't see that it was a one-sided friendship. Over the years I began to see what was going on, that our friendship was more of a "convenience" for her because I was always helpful and did things for her. But she didn't reciprocate. As I got older I became more selective with choosing my best friends and our friendship slowly ended. I'm not saying this is your situation, but when you described all you're doing for her, even making custom rings, and then she decides to add non-family members after all but doesn't choose you. . .it just brought back the memories of my friend.

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  • Aleida
    August 2022
    Aleida ·
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    Wow yeah I really see what you’re saying there. And I have made a lot of excuses. When I was talking to my partner this evening about how upset I was he also pointed out how much work both he and I had done for their engagement party but that the self proclaimed best friend got to be the one up there giving the I’m the best friend speech and I’ve heard nothing but complaints about the very minimal effort she made for this party.

    It does all really make me wonder if things are being said about me behind my back. I am definitely feeling taken advantage of and like I need to step back from this situation.

    And I mean not to say she isn’t a good friend to me just recently as you said she seems to be going to less of an effort for me. Like it’s my birthday coming up soon and normally I would do something with her on my birthday but last year even though I had wanted to plan something she went away on my birthday which meant I had to work my birthday celebrations around her and the same seems to be happening this year because she has an engagement party on my birthday night. It is all feeling very one sided and like I’m going to far more effort for her than what she is going to for me. Thank you for pointing that out because I hadn’t really noticed it as much as I probably should be.

    I‘m sorry you also found yourself in a similar situation. It can be quite hurtful when you realise that your friendship isn’t as valued as you thought it would be.

    My partner made a lot of similar points that you’ve made actually and he’s said I need to step back and protect my heart so I think for a while I will adopt the habit of putting in the kind of effort she is and see how we go from there.
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