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Can You Decline Being A Bridesmaid?

Dear Sugar
Yesterday I was asked to be in a bridesmaid in a co-workers wedding. We met at work about a year and a half go, and I consider us to be relatively new friends. I must say that I was completely caught quite off guard when she asked me to do her this honor. I don't know anyone else in her bridal party and I am not currently dating anyone that I would be able to bring as my date.

While I really like her and I am very flattered, I am not interested in saying yes. Being a bridesmaid is an added expense that I can not afford right now, not to mention a large time commitment. Do I have to say yes or is there a polite way to decline without ruining our new friendship? I said yes yesterday, but I am hoping it's not too late to change my decision. Declining Davita


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Dear Declining Davita
This is always a delicate topic. Being asked to be in a friend's wedding is an honor, but it can certainly feel like a chore; especially if you aren't very close with her. You technically do not have to say yes, but by saying no, you run the risk of hurting her feelings.

Being in the wedding party is definitely expensive so this could be your easy way out. Let her know how much you appreciate the invitation but that you are unfortunately on too tight of budget to take this on. A nice gesture would be asking her if you could still be a part of her special day by passing out programs, participating in a reading or offering to help chip in for her bachelorette party or shower.

Hopefully your friend will understand your financial commitments and will take you up on your offer to be a part of her wedding in another capacity. Reiterate to the bride that your decision is strictly financial and has nothing to do with how you feel about her, or her upcoming nuptials. I am sure your emotional support will be greatly appreciated by the bride and your friendship will be spared.

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