- Do it now!: Waiting will only make it harder for you to say and harder for her to hear.
- Be honest: Whether it's because you can't afford it or you have another wedding that weekend, state the reason why you can't do it as succinctly as possible. Details, rationales, and excessive apologies may only make it worse!
- But not too . . .: If you're saying no because you don't like the groom, then keep your lips sealed. Lie (I'd go with money) as convincingly as possible!
- Be prepared to repeat yourself: A few brides won't take your first "no" for an answer. It may be as friendly as offering to help with expenses or as vengeful as a personal attack, but you'll regret it later if you don't stand your ground. Remain composed now, and she'll have a hard time holding it against you later.
- Offer to help: If you offer to do some grunt work without the glory of being a bridesmaid, she will know you care. But I wouldn't suggest another role in the ceremony for yourself; if she has one, she'll ask.
Is it you getting married? Learn how to manage the bridal party in A Bride's Guide to Bridesmaids while maintaining your friendships. And start sharing your big day with our community. Don’t forget to check the wedding content box on your post.