I'm a gay male who's had a female best friend for 12 years. We've been through everything together: the good, the bad, we've seen each other through it all. This year my bestie got engaged and I'm so excited for her but the only thing is, for as long as I've known her, she has relayed to me that she wanted to get married on a beach and that I'd be standing next to her at the alter as "man of honor," if you will. Now she's decided to get married at a Catholic church, and I've been offered a role as an usher. I'm deeply offended that I've been given such a minimal role in her wedding, and that she didn't fight tradition to have me on her side in the wedding party.
My questions are: Am I justified in feeling hurt? Is there a delicate way to decline the usher position? And, is there something I can do in lieu of being an usher that would still honor our long-term friendship?
— Usher of (Dis)honor
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Dear Usher of (Dis)honor,
I am so sorry to hear that your role has been downgraded on her special day. Since she's strayed so far from her life-long dream, something tells me that her fiancé is pressuring her into what he's always envisioned his wedding to be. I don't know anything about your relationship with him, but even if it's strained, you absolutely have every right to be upset that you're no longer going to be standing up for your best friend. Having hurt feelings is a totally natural reaction and even though she might not change her mind, I suggest talking to her about her sudden change of heart as there could be something going on that you are unaware of.
Sure, being an usher isn't as glamourous as being her best man, but are you sure you really want to decline being in her wedding altogether? Perhaps you can ask if you can be an usher and read a poem, or make a speech at the reception. Ask her if you can play a more personal role in addition to the role she's already assigned to you. Her wedding day is a huge day for her, but it's his big day, too. She needs to honor his needs and perhaps compromise a little, which may result in you having to be flexible and understanding of what they want as a couple. The only way to get to the bottom of this is to be open with your friend. If you're as close as you say you are, she'll appreciate your honesty. I hope you can find a way to get through this and enjoy whatever part you play on her wedding day.