The downside to having so many friends: having to pick only a select few to be in your coveted bridal party. Why is this so hard? Because you know who ever you decide leave out, might get their feelings hurt. In an ideal world, everyone would just be happy to get an invite your wedding. But in reality, being a part of the bridal party is a huge deal, especially for some of your longtime girlfriends. If you have a friend who didn't make the cut, here’s the best way to break the news to her:
First, don’t make promises you don’t know you can keep. You have the best intentions. If it were up to you, you would probably have all your closest girlfriends as your bridesmaids but sometimes the situation isn’t that simple. Maybe you have sisters you need to consider, maybe the groom wants his sister to be a bridesmaid, or maybe you and your groom want to stick to a small and even numbers. These are conversations you don’t really start having until you’re engaged. So to avoid any issues, don’t promise any of your girlfriends anything prior to an engagement.
Don’t string her along. Don’t avoid the unavoidable. In situations like this where you feel like one of your friends is expecting to be a bridesmaid, telling her as soon as possible will take a huge weight off your shoulders. How awkward would it be if she starting asking, “So when are we going to go bridesmaid shopping?” while knowing full well she won’t be your bridesmaid. In a situation like this, honesty is the best policy.
Keep explanations short and concise. Let her down easy and keep explanations short. Whether it’s for cost saving measures, or trying to keep the bridal party small – tell her that. If she’s really as great of a friend as you think she is, she won’t care if she’s a bridesmaid or not. Remember, she’s still invited to the wedding.
Reaffirm your friendship. In an ideal world, no one should expect to be anything at anyone’s wedding. But obviously that’s not always the case, especially with friends you’ve been close to for many years. Some feelings might get hurt which is why it’s important to reaffirm your friendship. Let her know how much you care about her and how much you value your relationship. Remind her that even though she may not be a bridesmaid, that she’s still invited to other wedding festivities like your bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner.
Remind her that she can still be a part of your wedding. Sometimes there’s just too much hype around being a part of the bridal party. When deep down all your friend really wants to be is a part of your wedding in some way. Remember, there are toasts and speeches that need to be given, so ask your friend if she wants to do that. Or maybe your friend is a great photographer, musician or baker who would be more than happy to offer her talents on the day you tie the knot. This is an effective way to help her get involved and make her feel like she’s played her part in making your wedding day special.
Remember, at the end of the day it’s your wedding and your decisions! Whether she’s a bridesmaid or not, a good friend will love and support you no matter what.