Tuesday, June 5, 2012

She didn't tell me I wasn't a bridesmaid...


Dear ESB,

I became very close with a friend about 2 years ago. I don't have a lot of female friends, but I felt extremely close to her and considered her one of my nearest and dearest. I hate the phrase "best friend," but... she was my best friend.

She got engaged almost a year ago, at the height of our friendship, and didn't ask me to be a bridesmaid. The worst part is that she didn't tell me I wasn't a bridesmaid... I had to hear it from a mutual friend. And it's not like she's having one of those no-bridesmaids-weddings: she has 6 bridesmaids! Would it have been that hard to add a 7th? I'm really hurt and embarrassed that I liked her more than she liked me, but I'm also dumbfounded... she treated me like a best friend and made me feel like one. I always knew she had a bunch of other close friends, but I thought I was at least as important to her as they were.

I confronted her about the diss and we had a big, awful fight. We're still in touch but nowhere near as close as we used to be. Now she has pity-asked me to do a reading during her wedding ceremony, and I'm not sure if I should or not. Frankly, I'm not sure I even want to go to her wedding. It's all the way across the country, and although I can afford to go, I'm not sure I want to make the trek for someone who hurt me. My boyfriend agrees it's outrageous that I wasn't asked to be a bridesmaid, so he's boycotting her and refusing to go to the wedding. I'm tempted to do the same, but I'm not sure I want to cut all ties with her... especially considering we have some mutual friends.

What do you think? Should I go to the wedding and do the reading? Go to the wedding and not do the reading? Or not go at all?

Yours,
Friendless

*****

A ceremony reading is not a pity ask. "Minding the guest book" is a pity ask.

Do you still care about this person? Do you want to repair the friendship? She's offering you an olive branch.

Go do that reading and kick some ass. (Also: Tell your stupid boyfriend you need him there with you.)

10 Crosby Derek Lam Resort, Pre-Spring 2013 via because im addicted via Fashionising

55 comments:

  1. ESB what is up with you today?!

    She wasn't told she wasn't going to be bridesmaid? What the... No-one is under any obligation to ask someone to be bridesmaid, and they are certainly under no obligation to tell people they are NOT bridesmaid.

    Imagine a bride calling you to tell you you're NOT going to be bridesmaid! How self-involved would that sound?

    Really, this person is getting upset without cause. I know her feelings were hurt, but still, this reaction is out of all proportion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second this!

      Delete
    2. agreed! and what is up with her boyfriend "boycotting" the friend? these people sound lame. NEXT

      Delete
    3. Agreed. Wannabe-bridesmaid is being dramatic. Ending a friendship over this? Good lord.

      Delete
  2. Yeah, Im going to have to agree with the first comment, the friend doesn't owe anyone any explanations. If she'd previously promised to include you in the wedding and then didn't, she should probably have called you up and explained. Simply because you feel as though she is one of your nearest and dearest doesn't mean that you're automatically a bridesmaid. And suggesting that it's easy to add a 7th bridesmaid... well, apparently you've never planned a wedding before. People do things at their own speed and according to their own desire. To suggest that they should have altered their wedding plans to satisfy your somewhat childish reaction is foolish.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think ESB's answer is fair. I also agree that no one is owed a position in the wedding party. Obviously none of us know what kind of relationship with you have with the bride, but I'm sure her choices for the wedding party were not a personal slight against you. Maybe she has a large family and wanted to include relatives? Maybe she has been involved in other wedding parties and wants to return the favor? Maybe she's known people longer than you, who knows. Ultimately it's her choice and you need to respect that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't think it is customary to tell your friends that they will NOT be bridesmaids.... And if it is, well I probably pissed some people off then!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is ridiculous. And childish. "I'm really hurt and embarrassed that I liked her more than she liked me..." are we in grade school? Stop being a baby, it's not all about you, it's not even a little bit about you. If you are as good a friend as you say you are then you wouldn't take shit personally. Wedding planning is stressful and she probably already felt bad that she couldn't include all of the wonderful friends she has in the wedding party. You have to draw the line somewhere.
    Stop being petty. Go to the wedding, do the reading and act like the best friend you claim to be. If you don't then guess what, you're not much of a friend.
    And tell your boyfriend to keep his opinions to himself. Outraged? Really? Over his lady not being a bridesmaid? That is ludicrous.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a very bizarre one, indeed. I tend to agree with the first few posters. One of my bridesmaids is a girl I met 3 years ago in law school. We've become very close, I consider her one of my closest friends, and if she were to get married tomorrow I know I wouldn't be in her wedding. Does it kind of suck? yes. BUT she has other friends that "came before me" and in terms of picking a wedding party, sometimes that wins. Maybe that's what happened, or she felt obligated to these other people BEFORE you and her got close. Whatever the reason, you throwing a hissy fit about it is a bit childish. Picking a wedding party and worrying about hurting people is already stressful enough. I almost had an ulcer stressing about how to ask one of my friends (whom I'd known LONGER and ONCE was closer with than said law school friend, but whom I'd drifted apart from a bit) to be an attendant and not a bridesmaid. She was over the MOON to be the attendant-- that's what a real friend does. They show up, smile, and are happy for you no matter WHAT "role" they play in the day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I sympathise with the feeling of suddenly realizing that you probably like someone more than they like you. It stings! But demanding to know why you aren't a bridesmaid is just awkward. Maybe it had something to do with you living on the other side of the county?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an excellent point.

      Delete
  8. I would be relieved! You get to celebrate with your friend without the matching dresses and you only have to drive there for the wedding not for every other activity. It's better she didn't include you and have you feel jealous of her older friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just coming here to say the exact same thing! You get to be there for the wedding, celebrate the beautiful day, wear your own dress and you don't have to go through all the obligation of being in the wedding. As someone who is the maid of honor in a wedding two weeks from now, I would love to be in your position.

      Delete
  9. Have you ever been a bridesmaid?

    Cause it's kind of a pain in the ass.

    Sure, it's wonderful to be asked and if a friend/family member wants your support in that way, then by all means, lend it. But every time a close friend gets married and does not ask me to be a bridesmaid, I feel relieved that I will get to have all the fun and inclusion of attending their wedding without the possibly gross expensive dress and the extra money shelled out.

    Make lemonade, lady.

    Or go sit in the corner and eat worms. Your choice, really.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ESB, you are solid. This is why we read you. Now who should I ask to mind my guestbook?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've had the same thing happen and I was completely devastated and have not gotten over it. (Childish it may be, but we can't always help the way we feel. In my case we were even closer -- sisters and I had been asked to be her maid of honor in a failed engagement less than three years earlier and I was asked to be the "hostess" who met guests at the wedding-which-happened).

    So advice from someone who understands: think of what kind of relationship you want in the future. Do you want to be close? If so, go to the wedding and do the reading. You'll feel better having that role than none at all. Is this someone who you will be living very far from and will have trouble maintaining a friendship with after being hurt? Then skip the wedding. If you don't see her as someone you will want to be friends with in 5 years then don't go.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's one thing to be disappointed that you weren't asked but I agree with the first few comments - no one says you're NOT going to be a bridesmaid. It's ok to have hurt feelings but if you really value this person go to the wedding and do the reading (with the BF next to you).. and by the sounds of it he's probably just upset because you're upset.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I chose my two sisters-in-law and my three oldest friends as my bridesmaids. Not because they are necessarily the friends I hang out with the most (they all live significant distances from me, so we only get together a few times a year now), but because we have been through it all together and I know they will always be in my life.

    Were there other women that I'm "closer" to that would have made great bridesmaids and who I love dearly? Yep. But you have to make a choice and I decided to honor those really old friendships- the ones that taught me what being a friend means and helped get me to where I am. My newer friends did not seem insulted by this choice. They got it. And they got fed and drunk and danced their asses off at the wedding.

    I think, honestly, that you should apologize for not being more understanding of your friend's choice and then go have a blast at her wedding.

    And when it's your turn to get hitched, you will have your own choices to make and you'll realize you can't make everyone happy and you'll just have to hope your friends and family will love you anyway even if you can't honor every single one of them with a special role.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I kind of did the opposite (my sister plus a close girlfriend) for opposite, but valid reasons. I don't think any of my older friends felt slighted. All of them live pretty far away, and while we have the best time catching up and acting a bit like teenagers again, they aren't a huge part of the life I've cultivated with my husband. It doesn't mean I love them less, I just chose what I wanted my wedding party to represent. And, to be perfectly honest, who would be the best at deflecting any drama.

      Delete
  14. Ditto Tonia (I think I dittoed her yesterday too- we are on the same wavelength).

    I had 4 bridesmaids- my sister, two lifelong friends, and my future SIL. I had a few other "newer" best friends who I decided not to ask because frankly 4 bridesmaids was already more than I wanted. It didn't mean I loved them less. And I did ask one to read, and it was very genuine, not a pity ask.

    These things are tricky, and can be difficult for everyone involved. I know you're hurt, and she probably feels bad, but cut her some slack and be her friend again.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Tell your boyfriend to stop acting childish, unless you like dating someone acting like a child. Given you were upset about not being told you were not a bridesmaid you probably like childish behavior.

    Grow up. It is an HONOR to be asked to be part of a wedding. It is not a slight to not be asked.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with Tonia: I think you owe the bride an apology. I understand your feelings were hurt, and that sucks, but she didn't do anything wrong. Giving her a hard time about her bridesmaids is not something that a good friend would do.

    She's clearly willing to overlook your behavior if she wants you to do a reading. You should be grateful for that. And I think you could learn a lot from how she's handling this situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto- Well this is much more nicely put than I would say it.

      You owe the lady an apology. Wedding planning and the friend/family dynamics involved can be VERY STRESSFUL. A good friend would be supportive, not pile on.

      If you value this friendship grow up before she outgrows you.

      Delete
  17. Chin up, Sport. I have best friends who have best friends who aren't me. They are outgoing and social, I like to stay home and go to bed early, so it makes sense that it would work that way. When a wedding comes up, I know it’s 50/50 that I will be chosen over one of their other great friends, and I don’t have particular feelings either way it goes. This is the way of things. Be realistic about your own relationships AND about other people’s, tell your friend you’re sorry that back then you weren’t very hip to how friendships work but now you’re learning, ask your boyfriend to help you not be so fragile next time, and go to that wedding with a kickass gift.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If I could do my wedding over again I would only stick with having my sister and two sister in laws as bridesmaids. I have many dear friends that I have made through out my life and I obviously couldnt put all of them in the wedding. It starts looking ridiculous with such a huge party. If you are as close as you say you are you should support your friend and be there in anyway she needs you...I am sure it was hard to for her to make the descions. I asked my longest, bestest friend to sing the song to our first dance with her dad playing the guitar. It was not a pity job...I just felt that I wanted her included in the wedding and this was more meaningful then her standing next to me in a dumb dress at the alter. I still cry when I watch that part of our wedding video.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I feel like I did this to someone... I had a really good, fairly new friend who I really wanted to ask but then I had older friends and ppl I had been through a lot more with. You have no idea what she might have gone through to make that decision and you should have just accepted it really... I had to draw the line somewhere due to costs maybe it was the same!

    I do feel bad but asked her to do a reading and it was a huge highlight. I think until you realise how hard wedding decisions can be you won't understand hers but if you want to be her friend go, if you don't she think you don't care.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There is a teeny, tiny part of me that empathizes with your initial feelings. I'm pretty guarded and proud as shit. I tend to feel deeply wounded when I feel like I'm taken for granted or that I'm not in equal standing in someone's life. The difference is that I act like an adult about it. I know when my feelings are irrational and I should just get over it (which is 90% of the time), or when I should calmly discuss the situation with the concerned party. You have to grow up and realize people are not always equally important in each others' lives. And that throwing a fit when you don't get your way is not the best way to cultivate lasting relationships.

    Your friend sounds like she was honoring your feelings, and found a VERY special place for you in her ceremony. You can get back at her and refuse like a child, or you can act like a best friend and support her on her wedding day.

    For the record, my best girlfriend wasn't in my ceremony at all. She didn't care. We see each other every week and make fun of each other while we watch trash tv and make dinner together.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Having just spent this morning writing some sincere notes to some very dear friends of mine for the purpose of asking them to do me the honor of presenting a reading at our ceremony, this letter breaks my heart a bit. I'm asking them because I love them so much, they're so important to my guy and I, and we want them to be a part of our marriage commitment. Not because they're afterthoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FYI, doing a wedding reading is widely viewed as an afterthought, no matter what ESB says.

      Delete
  22. I think it is understandable to be hurt. But confronting your friend and starting a fight during a stressful time, when I'm sure she has many other family conflicts and expectations, is not the mark of a good friend.

    ReplyDelete
  23. ESB, I'm surprised your response was so kind and not snappy at all.

    As for friendless: I kind of know how you feel. I don't have many friends. I'm not terribly social so when I have a friend that I'm close to, they're my best friend. But that doesn't always mean I'm their best friend. And just because she has OTHER friends doesn't mean she hasn't been a good friend TO YOU. By the sound of it she was a good friend to you. You felt close to her, she listened to you, she was YOUR best friend. And then you were a bitch and got mad at her for having other friends.

    You should 1) get over yourself. 2)If she's being A GOOD FRIEND (like she has been in the past) and asking you to do a reading you should only do it if you feel HONORED and you're sincere. 3) I know it isn't often the case, but I feel like wedding guests should only be people that are sincerely happy for the couple and love them. If you harbor any ill will or negative feelings, don't go. Only go to the wedding if you've successfully gotten over it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Get over it. She asked you to do a reading. That's a huge honor. And when you get into the mindset of "if she has 6 why not 7" it turns into "if she has 6 why not 20" real fast. It's really hard trying to pick a bridal party for this very reason.

    ReplyDelete
  25. As someone who is in the midst of wedding planning, let me share with you what it might take to add an extra bridesmaid:

    - another person's schedule to accomodate for bridal shower and bachelorette party
    - another opinion to accomodate regarding attire and shoes
    - paying for another two meals at the rehearsal dinner, because of course she's a sweetheart and would invite your boyfriend to it too
    - paying for another bridesmaid bouquet
    - paying for another bridesmaid's dress (if she's covering it)
    - paying for an additional hair appointment, makeup appointment, spa day, and any other pre-wedding pampering (if she's doing that)
    - if symmetry is important to her, she would have to double the costs included in this list for a groomsman that her fiance would have to add, as well

    So no, it's not actually just that easy to add a seventh bridesmaid if you already have six. Put on your big girl shirt, be glad that you were invited *at all*, and party hard with her at her wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The fact of the matter is that you're the one being the bad friend here-- not her. You really need to apologize to this girl if you actually consider her your best friend and want to continue to cultivate the friendship and let it grow into something even stronger and better. Like everyone else said, you should not take this personally. You two have only been friends for two years-- she probably has older friends she feels that she needs to honor. That really is how it often works with bridal parties.

    If you feel sad that you don't have many friends, why would you sabotage this friendship and end it prematurely? Why not acknowledge it still has room to grow, put your hurt feelings aside, apologize, do the reading graciously, and be excited to become closer with her in the future?

    ReplyDelete
  27. OP, I say this from a place of love, but you might be kind of a big self-absorbed, co-dependent baby. You'd probably have more friends if you relaxed a little and weren't so rigid about labels and possession and keeping track of who is exactly reciprocating whose feelings.
    Also, your friend's wedding decisions are about her wedding, not about you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I was a bridesmaid in one of my very best friend's weddings. She had a girl who was in Austria until just before the wedding, one in Cali, one in DC, one in South Carolina, her cousin and MOH 2 hours away, and me half an hour down the road. She and I did a lot. I came last chronologically, and she asked me if I resented it. I told her it was abolsutely no place of mine to question who was a bridesmaid or came where in the order. It's her day. Don't make it about anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I get that you feel crap about not being asked, but at the end of the day, you don't get a say in who the bride chooses. The fact that you responded this way proves you weren't exactly in it for her, but yourself.

    The fact that there are 6 other girls she feels closer to is just the way it is - this isn't the playground where we have to list our top ten best friends. Get past it.

    It's ok to be hurt, but NONE of this is about you. Go to the wedding, be grateful for the reading, rock the reading, then enjoy the day - but keep in mind it's not an event thrown to make you happy - it's the couple's day. It's an honour to even be included on the guest list.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow Friendless, you confronted her about the diss and you guys had a huge fight and she still wants you to be involved in the wedding? Sounds like she's actually a really good friend who cares about maintaining your friendship.
    So if you still want to be friends with her, go support her on her wedding day! (Also, maybe try to stop keeping score. Speaking from experience, all that does is make you miserable.)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Here's the thing...people often determine their bridesmaids by the length they've known those people. So older friends tend to get picked over newer ones. I know it's a bummer and it hurts to find out that an important person in your life doesn't consider you as important as you consider them. Some people just have LOTS of friends. At my father-in-law's memorial one of his friends said, "I always considered him my best friend, and then once I arrived here I met all of his other best friends." There were probably easily a dozen people who considered him their best friend. And they all had different connections with him.

    You need to suck it up and get beyond it. If you're seriously considering severing the friendship over this, then it does make me wonder how close you were in the first place. Give that some thought.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You're being a huge jerk. You're willing to throw away a friendship (which is what "boycotting" someone's wedding is most certainly doing) because they hurt your feelings?? That's what happens in life--people hurt each other--then you fix it and move on. You're friend tried to fix it, and you're being a jerk in response. You don't boycott and end friendships because someone didn't ask you to wear a stupid pink taffeta dress. Grow up.

    ReplyDelete
  33. You know, I get this. I have definitely pushed friends away (not for a wedding position) because I was jealous my "best" friend had other "best" friends and had finally realized it.

    One caveat: this happened in sixth grade.

    Grow up, read EVERY SINGLE ONE of these comments and then commit them to heart. Seriously, this is some fantastic (free) advice.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Why isn't this on MMOHIAC?

    Lady, you need to GROW UP.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Having bridesmaids creates such stupid drama. How tacky is it to line up your friends like you've rated them on a scale? So many feelings have been hurt and friendships lost and dark long festering animosities grown from this arcane practice. I'm so thankful I opted to not have any.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I chose my two bridesmaids for very specific and personal reasons (like most people, i guess). I knew another close friend might feel sad about it, so i told her in person and explained my reasons to her and we had a good long chat about it. I felt that it cleared the air and she seemed really cool about the reasons - which of course had nothing to do with her and were no slight on her at all.

    But she clearly wasn't ok with it and proceeded to have a full on snot-cry-tanty at my hens do. It was appalling. "whhhyyyy wasn't I a briiiiddeeesssmaaiidd" echoed through the halls.

    She turned up to our wedding two days later with a face like a smacked bum and frankly i wish she'd not bloody bothered.

    I get that you're disappointed, i totally get that, but if you can't suck it up and be gracious and accept the (not-pity) honour she has given to you then Don't Go to the Wedding. No one likes a dickhead at a wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Do you realize how much you have probably stressed the bride out? It sounds like you're being a really shitty friend, and she's probably very glad she didn't ask you to be a bridesmaid, what with all your self-centred pity and drama.

    Do her a favour and either suck it up, apologize and do the reading, or get the hell out of this poor woman's life.

    PS- Love is not a limited thing. People can have lots of friends and still have a ton of love for you. The sooner you realize that the better.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have three sisters, four friends that I've known for thirty years, (we meet in preschool), and one soon to be SIL. I only want a small bridal party, who would you have me bump in order to accommodate a good friend who lives across the country that I've only known for a few years? Bridal parties are difficult under the best of circumstances. You should be ashamed for making it harder.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh please. You can tell the comments are flooded with Special Snowflake Brides when half of them want you to apologize for having hurt feelings.

    OP, you don't have to apologize for your feelings. You can be as mad as you want to be. You don't even have to go to the wedding. Keeping the bride happy is not your obligation, in fact, it's no one's obligation but the bride's herself.

    Look at it this way: they'll probably be divorced in five years anyway, and all this ridiculous pageantry will have been for naught.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, i think that being nice to people is an obligation - not all the time, no, and certainly her feelings are valid to a point. But having a go at the bride about it? she DOES have to take responsibility for such shitty behaviour. Saying that noone is responsible for anyone else's happiness is like a get out of jail free card for dickhead behaviour. You sure you're not the OP?

      Delete
  40. This same kind of deal happened to me a couple of years ago. One of my very closest friends (who I had supported through numerous bad boyfriends and bad breakups) got engaged and didn't ask me to be a bridesmaid. She was one of mine and I just assumed that I would be hers eventually). Like you, she didn't tell me that I wasn't going to be in her wedding, I heard it from my best friend. It did hurt my feelings, but I went to the wedding and had a great time (and didn't have to wear an ugly bridesmaid dress). so go and have fun! Don't end a friendship over this.

    ReplyDelete