How to properly decline a bridesmaid invitation
Even though there are a handful of ways to ease the financial strain of being a bridesmaid, it’s sometimes just not possible to commit to joining a wedding party for a variety of reasons — a demanding job, time-consuming family obligations, financial woes, etc. Although nowhere is it written that you must accept an extended bridesmaid invitation, you are most likely more concerned with how to properly say “no thank you” to the role without saying “good-bye” to the relationship. You obviously care for the bride if she wants you to stand beside her on her wedding day, but for whatever valid reasons, you just can’t say yes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when declining the invitation and a few tips for keeping the friendship in tact while staying out of the wedding party.
- As with most things in life, honesty really is the best policy. If you offer your friend excuses, her feelings will only get hurter, but if you offer her the truth — and express your true concerns — she’s more likely to offer empathy in return.
- Accept that she’ll be upset. Again, your reasons for not joining the wedding party are valid, but the bride still has the right to be disappointed with your decision. Verbalize your understanding of her feelings, and it’s more likely that you can get past the hiccup in the road faster.
- If possible, still keep her wedding important to you. Just because you can’t don the dress and help throw the bachelorette party doesn’t mean you can’t convey how important her wedding and marriage are to you. By attending her wedding and offering a thoughtful gift and card it will be hard to deny that even though you couldn’t fulfill the bridesmaid obligations, her happiness is still important to you.
With honesty, compassion and your presence on her special day, your friend will eventually understand your reasonings and your friendship may become even stronger.