How to say no to being a bridesmaid

  • May. 19, 2017 12:30 a.m.

Q: How do you decline a bride’s offer to be her right hand on the big day?

Before you let the bride know, come to terms with the true reason you’d like to decline taking on that role.

Is it because you’re feeling financially strapped? Finding yourself working overtime at your job?

Whatever the reason is, make sure you’re able to clearly state that to the bride, so that she can better understand your hesitation and reason for skipping out on her bridal party. Then, before time slips away, be sure to tell her that you’d rather be a wedding guest.

Do it in person or over the phone, if possible. Provide some alternative ways in which you can still be there for her during her wedding planning adventure. Perhaps you can help her with DIY crafts or planning the bridal party.

Try saying: “I’m honored you asked me to be your bridesmaid, and I really want to be there for you, but right now, in my life, I have X thing going on, and I don’t think I can give 110 percent as a member of your bridal party. I still want to be there to support you and would love to help with other tasks.”

— Jen Glantz is a professional bridesmaid for hire and the author of “Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire)”

What’s driving your need to say no? Is it about money, time or availability?

Being clear with yourself first will help you be clear with your friend.

Having a plan going into the conversation will help you manage your feelings and clear space for her response.

Craft your statement, and consider the style: Is she a “give it to me straight” type, a “write then call” type or an “open with a story” type? It’s important to be appreciative and caring in your delivery while giving her time to absorb the news.

Keep it simple. Be clear about your reasons, share how you feel, and offer an alternative for how you can support the bride.

— Alison Sigmon, clinical therapist, business executive and author of “Delivering Bad News in Good Ways”


(c)2017 Chicago Tribune

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