Saying No... to Being a Bridesmaid

It’s an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, but occasionally it happens… you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid, but you don’t feel as though it would be right for you to say yes.

There are many reasons this might happen. For example, logistically or financially you cannot devote the time the bride requires, or you do not have the resources to fulfill your bridesmaid responsibilities. (such as the ones I highlighted in my last blog)

Regardless of your reason, there are graceful ways you can refuse, but first live by these guidelines:  

  1. Tell her right away. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to say no.

  2. Think through what you want to say prior to talking with the bride.

  3. Do not text or email. This is an in-person conversation if possible, or at least on the phone.

  4. Be honest and to the point.

  5. Everything you say should work to reassure the bride that you are supportive of her and honored she asked you.

If possible, offer your talents in another way that works around the reason you have to say no. For example, if you cannot afford to be a bridesmaid, offer to read at the wedding. If you do not have time for all of the bridesmaid’s duties, offer to help with one event such as a shower or the bachelorette party. However, keep in mind that the bride may not feel comfortable having you involved after you say no, so if you offer, respect her decision if she declines. If she accepts, you must be committed to doing what you have promised.

Saying yes to being a bridesmaid is like a bride saying yes to the dress. You can’t compromise with a half-hearted yes when saying no feels right. Instead, go ahead and say it, it is what is best for both you and the bride!