5 Ways to politely Say “No” to a bride

Maybe you don’t have the time?

Or in this economy… the money. (Welcome to the club!)

Or maybe you just don’t want to!

How do you say no to being a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor and not hurt the brides’ feelings and ultimately ruin the relationship?


Should she have said no?

Should she have said no?     


#1 Be honest but be kind

Remember the bride has only wedding on the brain and maybe no reason you give her will be a good enough reason for you to miss her big day- even if you are pregnant and due to give birth on her wedding day! However, you owe it to her to be honest and bow out if you truly cannot afford it, are too far away, or feel that you won’t be up to all the tasks that will be expected of you.

#2 Be grateful for the request

This is a day she’s been dreaming of since she was a little girl and you have to be sensitive to that. Maybe she’s been picturing you by her side as she says her “I Do’s” since she was 5 years old. The fact that she’s chosen you above all her other friends and family to be part of her wedding is a great compliment and you should acknowledge that.

#3 Offer other ways of helping or being a part of the wedding

If your location, schedule or finances bar you from serving as a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor, you can still help out in other ways. Offer to attend fittings, help find resources on the internet for her, use your networks to find discounts, help with addressing invitations or making favors. Show her that you still care.

#4 Attend the pre-wedding and wedding events

Even if you can’t be a bridesmaid or Maid of Honor, you should still try your very best to attend at least one pre-wedding event like the bridal shower or bachelorette party. If you can’t afford a gift, be honest and come anyway. She’d rather have your presence there without a gift than having you stay away because you’re embarrassed.

#5 Offer support

This is one of the  happiest but most stressful times in the brides life. You can do her the biggest favor by just being there to comfort her, checking in by phone or email and trying to help her keep perspective. Ask her to come out for a pedicure, let her vent over coffee, rent movies and just stay in your living room talking about nothing wedding related. She’ll need a break from all the wedding craziness and having someone outside of the wedding party to act as an oasis will be greatly appreciated.

Remember, you don’t want to be the cause of wedding drama and you definitely don’t want to contribute to the breaking up of friendships over wedding duties. Sometimes saying No is the best gift you can give to a bride…

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