Q: Dear APW,
I was over the moon when my childhood friend got engaged, and even more excited when she asked me to be a bridesmaid. I’ve always looked forward to sharing this special time not only with her, but also with her family. Things were going great… until it was time for the bridesmaids to try on dresses. While we were trying on dresses, her mom remarked that it was great that I have a few months to lose weight before my friend’s wedding. I’m not a size 0, but I was shocked that she’d make such a comment, and in a public place.
I’ve known friend’s mom for years, so I reached out to her via text (without involving the bride) and asked her to please not comment on my weight in the future. I thought that would be it… but apparently the bride’s mom told her (the bride) about my text, because the bride then flipped out on me! She called me and gave me a LECTURE about how her mom didn’t mean anything by it and that I shouldn’t be offended. She ended the call by asking me if I still wanted to be in the wedding, and I told her of course! Whatever conflict I have with her mom has nothing to do with my desire to support my friend on her wedding day.
I thought it was all over (finally!) but my friend called me back twenty minutes after we got off the phone, and she told me that she didn’t want me to be in the wedding anymore. Why? Because she thinks it will be too stressful for me if I get so upset over such a small thing. She ended with saying she wants us to remain friends, but I’m finding it really hard to move forward. I’m not even sure if I want to attend the wedding anymore, as just a guest.
Am I overreacting? Did I overstep by reaching out to her mom? And how can I move forward in a friendship with her, or is it a lost cause?
—A Fired Bridesmaid
A: Dear Fired Bridesmaid,
WHOA. This is a doozy.
I want to start by saying you didn’t do anything wrong. I repeat, YOU DID NOT DO ANYTHING WRONG. It’s never wrong to kindly but firmly speak up for yourself, and that applies in a wedding as well. People don’t get carte blanche to talk to you any kind of way they want to, solely because they are your parent, or your friend’s parent, or even the person getting married. Based on your letter, it sounds like your friend’s mom made a comment that hurt your feelings and made you uncomfortable, and you addressed it. Perhaps in her mind, sending a text about it later was making a bigger deal of it, but that’s not her call to make. Maybe you didn’t feel comfortable saying something in the moment, while you were surrounded by the rest of the bridesmaids and the boutique staff. Maybe you needed to think about it for a bit. Who knows, and it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that she said something that you felt was inappropriate, and you asked her to not do it again.
Now onto the other egregious part: your friend both admonishing you for standing up for yourself and then KICKING YOU OUT OF THE BRIDAL PARTY. Holy overreaction, Batman! I’m gathering that the bride is probably under a great deal of stress herself, but pulling the nuclear option of kicking you out seems extreme. Maybe her mother really pushed for it, or maybe the bride came up with this irrational decision herself. Who knows. What we do know is this: she helped you dodged a bullet. Think about all the unreasonable behavior you’d have to put up with if you continued as a bridesmaid.
As for how you get over this and continue the friendship… let’s start with asking yourself if you truly even want to. I know you say you’ve been childhood friends with this woman, but are you really friends, or do you just have a long history? Can you ever get over the fact that she decided she didn’t want you there for such a milestone in her life? Do you think she considered your history before she demoted you?
Whatever you decide, make the right choice for you and your mental health. And don’t text her your decision. For this one, you owe her a phone call.
—Jareesa Tucker McClure
Got a question for Jareesa? Send it to nope [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com!