Can I Quit Being Maid of Honor Eight Weeks Before The Wedding?


Real talk: We’re not even friends

by Amy March

maid of honor holding a wedding bouquet

Q: I was asked to be the maid of honor for a woman I’ve known since nursery school. She lives across the country and we only see each other once a year; the past few times we’ve seen each other, our connection has definitely felt strained. I just saw her for the bachelorette party, and the entire experience was awful. I felt she was judgmental, she wasn’t pleasant, and she pretty much iced me out from her other friends. Even one of her friends took me aside and asked how I could stand being treated so badly.

I realized I’ve outgrown this friendship and I do not want to continue it. But I also don’t want to cause drama or stress. Ideally, I want to tell her that I do not want to be her MOH. I don’t want to say it to cause a fight or apology; it’s just very clear that we aren’t friends. I have no intention of continuing the friendship beyond the wedding, even if I do go through with it.

So, what do I do? The wedding is less than two months away at this point. In my mind, the friendship is unsalvageable, but I know that we will barely see each other at the wedding, we will be buffered by other guests, and I won’t be dramatic or cause any issues if I do go through with it. But I hate the idea of being in her wedding pictures and memories when I have no intention of being part of her life.

Thoughts? What Would Amy March Do?

Signed,

Breaking Up With The Bride

A: Girl.  On no planet does there exist a way to drop out of being someone’s MOH two months before her wedding and not cause drama and stress. That action is custom tailored to cause maximal drama. There is no way to just casually fade out of being her MOH. Taking this action will put you, your feelings, and your drama front and center just two months before her wedding. I give this idea a resounding HELL NOPE.

I do get it, though. People often choose an old friend to be in their bridal party. Sometimes that person is a lifelong BFF, but pretty frequently it is a nice gesture of nostalgia toward a relationship that used to be important. And most of the time that works out perfectly well, but sometimes the forced intimacy of being in the bridal party just brings all those differences front and center.

And the wedding pictures are a red herring. First of all, it’s super common to have people in your photos who are no longer in your life. They are, after all, literal snapshots in time. Second of all, how many people actually print and display photos with their bridesmaids? All I’m saying is that I never see those on the wall when I visit friends. Third of all, you still really, really can’t do this, but nice try with the photos excuse.

Here’s when you can drop out of being MOH without being a drama llama:

1. Right when you are asked. Either a “no” to the initial ask or an “on further reflection” within weeks of the ask. Will it be upsetting for her to realize she thinks of you as her closest friend and you, perhaps, do not? Sure. Are you responsible for that emotion? Nope. Totally fine to say no to the “honor” because you aren’t that close, hate weddings, don’t want to buy a dress, can’t afford it, whatever you want. Just say no, express regret, and make a polite excuse along the lines of, “Oh that is so sweet of you to think of me and of course I can’t wait to celebrate, but I have so much going on right now I couldn’t possibly do the MOH role justice.”

2. When there is an unforeseen circumstance that makes you unable to attend. You got pregnant and her venue is infested with Zika. You lost your job and don’t have enough money for rent and her wedding. You or your close family member is having a health crisis. Basically, if the thing that comes up is something objectively much worse than her wedding, and it’s obvious you really would rather be at the wedding but you just can’t, you’re okay to drop out (the earlier the better, of course).

3. She crosses the line. Did she hit on your husband? Cheat on her fiancé in front of you? Assault you at the bachelorette party? Demand expensive things and yell at you when you mentioned a budget? (Please write in to me with these stories.) I can hear you thinking “but Amy! She iced me out at the bachelorette!” and to that I raise an eyebrow. It’s not that I don’t fully believe you, but I think the level of heinousness from her must increase in proportion to the closeness to the wedding. That might have sufficed nine months ago, but if invitations have been sent I’m going to need to see blood.

I know I’m usually team live your truth, speak your feelings, but there is a time when you have to put on the dress, slap on a smile, and suck it up because you gave your word. Unfortunately, this is that time. Hopefully there’s an open bar!

Amy March

Amy has loved weddings at least since the second grade when she made an epic diorama of Charles and Diana’s wedding for “important historical event” day. She has purchased every issue of Martha Stewart Weddings ever published and will happily talk to you for an hour about the relative merits of blush and bashful. Her happy place is poolside with a glass of rosé and a good book. 

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  • Emily

    I was super nervous Amy was going to tell you to “live your truth” or something… Truth time was when she asked you to be her MOH, not 2 months before the wedding. Plus, do you REALLY want to blow up a bridge you’ve been haphazardly fostering since nursery school? It’s one thing to fade-out a friendship it’s another to light it up with dynamite.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I see you and I are on the same page!

  • Lisa

    I’m with Amy on this one. My sister was in a wedding where the MOH dropped out the month before the wedding, and it was sheer stress on her, the remaining not-so-close bridesmaid who was suddenly upgraded to MOH status, and the bride. There is no way you can back out now without making everything worse.

    Also, if you share a friend group or family with the bride, it’s bound to reflect poorly on you that you dropped out at the last second for anything short of deathbed spouse. You need to consider the ramifications to the rest of your social circle and if you’re willing to deal with the fallout of that in addition to the issues with the bride.

  • Sara

    I agree with Amy. Your window to bail passed.

    I have a friend who’s MOH bailed right before her bachelorette party, two months before the wedding. She said she didn’t consider them close enough friends to be in the wedding or to even spend the money to fly in for it. Basically took a blowtorch to the bridge that was their friendship.

    My friend though, had to scramble. David’s couldn’t/wouldn’t guarantee another dress in the time frame (because she spent a couple weeks trying to talk her friend back into the wedding, as just a bridesmaid). And then this ex-MOH convinced another of her bridal party to bail as well. Thankfully, her and her husband were doing mixed gender bridal parties, so two of our guy friends were able to get tuxes and stand up for her and her brother moved up to the M(an)OH spot. So you’re not only sticking her with replacing an MOH but a whole body in the wedding party two months before.

    • Lisa

      Yep, that’s what happened to my sister in the wedding I mentioned. The bride didn’t have a lot of close female friends and was set on the idea of matching number of attendants (two on each side) and that they had to literally be “maids.” This left her with very few options to pursue, and she ended up with someone pretty distant (a second cousin?) to try and even out her wedding party. It put so much stress on everyone, including my sister, who was left trying to pick up the pieces of what the MOH left in her wake.

      • Amy March

        See, I’m also extremely not here at all for replacing people. Dropping out last minute is bad for all sorts of reasons but not because it harms the ridiculous cause of “matching.”

        • Sara

          I’m not necessarily on board for myself personally – but if its their wedding vision to have matching bridal parties, its one more thing that you’re adding drama to by bailing last minute.

          • sparagmos

            Would agree. If it’s something that the couple has expressed a preference for and took into consideration when deciding who to ask to be in the wedding party, they’re going to have to revisit it if somebody drops out.

            It was one of those things that my mom REALLY cared about at my wedding, and I REALLY didn’t, but it just worked out that my fiance and I asked the same number of people and they all said yes, so it became moot with my mom. But if somebody had dropped out, I definitely would have had to sit through the renewed drama bomb about Mom’s Expectations About Wedding Party Sizes.

          • NolaJael

            LOL. Expectations, man.

        • Lisa

          I don’t think I would have done it either, but the bride had a very specific vision of her wedding party. Since she only had two attendants (BM and MOH), I wouldn’t fault her for wanting to have more than one person supporting her on her wedding day.

          My SIL’s husband’s brother/Best Man had to drop out of their wedding last minute when his wife was admitted to the hospital. They ended up replacing him with a friend because it was again a smaller bridal party with just his two brothers. If you’ve got numbers on your side, it’s less noticeable if someone doesn’t turn up, but with smaller parties, it might make the bride/groom somewhat self-conscious.

        • sofar

          I’ve also always found it weird that someone dropping out means “scrambling” to “replace them.” I want to be sensitive to people whose vision it is to have symmetry or whatever, but do that with the bouquets, not people.

          One of my SILs had a bridesmaid drop out and decided she needed to find a warm body to replace her weeks before the wedding. She finally recruited an old (now distant) elementary school friend who wasn’t even planning on coming to the wedding. This friend (who I think accepted the “honor” out of obligation), skipped their hair appointment, came wearing the wrong-colored shoes, took a nap on the bridesmaid bus, and skipped the reception. This all caused more visible drama than just having 8 bridesmaids instead of 9 would have caused.

          • Oh dear! How dreadful.

          • Sara

            I think there’s a panic when your vision changes without your control. Its cool to have mixed parties, or uneven, or zero people. But if someone drops out 2 months before and you had these images in your head what it was going to look like, I think it causes a scramble to make it better. Especially with wedding attire, there’s not a lot of ‘lets take a minute to think about this’ time.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          I sure wouldn’t want to be the second-line choice. “Oh, hey, so I wasn’t going to ask you, but someone else I cared about more dropped out. Wanna be a prop?”

          • Rose

            A friend of mine got asked to be a groomsman for his wife’s cousin’s fiance at the last minute, and it was made clear to him that he was a replacement. He did it because they were already going to be there and because family, but yeah, he definitely didn’t appreciate it.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            PADude got promoted from Groomsman to Best Man once because the groom’s choice turned down the extra responsibility. One of my close friends also told one of our college buddies that she really wanted her as a bridesmaid, but she had one more friend in mind than the groom did, so it wouldn’t match. Eventually the groom came up with another guy, and the college buddy was officially recruited, but not before the bride made it clear that she was a good-but-maybe-not-good-enough kinda friend. It’s just super awkward.

          • Rose

            Yeah. I don’t think any constraint on wedding party numbers other than “this is who I want to have with me” is best for anyone. Obviously it’s important to some people, but it can just get so awkward.

          • Another Meg

            Yikes.
            A friend of mine was in a wedding where the bride actually told the wedding party they were processing into the ceremony in order of how much she liked them.

          • Greta

            OMG.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            YIKES

          • Another Meg

            Yeah, it’s a reflection of life. She’s a treasure. When I got engaged, she called my ring “trendy” like it was an insult.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            I don’t understand how people like that have friends.

          • AP

            At the request of my uncle last summer, I hosted a bridal shower for his fiancee, whom I don’t know very well. Making conversation, I asked one of the bridesmaids how she knew the bride, and she turned red and said, “The groom is my boyfriend’s boss.” Apparently the bride had a huge blow up with a bridesmaid and then asked this poor lady to fill in even though she barely knew her. It was the most awkward thing ever, and I got the impression she felt like she had to say yes because, as she said, my uncle was her boyfriend’s boss.

            This was also the same bride who stood up later at the shower and, by way of thanking everyone for their gifts, said, “I’ve never had female friends before, women usually all hate me.”

          • rg223

            Ahhhhhh that’s insane! That’s an Ask a Manager/APW mash-up problem!

          • AP

            LOL so true

          • Sara

            The two guys my friend had replace the people that bailed LOVED it. They were thrilled to be bridesmen and were super honored to be asked (even last minute). The four of us had been super tight in high school, so it was a lot of fun.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Yay! It’s good to hear it works out aces, sometimes!

          • RNLindsay

            Happened to me at my brothers wedding! One of SIL’s bridesmaids dropped out a month before. I had already bought a beautiful dress, had it altered and everything to wear as “older sister of the groom”. And literally the first thing I said to my mom when I told her I was asked to stand in was “but what about my beautiful dress??”

        • I can see replacing people when you need the extra support – with a small party losing someone at the last minute can massively upset DIY and set up and roles within the wedding, and it’s nice if you’re asking someone else to take on that work to also offer them the honour of being in the bridal party. But asking someone just to make things match? That’s really going to draw attention to the drop out, and make your guests wonder if they were justified.

          • Amy March

            I think this is actually even worse. You didn’t think highly enough of this person to honor them by asking them to be in the bridal party to begin with, but you’re happy to ask them second string and put them to work?

          • I probably should have phrased it the other way around – if a friend steps up and offers to cover any promises the previous bridesmaid broke when she dropped out, a good way to thank that person is by honouring them with a place in the bridal party.

          • zana

            You’ve gotta remember here that being in the bridal party is supposed to be an *honor* the sole duties being: show up in the right dress at the right time for the ceremony. Adding extra work on top of that (even requiring a toast/speech) is adding work to the honor and somewhat taking away from it.

          • Maybe there’s a cultural difference in expectations of bridesmaids, because I would say their sole duty is to support the bride; to say that their sole duty is to turn up in the right dress at the right time seems like a justification in favour of replacing drop outs with second stringers. In the UK the dresses and accessories are all paid for by the bride, so that’s not even a duty the bridesmaid has to carry out herself. It’s why I’m arguing that if someone does go out of their way to support the bride (especially in the case of someone dropping out, since they’ve promised support and failed to provide it) then thanking them by honouring that support with a spot in the bridal party would be appropriate.

          • zana

            I would say that many contemporary American brides would also agree with what you’re saying, but it goes in conflict with traditional etiquette (both American & British). The “support” that comes from bridesmaids is to support you by standing up with you during the ceremony, nothing more. Many couples have taken that support more practically and assigned duties to bridesmaids.

            It’s really just important to remember that not all of your bridesmaids/guests come from the same mindset as you. That assuming your MoH will give a toast (or telling her to), or demanding your bridesmaids pay for make-up, etc. is not normal for everyone and you can really really offend some if you assume so. I’m in this situation right now, and it is really awful and makes everyone resentful.

    • flashphase

      “convinced another of her bridal party to bail as well” — WTH?!?!?!

      • Sara

        It was a rough couple weeks. One just wrote an email, didn’t even call.

        But this was like 6 years ago, so she’s over it now :)

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Two months out? You’ve already bought your dress, you’ve requested your time off, you’ve dropped the money you’re gonna drop, or at least it’s already earmarked. Make friends with that other bridesmaid, do your bare minimum, enjoy having a day to get fancy. It’s her problem that she chose someone she’s not actually close to, to be in half her photos. And if you follow through with her wedding, you won’t be the asshole who nuked the friendship instead of letting it just fade post-wedding.

    • Laura C

      On the “make friends with that other bridesmaid” front, definitely consider that a bride who is mistreating you may be doing the same to many of the other people around her, and other people may be feeling uncomfortable and isolated just as you are, in a way that could allow for some in-the-trenches friendships to develop fast that might help you get through. I’ve heard about similar stuff happening at other weddings where the bride’s treatment of her bridesmaids was not the best.

  • Ashlah

    I really wish we had more details on what happened at the party. For another attendee to take her aside and acknowledge that she was being treated really badly makes me think it must have been nasty. I mean, I know it’d have to be really, really bad to justify a “Fuck you, I’m not being your MoH” at only two months out, but I do wonder. It seems like vague “icing out” wouldn’t really be noticed or brought up by one of the bride’s friends (notably, not one of the MoH’s friends) in a way that blatant rudeness might be. I generally agree with everyone here, but also? If she was being truly awful? I’m not sure I would really care about the drama and stress it would cause her. (I would feel for the other party members, though).

    • penguin

      I was thinking this too – if it was bad enough for other people to notice, it sounds like more than just a little cold shoulder.

    • Cellistec

      That said, I do see how icing out would cause whiplash after being asked to be MOH. So first the bride and LW had grown apart, then there was the MOH invite, then the cold shoulder at the party. I certainly couldn’t keep up with recalibrating my expectations for every stage of this wedding, and I don’t blame LW for wanting to get off the rollercoaster too.

    • Greta

      I definitely would also like more details, but I can actually see how this could quite easily happen. It sounds to me like the MOH and the bride are old friends, and perhaps the other people at the bachelorette party don’t know the MOH/aren’t her other friends. If you’re the odd one out at a bachelorette party, or you’re the only one who doesn’t know everyone else, that can be really hard.

      I can totally picture a situation where MOH is old childhood friend, and then 4 other bridesmaids are a friend group from college or wherever, that all know each other, have all these stories together, are reuniting, etc. Add in some changing adult personalities, living across the country, not knowing each other super well, and a not super thoughtful/aware Bride and I could definitely see this happening.

      I’m not trying to justify the bride’s actions – she totally should have made an effort to make the MOH feel included, but just saying it doesn’t actually sound all that challenging to see happen. Though bad enough for other people to notice? Hmmm, not sure…

      • Ashlah

        Yeah, I can definitely easily see how those dynamics could (mostly innocently) lead one to feel left out and not included in the way you might expect after being asked to be MoH. It can take a concerted effort to bring the odd one out into an established friend group. If that didn’t happen, that would hurt, but wouldn’t be reason to drop out of the wedding. It’s the bit about the friend taking her aside that makes me wonder if it was more than that. All speculation, of course, and maybe details wouldn’t make a difference to the advice. I feel for the letter writer, regardless.

        • JLS1012

          Hi! LW here. Basically, the straw that broke the camel’s back wasn’t dramatic — it was just more and more of a drift each time I visited. This past time, for the bachelorette, she told me at the last minute I couldn’t stay with her and her fiancé two weeks out from the party (I was flying x-country with the understanding I would crash at theirs for the weekend; she apparently had a last min work thing which may or may not have been true) so I had to stay at a hotel. I only saw her for the bach (which she knew about, it wasn’t a surprise, she made no effort to include or invite me in any of her life things that entire weekend so it was just a lonely one for me. Then, at the actual party, she told her friends (who I had never met before) some personal stories about me — some sex stories, etc, things I may have felt comfortable sharing with new people but only if I was the one sharing them. She made some disparaging comments about my life choices, but, to Amy’s point, she didn’t cheat in front of me, throw herself at my partner, or threaten to kill me. I truly loved her friends and one of them — a bridesmaid who has similar uneasy feelings about her, was the one who took me aside and was really shocked at the way she was treating me. Just full-on mean, and I guess I was Stockholm Syndrome used to it? It’s been pretty enlightening reading these comments. I’m going to go through with the wedding and plan the gradual fadeout. I just watched the most recent ep of GIRLS tonight and really feel like Shosh in this situation — not angry, not victimized, just done. I do wish her the best of luck but I just have no interest being in her life in any way. That said, I definitely wish I had grappled with all this when she invited me. But I’ll smile, make a toast, and truly try to consciously uncouple the hell out of this “friendship.”

          • zana

            Oof, I’m sorry. Tactlessness becomes this giant snowball of awful when mixed with weddings. I like the elsewhere suggestion of just thinking of doing all this “for old times sake” over and over and over again.

          • The bride sounds like she’s living out her life like a mean girl in a high school movie: singling someone out to put down in order to look big in front of other friends. That the other bridesmaid is also uneasy suggests this isn’t entirely new behaviour, either. The most charitable interpretation is the bride is feeling increasingly insecure about her own life choices and is putting yours down in the hope people will reinforce hers.

          • Nell

            That sucks so much. I have BEEN there. Mean girls suck. And things that are cute when you’re young and in middle school/high school/college get way less cute when everyone is a grownup. I hope that you have a totally badass group of ladies in your hometown who love and support you and who you can bitch about this mess to when it’s all over with.

          • Ashlah

            Thanks for chiming in to clarify, and I’m sorry to hear how you were treated. I’ve had “friends” like that, it’s awful. I don’t fault you at all for wanting to stay out of the wedding altogether. It sounds like you’ve made your decision to go through with it, so I hope that the wedding day itself is enjoyable/not terrible enough, that the casual fade is smooth, and that you have other, better friends in your hometown! And maybe stay in touch with that other bridesmaid, if you’re on the market for more friends!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I would love to encourage Option C: Call the bride/take her out for a drink and ask to clear the air because things got weird at the shower, but that absolutely depends on what actually happened at the shower. The LW says the friendship is utterly unsalvageable, and I so wish we knew why.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      I really wonder about this, too, but I’m also hesitant to jump to conclusions. I’ve been in a few weddings with fellow bridesmaids who were honestly just huge gossips or drama queens, and I feel like a couple of them would have made a comment like that over being served the wrong flavor of cupcake or something!
      Without having been there, I do not feel remotely comfortable speculating on how bad the behavior really was! It could have been super egregious, or it could have just been a case of decent but stressed out people handing things imperfectly.

  • Angela’s Back

    Think of the wedding as a very glitzy funeral for a friendship that was, get what you can out of it, and enjoy the sense of ultimate closure that will prevail once you’re back home again.

    • sofar

      “A very glitzy funeral for a friendship that was.”

      This is perfect in every way.

      Relish this while you are drinking heavily at the reception.

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  • CMcP

    Spot-on advice. I was recently in this situation with someone I was childhood friends with, and ultimately decided to stop trying to maintain the relationship after the wedding. However, I didn’t want to cause undue drama, and repeated the mantra, “This is for old times’ sake,” until my bridesmaid duties were completed. You were friends, once, right?

    • NolaJael

      Exactly. Your presence is your present, but it doesn’t create an obligation going forward.

  • NolaJael

    Post-wedding fade out is actually pretty normal. Lots of people get married at an age where life transitions are just the norm, where schooling and job opportunities have people pulled in all different directions. Many of my friends who got married right after college invited their we’ll-be-friends-forever college group to weddings and promptly never saw half of them again.

    • Woops

      Totally! I had a close friend as a bridesmaid and the whole process lead me to believe she was actually kind of toxic and bad for me in a lot of ways.
      There’s nothing to do about it now! She’s in my photos- it is what it is.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        The people in your photos are kinda like getting a tattoo. Would 35yo you still get the same butterfly on her ankle that 20yo you felt so strongly about? Maybe not, but it’s still a tribute to who you were at that time in your life. Pre-wedding you had a lot of faith in a particular friendship. Post-wedding you is a bit wiser.

        • Nell

          OMG I love the tattoo metaphor!

    • Carrie

      We’ve been married since 1/10/04. The only people I still TALK TO in my wedding party are our relatives. We’d both lived by ourselves for 10 years and we weren’t out of college. They’re just something that changes when you get married. All my friends were already married, had kids and a couple of them were divorced! My best friend was even remarried. Took me so long because my husband was in the wrong part of the state (ha!). I was only 28 when I was married. It’s common to wait until your late 20 – 30s. You do some MAJOR CHANGING in your latter 30s – early 40s. Your parents are going to be getting older and needing care if not passing away. Kids go off to college. Be sure to marry the person who you’re friends with because that’s the only person here when they leave. Alot of stress on top of stress. There’s no time for anything! Not even sleep. What’s that?

  • KB

    So this might make me awful but I feel badly for this girl so maybe this would make her feel less alone. This happened to me and I did drop out. But here me out. Despite growing apart, feeling taken advantage of, etc., I left without a place to stay. For a year and a half leading up to this wedding, we’d had a plan to stay in a lake house near the site so I could help with all the DIY projects, get her ready in the morning, and we could stay up the night before and have some girl time. Over time, the space I had changed from a bed, to the floor in the bride’s room, to the floor in the living room with extended family. The last straw was finding out, not in a personal message or phone call, but in a group message, that I had lost my place to sleep on the floor of this lake house to the DJ’s girlfriend. The DJ’s girlfriend. I had nowhere to stay, and after calling every hotel within an hour of the wedding location, everything was booked. Literally everything, due to the time of year and a festival going on in a nearby town. The bride inevitably didn’t tell her family we had plans to stay together in the lake house, so her family made it clear they felt I was irresponsible for not booking something earlier. The bride asked her other bridesmaids if I could split their hotel rooms. One bridesmaid said yes, I could sleep on her hotel floor for several hundred dollars (which I had not budgeted for on top of everything else, especially as a poor grad student) and my partner of 8 years, who I was long distance with at the time, could not come and I would have made a trip to his state without being able to see him once. The other bridesmaids said no, they would not let me sleep on their floor. I do think everyone has their own level of tolerance. I think it is very important to think long and hard, and I can tell you from experience it hurts to this very day. It doesn’t feel better. I even offered to sleep in my car, but she said I wouldn’t look well rested the next day for her wedding in the pictures. Sometimes you do need to take care of yourself. I’m engaged right now, so I know how stressful it is, but you ask someone to be in your wedding because you love them and you couldn’t imagine your day without them, so treat them like it.

    • Lisa

      I feel you’re absolved of wrongdoing because you offered up a solution (sleeping in your car), and it was turned down. Bride should either have helped you to find somewhere else to stay or put you up herself after she took away the promised lodgings.

      • KB

        That definitely does make me feel better. I think nothing really feels great, you know? And this was a few years back, but no matter the decision or reason, I think you have to be prepared to feel crappy about it.

        • Lisa

          I completely understand. I had a close friend who eventually went nuclear after a slow fading (during which she would make promises to hang out then cancel less than 10 minutes beforehand), and though I know I did everything I could and was in the right, I still have mixed feelings four years later about how things ended. Most of the time we don’t get clean endings.

      • penguin

        Even if the bride had said “oh yeah totally sleep in your car”, I would have bailed on this one. It’s great that KB was so willing to be accommodating, but I think that you are under no obligation to sleep in your car (or even on the floor somewhere) when you’re traveling out of state for someone else’s wedding, AND you were promised lodging from the beginning. This was the bride’s mistake, and I don’t blame KB at all for dropping out.

        Also, the DJ’s girlfriend?? Wow.

        • Lisa

          The only way I can possibly see that being ok is if the girlfriend was also the photographer (a pair I saw at a recent wedding) or some other crucial role. Still inexcusable to leave your maid without lodging but ever so slightly understandable.

          • Amy March

            No. I appreciate your niceness, but just no.

          • Lisa

            I said slightest bit of a possibility, I didn’t say I’d forgive it! Clearly the promise was made to the bridesmaid first and should be honored above other commitments.

          • AtHomeInWA

            That, or heavily pregnant.

          • GotMarried!

            even heavily pregnant – since when do vendors bring guests?

          • K.

            Eh, as a soon-to-be heavily pregnant person, I’d say that heavily pregnant people can still figure out their own accommodations.

    • Sara

      Yikes, I think that one is on the bride.

    • Amy March

      I think this is completely different. You are in Category 2: the unforeseen circumstance of having nowhere to stay made you unable to attend.

      • AP

        I’d also vote for Category 3.

    • Carrie

      The FLOOR?!?!? OMG! This person treated you as if you are “less than” and NOBODY should be treated that way! I would’ve done the same thing

    • LucyPirates

      ‘The Floor’ is not sleeping accomodation unless as an emergency crash/stay over!!! This whole story makes me feel sad (but I feel better that you pulled out!)

  • K.

    So while I ultimately agree with Amy, I want to give you a little “this sucks” validation too. It SUCKS that you’re MOH and not “just” bridesmaid, or even better simply a guest. It sucks that there’s probably a lot of expectation on you (I’d guess) to be the primary point of contact for the other party members, to be front and center during the getting ready, to have to stand next to someone you don’t like during an important moment, and, GOD, possibly have to make a toast.

    Generally speaking in US culture, being the MOH at a wedding is not a small ask where you can just slink into the background. That SUCKS and it’s a lot of drudgery to go through for someone who you feel like has majorly disrespected you and your past friendship. I totally get the impulse to send her a potted African Violet and be done with it.

    But yeah, I think this close to D-day, you should suck it up and promise yourself some self-care following the wedding. And while Amy’s points about your friend’s wedding day are valid and kind, this isn’t just to spare your ex-friend either. The kind of shit that would be flung your way in terms of the drama caused would very likely be much more painful than just doing the thing…especially since she’s the type of person who is actively and openly mean to her MAID OF HONOR during a bachelorette weekend. I mean, if that’s what she’s like when you’re supposedly on her *good* side? Uh, yikes.

    • Carrie

      Just go. Trust me. Wish the person who caused drama in the worst wedding I’ve ever been in would’ve been mature enough to keep her mouth shut. Then we all might still be friends. Instead this BM caused alot of unnecessary drama, ruined my friendship with the bride (I suspect out of jealousy as the bride and I were close at the time) and the kicker is this BM who caused all this drama doesn’t even speak to the bride anymore! It’s where I get my suspicion of jealousy. When the other BMs found out what she did to the bride, they all cut ties with her too. You’ll be making a mistake! Put on your dancing shoes, eat some cake and when the pics are over buh bye! I’ve been in close to 100 weddings and attended probably 1000 by now. Keep your word. Then you can get drunk. Have a massage. Or my personal favorite, have a BM dress bonfire! I know that dress is probably fugly as HEY YELL! No you will not cut it off. No you won’t wear it for anything again. I have a closet full for proof. Had I should say. Burn it! It’s liberating!

      • zana

        Have a bridesmaid dress bonfire, unless it’s white/ivory in which case you can donate it to charities that specifically sell/donate wedding dresses, or donate to Angel Gowns programs.

        …or unless it’s made of non-natural materials, in which case your bonfire would be full of toxic chemicals. Which is probably the case for most bridesmaid/wedding dresses.

        • quiet000001

          Donate it to a thrift shop anyway if it isn’t too god-awful. People need fancy dresses/prom dresses or buy them for stuff like community theater.

      • whaaaat?

        Been IN 100 weddings? Girl, were you president of your sorority? that is some dedication to all kinds of friends, old neighbors, and random acquainances

  • macrain

    Another thing to think about-and this goes for brides who want to ditch their bridesmaids too-is that there would be a finality to this in a way that just wouldn’t exist if you just slowly faded out of each other’s lives. My sister had a childhood friend in her wedding, was bitterly disappointed when she failed to show for the engagement party and shower, and unceremoniously fired and replaced her. The replaced bridesmaid had soon unfriended all of us on Facebook, and that was that. Their friendship never recovered. (I kept thinking at the time it seemed so unnecessary for them to just NEVER be friends again over this.)
    It doesn’t sound like the LW cares and is fairly certain she is done with this person, but even so- is she so certain that she’s ready to put the final nail in the coffin, so to speak?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Weddings become monsters. People absolutely lose sight of it being literally being a party that lasts one day.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      So much this!
      People change. Constantly. When you slowly fade out of one another’s lives, you’re leaving the door open to come back into each others lives as time goes on, if doing so feels right. But this? This slams that door shut and locks it. Which yeah, if the bride had done something truly heinous, would be fine–after all, if she assaults you at the bachelorette, you don’t want her coming back into your life. In this case, however, it sounds like this is a friendship that *could* theoretically recover at some point down the road, and personally, I wouldn’t feel super comfortable slamming the door on that.

    • Sarah

      We seriously considered firing a groomsman because of his behavior at husband’s bachelor party. We felt like we wanted to surround ourselves at our wedding with friends who would support us in our marriage, and felt like this guy’s behavior went 100% against that. In the end we chose not to because it was too close in to replace him and because we didn’t want to start WWIII. But we are not on social terms with the guy any more, and will have nothing more to do with him except for casual pleasantries in group settings we are forced to deal with him.

  • Eh

    Stepping down so close to a wedding is a huge deal and causes tons of stress. I know this from personal experience. My BIL was supposed to be our Best Man but decided to step down less than two months before our wedding. At the time, he probably would have said that my husband crossed the line (category 3). My husband was Best Man at my BIL/SIL’s wedding the year before. My SIL was abusive towards my husband (yelling at him for not doing what she expected when expectations were never made clear) and my husband was sexually harassed by a Bridesmaid (my SIL’s sister) at the wedding. Despite their relationship being strained my husband decided to ask his brother to be Best Man (he felt it would even be more strained if he picked someone else, and was hoping it would be an opportunity to rebuild their relationship). My BIL accepted and seemed excited. But then, my BIL was insulted when we made our expectations of his duties clear months in advance because he said that my husband did not live up to their expectations. Then he decided that he didn’t want to do the things we expected (he later said it was payback for my husband not meeting their expectations). Then my BIL was insulted when the duties he refused to do were assigned to other people. A year after their wedding (and 6 weeks before our wedding) my SIL heard a story from her grandmother (who she has repeatedly said is senile) that at their wedding my husband told me and my friend that my SIL isn’t good enough for my BIL (I did over hear someone else saying this at their wedding, but my husband has never said this to me at their wedding or any other time). My SIL demanded my husband drive an hour to apologize to her, and my husband told her over the phone that he couldn’t apologize because he never said it and never felt that way (which of course my SIL would not accept and infuriated my inlaws who told him to just apologize). Less than a month before our wedding, we agreed to meet them in person but they canceled the meeting on short notice because they had other plans. My SIL believed her grandmother’s story; and to support his wife, my BIL refused to come to our wedding.

    We were only planning on having an MOH and a Best Man so it wasn’t that hard to change our plans (my MOH walked down the aisle but sat in the front row, someone else walked my sister’s husband walked my step-mom down the aisle, my husband’s cousin was our second witness). In a larger wedding party this might be a bigger issue.

    As for the pictures, wedding pictures are very much as snap shot – my BIL’s family isn’t in the family pictures and I accept that that’s what our family was like that day.

    • Alyssa

      eesh.

  • TR

    Hm, I don’t know. I understand what most people are saying about it being too close to the wedding, but I wouldn’t want someone who felt this way about me to be my MOH. And if the bridesmaids are in a bunch of pictures, that would bug me too. I think I’d rather have them back out. It’s not like the MOH is going to be able to provide the special close MOH experience that the bride may be hoping for. But it’s a know your audience kind of thing, I guess, and it’s pretty tough to guess where someone might come down on it.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      I definitely like the idea someone above mentioned of carefully broaching things in a form of “Would you rather have X as your MOH? She really has done so much, I kind of feel like she deserves it…”, and getting a feel from there!
      Because in my case? Yeah, if you don’t want to be in my life after the wedding, I don’t really want you to be my MOH. But for other brides, it may be a very different story!

  • toomanybooks

    Hmmm. The only way I could see this being a good idea is if the bride secretly wants to fire her as MOH but she’s afraid to do it. (And in that case I would still do a verrrrry timid neutral “Would you rather [other bridesmaid] have the maid of honor role? She’s done so much that she deserves it” or something like that.) But of course you don’t really know that as the MOH.

    We had a bridesman drop out of the wedding party and we were relieved because at that stage we kind of wished he hadn’t been asked in the first place (we hadn’t hung out with him in a long time). He did it amicably and just said we deserved people who were 100% invested, there was no drama and we emphasized that of course he was still welcome as a wedding guest.

    As the RSVP due date approached (we did online RSVPs so we knew we weren’t waiting for mail or anything) we sent everyone who hadn’t responded a reminder of the upcoming deadline that Saturday. Ex-bridesman was one of these people and said he was going to take the weekend to think about it. He’d been invited to be in the wedding party so he knew about our wedding and wedding date for like… a full year? I was like “oh, he has to take the weekend to think about how much he likes us anymore, I guess.” He ended up totally not even responding at all and after our walkthrough that week (where we gave our numbers) I took all the non-responders off the RSVP site because we’d marked them as not coming. There’s still no drama but it’s a little like… I guess you don’t even care to come to our wedding anymore? Do you hate us now? Idk.

    But ~also~ I’m in a situation where the wedding party basically has nothing expected of them other than their outfits, which we’re providing, and they haven’t really done anything. Sounds like LW’s role is more high demand.

  • Jessica

    Since my bridesmaids were both out of town in the months running up to the wedding, I don’t really see it as a big deal for someone to “drop out” (but I don’t think I was as…high maintenance? as this bride). Personally, I would rather have do-or-die friends stand by me than someone who is going to be resentful of everything to do with my wedding. My bridesmaids kept me grounded on a very stressful day, and helped me process some family bullshit that was going on (or hid it from me, which was cool too).

    But I realize I’m not the norm here.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Yeah, I had one bridesmaid who lived across the country drop out two months before the wedding because she was stressed about money/time off, and I was stoked about having one less bouquet to have to pay for! It didn’t strain our relationship in the least, and we were both happy to have one less thing in life to worry about!
      But yeah, I’m probably not in the norm, either!

  • Katharine Parker

    “Did she hit on your husband? Cheat on her fiancé in front of you? Assault you at the bachelorette party? Demand expensive things and yell at you when you mentioned a budget? (Please write in to me with these stories.)”

    I am here for any stories of nightmare brides/bridesmaids/grooms/groomsmen/wedding parties/officiants/second cousins at a wedding/literally any nightmare wedding stories.

    • lamarsh

      Seconded. I have two friends right now that are dealing with a bride (also an acquaintance of mine) who is over the top demanding, and I have to say, I love hearing all their stories (though I feel badly that they are living through it).

      • Katharine Parker

        I have a friend who is in a wedding with a super difficult bride and I love the second hand drama, too. She keeps saying to me when I tell her anything about my wedding, “you’re so calm!” And true, I haven’t had a screaming match with a venue over the shade of purple for my napkins–I guess I am calm!

    • K.

      If you’re subscribed to or have enough free article views of the Washington Post, you should check out the archives of Carolyn Hax’s Wedding Hootenany chats (link to this year’s: http://wapo.st/2o1Auuj )

      I equally devour disaster wedding stories and I wish there was a place where I could read them constantly.

    • Eve

      Ooh, I have story! I was in a wedding a couple years ago as a bridesmaid and had a horrific MOH. She was the bride’s best friend since birth and promised all sorts of grand things. As the wedding got closer, she started getting super flakey– we bought our dresses on Etsy, all in one order since we got a discount, and since I was the only one with a credit card I bought them and everyone paid me for theirs. She never paid me (bride, because she’s a saint, paid me as a gift to the MOH). Things were fine on the day of until it was time for her to give her speech, and the fantastic, make everyone laugh and cry speech she’d been promising ended up being two sentences and really bad, and then she pulled the bride aside and said she needed to leave immediately because her SO had just called her and told her he’d violated the terms of their open relationship and she needed to deal with it right then. Got on a bus in her bridesmaid dress and up and left. Didn’t even stay for the pictures, and the poor bride had to take home a bag of the MOH’s street clothes so they didn’t get left at the church. It was a mess and awful at the time, but it’s evolved into a funny story/”I promise I’ll stay for the photos” joke among the rest of us.

      • Lisa

        WHOA, what an awful situation for everyone involved!

      • I’d give her a bit of leeway over the leaving early. her boyfriend’s essentially told her he’s cheated on her (within their definition of cheating) and that’s going to make sitting through someone else’s celebration of commitment and love incredibly difficult, in a way that’s likely to draw attention away from the happy couple. The rest, though, definite bad behaviour! If you know you’re a flakey person, don’t accept high pressure roles! And if you don’t know you’re a flakey person, and don’t understand why everyone’s always on your back about stuff, well, time to take a good look in the mirror.

        • Eve

          Well, the thing that probably isn’t clear from my original post is that we’re not in the city where she gets on a bus and is at her destination in 20 minutes, we were out in the country at the mercy of the county bus system and she honest to goodness would’ve gotten to her destination sooner if she’d stayed the last hour and let one of many volunteers drive her.

          • quiet000001

            That still may have been more than she could take, though. Like at least on the bus she’s doing something? It isn’t rational but it makes some sense.

    • Eh

      My husband was Best Man in his brothers wedding and it was pretty horrible. In no particular order:
      – A bridesmaid grabbed my husband’s butt during his speech, so he cut it short which resulted in the bride later berating him.
      – While setting up, the Bride was standing on a bridge that went to an island in the middle of a pond where the ceremony was. She was throwing a fit because the wedding the day before did not clean up their decorations and she was waving her hands dramatically and threw her phone in the water.
      – Bride threatened to sue a few vendors and ended up getting discounts on her flowers, rentals and cake (note: other than a broken rental, everything else looked nice or was an issue with her ordering cheap things to stay on budget).
      – Communication was horrible so people didn’t know where they had to be and when (one groomsman came from out of country and only found out the day before the rehearsal that it was on the Thursday not the Friday, and another groomsman was never told at all and only found out because another groomsman told him).
      – They thanked the bridesmaids and the bridesmaids’ boyfriends for setting up even though they didn’t do anything but didn’t thank the groomsmen and some of the groom’s friend who did set up.
      – The wedding was an hour (driving on back roads) from where most people lived and not near a hotel, and the bride was pissed that most people left by 10pm.
      – The bride yelled at me (not in the wedding at all) and my husband for not helping clean up afterwards and she said her parents did everything when we were there to the end helping her parents.
      – The bride yelled at me for not taking more pictures of her children (or an equal amount of all three), especially at the reception (note: I was not the photographer)
      – The bridesmaids knew more than a year in advance that they were in the wedding but the guys were ‘told’ they were in the wedding 4 months in advance and then told that they had to plan a stag and doe.
      – The groom only told the guys the details for the tux rentals the day before they were suppose to be ordered to guarantee them for the wedding. Since my husband wasn’t given any notice and he had to work that day had he ordered his late which pissed off the bride.
      – The bride proudly referred to herself as bridezilla

      • Eh

        Oh and my own wedding my inlaws told me I was not allowed to tell people about the drama we were having with my BIL/SIL (surrounding our wedding, spill over from their wedding) because it was to stay within the family so I felt totally isolated until I decided to go against his orders. My BIL did not come to our wedding (mentioned else where he was supposed to be our best man) and my MIL said that we should tell people that mum BIL/SIL had a family emergency and that’s why they were there.

      • LadyJanee

        They sound like really hard work… what a stressful wedding process!

        • Eh

          My husband and I had just started dating in the year leading up to the wedding. It was an interesting introduction to the family. We are now good with them but it wasn’t until after we got married over a year later that we worked things out.

          • LadyJanee

            I’m glad that you have worked things out! It would be really challenging to come back from something like that.

          • Eh

            It got really bad before it got better. We were only able to come back because we all were willing to do work.

      • zana

        I just feel like…some people are not in a mental state to have a giant white wedding reception/party. And that’s okay. It should be more socially okay to have the traditional cake & punch wedding. I think it would be better for couples as a whole.

        • Eh

          She dreamed of having a fairy tale wedding – fairy tale was actually the theme of the wedding and she repeatedly referred to my BIL as her Prince Charming and the invitations had Cinderella’s carriage on it. She wanted this wedding but she and my BIL are also not organized people who then surrounded themselves with people who aren’t organized people and expected people to be organized.

          • zana

            Cinderella had a Fairy Godmother who handled all the little details. An interesting detail for the couple to forget ;)

          • Eh

            A fairy god mother would have helped so much! lol anyone who had organizational skilled would have helped actually.

          • Carrie

            Sounds like she should’ve gone to WDW where they do everything for you and you have to do is show up. Cinderella my ass! She sounds more like one of the evil stepsisters! As to not being organized, the knot. Com is FREE, quite helpful and has been for years! There’s an app for that! *rolls eyes * There’s also people who do weddings for a living called wedding planners. They get paid to organize weddings which is common knowledge and in bridal book, magazine and online reference that would mention that fact. I was a wedding planner, never certified or gone to school just a whole lot of weddings, and did it as my gift to the couple many times. Hey yell no I wouldn’t for her! She sounds very immature and quite selfish. It would be too tempting to kill her!

          • Eh

            She wanted to do things her way and wouldn’t listen to anyone else. And they live in a small town so wedding planners aren’t really common (but they could have found one from the nearby city). I’m pretty sure there were people who were contemplating to kill her.

            We got married the year after them and we used guidelines from wedding websites (like the knot) to give us an idea of when things should be done and they gave us flack for doing things too early. We gave them the itinerary for the weekend probably 6 months in advance and they were mad about that (note: my family lives far away, and my sister had to fly from the west coast, so I was giving them notice so they could make plans – and I just sent it to everyone at the same time). My husband and BIL bought suits (I said if my BIL had a black suit he could wear it – my husband found nice suits that were the same price as renting tuxes). My husband asked the store when the suits needed to be bought by so they could have any alterations done and told my BIL that date (with a little buffer room since he procrastinates). He said that’s too early because when you rent tuxes the deadline is two weeks (the store told us 2 months when buying suits).

            They actually took their three girls to WDW (note: we live in Canada) a few months before our wedding and did the whole princess makeover thing for them and came back and told us that they couldn’t afford our wedding (only costs were buying a suit and the bachelor party since the wedding was local for them – they eventually found the money for the suit).

          • Carrie

            If the guys bought suits they will wear them again. It’s not like BM dresses that usually only look good on one person. Suits were a very smart choice. Thing about weddings is as soon as you say that word, everything goes up in price! You don’t NEED it! Hear me out. All you NEED is a person to perform the the ceremony (pastor, priest, minister etc), bride, groom and 2 witnesses. Our individual states have different requirements in order to get a marriage license depending on where you file. At least that’s how it is in the US. Surely Canada is similar.

            She WANTED the big Cinderella wedding. I’m not a pro wedding planner. I’ve been to so many weddings I just happen to know how to direct them. When you light up the candles; who goes in first; make sure the father of the bride is on the correct side and make sure that everyone goes out in reverse of the way they went in. I’ve been in weddings from when I was 6 until I said no more at 35. The pros get paid well for this but I’ve never received a dime. I just love weddings and helping people with them. If you can do anything early, it’s not too early. The more prepare for it in advance, the less stressful. Something always goes wrong no matter how much you are prepared. You’re still just as married as the rest as long as you have the 5 basics! All the other stuff is nice to have but it’s “fluff”

          • Eh

            A piece of advice from a friend was “what’s the goal of your wedding?” My friend’s point was that the goal should be at the end of the day to be married. Everything thing else about the day is just the “fluff” (as you said). Obviously you can have other goals too (e.g., to celebrate with family and friends), but the point of the whole thing is to get married. I would have been totally happy going to city hall to get married or to have a cake and punch reception, but I was also happy with our civil ceremony and casual reception (which my MIL thought people wouldn’t “get” because people are used to formal church weddings).

            I totally agree that if it can be done early, it’s not too early. My BIL/SIL did things later and didn’t get their first choices (e.g., had to pick a different date and venue) and things costed more (e.g. the photographer). They were even scrambling to find an officiant a few months before the wedding. We booked our venues, officiant, photographer and cake, and I bought my dress almost a year in advance and then didn’t have to stress about any of the big stuff.

      • archaeopteryx

        Bonkers. How do those people have so many friends?

        • Eh

          Their wedding actually resulted in some damaged relationships.

    • JC

      This is small potatoes compared to some people’s stories, but I was a bridesmaid for a bride who refused to understand that I didn’t live near her. Firstly, I was flying in from a different state (only bridesmaid to do so), and secondly, I was staying with my parents, who live about two hours away from her. The venue was located between her home and my parents’, so while it took me an hour to get there, she wanted me to drive an hour past the venue, meet up with other bridesmaids, and then drive the hour back.

    • TheHungryGhost

      My old friendship group imploded about five months before one of the weddings. From a group of seven of us, it went to one girl on one side, three on the other, and three in the middle (I’m in the middle – yay!).

      The bride (A) was on the ‘3’ side, and the bridesmaids were actually equally split – one with the bride (B), one in the middle (C), and the girl who was on her own (D). D was kicked out/voluntarily left the wedding and hasn’t spoken to them since. D, C, the other neutral and I are all still really close – we meet up regularly, even though we literally live in four corners of the country. Us neutrals meet up with the A/B etc occasionally, but still have a go at us for seeing D and have started to freeze us out a little (another neutral is really upset by this, I’m kind of ‘eh’).

      Now neutral C is getting married and A is her bridesmaid (long story short – I and many others were quite surprised that C didn’t choose me. Still dealing with that). Trouble is, C is now getting hassle off A and B STILL (3 years later) for remaining friends with D, who is being fine with it and very mature. C has just told B not to come to the hen do (because B had a go at her for including D – trying to force out someone who is a close friend, really overrates her own importance there!), and is pretty annoyed that A keeps putting her in this position too (the totally petty part of me thinks ‘I wouldn’t have brought the drama, you know?’).

      This didn’t start out as advice to the OP, but it may have turned out to be! If you fade out after the wedding, there will be no ‘big’ emotions affecting the wedding. If it’s some big declaration (and pulling out of someone’s wedding this late can never not be except for the reasons Amy says), then you and possibly other friends might be dealing with it for YEARS.

    • Anonk

      Nightmare story, here. I was a bridesmaid in my chilhood best friend’s wedding. We had grown apart but still there was no way I was going to miss this hugely special day. I even traveled to where she was living to meet this guy before the wedding. No signs at the time anything was amiss. Wedding details and communication were completely non existent, I had to buy an awful dress and even more awful shoes, travel during a holiday weekend for this wedding, and the love of my life had just broken up with me and I was a depressed anxious mess who lost 20+ lbs and had to try to get a strapless dress altered at the last minute in some way that would work enough to keep it on at this very traditional very Baptist wedding. We were are very young and it was my first friend wedding that I was actually in. If I’d known then what I know now, having been in several other bff weddings and had my own wedding, I would have asked her if she needed a getaway car and told her it was never too late to bail. Fast forward several years after barely communicating, fade out kind of friendshipping, she contacts me and says she’s about to totally ghost from social media and change her number and she wants to tell me what’s up but will have to wait a bit. I finally get the story of how he’s been controlling and abusing her in every possible way since basically day 1 and she’s finally rid of him. I had no issue grinning and bearing it for a friend’s wedding. When I found out I literally stood up for THAT… I still haven’t gotten over the pain and regret of that. Thankfully she is good now and with an awesome dude and about to get married again. But I’m still heartbroken and pissed about that terrible wedding… For a lot more now than just the PITA it was to be in. Echoing a lot of others here… You just never know. A wedding is a snapshot of one day of a small timeframe of your lifetime of relationships. You can grin, bear it, be there, and peace out after.

  • Vanessa

    I am surprised to be in the minority here, but if I were the bride, I would absolutely not want someone who had no intention of continuing our friendship to stand up with me at my wedding, let alone as my MOH. Particularly if I ever found out that the friend had had those feelings and intention, I would feel betrayed, like that person had turned my wedding ceremony into a charade. Maybe it’s because my fiance and I are having a fairly small wedding party, but I want to feel confident that the people standing up with us love and support us, individually and as a couple, and intend to be an active part of our partnership’s network of support in the future.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I totally hear you and I sort of leaned that way when I first read the letter. However, you are probably not the kind of person who would ask someone you barely actually know to be your MOH. We can’t know anything about the bride’s intentions behind that decision, but somehow I don’t buy that bride really believes LW is her number one friend for life and that’s why she chose her. Maybe she felt her longest friendship had to be the MOH regardless of actual connection. Whatever her reason, she asked and LW agreed to it, supposedly both of them knowing they weren’t that close. Backing out at the last minute would be remembered much more bitterly than standing up and then subsequently fading out of her life.

      • Vanessa

        That’s fair, I’m not the kind of person who would do that, so my personal reaction of “if it were me” isn’t really relevant.

  • PurplePeopleEater

    Ultimately, I’m with Amy. You gave your word, and likely the bride considers this a once-in-a-lifetime (or at least rare-in-a-lifetime) event, so barring some life-changing catastrophe, it’s time to follow through. However, I would also think about taking time to sit down with the bride, carefully AND gently inquire as to what’s going on. Could be she wants to replace you, or could be she’s just stressed and having a bridezilla moment (it happens, we’re not all always as rational as we’d like to be). But if she doesn’t give you any hint that she wants you replaced, it’s time to suck it up, I think.

  • Emily

    So I kind of come at this from a different perspective. I come from a job background where going to a wedding / being in a wedding ended up severely limiting my ability to show up at other important things for myself and other people. I had to go through a lot work wise to make something like this happen and I have to honestly say, depending on how inappropriate the bride’s behavior was (apparently inappropriate enough for another bridesmaid to make a comment) I would back out before throwing more good money / time after bad. I think there is a fine line between family / wedding stress and needing your support and help with that and someone just treating you badly. I would need to have a conversation about it with them before spending more time and money on something like this.

    I do recognize that my own job / life situations and the difficulty for me to get time off work historically affects the way I look at this but I do tend to agree with Maya Angelou that when people show you who they are you should believe them.

    • Amy March

      I guess my take on this is then don’t agree when someone you already aren’t close with asks you to start.

      • Emily

        See I just think its the bride’s behavior that is the game changer. I’d help out someone nice who I was maybe less than really close to, especially if they really needed the help / didn’t have anyone else, but if they started treating me badly I am not staying and putting up with that.

        • Amy March

          Completely fair!

  • My younger (28 year old) sister is getting married next May and I was asked to be her Matron of Honor. I excitedly accepted, and initially we had a lot of fun dreaming up details for her big day. ….That was until she asked if my husband and I, who have been actively attempting to get pregnant for over a year, would “take a break” from trying for a few months so that I wouldn’t be visibly pregnant at her wedding. (?!?!?!) She proceeded to explain that my pregnant belly would ruin her wedding photos, and that she would prefer that I not have a kid shortly before her nuptials either since the kid would steal all her thunder.

    ….she should have known that would just give us more motivation to put the baby-making train in high-gear! Hopefully things work out in our favor and I’ve either got a giant belly or a screaming baby to ‘ruin her day’ with. ;-)

    • Fiona

      Woah this is insane! Pregnant bridesmaids are the PRETTIEST. Good luck!

      • Right?!? That’s what I thought! Thanks for the support :)

      • Jane

        Yeah – I don’t get the premise. Like, she would still be WRONG to ask you not to try to get pregnant if she had some other reason (e.g. she wanted to have a destination wedding and you wouldn’t be able to travel if you were X months pregnant or maybe your family has ALWAYS paid more attention to her and she just wants to have the spotlight on her for once) but I would get why she would care.

        But why would she care if you are pregnant in the wedding photos?

    • GotMarried!

      Best wishes TTC!

      • Thank you! It’s been a rough road, but hopefully 2017 has good things in store.

        • Ella

          That exact thing happened to a friend of mine, and she was pregnant for the wedding! It was totally fine, just a moment of wedding craziness. I hope it works out the same way for you!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      …What did you say?

      • Pretty sure I blurted out “UM, NO?!” with an “are you crazy?!” look on my face. She got immediately frustrated and exasperatedly said “well it’s only for a few months!”, like what she was asking was not a big deal whatsoever. And she was well aware of the troubles we’ve been having trying to conceive. I guess her wedding is just more important.

    • K.

      D:

      Noooooooooo. No. No. No. Noooooooo. This makes me so upset on your behalf! It sounds like you’re handling this way 20x the grace and humor I would.

      • K.

        *way=with

      • Hindsight is most definitely 20-20. This happened a few months ago so I’ve been able to find humor in the situation since then, but at the time I had to try very hard to bite my tongue and resist saying something I’d regret.

    • Cellistec

      Whaaaaaaaaaaat.

  • JC

    LW, based on the advice here, and potentially based on your timeline because who knows when this wedding is in relation to today, you’re going to be the MOH. It’s one day, a potentially horrible day, but you can do it. And then, when it’s done, my advice is to leave something behind. Pick something that you bought for the wedding and just don’t bring it home with you. Ugly shoes? Expensive, flouncy dress? Uncomfortable spanx? Burn, toss, donate, whatever. Don’t bring the trappings back, just your satisfaction at having kept your word.

    • zana

      Yeah, if the Bachelorette is already over, you have to put up with: (1) ?Bridal Shower? (2) Getting Ready? (3) Photos (bride will be busy?) and (4) Ceremony/Reception stuff (bride will be too busy?). So. Really, depending on what went down at the Bachelorette, there are limited moments of grin and bear it left. Hopefully. For everyone’s sake.

      • Jane

        Yeah – if the LW lived in the same city as the bride and would be expected to keep helping in the run up to the wedding, I might feel a little less confident in saying, just do it. But it sounds like the bride in this wedding isn’t likely to expect much from LW, which should make it a lot easier on her.

  • S.

    I find it really weird this got posted now as I have been having second thoughts about being a MOH.

    That being said, I’m sticking with it. I hate being a MOH and it’s the worst and I should have said no when the bride asked, but I can’t back out. (Also, my bride is nowhere near as bad as the one in this question, so I’m considering myself very lucky.)

    • zana

      I think, going forward, I’m refusing to be a bridesmaid for weddings where I don’t previously know the MoH. Because then you’ve got two pressure points – the stressed out bride and the unpredictable/unknown MoH. My sanity would greatly improve.

      • S.

        It’s a different situation where I’ve been friends with the bride since middle school, but a lot of this stress is personal and I’m probably being selfish, which is why I’m going to try just sucking it up.

        – Within the hour after accepting to be my friend’s MOH, I learned something about her that made me really question how well I knew her. We went to different colleges, have different personalities/friend groups and I feel we have grown apart. This leads to me feel like, how am I supposed to plan a shower and a bachelorette when I feel like I don’t know her well enough anymore? Also, I’m good at planning things *for me,* not necessarily other people.
        – These thoughts are likely my brain lying to me, though. Because I do love and care for her and I want to make sure I don’t screw everything up. I’m so afraid of letting her down. (I actually texted her that. She reassured me, but my brain still lies and I’m going to worry about everything until the day after the wedding.)
        – I am trying to get my finances back on track because my boyfriend and I are in the pre-engagement stage, and all I can think about is how my dress for this wedding is at least the equivalent of a student loan payment.
        – I’m an introvert and have anxiety and I don’t feel comfortable having to interact with a bunch of strangers. When I was a bridesmaid for a friend last year, I literally broke out in stress hives. I’ve already had at least two major crying jags about this wedding, and it’s months away.
        – The one major point I can’t bring up to the bride is that I think she’s rushing into this marriage. By the time they’re married, this couple will have been together two years. A few months before the engagement, she was frustrated and having reservations about her now fiance. They aren’t going to live together until after the wedding, which I get, but also, you learn A LOT about someone when you move in with them. I get that all relationships are different, but I just have concerns. She’s dated a lot of jerks in the past, and I want to see her happy, but I’m worried that she’s just diving into this and is going to get hurt. But I can’t say anything about it.

        Anyway, good thing most of my friends are married now, because I never want to be a MOH/bridesmaid again. And when I get married, I’m not having a bridal party. I love my friends too much for that.

        • zana

          A lot of this sounds like friendship impostor syndrome, which I’ve never thought about in that context…

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  • Carrie

    I’ve been where you are and had to be talked into going to the wedding the night BEFORE the wedding because I’d really had it by that time! Like you I too was a close friend at one point and was asked to be MOH if my 2 friends married. Of course back then I said yes! Didn’t know it would take them 3yrs to actually get married! Yeah. I didn’t go to the rehearsal dinner. Sue me. It was for the best. The brides mother (MOTB) by the day of the wedding had called her daughter FAT in front of all the BMs, taken over as the center of attention of EVERYTHING other people did for the BRIDE (showers) and when the bride said she wanted her mama and grandmothers at Bachelorette party, I sent an email asking 2 BMs how we could get her not to do this? One of those people took it upon herself to show the email to the bride and her mother! This same BM said she had a place we could use for the party and then at the last minute we couldn’t. This was after the invitations were mailed. So this caused everyone to be confused and not come including the sales rep (explain more in a min), everyone who finally found the place was late late. It took me an hour to find the place bc there weren’t any lights on the streets. It was pitch black. #1 I’ve done 100s of Bachelorette parties and not once has a mother, definitely not a GRANDMOTHER, been present. #2 This bride had been to said parties of mine. #3 Sex toys are illegal in the state we live in. #4 We were having a sales rep have a “passion party” (they go by another brand now) selling sex toys and lingerie to be bought for the bride. All of the BMs were in on it as well as the guests. Guests were able to “sample” the merchandise if you’ve never been to one of these. Yeah mama and Granny would be there waving dildos and vibrators around like flags! #5 The rep only had 30 min by this point and didn’t have time for a mother to take over the party and be the center of attention. You would have to know this woman. She’s unbelievably selfish and has already been married TWICE! It was all I could do not to slap her and tell her to shut up and sit down! Even though the bride was passive I wanted her to have a good time. She said yes to mama ONLY because her mama wanted to join us.

    So all that was completely ruined and instead of what I planned we ate and talked about an hour. I spent over $250 and never even had a TY. This was before the email. So I lost my shit and ALL HELL CAME RAINING DOWN UPON HER! I had to be talked into being in the wedding. I wasn’t going. The day of the wedding. No. I kept the appointment to get my hair done and then one person who got through to me said that I would be just as bad as the BM that sent the email to the bride and her mama if I didn’t go. I was better than she was. Yes, I am. So I took the high road, hardly said a word to anyone in the bridal party or her family, didn’t say anything to her, no speech and yes it was obvious because the best man gave his, and I danced and left. Before I did I looked at the mama dead in the eyes and said that I enjoyed the wedding and TY for having me and that it was a beautiful ceremony. Take the high road. I never saw any of the pics and haven’t spoken to any of them since. I know I’m in several of the pics being the MOH. She will be reminded of how she treated me and in time I’ll forget all about her. So will you.

    • This might be a cultural thing, but it’s really not uncommon in the UK for MOB and MOG to be at the bachelorette (hen party). You go to Newcastle city centre on a Saturday night and you’ll see multiple groups of women with labelled t-shirts (so you know who the bride, bridesmaids, MoH, and the mothers are), taking shots from penis glasses and waving penis balloons around. I know for my sister’s hen, both the MoG and my mum expressed disappointment at not being invited (though the MoH made the absolute correct call on that – my sister would not have been pleased with her FMIL there!) because it was part of their cultural expectations around a hen night. If the bride does have that relationship with previous generations, then I don’t think the bridal party get to cut them out. Obviously, from what you’re saying the bride doesn’t, but the mum wants them to, and that’s a tougher call because you have to decide what causes more stress and drama for the bride in the long run, but I just wanted to throw it out there that it may not have been entirely inappropriate from the MoB’s PoV.

      • Carrie

        The mother was the problem. She took over everything and was making it about her. Not my friend (her daughter) who was the bride. The rep who was there to sell sex toys and lingerie for people who wanted to purchase for the bride (or themselves) didn’t have time for the mother to be the one to take over the party like she did all the others. The rep was supposed to have 2hrs but had only 30 min left. We don’t take our mama’s and Gmas to the bar w us, they would have a heart attack but yes that’s the normal type of Bachelorette party we have too. Sometimes we go to Vegas. The bride said no to the bar scene and I’m disabled and can’t go to Vegas. So I had to come up with something else. Other BM liked the toy and lingerie idea. We had a ton of alcohol and knew we were getting a raid by the bachelor party. Her fiance would be furious to see her drunk the night before the wedding. That’s THEM not everyone. He even sent a girl he worked with as a spy! Lol. My parties are like yours. You get men to buy you drinks and do various dares. We have the shirts and crowns and sashes. Yes I still have straws and light up shot glasses. Bride does blow job and orgasm shots all night. We usually do it the weekend before the wedding. Yes all of that. It’s not ALL mothers of the bride. It was THIS bride’s mama who was the problem. You just have to know this woman. She’s incorrigible!

  • Nell

    “Second of all, how many people actually print and display photos with their bridesmaids? All I’m saying is that I never see those on the wall when I visit friends.”

    Uh. . . I did that! And I love those photos! But yeah, that’s not a great excuse for bailing on being a MOH.

    • Sarah

      So did my best friend. Then when she had kids wedding pictures went to a pile of stuff in the basement :)

    • Eh

      Hanging in my dining room, I have pictures from all of our grandparents’ (except husband’s paternal grandparents – it’s an anniversary pic), parents’ and siblings’ weddings. For my paternal grandparents picture and my inlaws picture it’s the whole wedding party (people took fewer pictures back then).Growing up, I remember my parents having a picture of their whole wedding party on display in their house (my dad actually mistook my inlaws wedding picture for their wedding picture since the guys suits were the same colour – dark blue with light blue accents). We only had a MOH but I have a pic with her (my sister) hanging in my house. And I was a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding and I have a pic of all the bridesmaids from her wedding hanging in my house too.

      My dad remarried (after my mom passed away) and the best man at his second wedding was the same guy as the best man at his first. And my step-mom had the same MOH too. I think it’s pretty amazing that over 30 years after their first weddings they were still so close to their Best Man and MOH, and they had been friends with these people since elementary school.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Yes!!! I was almost more excited about the pictures with my wedding party than the pictures with my husband! After all, my husband and I have lots of pictures together, and we can get more together any time we want! My five closest friends who are all scattered across the country? Probably never going to have a chance to get all of them together again!

  • Anon

    I had a moment of panic that this was my MOH, but this is clearly a completely different situation. I’ve been panicking because my MOH knew my fiance first, and over the years we’ve all become part of a really tight friend group. I asked her, she was so excited, and then I realized we’ve hardly ever hung out alone. I’m realizing we don’t exactly mesh well one on one. It’s not like we don’t get along, we just don’t have that closeness or comfort of hanging out with your best friend. I run out of things to say quickly, and our silences are awkward. We can’t do the whole “hanging out but doing our own thing” that I can do with my other friends. It’s weird because I love her dearly and we’ve always gotten on so great in group settings, it has thrown me off and I wonder if she’s noticed it too.

    Not to mention I’m afraid that both the MOH and BM will have speeches talking about their friendships with my fiance, but have nothing to say about me :/

    • Another Meg

      Oof. That can suck. I have a friend with whom I have a very similar relationship. We just don’t do anything together on our own. Hmmm. I bet she’s going to at least relay some kind of great story about how she sees your relationship with your fiance, since it sounds like she’s been around you two together a lot. That’s what I would do with my friend, and it would still be a pretty traditional speech format.

      And if she doesn’t, here’s some perspective: my sister, my ride-or-die, gave a really lame speech at my first wedding. The BM read a poem he’d written about his friendship with the groom and even cried while reading it, and Pie gave a short, kind of shockingly boring speech. So it may not matter how close you are with your MOH – some people are just better at speeches and reading the room.

  • Amie Melnychuk

    The hubs best man quit a couple weeks before the wedding, over a joke in a Facebook post from the Bachelor Party he could not attend because of finances, even though all the other groomsmen, and hubs, were willing to pay for his train ticket there. Work or school wasn’t an excuse because he was unemployed at the time.

    The groomsmen tagged an empty chair as best man. Best man said some really inappropriate things about one of the groomsmen’s wife. Hubby stepped in privately to try to resolve. Best man quit.

    Second best man was waiting for this opportunity, he has no love lost with best man, and even had a backup toast to the groom prepared! Other guy friends were asked if they had a suit or could get one in the same tone as the other men, just in case. Hubs wanted symmetry at the alter. He’s weird like that.

    Best man sucked it up and came to our wedding. He did some of his best man duties, second best man did the rest and aced them.

    Hubs said he didn’t want his wedding to be the end of one of his longest friendships. He’s rather it be the last big party together before they fade apart.

    • Eh

      Guys have drama too! My BIL wanted to be fired from his Best Man job but my husband refused since it was giving my BIL the easy way out (e.g., it was our fault and not his fault). Other people stepped up to do the tasks. My BIL said he couldn’t afford the bachelor party (four months before our wedding) before he talked to any of my husband’s friends about plans and budget. Since my BIL refused to talk to any of my husband’s friends my husband asked someone else to plan it. My BIL refused to reply to emails regarding availability for specific dates and then was pissed that he couldn’t go because his wife had a fundraiser for work that night.

  • ManderGimlet

    I just can’t get behind the idea that MOH is a blood pact that entitles someone to make you feel bad without repercussions. While I definitely think just dropping out is not okay, I feel LW should absolutely confront the bride, tell her how she’s feeling, and let her know that at this point she would happily have someone else take over this role and assist in that transition if Bride is not interested in addressing this schism or apologizing for her behavior. The idea of passive aggressively attending this woman’s wedding because…I’m still not sure why? You’d somehow be doing her a favor by standing with her on one of the most significant days of her life while looking forward to never speaking to her again? To me, that seems 100 times more callous and disrespectful than treating her like an adult with personal agency.

  • rachel

    That’s rough to feel mistreated, especially with the fanfare associated with being a maid of honor. On the other hand, it also might suck for her to wonder if you were the best pick in hindsight. Your moment in the sun fades after the wedding and it doesn’t sound like you’re apt to have strong feelings about it, so maybe just induce that Zen “let it be” attitude early.
    I no longer speak with my maid of honor (more blaze of un-glory than fade away, in our case) and I actually do have pictures framed with our bridal party and a picture of she and the best man walking down the aisle. Not because I am a masochist or I have intention of rekindling, but because she was a very important person to me and the fact that we aren’t good anymore in no way means we weren’t BFFLs back then. So… it doesn’t have to be bitter, maybe more bittersweet.

  • Ruthems

    I totally disagree. No bride wants someone in their memories, photos, wedding videos, etc. who they know at the time, or find out later, didn’t want to be there. It’s the worst feeling that someone would have to suck up being there for you during such an important time of your life. If your support and friendship isn’t genuine bow out now with minimal drama. The bride may even be relieved if there’s this much tension between you. If you really know that this relationship has faded and you are 100% willing to end it the respectful thing is to not be there.

    This is coming from someone who cringes every time I watch my wedding video or look at my briedsemaid photos. I had a bridesmaid who stayed in my wedding party despite me asking her respectfully twice if she wanted out because of the way she was acting towards me. She then got married the following year and didn’t even invite me to her wedding. Every situation and relationship is different but I do wish she had dropped out of the wedding or that I had asked her not to come.

  • Ruthems

    I totally disagree. No bride wants someone in their memories, photos, wedding videos, etc. who they know at the time, or find out later, didn’t want to be there. It’s the worst feeling that someone would have to suck up being there for you during such an important time of your life. If your support and friendship isn’t genuine bow out now with minimal drama. The bride may even be relieved if there’s this much tension between you. If you really know that this relationship has faded and you are 100% willing to end it the respectful thing is to not be there.

    This is coming from someone who cringes every time I watch my wedding video or look at my briedsemaid photos. I had a bridesmaid who stayed in my wedding party despite me asking her respectfully twice if she wanted out because of the way she was acting towards me. She then got married the following year and didn’t even invite me to her wedding. Every situation and relationship is different but I do wish she had dropped out of the wedding or that I told her not to come.

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  • Ami

    I’m in this same situation now but I have 6 months til the wedding. I met the bride at work 5 years ago and we really hit it off as friends, but I was 27 and married (she was not married) and I explained to her that I am a homebody thru and thru and I hate going out to clubs to get hit on when my husband was at home. I stressed to her that I can be a good friend at work but out of work I’ll be home. She understood and in the beginning she would not invite me out to things with her friends(which I liked) and when she came back to work the next day I was her outlet to vent. That was going great until she got engaged and she asked me what I thought since I was already married and we were having a great time planning and then she asked me to be her moh. I agreed, not realizing what I just got my self into. Now, a year after the engagement, I’m doing some of the decorations and having to pay a very large sum for a bachelorette party cause other’s don’t want to pay. I’m the only one she trust so now the wedding planner can only speak to me on how things should be and honestly its all too overwhelming. I want to pull out but the worst thing is I would still have to see her everyday at work. I would never wait 2 months to the date to ask this but can I drop out 6 months before or is that awful too.

  • Ami

    continuing: I have to mention that some things have occurred in our friendship that makes me question weather I want to still be her friend even after the wedding. I would just like to cut the strings. How do I drop out but still make it bearable to work with her?

  • Alison Lysakowski

    I disagree with the advice. My sister actually does display the pics with her bridesmaids, 6 years later. She regrets having 2 of the bridesmaids there. I was the MOH and those 2 girls were nothing but drama. My sister didn’t feel comfortable cutting them out at the time, but to this day she says she wish she had, because they are in those pics and shared her special day, only to have zero contact after the wedding. I think this bridezilla here has 2 months to pick a new MOH and it’s her own fault for not putting her love first in such a romantic event. I think it would be perfectly appropriate to pull out of this one.

  • dlm1ok

    My bridemaid quit 9 days before the wedding. She paid for the dress, ordered alterations and then told the shop she didn’t want it. She wanted her money back which the shop had a no refund policy. Shop gave the gown to the bride. Bride paid for alterations as they had been ordered. Who owns the dress? Who is owed what? I lost all my money for bridal presents and there were alot. I found a replacement bridesmaid but I had to pay for alterations since my friend dropped out and said she was in a psych unit, but was out partying. Advice please!

  • LS

    I had a former friend of 15 years who accepted my offer to be MoH and another high school friend to be a bridesmaid and they both were asinine to me and for 9 months they made my engagement a nightmare. Finally a month before my wedding my MoH tells me and my then-fiance at a coffeehouse that she doesn’t support our marriage and feels that I’m marrying him to use his family for their money. 2 hours after that conversation she was booted from my wedding party and neither her or her friend were in my wedding party and neither attended as guests. The wedding blow up killed a 2 15 year friendships but it also proved to me that my former MoH had grown resentful of me over the years and felt that I had taken up too much of her family’s emotional resources. I also kicked her out immediately after our coffeehouse fiasco because I didn’t want her nastiness in my expensive wedding photography. I’m glad she is NOT in my pictures and was not at my wedding, even as a guest.