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Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her Brides.com column, Jen answers a fellow bridesmaid's burning question: "Can I say no to the bride?"
When you're a bridesmaid, you may start to notice that suddenly the bride — who was once a good friend of yours or a close member of your family — seems to have turned into the ultimate, non-stop, Pinterest-obsessed wedding planner, sending you a list of requests, events to attend, and things to buy. Some things, like purchasing the bridesmaid dress or trying to make it to the bachelorette party are expected, whereas others (like chipping in $100 each to fund the bridal shower or buying a pair of $250 shoes to wear underneath a long chiffon dress that no one will ever see) are frustrating.
Like you would to your friend or family member in the real (non-wedding-planning world), it's perfectly okay to say no to the bride. But, before doing so, try to understand her request and come up with a solution. If she wants you to shell out more money than you can afford to attend her European bachelorette party, let her know you'll make it up to her by planning a night out for the two of you when she gets back home. If she's asking you to take care of a grocery list of tasks without asking you beforehand if you have the time or budget to do so, pull her aside and let her know you're happy to help with what you can and reach out to the bridal party to see if they can pick up the rest.
Wedding planning makes everyone go a little crazy at times, so before saying the big "NO!" take a step back and see how you can compromise — and how you can salvage your friendship with a few solutions.