The last thing you want to think about while you're planning your wedding is divorce, but sometimes life happens. It's hard to think about the end of a marriage while you're starting yours, and it's even harder if the person who is getting divorced is someone close to you, like a bridesmaid. If you do find yourself tasting wedding cake in between distraught late-night phone calls and tense trips to the lawyer's office, what should you do? Our experts have a few tips.
You've chosen your bridesmaids because of the close, personal relationship you share, and it's a relationship that goes both ways. So while no one wants to deal with a friend's divorce during their engagement (or really, any time), make sure that you're reciprocating that friendship as much as possible.
Talk to her about how much she wants to be involved in your wedding planning. It's an emotional and difficult time for her, so she may opt to limit how much the two of you talk about your plans — or she might be in desperate need of a happy distraction and could cherish the chance to pore over napkin choices or shop for honeymoon bikinis. Let her guide you and dictate what she's comfortable with, versus assuming that anything wedding-related is off-limits. Again, it's a friendship that goes both ways, so she'll want to be there for you, too, if she's feeling up to it!
Make sure to set aside time to spend one-on-one, whether that means dinner at your favorite wine bar or a Saturday night on the couch watching chick flicks. Offer to accompany her to her lawyer's office (or court, if need be), as well as to help with little things like picking up dry cleaning. Be as supportive as possible!
When it comes to your actual wedding day, offer to give her ex's spot on your guest list to a friend or family member she'd like to celebrate with. If you're close with her ex, as well, have a serious conversation about whether or not to keep him on the guest list. Chances are you'll have to rescind his invitation, so be prepared for that conversation — and keep it as civil as possible.
And if it seems like she's just too overwhelmed, be prepared that she may decide to back out of bridesmaid duties altogether.