Being a bridesmaid can be a lot of work. It taps into your reserve of time, energy, and cash flow, and sometimes, no matter how much you want to do it, you just cant. If you're asked to be a bridesmaid, you don't have to say yes. Actually, you shouldn't say yes unless you're 110 percent sure you have the desire and resources to do it. Otherwise, it'll be a painful experience, draining most of your dispensable energy and income. So, want to say no without breaking up a friendship or winding up disinvited to the wedding, here are a few tips to help you do it drama free.
1. Skip the wishy-washy answer
If you're not sure when she asks you, tell her you'd like to think about it and then get back to her in a week. Dragging on your "maybe" or keeping up with your "yes" until months before her wedding, only to tell her you don't want to do it anymore, will make the situation more intense and disappointing.
2. Don't pull a Pinocchio
Be honest. Don't have the time or money to give it your all? Going through something stressful in your own life? You owe it to the bride to tell her what's really going on that's making you unable to be her bridesmaid.
3. It's okay to have commitment issues
If you're unable to say yes to being a bridesmaid because you're unsure if you can truly be there for the bride throughout this adventure, offer to help her in other, smaller, ways. Tell her you'd like to "skip the title" but you'd still like to be involved.
4. Speak up in person
This isn't something you can do in 140 characters or less or by pressing send on a text message. If you're going to say no, you should do it over the phone or in person, that way you can explain yourself and have an open conversation with the bride that's not corrupted by lack of punctuation and overused emojis.
5. It's not you, it's me
Remember, this is still about the bride. So even though you're declining for your own personal reasons, you're not backing away from being the bride's friend. Be there for her during this wild, wacky wedding adventure in the ways you know how to the best.
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.