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Trollface is my bridesmaid.
September 17, 2010 11:29 PM   Subscribe

I've decided to fade away from a specific friendship or at least take a break from it. The problem is, this person is my bridesmaid, my wedding is less than a month away and I have been allowing her actions to overshadow what should be a fun and joyous time for me and my fiance.

First off, I have been going to therapy for the past few months because of wedding planning. It has been helping.

She has a crush on a co-worker. The guy is into food and wine. The wedding is at a well-regarded restaurant. He is a stranger to both myself and my fiance. We are having a small, intimate wedding (she knows this) and the rule has been significant others only (didn't think I explicitly had to explain this to her since I just put her name on the invitation but apparently yes and even then she said since she was in the bridal party, she was entitled to one. Four of the other members of the wedding party are single too and they did not get a plus one), but she made me feel guilty and horrible. She was yelling and hanging up on me and angry texting and then calling me again. I ended up calming her down and giving in because she was so emotional and frankly, I was in shock.

Since then, she has been stressing me out in her attempts to anticipate his needs and accommodate him. The most recent being her thinking he's nervous about not knowing anyone there (third time she's brought it up in the past 48 hours) so she should probably sit with him instead of with the rest of the wedding party. I think it's important to note that she is good friends with people that are attending.

I know I have been enabling her but I have a lot going on and doing what she wanted just seemed like the quickest way for her to STFU but, fuck me, of course she is asking for more. I am well aware I have been stupid and weak in how I've been dealing with her. I thought I was being gracious, but I'm a stupid idiot and I hate myself for allowing it to get this far.

All I wanted her to do was stand beside me and support me. I've known her since freshman year college 12 years ago. This is just making me feel hurt, sad, and used. It's not fair to my fiance who is great and understanding and REALLY patient. She has made it clear where our friendship lies in relation to this guy. I don't want to go to blows with her before or after the wedding. I don't want to have some formal declaration of why she's shitty. I don't want to confront her because I have thought deeply about it and I don't want to salvage this. I would rather just fade out (reading these two askmes helped).

I know the wedding day is going to be great, but the journey to get there causing me anxiety. I mean I'm writing this fucking thing at 2:15AM on Friday night. FFS.

So what do I do between then? Fake it til I make it? Maintain radio silence and speak only through my other bridesmaid (who has been wonderful)? Go to more than one session of therapy a week? Start taking Benadryl to be able sleep at night? Nut up? Do I just need to nut the fuck up?
posted by spec80 to Human Relations (68 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Let it go. There comes a time when you are planning your wedding that you just have to loosen the reins a little bit and let things sort out on their own. Yes, it's an important day...but it's NOT going to be perfect. No amount of planning or angst will make it perfect - but - it will be your wedding, and it will be great. Remember that "great is the enemy of good," let your friend sit where she wants, and ENJOY YOUR WEDDING!!!!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:35 PM on September 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


Would it be unthinkable to contact bridesmaidzilla and tell her that her approach has been such that she is no longer invited and that you will have no further contact with her? You have another bridesmaid and you don't want to continue the friendship so why not scrap the invite?
posted by ambient2 at 11:43 PM on September 17, 2010 [27 favorites]


I really hope that's a typo above, about going to therapy because of your wedding planning. You really have to just let this go or put your foot down. If you exist in this limbo where everyone pulls you in 200 directions, it's no wonder you need therapy to deal with it.

Myself, I would put my foot down. Tell her she has to realize this day is about you and your future husband, and you don't give a flying shit about what her boy of the month needs for his wine selection. You can use nicer words of course, though I wouldn't be inclined to.
posted by sanka at 11:44 PM on September 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


You're going to get lots of good advice from wiser people than I, but I'll tell you what I'd do.

I'd sit down with her and explain to her very calmly that you really want her to be part of your bridal party, but if she'd rather just be a guest so she can sit with her friend then that's up to her. Make it clear that these are her choices, and that she cannot hijack your wedding day. I would also suggest having some backup (a mutual friend who will take your side) in on this conversation.

After that, no matter what her reaction is, just forget her. Her outbursts are just going to serve to embarrass herself, and you're going to have a kickass wedding regardless. She's likely just jealous as all hell that you're getting married, and is just trying to bring some attention back onto herself. You're bigger than that. You're IN CHARGE.
posted by auto-correct at 11:47 PM on September 17, 2010 [19 favorites]


Let her sit with her friend. It gets her out of your hair. I know it's frustrating that she's trying to make things about her, but this doesn't really seem like that big a deal. What are the consequences that come with her not sitting next to you?
posted by almostmanda at 11:57 PM on September 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry you're stressed about this at 2am on a Friday.

I'm not married, so take this for whatever it's worth. The thing I would think about isn't the day itself (one day) so much as your memories of the day later (a lifetime). Years from now, looking at your wedding photos or celebrating a big anniversary, are you going to be able to laugh about it (oh, she was such a case! can you believe that she...and that guy! what a pretentious doofus!) or is the memory of her behavior going to color everything so you don't have good memories of the day?

There's no wrong answer, but if you decide your answer is more likely option #2, then you owe it to your future self to cut her out of the wedding party now. Tell her it's not possible for her to remain in the wedding party (low drama, no long lists of grievances, just "it's not possible), reimburse her for the dress if she paid for it. Don't replace her, that would be tacky. Unbalanced numbers of groomsmen/bridesmaids aren't unheard of, don't give it a second thought.
posted by donnagirl at 12:18 AM on September 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


Of course she is worried about him sitting alone and not knowing anyone. Being a wedding party's Plus 1 sucks.

If making seating arrangements is that tough, say to friend:
'I already bent the rules for you. We'll only be eating for 43 minutes. Hopefully Bob can handle it.'
posted by k8t at 12:32 AM on September 18, 2010


Let her sit with her friend. It gets her out of your hair. I know it's frustrating that she's trying to make things about her, but this doesn't really seem like that big a deal. What are the consequences that come with her not sitting next to you?
Yeah, I don't really know why this is such a big deal. But lets try to think about this from her perspective.

She likes this guy, and she knows the guy would really like to come to this guy would really love to come to this wedding because of the food, etc, so she invites him. You acquiesce. If you change your mind then she's the one who has to tell this guy that he can't come. And she might think that if she does that the guy will think that she doesn't like him or something.

If she just met this guy, or has fallen for him then of course she's going to place him at a higher level then you. Would you place her needs above those of your fiance right now? How would you feel if she invited you to a party but said your fiance couldn't go -- perhaps if she just had some beef with him. Would you go? Probably not, right?

Anyway, if it really bothers you to have this guy you don't know at you wedding, you need to explain that to her. And if she doesn't want to go, then that can be her choice.

On the other hand, if she does want to go then sit down with her and come up with an excuse for why he can't go. Say you only have X seats, or that your parents decided to bring a new guest and got bumped. Whatever.

The point is, if you want to ditch the guy, you need to make it easy for her to to tell him why he can't go.

But ultimately you need to just say "I'll help you make this as easy as possible if you want to come, but you have to come alone or not at all. It would just bother me to have someone I don't know well at my wedding".
posted by delmoi at 12:45 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, what? She wants to sit with her love interest and this is somehow a big deal to you? Frankly, your post makes you come across as rather irrational and, well, stressed over your wedding, which really isn't a big deal to anyone but you and your husband.

Your problem is the attendance of one extra person at your wedding (who's been vetted by a friend of more than a decade), and you're asking whether you should take more Benadryl or go to therapy? Seriously, I must be missing something about your question. You're about to marry the man you love; you sure live a blessed life.

What's the big deal?
posted by halogen at 12:46 AM on September 18, 2010 [17 favorites]


Oh, and if you do let her come and bring the guy, there's really no reason why she shouldn't get to sit with him.
posted by delmoi at 12:47 AM on September 18, 2010


How much of her own time and money has she had to spend on your wedding? If it's significant at all, then I can kind of understand her feeling she should be able to bring a guest. And if she wants to sit with him, so what?

She's probably jealous of you getting married and for that reason isn't able to make this celebration all about you. She's wanting to get something out of it too, as jealousy robs people of their generosity.

If it's stressing you out this much, I'd tell her you changed your mind about having her at the wedding and that you'll reimburse her expenses. If she's a bridesmaid she's going to be in so many wedding pictures, and if you can't stand her the sight of her in them is going to ruin the pictures for you.
posted by hazyjane at 1:05 AM on September 18, 2010


Try to find the grace to realize that being single at a wedding can be extremely difficult, particularly if you're a close girlfriend of the bride.

You know, everyone says that a wedding is the bride's special day, but at the point where you're demanding a friend to wear a particular dress and walk down an aisle and become a focus of attention, it's sort of her special day too.
posted by acidic at 1:06 AM on September 18, 2010


I don't think you come across as irrational or crazy - your bridesmaid and friend of 12 years is putting her needs (and the hypothetical needs of an uninvited plus one) above yours and is throwing a tantrum if you don't acquiesce to her desires. Its not about the guy or about the seating its about the "me, me, me" attitude. Its your day and not hers. She's a spoiled brat and is using your wedding to pull some bloke from work - I can totally see why you're pissed about it.
Personally I would tell her that she can either be in the wedding party or she can sit with her 'date' and if she was concerned about him not knowing anyone she should have thought of that before she decided to invite someone who wasn't on the guest list. But if you just want the quiet life don't discuss the wedding with her at all anymore (except for the essential bridesmaid stuff). If she brings it up, change the subject, if she brings up more accommodations she wants you to make for this guy, laugh it off - pretend she's joking. If she has another strop - leave (don't invite her to your house) or hang up and don't take her calls again for 24 hours.
posted by missmagenta at 1:06 AM on September 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


I'll say it again. Bridesmaids are there to help the bride. They are not guests of honour. Being a bridesmaid is a privilege, yes, but not because it entitles you to special treatment.
Her focus in this wedding is clearly to have a party for herself and her love interest. If so, she should not be in your wedding party because these goals will collide. She will want to hang out with him all the time instead of attending to whatever little jobs are hers.

I would phrase it as auto-correct has. Tell her you want her to have a good time and want her to be happy with this guy, and therefore if it is very important to you, she can attend with him as guests.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:22 AM on September 18, 2010 [16 favorites]


...very important to HER, I mean
posted by Omnomnom at 1:22 AM on September 18, 2010


It's not fair to my fiance who is great and understanding and REALLY patient.

I'm going to hazard a guess that your fiance probably doesn't care what table your friend sits at. He probably cares about more about that fact that you're going to therapy and drinking Benadryl. So if you ask me: you should let her sit wherever she wants, and stop planning the wedding. If you have chairs, tables, a roof, and some food, you've got a wedding.
posted by creasy boy at 1:28 AM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can you delegate this issue? Appoint another bridesmaid to be the liaison, a friend who can tell the problem bridesmaid that some of her behavior has been uncool, who can absorb her stressing about her boyfriend, and who can help you make decisions about what to do? Or maybe just say, Hey, Bridesmaid B, you're now in charge of last-minute change to the seating plans. Then whenever Bridesmaid A wants to talk about seating arrangements, you just say, You'll have to talk to Bridesmaid B about it. I have so much on my plate right now that I'm not dealing with those decisions now.

I do think that your friend is being unreasonable. You're trying to plan a wedding and, you know, get married, and she's trying to make all of these changes to accomodate someone who knows no one and is not a part of the wedding in any way. I don't think you're crazy to be upset by her actions.
posted by mandanza at 1:31 AM on September 18, 2010


Whoops, I just realized that you did at the end mention speaking only through the other bridesmaid. D'oh. Yeah, in your shoes, I'd go with that. Avoid contact, let other people deal with it. It's not a course of action I'd recommend in most situations because it's so avoidant, but IMHO, the craziness that can happen in wedding planning is a real special kind of crazy, and sometimes you just have to cut your losses and do what you must to stay sane and happy.
posted by mandanza at 1:35 AM on September 18, 2010


My brother-in-law's wedding reception was fairly big, but it was pretty damn strict on "thou shalt not sit with thy betrothed, thy squeeze, or thy crush if thou art part of the wedding party," much to Mr. F and I's total dismay when we got there.

I was the only member of the Mr. F nuclear family unit that wasn't part of the wedding party, and no one had informed us that I was going to be sitting across the hall for most of the action, with Mr. F's semi-estranged turbo-fundie aunt attempting to chat me up about how nicely he cleaned up when he wasn't wearing that awful trenchcoat and that long hair.

Thing is, no one died despite initial dismay-- because I am an adult with some measure of adult social coping skills, as I presume this coworker guy is too. I snagged another similarly thwarted SO, turned up the charm, and declared her my date for the next hour. Mr. F resumed date duties when all the protocol was done with, and things were fine.

Dude is a foodie. He will be able to chat up random passers-by about the food just fine without your friend hovering over his every move. If she can't deal with that, auto-correct's got the right idea.

If she wants to maintain control over every aspect of this guy's exposure to her social circles, she's going to have to relinquish control over your wedding prep. She can't have both, and no one should give her both.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:39 AM on September 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'll say it again. Bridesmaids are there to help the bride. They are not guests of honour. Being a bridesmaid is a privilege, yes, but not because it entitles you to special treatment.

This.

Try to find the grace to realize that being single at a wedding can be extremely difficult, particularly if you're a close girlfriend of the bride.

Did you bother to read the question? I ask because you seem to have skipped the bit where the other attendants are single, it's a small event, and tantrum-thrower is bucking to gain a bunch of benefits the other attendants don't, and re-shape the wedding around her wants and needs.

Honestly? If you were my wife-to-be, I'd be telling you to ditch bridesmaidzilla, after having your good-and-helpful attendant give her a chance to pull her head in and realise, as noted above, that being a bridesmaid is a privilege for someone who wants to help the bride.
posted by rodgerd at 2:12 AM on September 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


If you are sure you don't want to be friends anymore (and I don't blame you, angry texts about not getting a plus one on someone else's dime is lame) then it's time to just tell her that. It sounds like, regardless of what the "right" thing to feel is, you feel stressed by this and can't stop obsessing.

If that's the case you're best of just taking the break now, but the friendship would be unlikely to recover so keep that in mind. It sounds like she's being a little selfish and silly, but you're to blame also for letting her do things you don't like and then blaming her for doing things you gave her permission to do.

I think the best thing is just an honest conversation. If it comes to a head, she may throw a fit and refuse to be in the wedding party anyway, thus solving the problem. OR she may say "I didn't realize this was such a big deal or that I was hurting your feelings" and change her ways.
posted by Saminal at 2:13 AM on September 18, 2010


I think it might be best to cut ties before the wedding. It's causing you this much anguish, it sucks, and it's supposed to be your big day, not hers. If she'd like to go on a date with the guy, fine, but your wedding isn't a date night.

From a post-married/friend falling out world, someone who came to our wedding is a person who, in the past, we were great friends with. Pretty shortly after the wedding, this person flaked out and alienated pretty much everyone who knows him. Unfortunately, he was in a ton of our wedding photos, so when we look through the album, his face keeps popping up (he was sitting pretty much behind the two of us from the angle the photographer used in the ceremony). If this friend is causing this much stress, and you don't really want to continue being friends, well, do you really want her popping up in the photos commemorating the happiest day of your life?
posted by Ghidorah at 3:07 AM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I know I should stay away from human relations questions since I have all the empathy of a wooden broom handle, but again... Similar advice to a question I read earlier. Just show the person this thread or say to them how you feel exactly as you've described it to us. Any reasonable person would be able to see they're being an arse at your expense.
posted by Biru at 3:39 AM on September 18, 2010


Ugh, this just seems so strange. I can't believe someone who's been friends with you this long would be so selfish. This is your show, not hers. Being a bridesmaid is a job, not a celebrity status, and she's made it clear that she is not prepared to do her job anymore. Give her the boot from your wedding party, because the wedding pics will forevermore remind you of the BS she pulled. Peace of mind is worth risking upsetting a friend when she's been this crappy to you. If she is still going to be invited with her colleague in tow, stick her at a table at the back.

If you wanted it, I don't see anything wrong with replacing her since there's still a month to go, plenty of time for dress alterations for another girlfriend. Who gives a damn about being a little tacky - no one will blame you when they inevitably find out why she was replaced, and they'll soon forget it anyway.
posted by lizbunny at 4:05 AM on September 18, 2010


I think the suggestion of giving her the option to be a guest is a good one. But if you just don't want to deal with the fallout from that, can you hold a chair for her at the wedding party table and at the co-worker's table? I generally think it's awful to split up the wedding party from their SOs, but I get the feeling that he is not a SO and he may not even like her all that much, but she's drawing him in with the offer of fine food. (FWIW, I understand where you're coming from - we gave all our wedding party members a +1 and I was really, really lucky that one of my BM did not invite a guy that she's liked for years but who clearly is not all that interested in her but likes the flattery of having her dote on him and would come just to attend a party.)

If what you want is a cohesive image (at the event and in photos) of the wedding party sitting together during toasts, etc., why don't you make it known to her that at those particular times, you expect her to be sitting with you all, but while other people will be mingling around to go say hi to aunts and uncles (this has happened at every wedding I've been to), she can sit with the guy. Maybe make other BM in charge of signaling her to say "Get your butt over here, it's picture time!"
posted by Terriniski at 4:17 AM on September 18, 2010


Thank you all so far.

A few of you are missing the point. My friend wants to sit with her crush. I did it. I changed the seating. That's not the big deal to me. It's that she keeps on being needy. Having ONE stranger there, really? Don't mind. He obviously means a lot to her and I was looking forward to meeting him. It's her being inconsiderate, when I am certain she is aware of the strain I am under, in order to be overly considerate to another because she wants him to like her back.

The majority of the wedding guests are family from out of town. I am treating this wedding as a reunion for my mom to see her family from overseas and Pete's family to be with each other and it not being Thanksgiving or Christmas when even then they may not be altogether. I want to make sure they above everyone else all have the best time.

I have made a conscious effort to not be demanding on my bridesmaids. I offered to buy them a dress of their choosing and when she procrastinated and it became really too close to order something and have it ship on time with alterations (that I would have paid for) I told her, I just want you to be there. You can wear whatever you want. I am also paying for their hair and I am paying for their lodging.

I literally just want them to stand there because I thought standing up with the bride and groom was an honor. I never asked for a bridal shower. I am not demanding a bachelorette party. I just wanted to spend more time with them because I don't see them that much but I wanted to let them know that I love them and they mean something to me and I thought asking them to be a bridesmaid did that.

I'm not chugging Benadryl. I was being snarky. Sorry. I should have put a hamburger there. {\} There you go. That's for the Benadryl line.

And yes. Therapy for wedding planning. I was snapping at my fiance and it was increasing and I was being irrational with why I was getting angry. I am not ashamed and I don't regret going to and continuing to go to therapy because I felt I needed it.
posted by spec80 at 4:36 AM on September 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


"I generally think it's awful to split up the wedding party from their SOs"

It's normal at parties to seat domestic partners separately, on the basis that they see enough of each other at home. It also forces people to mingle, so that anyone who gasp shock attended the event on their own doesn't get the cold shoulder.

Okay, so he isn't her SO, and she views the wedding as a date with him, which is why she wants to sit next to him. This is also why you invite established couples to weddings, but not strangers that somebody is stalking.

I mean what the hell?!? Who goes to a wedding as a first date? Are you sure she hasn't got a foofy white toilet-roll holder dress stashed somewhere? Maybe she's going to run up and brain you with a cross, elbow the groom out off the way, and drag her date to the altar by his hair?

And yeah you did allow this behaviour up till now, if by 'allow' you mean asked her not to do it and then gave in when she "made me feel guilty and horrible. She was yelling and hanging up on me and angry texting and then calling me again." It's easy to say you should have put your foot down in some way, but this behaviour was in response to your trying to set limits and the next step would have been to get out the banhammer, leading directly to the end of the friendship. If your de facto choice seemed to be her way or the highway, I can see why you 'allowed' it, but any adult, even one that was raised in a lunatic asylum, knows that you do not yell and scream to get your own way like this.

Oh, and I can understand why this is upsetting you so much. It has always upset me terribly to fall out with a friend, and this is going to be a major occasion in your life and for a long time, when you think about it, you're going to be thinking not only about your life of wedded bliss, but about how you lost someone close to you, and for idiotic reasons.

It really wouldn't be "a little tacky" to fire her from bridesmaid's duties, although you must understand that it would be an explicit friendship-ender to do so.

If that's more confrontation than you can stand, you could offer to let her be a guest instead, and that may provoke a confrontation too. But it would be one last chance to work things out, if you want to take it.

I would be very uneasy about the path of saying nothing and then dropping her after the wedding, because I'm worried that she isn't well-behaved enough to be attending a wedding. I'd be worried that she might do something disruptive.
posted by tel3path at 4:51 AM on September 18, 2010


Wow, this makes her all the more awful for her tantrums, you're a saint.

If you've been the very picture of grace despite her freakouts all this time, it probably means to her that she's getting away with it, that what she's doing is ok because you're capable of dealing with it. You may be hiding it a little too well, so she's not cluing in. If it's not within your ability to just open up and let her have it, is it at all reasonable to go to your mutual friends and confide in them, and possibly have them to talk to her for you? They would probably be able to verbally bitchslap some sense into her for you, make her see what anxiety she's causing you and tell her to pull it together.
posted by lizbunny at 4:56 AM on September 18, 2010


Yes, silence always means consent in the offender's eyes, but continuing to explain is something I'd only do if I honestly thought they didn't know they were behaving offensively. And this is an adult who should know better. The insisting on her own way and your giving it to her, she could be blissfully unaware; but no adult is unaware that yelling and screaming is wrong.
posted by tel3path at 5:03 AM on September 18, 2010


Better to end it now, have the tears and freak out and maybe an extra session with the therapist three weeks before the wedding, than have this stuff happen at your rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, the reception, texts while you're on your honeymoon...

She sounds like a terrible friend. Terrible friends should not be at your wedding. Just think of it as granting an opportunity for her to take the mystery crush to a restaurant, where she will have to pay people if she wants to get her way.
posted by SMPA at 5:17 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's my recommendation. Of course, you can take it or leave it:

Defer to your fiance on this. Really. Sit down with him and review the situation one more time. Explain that you're feeling frustrated, exhausted, confused, and that you're on the verge of ending a long-term friendship. Tell him how valuable his advice is to you, and ask him how to proceed. Then do whatever he suggests, and don't think about it anymore.

Also, before I start to get flamed, please realize that this has nothing to do with gender - I'd make this suggestion no matter your gender, or your fiance's. You're a team. You've got each other's backs! This is exactly what your partner in life is for - to support you when you need it most. Sometimes it helps just to give up control and I think you'll feel relieved if you can let someone else make the call on this one.
posted by pecanpies at 5:43 AM on September 18, 2010 [15 favorites]


I literally just want them to stand there because I thought standing up with the bride and groom was an honor. I never asked for a bridal shower. I am not demanding a bachelorette party. I just wanted to spend more time with them because I don't see them that much but I wanted to let them know that I love them and they mean something to me and I thought asking them to be a bridesmaid did that.

I understand completely where you are coming from, and I don't think you are unreasonable at all to be upset about this. One of the unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on how you see it) parts about weddings is that you learn exactly how important you are to those that you love, and it can be a really difficult lesson to learn.

I think your idea to delegate as much as possible through your other bridesmaid is an excellent one - let her handle any final arrangements with the recalcitrant bridesmaid, to keep your contact with her minimal.

Beyond that, just accept what's happened with her and how crap it makes you feel. It's difficult to do, but consciously choose to accept how you feel, and just let it happen and wash over you. Have a good cry, punch a teddy bear, whatever you need. Then choose to put it aside, and focus on the exciting parts of your wedding. You will feel better, and you'll be in a much better position to deal with (or phase out) your friend afterwards.

(I say this from experience -- my own brother missed my wedding and i didn't find out he wasn't coming until he never got off the flight as i waited at the airport. For a while we thought he had befallen some terrible accident. All of this was two days before our wedding. I avoided his calls completely until weeks afterwards, when we could talk about it properly and i was in a much better place about the whole thing.)
posted by ukdanae at 6:15 AM on September 18, 2010


Ask vs. Guess culture?

I suspect your bm is an asker (however rude she is on top of that) and you may me a guessed at heart. A giesser who has a hard time saying 'no' directly.

I'm on the iPhone now, but I can link later to the great comment on another ask.me that explains the theory. (paging tangerine!)

If this is the case, you may simply need to be more explicit/direct about the stress of wedding planning. Folks who haven't done it don't know, and askeds assume ... Well, she's being an ass with the angry texts.

But if you're saying 'I'd rather not' or something else less firm than 'no' she might think she has wiggle room.
posted by bilabial at 6:20 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think you are handling this issue with a lot of grace under the circumstances. Since you have acquiesced to all of her demands already, I would just stop talking to her before the wedding about the plans and try as hard as you can to put her out of your mind. Although I would be inclined to just cut her off now since she is a crappy friend, I can understand that this might cause you more stress before the wedding which you do not need. Keep going to therapy.

But since you are in therapy for issues relating to your wedding, it seems like you are missing out on a lot of the joy that should surround this day. Maybe you are worried about every teeny tiny detail or that it will not be a perfect production or that someone might not have a good time. Whatever is causing you stress and anguish, cut it out. None of that matters.

Mr. Murrey and I got married with just the 2 of us, our dogs and the officiant at a special greenbelt. The officiant had a slightly distracting "bat in the cave" (read:booger in his nose) and one dog kept dropping a frisbee at everyone's feet and the ceremony had to be stopped numerous times so we could throw the frisbee for her. And we still laugh and laugh and take delight in remembering these funny "imperfections" in our special day. We can laugh about them because at the end of that awesome, special day, we were husband and wife and nothing else mattered.

Try to keep what is truly important in mind -- that you are marrying the man you love and how awesome is that!!-- and all of this nonsense will fall away and you can find the abundant joy that is there for the taking.
posted by murrey at 6:41 AM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why is this person still a bridesmaid?

Whatever you do, at the very least you need to sit her down and say, "Lisa, you keep telling me all the different ways your date might feel uncomfortable at my wedding and I need you to stop. It's a wedding. Often at weddings, guests who know only one person have to interact with other guests, and they survive. They might even have to sit with other guests, away from the person they know, and they survive. I need you to stop bringing this up."

But really, you should have kicked her out of the wedding party (and wedding) as soon as the yelling started--and I think you should kick her out now. If she didn't like not having a plus-one, her options were to calmly talk to you about it, suck it up, or quit with enough time for you to find a replacement bridesmaid. Yelling at you about how the wedding was going to be for her? And now giving you grief about how the wedding is going to be for the date she barely knows, whom she strong-armed you into inviting? Totally unacceptable. If I were you, I'd implement whatever the plan was if one of the bridesmaids got mono or quit or had an emergency--have a lopsided wedding party? Recruit a last minute replacement? This person is treating you badly. It's not just that you've grown apart, it's that she's being mean and selfish. Do you really want someone like that to be a part of your wedding?
posted by Meg_Murry at 6:48 AM on September 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


I had a "bridesmaid from hell" too so I understand where you are coming from.

Save her a seat at the bridesmaid table. Because I have a funny feeling her crush might just decide he has other plans that day anyway. Just a gut feeling I have.


My recommendation to you is to start seeing this through the lens of humor. Because trust me, at some point twenty years from now you will be telling this story and both you and your hearers will be laughing and almost peeing your pants at how absolutely ridiculous and funny this was. I mean, come on, this sounds like a sitcom plot on Seinfeld or something!

As to practical advice, I like your idea of only communicating to her thru the other bridesmaid. This does two things-filters the crazy and helps you maintain a boundary with the support of a sane attendant if this woman asks for any other crazy things between now and then. And then after the wedding you can do your fade if you like-or you can have a little meeting with your soon to be former friend and explain to her why grownups don't act like two year olds at other people's weddings.

Now go look up that youtube video about the guys singing L'chaim to Vanessa and relax and enjoy the rest of your enspousening!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:50 AM on September 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


One of my bridesmaids, who was a super-good friend, suddenly became this giant PROBLEM right before the wedding. She even skipped the rehearsal and had never been to a Catholic church before so the rehearsal was kinda necessary. I don't really know what her big deal was; I think, in retrospect, her life got busy and she had some stuff going on with work and her own marriage and my wedding had fallen way down her priority list and seemed more like an obligation than anything else. (And we all know that being a bridesmaid can be totally irritating.)

Anyway, at the time, it hurt my feelings, upset me, totally stressed me out, etc. And I don't have good advice for dealing with it. But I will tell you that AFTER the wedding, I didn't care at all (and with some distance I have a lot of compassion for her, although we're not friends any longer. But if I saw her we'd be friendLY.). Seeing her in the pictures just reminds me that she once was a good friend and that's nice and we had great times together. I don't have any residual bitterness.

Just in case it helps to know that it probably won't matter as much once the wedding is over and done, and you don't have to spend your life regretting your bridesmaid choice, as long as you're the sort of person who can accept that things don't always go according to plan and that life moves on. (And I have all the sympathy in the world for therapy for wedding planning -- that shit's stressful!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:59 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do your fiancé, other bridesmaid, family, etc. know about her behavior? Do they support uninviting her, or do they have some other idea? It's your call, but it helps to get insight from people close to the situation.

Here's my suggestion: first, before you act, take a day off from planning or even talking about the wedding. Go back to bed, get a massage, make out with your fiancé, eat nachos and play Katamari, whatever gets you in a happy spot. Now's a good time to start.

Then, when you've taken enough of a break, start by composing the ultimate stream-of-consciousness cuss-out letter with everything you're too afraid/polite to say to her. Like, "Dear Shitina, you're being a shit. I'm not planning my wedding around Bob from Accounting and if you want a dream date with him so bad, I'm relieving you from your bridesmaid obligations so you two can do it right and leave me alone. What the fuck dumbass first date is someone else's wedding anyway? You just want to do it on my dime. Real klassee, assfriend." Or, you know, whatever flies out of your mind. Do it in Word or something instead of your email, because this is one of those letters you should never send. This gets your rage out somewhere, and it mentally preps you for the actual confrontation.

Then sit down with her, or get her on the phone, and give her the diplomatic version of whatever you wrote. Have your desired outcome in mind before you go in, e.g. she's out of the wedding party, or uninvited altogether, or Bob from Accounting is uninvited, etc. Treat this as absolutely non-negotiable. She's going to explode, and gnash and yell and wheedle to get her way and unfortunately you will have to weather it; even if midway through you start feeling flustered or guilty or scared, stick to "I'm sorry, no, this is final."

If she's the type of person who is going to cause fallout after the fact, you might consider asking your other bridesmaid, or another friend, to volunteer to screen her angry calls/emails. If you can't avoid the pissy missives, share them with the friend so you can have someone on your side.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:38 AM on September 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


Disinvite ASAP for your own sanity.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:41 AM on September 18, 2010


People who threw fits, got demanding, or otherwise made stress for me about my own wedding didn't get invitations. It was so much more relaxed and pleasant that way. I'm still happy about it, ten years later.
posted by galadriel at 7:54 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


A few of you are missing the point. My friend wants to sit with her crush. I did it. I changed the seating. That's not the big deal to me. It's that she keeps on being needy. Having ONE stranger there, really? Don't mind. He obviously means a lot to her and I was looking forward to meeting him. It's her being inconsiderate, when I am certain she is aware of the strain I am under, in order to be overly considerate to another because she wants him to like her back.

Hmmmm. Okay, I'm going to be as respectful as possible.

You submitted a question to AskMe, and a bunch of people totally misunderstood what you meant. Maybe you're not as good at communicating as you think, and THAT is the source of your problem with this bridesmaid. I mean, I really thought your question was "Is it okay to force my bridesmaid to sit at the table with the rest of the wedding party", but what you typed above makes it seem like it's not about that.

Here's the thing: you need to resolve the disparity between "I have no problem whatsoever with my bridesmaid sitting with her new crush" and "I think it's really inconsiderate for my bridesmaid to even ask to sit with her new crush". Because if you are saying the first one, but thinking the second one, that is going to cause a whole world of bad feelings that you do not need a month before your wedding.

What to do: Everything that's already been agreed to, let that shit go. Regardless of how cool you are with her sitting with her crush, it's done, and I don't think you want to undo that. Same with the dress and the whatever else you've left out. But draw the line in the sand now for your own sanity, and just commit to not telling her you're okay with whatever else next she comes up with, because no matter how much you say "I'm totally cool with that", it seems like it's really bugging you.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:02 AM on September 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I see your frustration because you kind of saw this coming with the "no +1's" thing. You have the patience of a saint because after the first, "omg, I'm so worried he'll have no one to talk to" I would have hit her with an "I told you so, this is why I didn't want +1's".

I'd sit her down at this point and have a talk along the lines of "Hey, I asked you to be a bridesmaid and there are certain 'requirements' of that. It seems you're not comfortable with that now, and it's causing me some undue stress. I've already made several concessions to YOUR needs (inviting a +1, seating) but it is MY wedding, so maybe you would be more comfortable coming as a guest?" Give her the choice, either she's "all in or all out". If she decides she wants in, make sure she knows you're not making anymore changes to accommodate her "first date" and let the other bridesmaids know too so they can run interference. If she pulls out, then problem solved.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:10 AM on September 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Forget the comments trying to make you into the bad one for not wanting to accommodate her. Your bridesmaid is acting totally inconsiderately and sounds like she's nuts. What she is doing is totally wrong. This isn't just a misunderstanding between the two of you ... She's trying to make the wedding about her needs, when in fact she's there to serve and assist you. Nor is this some culture clash along the lines of ask vs guess culture ... This clash is rude vs polite, reasonable vs nuts, good friend vs crazy selfish bitch, mature vs childish.
posted by jayder at 8:11 AM on September 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


If someone yells at you and hangs up on you THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND.

Let me repeat that again in boldface because people here seem to be missing the fact that this person is acting incredibly shitty to you.

If someone yells at you and hangs up on you, multiple times, because you're not giving them what they want, THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND.

She is not your friend. Kick her the hell out of the wedding and stop taking her calls. Period.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:11 AM on September 18, 2010 [15 favorites]


Ask vs. Guess culture?

Ask-people don't bombard you with angry texts and calls when told "no". They accept a "no" gracefully.
Much as I like the ask vs. guess dichotomy, it doesn't explain every instance of overinflated demandingness.
This person is simply a pain in the ass.
posted by Omnomnom at 8:14 AM on September 18, 2010 [9 favorites]


I had a bridesmaid from hell. I typed out all the horrible things she did, but it was taking forever and I really don't think you want to hear my horror story. Let's just say I know exactly where you're coming from.

I think Metroid Baby has it exactly right. In my opinion when she started putting her wishes above yours was the time she stopped being a bridesmaid and started being a pain.

The very idea that a bridesmaid should somehow think that because they're wearing special fancy clothes makes it somehow their special day too is disgusting and reeks of so much entitlement that it makes me sick. Bridesmaids are supposed to be supporting their friend. It is an honor to be a bridesmaid, if you can't afford the expense in either time, money, or personal pride then you shouldn't accept the offer.

I honestly think you are going to have to bar her from the wedding. Again, I speak from experience when I say that this kind of selfish person can and will find ways to make your wedding about her. Do you really even want this person at your celebration at all? Can you trust her to wear appropriate clothes and not get screaming drunk?
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:22 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. I can't even imagine what more she could demand at this point, unless she wants you to change the date (October 16 isn't working for Bob from Accounting), or hire Bob's cousin SkratchMan Nob as DJ. If she's acting sorry for all the trouble she's put you through, let her stay if the idea of kicking her out is too stressful, but if she's giving you any attitude at all, BRIDE SMASH TROLLFACE.

on the bright side, it seems like there are so many stories of people acting outlandishly bad during wedding planning... at least it turned out not to be any parents, siblings or other relatives, which would be even more emotionally devastating. So, a tiny little trollface silver lining? :)
posted by taz at 8:32 AM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


What the light fantastic says - seriously - you have FAR too much to worry about than things you should worry about.
posted by the noob at 8:48 AM on September 18, 2010


shouldn't

do'h
posted by the noob at 8:49 AM on September 18, 2010


What a ridiculously selfish brat. I'm sorry this person is treating you this way, particularly with as far as you've gone to be reasonable, kind, and accommodating. Covering the dress, alterations, lodging, hair AND making no party demands?!? A saint, indeed.

Good advice above (Meg_Murry pinned my POV best), but, personally, I'd tell her it's clear she has other priorities and it seems she'd be better off reserving a table on an official date with her crush at said restaurant rather than attending the wedding, since her desires are at cross-purposes with the event's intentions.

Or you could go ahead and give her a spot away from the bridal party and hope she sees the big picture and realises what an ass she's been, then write her off after, leaving her with the lingering taste of ashes as an object lesson in not being an entitlement-fixated prat.
posted by batmonkey at 9:39 AM on September 18, 2010


You're already calling her a trollface. I think the friendship is over. Disinvite and don't feel bad about it.
posted by newpotato at 9:56 AM on September 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ask vs. Guess culture?

Ask-people don't bombard you with angry texts and calls when told "no". They accept a "no" gracefully.
Much as I like the ask vs. guess dichotomy, it doesn't explain every instance of overinflated demandingness.

This person is simply a pain in the ass. Omnomnom

Some ask people bombard with angry texts. Some guess people bombard with angry texts. Some ask people have loads of grace. Some ask people have no grace whatsoever. Askers and guessers are not homogeneous groups!

I'm not commenting Ask vs. Guess about where this has ended up, but rather about where this may have started out.

I'm practicing being an asker, and once I've directly asked for something, and the other person has clearly been amenable to my request, but goes back on their arrangement without an explaination? I'm disappointed.

It's taken me three years of therapy to reach this level of self awareness, but I've never sent angry texts in response to not getting my way in any situation. (my anger stays inside, but there's less of it now...)

Yes, the BM in question is behaving like a jerk. But understanding why might provide insight into an effective solution.

This is about how the bride and groom can enjoy their wedding day, and whether the friendship is salvageable. The BM might be malicious, or she might be ignorant. We can't know ourselves. Communication problems are almost never solved by more of the same type of communication. They usually can be solved by one party making an adjustment to their communication style.

Does that seem fair? No, because it would be nice if people would just understand us as we are. But that's not always possible. So sometimes we need to make an extra effort to understand them as they are.
posted by bilabial at 11:03 AM on September 18, 2010


Also, here's that link to tangerine's ask vs. guess culture explanation.
posted by bilabial at 11:06 AM on September 18, 2010


"and once I've directly asked for something, and the other person has clearly been amenable to my request, but goes back on their arrangement without an explaination? I'm disappointed."

But that's not what's happening. The OP hasn't clearly been amenable to the request and then gone back on the arrangement. She's accommodated the request only to be faced with more demands, expressed through yelling and screaming.
posted by tel3path at 11:11 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


"They usually can be solved by one party making an adjustment to their communication style."

That's a good point. I think if the BM were to stop yelling and screaming, that would go a long way towards salvaging the friendship.
posted by tel3path at 11:14 AM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


tel3path, I can't agree with you more.

I haven't been clear that I think the bride is being perfectly reasonable, and should continue being polite but firm.

However, the BM clearly has no intention of changing her communication style, and may be unaware that her style is hurtful and inconsiderate. (Really, some screamers think this is normal. I come from a family of such jerks, and unfortunately many screamers can't be made to understand why exactly it sucks to be screamed at. Unless you're screaming at them. Funny, isn't it?)

The bride's next communication tactic may be...no communication with the BM at all. Not even through a mediator. Thus, a change in the bride's communication "style." No more working it out, no more concessions, and no more friendship.
posted by bilabial at 11:24 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Understood, bilabial, and I have to agree with you there. I think that at this point it's up to the BM to find a way of communicating with the bride that the bride will want to deal with.
posted by tel3path at 11:32 AM on September 18, 2010


Seconding disinvite. This woman sounds like poison, and you have no -- absolutely no -- obligation to her. Why are you stressing yourself out and letting this person effect your wedding?

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best: just tell her she's no longer welcome.
posted by diocletian at 11:52 AM on September 18, 2010


My two cents as a never been bride: All of the people coming to the defense of your bridesmaid have either never been one or feel pretty darn self-entitled on a day that has absolutely NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM.

When you ask someone to stand-up in you wedding, you are asking a lot. I get that. There are expenses, situations where you might be at a head table while your date is stuck with a bunch of strangers, hell maybe you even have to go out of the country to be part of things. But they can say No. No one is twisting their arm. Respect (to a point) what the bride wants, go with the flow, take a deep breath. Even if there is a lot of pre-wedding day "work", ultimately we are talking about a few hours. Demanding a plus one? Are you f'ing kidding me???

I'm sure the prospect of confronting this person sounds really unpleasant. But I think in order for you to have peace of mind now and for your wedding day, you should demote her ass and make her a guest. She can decide if she'd like to attend or not, but now you can stop feeling like you should accommodate her and go on about your business.

If the friendship is over, let it be done now and not later. For your sake.
posted by patientpatient at 12:00 PM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Trollface sounds like she just wants a date on your dime. I would give her the dime, tell her to get a reservation on a different date than your wedding, and proceed to get married without her.

Good luck.
posted by dragonplayer at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2010


Metroid Baby said it better than I could. This is outrageous behavior on her part. At this point, I would want her the hell out of my life, but you could be more diplomatic than me and just say You know, I agree that you should give your full attention to B from A, so I'm relieving you of your bridesmaid duties. Thanks.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:38 PM on September 18, 2010


ps: congratulations! Whatever you decide, it will be okay. Crazy person will continue to be rude and selfish, but you'll be married. That's the main thing.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:45 PM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


THE BRIDESMAID'S "DATE" DOESN'T WANT TO ATTEND THE WEDDING.

That's the problem here that is making Bridesmaid act unconscionable.

BM doesn't realize how 300% inappropriate it is to invite an acquaintance/work-crush to her good friend's intimate weddingwith the ruse of "Oooo. Gourmet Food!" ...But "Crush Guy" knows it's wrong, and he's trying to squirm out of the invite. Every time he comes up with a reasonable excuse (ex: I won't know anyone) BM tries to make it the Bride's responsibility to accommodate a stranger, a stranger who doesn't even want to be accommodated in the first place!

Ahem.

spec80 I hope you see this whole thing for what it is (ridiculous) and hand off the entire situation to the responsible bridesmaid you can count on.

It's OK for someone to tell the unreasonable bridesmaid it sounds like her "date" doesn't want to attend, and if she wants to be fair and honest, the best thing for her to do right now is forget "date" and re-focus on the Bride, her good friend.

OTOH, that might be too much drama.

Instead, it is OK to buffer yourself from this mess and carry on having the best wedding ever. Let her sit somewhere else. She's not wearing a special dress, so it won't even matter if she ends up in the wedding party or not, right?

Best wishes!
posted by jbenben at 4:10 PM on September 18, 2010 [12 favorites]


I agree with the young rope-rider; someone who treats you the way this girl is treating you is already not your friend. Remove her from the bridal party, remove her from the guest list, stop taking her calls, whatever you need to do.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:30 PM on September 18, 2010


I think jbenben has it. Next this guy will explain, "But errmmmm... ah... the only reason I'm into gourmet food is because I'm deathly allergic to every foodstuff on earth except Beluga caviar!" And the BM will up the ante by demanding that all non-Beluga foodstuffs be banned with an exclusion zone of 20 miles, and that Epi-Pens be handed out as party favors.
posted by tel3path at 5:05 PM on September 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


I would have said: "I'm sorry, but we have to watch costs (white lie if it isn't true) and we can't include crush (the guy isn't an SO, right?). If this means that you won't be my bridesmaid and don't want to be friends anymore, I feel very sad , but so be it."
posted by brujita at 9:53 PM on September 18, 2010


Please DON'T disinvite her. I don't condone the way she's acting, but once an invitation is sent, it's up to the recipient to accept or decline.

Congratulations on the wedding!
posted by brujita at 10:36 AM on September 19, 2010


Elope.
posted by LarryC at 12:05 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


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