Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to Handle Would-be Attendants Who Didn't Make the Cut


Touchy subject ... I know. But as we have said, you have to consider your personal wedding vision when selecting attendants and well, no matter what some people say you CAN have too many bridesmaids.

You know you can't-or shouldn't-ask your 3rd cousin, Jenny or your old assistant, Pam, but you also know they'd like to be invited into your wedding party.

What do you do?

I think basic standards of etiquette and the notorious Golden Rule apply in most situations and this, my friends, is no exception. You should always try to be a gracious bride and consider the feelings of those who might be hurt without allowing others to push you around, bully you or make you defend your decisions.

This isn't an easy line to walk, but here are 4 tips and suggestions for helping you reach the other side.

* If She is a Close Friend

Sometimes a bride might really want a friend to be in her wedding, but family obligations or a tight budget prevent it. The best thing to do is to have a heart-to-heart with your friend and tell her the truth.

It is absolutely vital you do this early. If she is a good friend, she might be expecting-or at least anticipating-you popping the question. Get the issue out in the open as soon as possible to avoid any uncomfortable situations or awkward moments.

* If She is a Close Relative

Follow the same suggestions as you would if she was a close friend. It might be more difficult, however if your relative wonders why some friends and cousins made the cut and she didn't. I never feel that a bride has to justify her choices, but if you think you should, then be open and honest with her. It is okay to tell her -if you feel you should-that you feel closer to "cousin #1" and that is why she was included in your wedding party.

It is a nice gesture to ask close relatives who aren't in the wedding party to perform a reading during the ceremony or be included in some other way. I personally think it is insulting to ask someone who wanted to be a bridesmaid to serve cake ... but that is just my opinion.

* If She Thinks You Are Closer Than You Are

This is tough ...

Tell her that you value her friendship, but you have to include your closer friends and relatives in your wedding party. However, try to include her in other wedding planning activities, such as dress shopping, cake tasting or scouting locations. *Do not ask her to help you chose bridesmaid gifts or to help you with bridesmaid-only activities. That is just mean.

* If She Asks You

I mentioned before that I had someone call me and more or less demand to be in my wedding.

That was not a fun day.

Since she luckily called months before I had asked anyone, I was able to get away by telling her I hadn't even thought about my wedding party. I later took the easy way out and had my grandma tell her ... not something I am proud of, but hey, she put me on the spot!

If I could do it over again, I would talk to her one-on-one and follow the advice I am giving you today.

In the end, no matter who it is or what the circumstances might be, it is never easy to tell someone she won't be in your wedding. Try to think of how you would want your friends to tell you and as always, let your conscience be your guide.

Have you had to do this? How did it go? What did you do or say?

Photo courtesy of Hessam


Anonymous said...

I'm with you, it is insulting to ask someone to cut cake at your wedding. It is a terrible job, and when someone is cutting cake, they miss out on enjoying almost all of the party.

Cherrye Moore said...

Thanks, Andrea. I am glad I am not alone on that one! ha ha

Shanna said...

Personally I have never been asked to cut the cake but I have done it at 3 weddings. In 2 weddings I made the cakes, in one I was also a bridesmaid and the other was my own. I loved cutting the cake! I think that the bride and groom should cut and hand out the cake themselves. It is a great way to greet every guest, and for me at least, it was fun!
If it is handled correctly and you ask the right person, cutting the cake can be a great job for a special person in your life.
That is just my opinion :)