Love expert Lola Augustine Brown answers your pressing dating and relationship questions
I am stuck in the middle of a really difficult situation and I just don’t know what to do. One of my oldest friends is getting married and she has asked me to be her maid of honour, but I really don’t want to do it. For a start, I’m broke and I just cannot handle the expenses involved in the role, or even having to buy a dress that I’ll potentially only wear once. I was maid of honour for another friend last year and I found the whole experience really draining and stressful. How do I tell her without causing a huge rift in our friendship?
You just have to tell her and hope that she understands. Break it to her in the nicest way possible though, saying that you feel so honoured to be asked, and that you love her dearly, but you just don’t feel like you can take the role on and do it justice right now. Explain that you can’t afford to take this on, as it is a perfectly valid reason (but don’t complain about not wanting to buy a dress that you only wear once). Be sure to let her know how happy you are that she is getting married, and that you’ll be right there cheering you on as best you can, just not in that role.
Being maid of honour these days is a massive commitment. It isn’t just a case of throwing a bachelorette where everyone gets drunk and maybe you spring for a male stripper, instead you’re expected to host and sponsor a range of events leading up to the big day, and it can put a lot of financial strain on one person (not to mention a lot of stress and pressure). Anyone who watched the movie Bridesmaids and has been in those roles could totally identify with Kristen Wiig’s character trying to disuade the bridal party from a costly trip to Vegas, and being deadly jealous when the brides rich new best friend was able to do everything better.
The fact that you keep getting asked to be maid of honour for your friends shows that a) you are a great friend, and b) you obviously did a great job last time. However, as a single woman it can be hard to be the gal everyone turns to when they are getting hitched.
Be prepared that when you do turn her down, your friend might be a little hurt, and you’re going to have to deal with that. I suggest you call her straight away and arrange to go out for coffee where you can tell her face to face, so that the two of you can talk it through properly, and nothing gets interpreted wrongly (easy to do if you communicate via email, text, or online chat).
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