I am in a friend's wedding party next year and am getting married a few months later. Do I have to return the favour and ask her to be in mine?

bridesmaids holding bouquets

There’s nothing you have to do. It is your big day, after all.

As such, the question isn’t ‘do you have to return the favour’, the question is ‘do you want her in your bridal party’?

Whatever the answer, you should think through both sides of the argument and consider whether you’re willing to live with the consequences before making this decision.

Given your question, it’s probably correct to assume that you do not want her to be part of your bridal party, the question is why not?

Perhaps you’re not as close as she thinks you both are; you simply cannot afford to add her to your bridal party or you have too many others, such as family or close friends, who should be included first?

Whatever the reason, the truth is generally always the best route (even though it is sometimes the least comfortable one), so you should tell her and do so before her wedding, so she can make a decision and, possibly, replace you.

If, however, you know she’s going to be hurt – and that you’re not going to be able to live with that – it may be kinder to her and less stressful to yourself to simply let her be in your bridal party.

That, of course, is the easiest way out of this sticky situation, because the fact is, after the wedding, generally comes other things like christenings or birthday parties and you don’t want a repeat of this sticky situation year after year, so telling her the truth initially – and having the bridal party you actually want – is probably the best idea, but only if you can live with the consequences.

Keep in mind, too, that there are many other roles she may be able to fulfill during the course of your wedding, such as helping with a reading during the ceremony.

Good luck!


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12 responses to “I am in a friend's wedding party next year and am getting married a few months later. Do I have to return the favour and ask her to be in mine?”

  1. Lil_quaifey says:

    No I don’t think you ‘have’ to have her at all, unless you want to. Just explain that you want to keep your bridal party small, and there are others who you want to have, and maybe give her another role in the wedding, mc or do a speech.
    Just be upfront and honest. And if because of that she asks you to step down from being in her bridal party, well in my opinion shes not a very good friend to begin with.
    It is your special day, and it should be about what you and your fiance want. x

  2. Bkm 81 says:

    Not at all!! A wedding is a very special time and it should involve people that mean alot to you. True friends would just be honered to be at your wedding. You can always include her another way, like as an usher or mc :)

  3. StaceyM says:

    Not at all.  We all choose who will be in our wedding parties for many different reasons (sibling; childhood friend; sister of the groom; etc).  I had my bestie, the 2 girls who got myself & hubby together AND my sister.  Its your day, we ask ppl for so many different reasons and some friends are also relieved to not be asked because they love to watch the event more than being part of it :)  You could also thank your other girlfriends for being so special in your life at your hens night!

  4. Fluttergnome says:

    You could tell her that you felt she deserved a break after the stress of planning her own wedding and figured she’d prefer to spend time with her new husband rather than start her married life caught up in the planning of your wedding, and tell her that with that in mind you had already asked x,y,z to do the honours… or that you felt she’d be the most understanding of your friends about how stressful it is to try and please everyone AND yourself for your wedding day, and tell her how much you appreciated being in her wedding, and how much you appreciate the foresight the planning gave you in your own wedding planning.

  5. amanda says:

    you dont even have to tell her she is not in it, she will figure it out that you have not asked her. i have friends who are not in my wedding and i tell them who is in it and the reasons i chose those people noone has ever gotten offended or asked why they are not in my wedding

  6. I guess its your day, you and your fiance should decide whom you’ll want to invite. Its not an obligation, if you feel like inviting her from the heart and you’ll be happy to see her on your wedding day, only then you should invite her.

  7. I don’t think you have to- you could just assign her a special job or role in your wedding instead… http://www.circleofloveweddings.com.au

  8. Well, I guess you should have her in your wedding day as this is the most special moment in your life. I don’t take for granted those people who wants me in every part of their lives co’z it means that I am not just an ordinary people to them.

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  10. I think you should bring back the favor. Its a big day after all 😀

  11. Jess says:

    Our best man got married about 5 months before us and we weren’t invited to it at all. He had a much smaller wedding and he had family as his bridal party. We weren’t upset at all. It’s his wedding. Due to work commitments, we’re not attending another of our groomsmans weddings this month. 

  12. Kmbt83 says:

    One of my friends got married and both my FH and myself were in their bridal party – albeit not together, but we are only having her husband in ours. She hasn’t said anything to us about it, but we know that she has been discussing it with our other friends. . . .

    It depends on whether or not you are good friends with this person and if you have sat down and gone through all the positives & negatives about having it

    We have gone with different people who mean something to us, my maid of honour is my Sister and my bridesmaid is a friend that i have known for 10 years who is not part of our usual group of friends so i wouldn’t have any hassles.

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