Weddings are like a euphoric series of yeses. From saying yes at the proposal to saying I do at the altar, it may seem like yes is the only acceptable answer when it come to weddings, but trust us, there’s always room for saying no, too! Especially now that there’s a pandemic to think about, attending a wedding or even saving up for a nice wedding gift is just not as simple as it used to be. Saying no doesn’t have to be difficult. Saying no when you don’t have the time or the resources may even have a positive impact on your relationship in the future. There is no right or wrong way to say no. There is only doing so with the right intentions. Keep on reading to learn how you can politely and respectfully decline when it comes to all things wedding-related.
It’s important to acknowledge that you’re thankful for the invitation. No matter how big or how small the guest list is, the couple thought you should be one of the people present to witness their special day. You can make it more personal by giving them a phone call instead of just responding through the RSVP card. Convey your regrets over not being there and don’t wait for the “right” time to make the call. The sooner you do, the more understanding they will likely be. It’s also always an option to still send a gift to show your love and support for the couple.
It might be because your schedule is already packed or you’re simply not that close to the bride, but know that you can always say no when you are asked. It’s not as simple as showing up on the wedding day in a pretty dress. As a bridesmaid, you are expected to be there for the bride through the ups and downs of wedding planning as well as during their happily ever after. If you are unsure about making the commitment, let the bride know you are honored to be asked, but sincerely explain why you have to beg off. Don’t forget to congratulate the happy couple and share in their excitement. Make sure to check out this article on bridesmaid duties before signing up for the job.
Even if you already said yes to being a bridesmaid, that doesn’t mean you have to clear your entire calendar until the wedding. It’s different with every bride (and the collective personalities of her respective tribe), so you can’t know for sure if you’re saying yes to a single bachelorette party or a themed bridal shower every weekend, two months before the wedding. It’s not only expensive to get dolled up and buy presents, it’s also time consuming and potentially socially exhausting. Be direct and inform the bride as early as possible if you cannot attend a certain event. It’s acceptable to have a difference in priorities and calendar availabilities. You can even offer some help with planning it, if you really want to make up for your absence in the event.
One of the responsibilities of being the few trusted to sneak a preview of the bride in various dresses pre-ceremony is honest and constructive feedback on the bride’s wedding dress options. It’s your role to guide her towards necklines and hemlines that are flattering to her figure and steer clear of any cuts that add more pounds than the camera. Remember to share your thoughts in a kind manner and respect whatever decision the bride ends up making. It is her day after all and what may be the perfect dress for you will not always be the perfect dress for her.
As if shortlisting the guest list was not hard enough, there will always be the unavoidable request from certain guests for a plus one to your wedding day. If you have met the plus one a few times and his or her presence would make your guest a lot more comfortable, maybe you’d consider granting the request. But if you’re keen on declining, just thoughtfully let the requestor know you have already reached the limited capacity of the venue. If there’s a chance a few seats will free up, you can also let them know you’ll update them should there be seat available a for a plus one.
Your wedding, your rules. Go ahead and have that open-bar, adults-only wedding you’ve always wanted. The trick is to be upfront with your plans as early as possible. Include a line in your wedding invitations stating that you will be having an adult-only reception and specify how many seats are reserved for each family so they get a clear message. It’s also possible to make exceptions for the kids of close family members, especially if the kids were a part of your entourage. Should anyone have any complaints, just shrug them off and enjoy your grown-up reception, free of baby’s cries and toddler’s tantrums.