The Unedited Truth About Not Being Chosen To Be A Bridesmaid

These days, I believe many people put way too much into weddings. They just do. And it’s odd, because when I think about it, a wedding is just one day of a couple celebrating their union and love with family and friends over a ceremony followed by a reception that, for some, traditionally involves cake, dancing, awkward toasts and unforgettable (and sometimes boozy and cringeworthy) speeches, a ton of photos, a bouquet toss, and more. There are women—engaged and hoping to be engaged someday—who absolutely live for this stuff.

I am not one of those women. 

The very thought of planning a big event like a wedding, spending a lot of money, making out a guest list, and fake smiling in a room filled with people I barely know, talk to, and some I either don’t like or want to be around makes me want to go into hiding. Weddings are cool, but they’re not the end all be all. Again, they’re just one day. And while I’ve learned that some weddings can be fun, I’ve heard that marriage happens to be a lot of hard work. Apparently there’s a difference between weddings and marriage. Go figure. 

But before the planning and partying for weddings begin, there are some eager brides who find themselves tasked with the duty of assembling a squad of bridesmaids. For some, this is an exciting moment. For others, a stressful one, because there’s always the possibility of a soon-to-be bride left with the reality that someone’s going to be disappointed that they weren’t chosen to be a bridesmaid. As someone who’s repeatedly experienced being unchosen, I’ve gone from being the girl in my twenties who was crushed and offended when other friends and family members were chosen to be a part of weddings I was only a guest at to now being the thirty-something-year-old who couldn’t care less.

Because a wedding is just one day. 

I’ve swapped stories with other women who weren’t asked to be included in weddings they thought they would be in, and I’ve seen and heard the hurt they’ve felt when they weren’t even considered. Some of them have already mapped out plans to purposely exclude certain friends and family members who they felt snubbed by, and I get it. You’re not obligated to invite or include anyone in your wedding that you don’t want to. Will it sting to see wedding pictures (that you know are going to end up posted online, because that’s the thing people are doing now) of the bride (who may happen to be a relative or friend you thought you were cool with and close with) huddled up with her bridesmaids in matching dresses along with #weddingday photos you aren’t in? Maybe. But will it be the end of the world? Absolutely not. Because it’s just one day. Did you get that? One. Day. I promise life will go on after. And guess what else might happen? You may not even stay friends or remain connected to the person you’re in your feelings about. I don’t even speak to, keep in touch with, or see any of the “friends” I used to be friends with who had weddings I wasn’t asked to be in. Did some of those friends and I have special moments together? Yes. Did we ever cry, laugh, and have late-night talks together? You bet. Were we there for one another when it mattered? Of course. But was I included in their weddings? No. And I can honestly say that to this day, I’m not bitter, mad, or disappointed about this. Because it is what it is. 

Sometimes you’re not going to be considered, included, or even invited. And guess what? You will still be okay. I don’t believe any friendships are less valuable or should be measured or diminished by whether you’re included in a friend or family member’s wedding. But some friendships and relationships don’t always recover from these kinds of situations. So as we prepare to approach this new fall season and different holidays that are certain to bring the news of new proposals, engagements, and upcoming nuptials that you find you are not asked to be a part of, fret not.  

Life will go on, and you’ll be just fine.