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When you’re asked to be a bridesmaid, the moment can be so emotionally overwhelming, that you immediately say yes. There seems to be an unspoken understanding that you’re supposed to say yes, but should there be? If that were the case, why does the bride ask at all? Why doesn’t she just send you a summons in the mail, mandating you be a bridesmaid? The reality is that since you are asked, you are allowed to say yes or no. Don’t get so swept up in the honor of being asked that you don’t stop to consider what you’re saying yes to. Being a bridesmaid is much more than just standing in a row next to the other bridesmaids, hung over from the bachelorette party the night before. It’s so, so much more. And it can be amazing! But it is okay to say no, if that’s what’s right for you. So, here’s what you should know before agreeing to be a bridesmaid.

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You’ll be in the photos forever

Make sure you feel very close to the bride—so close that you believe you’ll be friends for a lifetime. That’s how long you’ll be in the wedding photos, after all—a lifetime. If you feel, deep down, that this friendship is fleeting, or at least won’t last forever, you owe the bride the favor of turning the role of bridesmaid down.

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