I had prepared for weeks. I bought RingPops, re-packaged them in cute wrapping, prepared my speech, and got my nerve up. I asked three of my girlfriends if we could all get together because secretly I wanted to pop the question, "Will you be my bridesmaid?"
I now know slightly how a man feels when he is coming up with a proposal plan, and boy, is it nerve wracking!
My friends and I decided to get margaritas and Mexican food and catch up, since we hadn't seen each other in a while; they had no idea about my secret plan. The day we were set to meet it was cold and snowy, so we almost canceled. I had this plan for so long though, that I begged them to come out, saying, "We need to catch up, c'mon!" I probably sounded a bit weird and desperate, but it worked and they all showed up!
We drank margaritas and ate tacos, chatting and laughing like we always do, while in the back of my mind I was thinking it was way too loud to ask them in the restaurant. When we left it was still snowing, so we weren't going to stay out much later and I knew I had to do it soon. As we were deciding which route to the train station was easiest to take, I said, "So there is a reason I wanted you all to come out tonight."
They all stopped in anticipation while I gave my spiel about them being my closest friends and that I wanted them to be in my wedding. (I may have shed a few tears also, because I'm the corniest person on the planet and I am unable to hide my feelings.) I pulled out my three RingPops and essentially proposed bridesmaid-ship to my three besties in the snow. It was very romantic, ha!
They all said yes, and I could not be happier. A few days later however, I got a phone call from one of them. She talked about being let go from her position at work, and having a bit of difficulty getting by financially. Then, with a shaky voice she told me she couldn't be in my wedding.
I was devastated. When I told my fiancé, we talked about how badly we wanted her to be in the wedding and that maybe we could help out. We offered to pay for her portion of bridesmaid duties, but she told us she couldn't take our money since we had plenty of wedding expenses and she didn't feel right about it. She had made up her mind, and I had to deal with it.
I will tell you, when someone tells you they cannot be in your wedding, it hurts. It's hard not to take it personally, and it may end up changing your relationship forever. I have learned however, that what was going on in her life at that time was her business, and it was her mindset that made her feel like she couldn't be a bridesmaid. It had nothing to do with me.
We have known each other for over a decade. I know that she loves me, and I know that she wanted to be there. I heard how painful it was to say no in her voice the day she called me to tell me she couldn't commit.
Wedding planing was great fun, but there was a void that I felt at times. Bridesmaid dress shopping, picking out personalized gifts for each bridesmaid, attending the rehearsal dinner; I wanted her there for all of it. When I look back at wedding pictures, the pain is not just the fact that she's wearing a different dress than my other besties, it's all of the memories that she missed out on too.
The one thing I have learned is that you can't change someone's mind. I was not going to pressure her into being a bridesmaid, because I would rather still have a friend after my wedding than someone I cut out of my life due to arguing about it.
Your wedding day is one day in your life. Enjoy the planning with those who choose to say yes, and understand if there are some who choose to say no. Enjoy your time with the people you love the day of your wedding, no matter what they are wearing. True friendship lasts beyond these trials and tribulations.
I still love her. I would have loved for her to stand next to me on my wedding day, but she still stands by me today as my friend, and that's all I can ask for.