I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid by someone I’m not terribly close to. To be honest, I don’t want to do it. How do I refuse? Can I refuse?
Firstly, of course you can refuse. It’s an invitation, not a demand! The thing is, if you really, really don’t want to do it, the time to be honest about your feelings is when you’re first asked – before the bride’s planning and vision get too far down the track.
However, since you’ve already been asked, it’s obviously a little too late for this approach.
Only you’ll know how best to deliver the news, but if you’re experiencing a real tussle as to how to decline your bride’s kind invitation, try keeping your response as generic as possible, perhaps, something like: “I’m honoured to be asked but I’m afraid I’m not in a position to accept the role.”
That way, you haven’t hurt your bride’s feelings but you also haven’t blamed a situation she could possibly solve to keep you on board, such as not being able to afford it.
As a compromise, perhaps you could offer to perform some other small task, such as doing a reading?
Of course, if you’re not comfortable with a generic approach, honesty is (usually) the best policy, and you could opt to tell her that you simply don’t feel that you’re close enough to her to hold such a special role.
Just remember, however, that discovering you don’t feel quite as close to her as she feels to you may hurt her and, well, nobody wants to do that, right?