Your friend is getting married!

Woman asking woman

They've asked you to be in the wedding party!

The character David from TV show Schitt's Creek saying:

Never fear! You can politely decline being in the wedding party without losing your friendship.

Be Honest (But kind!)

There are many reasons why you might not want to be in your friend’s wedding party. Maybe you:

  • Have a busy work schedule

  • Need to save money

  • Don’t want the responsibility

Anakin/Padme meme saying

Being in a wedding party is a big commitment and your friend would probably rather have someone who is able to participate fully. Tell them the truth, kindly and gently.

Say "No"

Say "no" clearly and explicitly. If your answer is vague or hesitant, they might not get the message.

You can soften the decline by using words like "unfortunately" or "I'm sorry" and thanking them for thinking of you.

Leslie from Parks and Rec saying

If you need time to think, give your friend a specific date when you'll have your answer. Don't make them wait too long!

Learn more about hard conversations here.

Quiz

Which answer demonstrates a clear "no"?

I'll try my best, but no promises.

I'm pretty busy these days.

I'm not sure I'll be able to.

I have to decline, unfortunately.

Offer Other Support

Declining to be in the wedding party doesn't mean you can't support your friend on their wedding day!

Dancers take a wedding veil off of singer Lizzo.

You can always offer to take on a role with less pressure, like:

  • Handing out programs

  • Reading a poem or other verse during the ceremony

  • Picking up friends or family at the airport

Or, you can tell your friend how excited you are to celebrate as a guest!

Characters on TV show The Office perform a choregraphed dance down the aisle at a wedding.

Quiz

What other support could you offer a friend for their wedding?

Decorating the venue

Clean up after the event

Making a seating chart

Making a music playlist

Take Action

You can easily say no to being in a wedding party without sacrificing your friendship if you follow these steps:5 women in purple dresses from movie Bridesmaids dancing by a fountain.

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This Byte has been authored by

MV

Megan Van Massenhoven

Youth Programs Manager