Your friend is getting married!
They've asked you to be in the wedding party!
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
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" 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.
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.
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!
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!
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
You can easily say no to being in a wedding party without sacrificing your friendship if you follow these steps:
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This Byte has been authored by
Megan Van Massenhoven
Youth Programs Manager