Wedding Ideas

I Ended a Friendship with a Bridesmaid After My Wedding. Here’s Why.

Posted on January 03, 2024 by Lauren Frankfort Meltzer

wedding party drama
Photo by Katelyn MacMillan on Unsplash

Prior to breaking up with one of my bridesmaids, I had never ended a relationship with anyone. I was always the dumpee.

That’s why this story is hard to tell—I always put others first and give people the benefit of the doubt. When I began planning my wedding in June of 2017, I wanted to make everything—both financially and logistically—easy for my nine-person bridal party, which included my oldest friend, Abby, whose name has been changed for privacy. I “proposed” to my bridal party more than a year in advance. Abby was ecstatic when I asked her.

Since elementary school, Abby and I had been inseparable. In high school, we had epic slumber parties. After college, when we were both living in Los Angeles, we’d meet for homemade dinners, beach hangs and events like Spice Girls sing-alongs.

Throughout my engagement, Abby often talked about her financial troubles. She was a freelance event producer in the music industry and wasn’t having much luck securing regular work. I empathized by proactively sending her bridesmaid dresses that were less than $100. She responded saying that I was “the absolute best.” When she told me she couldn’t come to my bachelorette party or bridal shower on the East Coast for budgeting reasons, I was disappointed but understood. But I started to become anxious that the wedding was too much for her financially. I told her—more than once—if being my bridesmaid was not feasible for her, I would not take it personally and that she should do what makes her comfortable. I just wanted her at my wedding.

wedding party drama
Photo: Unsplash/Alessandro Sicari

A month before our big day, Abby still hadn’t bought her dress or RSVPed. Planning my Hudson Valley, New York, wedding while living in California was stressful enough without worrying about Abby. Around this time, Abby and I went to the beach. I poured my heart out to her about how I had tried to be understanding and give her space, but I needed to know if she was in or out. She reassured me that she wouldn’t miss my wedding for the world and was honored to be in my bridal party.

Two weeks before my wedding, I texted Abby to get a formal RSVP. She FaceTimed me, crying. That’s when she broke the news—she wasn’t coming to my wedding. She said she couldn’t afford it. I was so disappointed, frustrated and angry. How could she back out just a few days before my big day?

I decided to focus on the excitement ahead. I figured we’d mend our relationship when I returned to the West Coast and the dust from the celebration had settled.

Then, after my big day, I saw Abby’s Instagram post about a multi-day event she had assisted with over my wedding weekend. How could she not have the guts to tell me the truth? If she needed to work the job, she should have said something months ago.

I saw red and blocked her on social media. I’m not proud of this, but I felt like I had given her so many opportunities to be honest with me.

Even worse, a few weeks later, I saw on social media that Abby was a bridesmaid at another wedding in New Jersey. I couldn’t believe the betrayal.

After a few months of no communication, Abby sent me a very angry email asking why I had blocked her. I tried to explain how hurt I was, but after multiple exchanges, I told her I didn’t think we should remain friends. I said that I loved her but needed space. She didn’t agree, but I was too hurt. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since.

It was my first friendship breakup, and certainly not a smooth one, but I’m glad I defended myself and was able to put my mental and emotional health first.

The main lesson I learned is trust your intuition. If you think there’s something going on with your friend, there likely is. You can express empathy while also being direct. I wish I set a boundary with Abby sooner.

The one thing I’d do differently? Not ghost Abby. When I blocked her, it was a moment of weakness. If I were to do it over, I would call her and have the difficult but honest conversation. Ignoring her made it more dramatic.