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Amie
Devoted August 2019 British Columbia

Please help me - proper etiquette bridesmaid cancels

Amie, on August 15, 2019 at 18:48 Posted in Just married 0 23
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Hello everyone!

I was recently married on August 3rd and had the wedding of my dreams. I hope everyone reading this has an amazing wedding day too.

Now onto my question, one of my bridesmaids cancelled via text ten days prior to the wedding. She lives in a different province and gave birth a month or so before the wedding. She was pregnant when she agreed to be my bridesmaid. We were planning on having no kids at our reception as per our invitation but of course, she would be the exception. Anyways, she cancelled ten days prior to the wedding and I’d be lying if I said my feelings weren’t hurt but I’m not a mom so I can’t imagine how difficult that would be.

I want to send out the items I purchased for her - a personalized satin robe, some cosmetic items and some other goodies.


But I feel weird sending out the card I had written to her prior to her cancelling. Thanking her for being there with me on my special day and celebrating alongside me. She didn’t help with anything wedding-related prior so I can’t thank her in the card for that. She did attend the bachelorette party but it seems odd to thank her for that? We didn’t receive a card or gift from them either so I can’t mention that. Please help - What do I say in her card?

I’m lost.

I will be telling her I wished she was there and understand that she couldn’t make it. But what else? Anybody have any ideas?

23 Comments

Latest activity by Bianca, on August 28, 2019 at 11:31
  • Bianca
    Master August 2019 Ontario
    Bianca ·
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    I don't think you're old-fashioned at all since I do all the same things! I think it's about proper manners and a lot of people don't seem to have them. Best of luck!

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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    Thanks for your input. I’m not upset she didn’t contribute with the wedding planning whatsoever- she’s in a different province so I get it. Most of my BMs were out of the city so I was completely content tackling the wedding planning solo.

    Its great you handled your BM backing out so well. You sound like a very understanding person. I can’t imagine someone no-showing. It seems outlandish to me. It seems society has lost its sense of dependency and keeping your word. Not showing up after I’ve made a commitment seems so foreign and I couldn’t imagine not letting a person know face to face or at the very least over the phone.

    Anyways, I’m on a bit of a tangent lol. Thanks for your kind words!
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    Thanks for your words Sarah! It does help hearing from another mom.
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    Thank you! At this point, I’m pretty sure she isn’t sending a card or a gift. I hate that I even care she didn’t send a card but I do. That being said, I don’t expect a gift or money, I did want a card though if I’m being completely transparent. I guess in my opinion, a card shows she thought about me and my husband. It means a lot but maybe I’m old fashioned. I still send thank you cards in the mail and bring a plant or flowers to someone’s house when they invite us over. Thanks for your feedback though! I will send it out in a few days!
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  • Bianca
    Master August 2019 Ontario
    Bianca ·
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    If I were you, I’d first wait to see if a gift was coming from her. If you’re confident that you’re not getting anything, THEN send her personalized gifts along with a new note stating that you’re sorry she couldn’t make it for the wedding, but that it doesn’t mean she has to miss out on the swag (or something else along those lines). If your feelings are still hurt, try talking to her to understand where she was coming from when she had to make that tough decision to miss your wedding.
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  • Sarah
    Expert July 2021 Ontario
    Sarah ·
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    Hi Amie, I don’t have much advice for what to write in the card, but as a mother (and one who has struggled with post-partum anxiety/depression), just know that her pulling out has nothing to do with you. Babies are really, REALLY overwhelming and can bring out sides of a person they didn’t know they had. Just know she is probably having a tough go and had to do whatever was easier for herself as she’s probably in survival mode. She still loves you and is bummed she missed out. You are a sweet friend for sending the package and a card!
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    Thanks for the kind words. Yah, I hope it didn’t come across like I cared about the gift. It was more of less the gesture or thoughtfulness of it. I was hoping for a card with a nice message honestly now that I think it.

    I am definitely bummed she wasn’t there on my big day and that was where my hurt came from. I can’t understand what motherhood is like bc I’m not a mom so I’ll be giving her the benefit of the doubt.

    Thanks again Kelsey for your input
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    This is perfect- I love everything you suggested. I will be including that in my note. Thank you!
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    Hi Allison,

    i actually screenshot what you suggested I say - it’s perfect. Especially the part about when things cool down for her. I’d like to catch up.
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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    I would send the items (especially if they are personalized) along with a minimally worded-note:

    "I'm sorry you had to miss our big day, I hope you and your baby are doing well."

    You're hurt, and she definitely didn't make your wedding a priority - granted, a newborn is a lot to get used to. There definitely is many reasons why she had to cancel last minute but in the end, I imagine the decision to cancel wasn't an easy one for her either and it didn't have anything to do with you personally - try not to be insecure (easier said than done - I know!)

    I don't have children but from people who have - I've heard the first 6 weeks can be a tough-go. I feel like if you could go back in time, it'd be best to give this BM an out since her due date was so close to your wedding. However, you can only move forward - maybe add in the note that you want to meet up when she is feeling up to it. You don't know the circumstances around why she cancelled, it might be good to get some closure and hear her side of things.

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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    The thank you card can be sent with our BMs items minimally worded to say:

    You were missed at the wedding though its understandable you couldn't be there. Thank you for coming out to the bachelorette party to celebrate with us.

    Congrats on becoming a mother and hopefully we can catch up soon or talk when things calm down.

    Sometimes life has its ways of letting other things happen due to its course. The time frame her pregnancy was close to your wedding, very frustrating to know and hear. However, understanding that she needed that time to adjust and not travel is something she had to consider herself being a new mom.

    I know you feel upset for her not helping throughout the planning or any events to attend except for 1 which she made an effort you have to give credit for. Its hard to put the expenses towards travel and the wedding when the baby was coming close. Accept her step down of her position as a blessing that she did at least let you know rather than not saying anything and making it worse to have a no show at all.

    I had a family member for my in laws side that 2 couldn't make it due to the fact a new mom had their baby boy the beginning of the month and wouldn't have made it for our wedding. I was told beforehand and was happy for them though they were missed at the day of celebrations.

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  • Kelsie
    Master July 2021 Ontario
    Kelsie ·
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    I’m on the fence with this one!

    You have some items for her that you that you can’t use (ie personalized things) but also there’s a huge lack of respect on her end for you and your big day.

    So, to meet in the middle, I would send the stuff to her but I either wouldn’t include a note at all (she wasn’t there for you physically or throughout the process it seems like) or id make a brief note like “hope you are well”.

    i wouldn’t worry about whether she gives you a gift or not, because who cares? She wasn’t there with you on your big day which is what really matters. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like she has been much of a friend.

    Im so sorry you’re dealing with this! But it seems you had a phenomenal day regardless which is important. Congratulations Smiley smile
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    Hey Lisa,

    great advice, thank you!
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  • Lisa
    Expert August 2019 Alberta
    Lisa ·
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    I think you should send her the stuff with a minimally worded card as others have suggested. It's too bad that it was such short notice, but perhaps there's more to it - and I'm guessing she struggled with the decision which is likely why it took so long (still not okay to text it, and doesn't make it okay that she waited until 10 days). Being a new mom is overwhelming, emotional and exhausting - I hope you can find some time to catch up soon and talk through this and work things out. Good luck!

    And congrats on your wedding day!

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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    Thanks for your input Rayanne. That’s a good way to look at the situation. I do understand and empathize with her because I can only imagine how difficult it was for her to tell me she wasn’t coming. I was hurt she chose to tell me over a text message. Personally, it would have meant a lot more if she had called me. I did bring this up to her though.

    I know her and I will make it through this though. I love her and have known her for many years. And as you said, she’s a new mom and I don’t know what she’s going through.

    Thanks again
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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    I wouldn't let her cancelling bring out your insecurities. I can only imagine how hard it would have been for her knowing she was letting you down. You never know where she's coming from. I hope you can repair your friendship to the point it was before your wedding.
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    You are absolutely right - I was surrounded by love. Thanks for listening and taking the time to reply. I really appreciate that.

    I will do as you ladies have suggested and send a brief note saying congratulations and I wish she was there.

    Thank you again.
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    That’s a great idea - thank you so much!
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  • Emily
    Expert September 2020 Ontario
    Emily ·
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    It looks like you were surrounded by love none the less, these are the type of people to hold close! However, my counsellor once told me about how parent-friends need a lot of flex because it’s crazy being responsible for another human and that sometimes they disappear for like a year and then come back.. at the same time I feel it’s always the other persons responsibility to communicate their position though!

    I think, send the gift, a “I wish you were here” note, and leave the ball in her court.
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  • Caitlyn
    Super January 2020 Ontario
    Caitlyn ·
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    It sucks that she cancelled and on such short notice too. I can see why that would bring up some insecurities.

    I think you should send her the stuff, especially since the robe is personalized it’s not like you can return it so what else would you do with it other than giving it to her? Include in your card that you wish she had been there and that you miss her, maybe congratulate her on becoming a mother. You don’t need to say too much, cards don’t need to be wordy.
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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    Hey Tori,

    Thanks for your response. She did say she would send a wedding gift but she also said she would send an engagement gift and that was back last May so I don’t know.

    Honestly, your response feeds into all my insecurities of not feeling good enough for her. Gosh, sorry I know you aren’t my therapist but when she cancelled all my childhood insecurities came back up.

    Everything you wrote is how I feel a bit on the inside but never seem to have the guts to say out loud. Err... I DK what to say!
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  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
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    Oh gosh... not even a gift from them? I mean, I get that they are consumed right now by having a newborn... but...

    Honestly I'm petty... I think even the others on WW here that have known me for a while would even agree... lol

    With that being said... I wouldn't worry about sending her the stuff until she either sends a gift or you are in person with her. No need to go out of your way. At very minimum she should have sent a card if she canceled a full 10 days before the wedding. Canada Post isn't the best but 10 days is a reasonable time to send and receive a card...

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  • Amie
    Devoted August 2019 British Columbia
    Amie ·
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    I wish she could have made it

    Please help me - proper etiquette bridesmaid cancels 1
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