Reasons Not to Be a Bridesmaid It is a very big honor to be asked to participate in a friend's wedding. In fact, being invited to be a bridesmaid is one of the things in our society that should only be turned down in very special circumstances, and even then it must be done carefully. That said, however, there are times when a woman should decline the request to be a bridesmaid in a wedding. As bad as it is to say no to being a bridesmaid, it is much worse to say yes and drop out later. It puts the bride who had been counting on you in an awkward position and will very likely result in hurt feelings. So if you are uncertain about whether you are up for the task, you should be honest from the beginning. If you are truly unsure, buy yourself some time to consider the invitation by saying that you would love to be in the wedding, but first need to check your calendar for conflicts (of course, if you make up a fictional prior engagement, you will be obligated to follow through with your "plans"). There are not many good reasons to decline an invitation to be an honor attendant, but there are some that are valid and socially acceptable. One of the most likely reasons is finances. It is frankly very expensive to be in a wedding, often costing as much as a couple of thousand dollars. This is particularly true if you will need to travel to the wedding. By the time you add up the airfare, hotel, and car rental, you can be looking at big bucks. There are many other expenses involved with being a bridesmaid. The dress is one of the biggest ones. A bridesmaid dress will typically cost anywhere from $200 to $600, and some designer dresses will be even more. Then there are the necessary undergarments, the matching shoes, the bridesmaid jewelry (although sometimes the bride will give bridesmaid jewelry as a wedding gift to her attendants), and the bag. That does not even include the hair and makeup, the bridal shower and gift, the wedding present, and the bachelorette weekend away. When you add it all up, it is amazing that anyone agrees to be a bridesmaid! If you truly cannot afford to participate in a friend's wedding, be honest. Do not make up phony excuses, because if the bride sees through them, she will be hurt. Tell her honestly that as much as you cherish your friendship, you simply cannot afford to be a bridesmaid. Depending on the bride's wedding budget, she may offer to discreetly help you to cover the expenses so you can be in her wedding. Pregnancy is another valid excuse to opt out of being a wedding attendant. If the wedding is within a month or so of your due date, it is highly unlikely that you will feel up to standing at the altar during the ceremony. This is also one of the few times that it is acceptable to drop out of a wedding that you had agreed to be in. The bride should understand, and treat her pregnant friend as an honored guest instead of a bridesmaid, perhaps by giving her a corsage to wear. The bride might also ask her friend to participate in the wedding in a less strenuous way, such as doing a brief reading during the service. Another reason not to be a bridesmaid is if you do not approve of the bride's choice of husband. This can be a very difficult situation, especially if your friend was not previously aware of your feelings. There is a strong possibility that the friendship may not survive, but if you have serious concerns about your friend's future husband, you should not be an honor attendant at their wedding. It would be highly hypocritical to do so. If you do not feel that you can stand up at the altar and support their marriage, this might be one of those times when you invent a prior engagement as a way of keeping the peace and your friend. Most of the time it is wonderful and exciting to take part in a friend's wedding. On the rare occasion when this is not the case, you must find a way to extricate yourself from the situation gracefully. Your goal should be to get out of the wedding while keeping your friendship with the bride intact. Laura is interested in wedding planning and wedding trends including jewelry,receptions and gifts. Bridesmaid jewelry does not have to be expensive. Look for beautiful pieces handcrafted from sterling silver, Swarovksi crystals, and freshwater pearls for jewelry that is both gorgeous and affordable.