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DearSugar Needs Your Help: I'm a Punished Bridesmaid!

DearSugar Needs Your Help: I'm a Punished Bridesmaid!

DearSugar and Being Punished Betsy need your help. She's a bridesmaid in her cousin's wedding and the bride doesn't want her to bring a date. She feels like she's being punished because she's not in a serious relationship, so what should she do since she doesn't want to go alone?

Dear Sugar,
My cousin is getting married in the Spring; she's a month older than me and we've been raised almost like sisters. I'm in the bridal party and am flying in with my parents from out of town. I want my best friend (he's gay) to be my date for the wedding, but when I asked her, she said that she "really needs me to be there for her 100 percent," even though her sister is the maid of honor and she has four other bridesmaids. We had this conversation several months ago but I didn't tell my friend that my cousin said no because he wasn't sure if he would be able to come anyway.

He just told me today that he is free that weekend and that he'd love to be my date. The more I think about it the more I feel that I should be able to bring someone. If I were to get married next year and had my cousin in my wedding, it would be understood that she could bring her husband the same way it would be understood that my friend would come if he was my boyfriend.

My parents love him so I know that if I were to be busy or preoccupied with helping her or doing something for the wedding, he'd be OK — he's a big social butterfly as it is — so I don't understand what the big deal is. I get that my cousin wants this opportunity to have the spotlight, (as she should ) but is asking to bring a date an unreasonable request? I feel as though I'm being punished for being single! I don't want to cause problems before her special day but I truly don't want to go stag. What should I do? — Being Punished Betsy


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pamlarouge pamlarouge 7 years
I have to agree with jazzytummy on everything she posted, despite being largely in the minority. Wow, lots of Bridezillas in this room! Yikes!! This situation is a good example of how modern bridal thinking has really gotten way out of hand. Brides just think they can bend everyone to their will and completely forget about other's feelings as well as common courtesy because it's "their" day. If finances are the issue, well, that's understandable-however, the bride could perhaps tell the bridesmaid this so she can understand the situation, there's no shame in that. Depending on the price/person, the bride and bridesmaid could perhaps work out an arrangement to manage the expense of the guest if the bridesmaid is really bent on having a date. And stop bashing the bridesmaid for not wanting to go stag! Jeez!! Not wanting to go without a date and/or asking the bride to remedy that doesn't mean she's self-involved, rude, selfish, overstepping her boundaries or anything. It doesn't mean she's overly insecure or sensitive-it would be normal to feel that way. Anyone who has been in a lot of weddings as a singleton or who is unmarried with a lot of married friends can understand why she would want a companion-it makes sense. If you are asking someone to take on a position of responsibility in the wedding and fork over at least $1,000 in order to make YOUR day better, then you can tack on the expense, or work with your bridesmaid to find a way to fix the situation. I'm so sick and tired of hearing about "the bride this" "the bride that." I got married last year, and I had a beautiful wedding with all my friends and family there (and let me tell you it wasn't cheap), and while I had a lot of priorities on that day, one of my highest ones was to make sure that everyone had just as wonderful of a day that I had. I managed to accomplish that without screaming at anyone or being rude, ridiculous, and stuck on getting my way. Of course every bride wants her day to be just so, but that doesn't give people the license to be complete brats. *wipes brow* Whew, just my 2 cents.
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 7 years
I dont think she needs more on her already hectic wedding plate by you harassing her to let you bring a friend over. bridezilla or not. maybe it was too late to accomindate an extra guest. besides hes not really your "date", more like someone who doesnt know the bride or groom and is just there to eat and drink at open bar.
Christalblu Christalblu 7 years
In all honesty have you ever considered that her concern isn't that you be punnished but that they save the money of an additional person. Maybe they're at their limit on people for their venue. Weddings are expensive and it's one thing for someone to go one day without a date, it's another to add another $30-$200 onto somone's wedding bill. While I understand that it's important to have someone you know there to hang out with. It's one day so why not cut your cousin's budget some slack and forgo the guest. That said perhaps you might strike a bargin that if somone cancels you can bring a date and that way he woulnd't be an additional cost. One more thing to look at, perhaps she wants to introduce you to someone as a possible match up. It's hard to play matchmaker when those you're setting up are with someone even if that person isn't interested. Good Luck and don't see it as being punished.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
Wow, I am definitely in the minority here, so I am ready to get flamed for this.... Although I think the OP should drop it at this point, I do think it is lame that the bride will not allow her a guest. I appreciate that there is a budget, but what about the bridesmaid's budget? I have personally been a bridesmaid seven times, and with airfare, wedding gift, bridesmaid's dress and matching shoes, gloves, and matching jewelry it has been well over a thousand dollars each time. This was also at a time when I wasn't making much money and my credit card and I were one. These women were dear friends, and I was honored to be a part of their weddings, and although I never expected to bring a guest, none of them even asked if I wanted to. I think they assumed I would be busy being all about them, which I was. I think brides get so caught up in their own sh!t that they don't realize others may be putting out quite a bit for them on their "special day". Also, having been in so many weddings, I have decided that if I ever marry, it will be small or I will elope and then have a big after party. I read these comments about how stressed everyone is about this big production, and it's supposed to be the happiest day of your life? Gimme a break!
lilren lilren 7 years
Why does everyone believe they have a right to a wedding date? Maybe your cousin didn't want to pay for an extra guest, someone that she doesn't know. We only invited plus ones for people who were married, engaged or living together because that's what our budget allowed. If you weren't given a plus one, you shouldn't even be asking to bring a date. It's ruuuude.
msgadgetjunkie msgadgetjunkie 7 years
Back the eff off. It's not about you, it's about her wedding day. As a bride-to-be teetering on the edge because I am tired of balancing the requests to include distant relatives or the friend of the family that was invited and wanted to invite her daughter who I haven't seen in 15 years, I am done. It's not personal. My guess is she, too, has to try to accomodate her parents and in-law requests alongwith the cost for the wedding. Now you want to invite someone she doesn't know. Either pay for the friend or put more effort into how you can help her!
CoveringsMagazine CoveringsMagazine 7 years
I agree, it totally could be a cost thing. I really don't think she's punishing you. stop being so self absorbed.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i sometimes think that it's kind of rude if you're asking someone to be in your wedding party and they aren't allowed to bring someone to the event. it's not like your attention would be taken away from them before the ceremony - you take your responsibilities seriously as a bridesmaid - you just want to have someone to dance with etc during the reception. i might try having a chat with your cousin about it. i'm getting married in april and i don't think that i would ever tell someone no unless it was a financial thing.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
geebers has a good point - it's her wedding, which she wants to celebrate with friends and family - it's not a party where you should feel entitled to bring a date...whether that's a guy you barely know but want to get it on with or if that's a gay friend who you happen to have a good time with have a good time the weekend after with your buddy at a bar respect her decision because a) it's rude to question her and b) they probably have friends/family they couldn't even invite due to money and size issues, so why would they want a random guy they don't know there, even if he can be sociable with strangers??
MissJules5x MissJules5x 7 years
its her wedding. you're gunna be busy with bridesmaid duties most of the night anyway and there will be tons of people there for you to mingle with. its not your wedding therefore it is not your place to be making any demands. its usually common for only long term couples/ married couples to be invited together, and it would be her discretion to change that rule. it doesnt seem like she is going to budge on this or she would have let you bring a date in the first place. do not ask her again. you will only stress her out and seem ungrateful for being given the honor of a bridesmaid.
CharlieWSS CharlieWSS 7 years
Do you know how expensive it is to add one person to a wedding? It can be up to a few hundred dollars per person so it makes complete sense that the bride wouldn't want to let everyone not in a serious relationship bring a date.
Deidre Deidre 7 years
I can guarantee you, you are not being "punished for being single." Perhaps your cousin didn't speak to you about this issue in the clearest way. But as most posters have said here, she most likely doesn't want you to bring a date because of cost or the fact that she would rather keep the guest list to people that she and the groom know well. She probably has her reasons, and she already spoke to you about this well in advance of the wedding. Consider this -- you are almost certainly not the only guest who is not being invited to bring a date. There will be other single people there! Weddings are great places to meet people. If the bride and you are the same age, you could definitely meet some fun people your age who are there stag as well. You are making this into a bigger deal than it needs to be. You don't need your friend by your side in order to have fun.
Janine22 Janine22 7 years
If you are not in a relationship with this man, it is completely unreasonable for you to assume that you should be allowed to bring him. The bride is trying to be nice. If your invite did not include a date, then assume it is not polite to ask to bring some friend to your wedding that she does not even know. Weddings are very expensive as it is, each additional person is usually at least 50 dollars more per plate for the bride and groom. Stop taking this personally, it is nothing to do with you. And no, you are not 'being punished' for being single. If he was your husband or serious bf, then I can understand why you would be upset in this situation. But, he is not. I think you are being unreasonable, and frankly kind of self-involved. You obviously have no idea regarding the expense and stress in planning a wedding. Don't mention this to her again, you will just sound immature and selfish. Focus your attention on being happy for her, and pleased that you get to be a bridesmaid. Flirt with single men there, you don't need to have the security blanket of your gay friend.
Haethre Haethre 7 years
go stag and be proud of it!! there is plenty of fun stuff to do at weddings---you don't need a crutch. I'm engaged but my boyfriend and I have done long-distance for 4 years. and even when we were in the same city, I relished going to movies/dinners/parties by myself. you don't need an accessory; you are an interesting person on your own.
kristyy kristyy 7 years
I think you're being a whiny brat. As a bridesmaid, your time should be spent with the bride instead of abandoning your date, who you're not in a relationship with anyway. Weddings are expensive, and even though you've spent money to fly and on your stuff, every head adds up to the wedding cost. I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that your friend is gay. The bride probably just wants you there for her instead of worrying about babysitting someone else. And she probably feels like she shouldn't have to pay for that. Besides, you'd be with family! Go catch up with them. And stop being a big baby. Sheesh!
mommysugar mommysugar 7 years
Although it might be comforting for the bridesmaid to bring a date, I'd advise against asking the bride for an exception. The bride and groom may have budget considerations, or they much just want to celebrate their wedding with people they know well and vice versa.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 7 years
She isn't required to let you bring a date, and you really should respect her wishes. That said, I made an exception for my single bridesmaid because she was traveling to be in my wedding, paid for her dress and shoes, etc. I felt it was right to let her bring someone, and none of the other guests would know her guest wasn't a boyfriend/husband/mutual friend anyway. I'm also not a diva who insisted that the wedding be "all about me," and I cared more about my bridesmaid's feelings than I did about her giving me 100 percent of her attention all night. Please. Weddings have become so ridiculous.
nancita nancita 7 years
If she is trying to save money and keep the guest list small, then I don't think it's unreasonable to not let you bring a guest. Often, couples will purposefully not invite plus-ones for people who are just going to bring friends. No it's not really fair to single people, but then again, I understand not everyone can have a huge wedding.
sofi sofi 7 years
Oh, I think she will definitely notice if you just brought him. Where is he going to sit, what's he going to eat, what's he going to do when you are busy? Couples usually make a decision about who they'll invite (who gets guests/dates, kids or no kids) and need to stick to that for everyone. Let her have her day and don't pressure her any more. Cost and space are two huge issues usually. She's your cousin so I assume you'll have family there that you know? Try to make the most of this. You'll be busy as a bridesmaid anyways, so what is your friend going to do by himself? Weddings are so stressful and extra people to sort out is always just a pain. Don't go against what your cousin has already requested- there may be years of bitterness for messing up her plans.
pumpkinslover pumpkinslover 7 years
I would bring him. On her wedding she will be so preoccupied by everything going on around her that I doubt she will even notice or even care in the long run. I believe it was unfair of her to ask you to not include a date, but then again I'm not paying for it. If you think that bringing him will be the end of your friendship then you might consider not including him or finding better friends. I hope it all works out for you and that you let everyone know how it turned out. Just remember weddings can be rather stressful but in the end all that she hopefully remembers is saying "I do" to the man she loves.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 7 years
I'm with mesayme! it sounds like she might be uncomfortable with him being gay! But what i didn't hear from you is if any of the other bridesmaids are bringing dates? are you the only single one? in that case why not just spend the night with your parents and your coordinated [grooms version of the bridesmade is called what?]
prettybaby44 prettybaby44 7 years
As a recent bride, I don't blame your cousin at all. We were on a budget, and in order to stay on that budget we made a universal rule that unless you had a live-in significant other or were engaged, you did not get "& guest" on your invitation. If we had put "& guest" on all the single people's invitations, we would have blown our budget AND not been able to have the 105 person wedding we dreamed about in the venue we wanted. I would understand if you were upset because you weren't allowed to bring your boyfriend, but the fact that you were just going to bring a friend when you had family there, is really unnecessary. I commend your cousin on telling you the truth.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I'm sure this is just me being in a cranky mood, but after reading some of the wedding questions on here, it makes me want to freakin' elope. There are so many ridiculous rules, and preferences, and hurt feelings, and exclamations of "it's my day!" that it just seems easier to run away to Vegas and get married by Elvis. Good lord.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 7 years
If it's about the cost then why does anyone bring a date? If I were a bride I wouldn't want anyone at a party I paid for that I didn't know. Spouses and other dates would only be invited if I were friends with them and same goes for inviting relatives you don't know or like. With that said if people are bringing guests and you're spending the money to fly in, buy a dress and take time off of work I don't see why she can't accommodate you. If you were just a guest I might say whatever, but you're supposed to be like sisters. I would never treat someone in my bridal party, especially my sister, like that.
aprilmayjune4 aprilmayjune4 7 years
You said it yourself- the more you think about it, the more you believe you should be able to bring someone. The solution is simple. Stop thinking about it. While this is a party, it's a formal one. The couple has every last say on who can and cannot attend- especially since this is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You can be the adult that you are and strike up conversations at the wedding with people you may not know very well. What ever happened to social skills?
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