Second thoughts on being a bridesmaid

Published 11:20 am Monday, October 2, 2023

Dear Aunty Pam,


I’m in such a quandary that I don’t know what to do. I’m also very hurt and heartbroken. I hope you can help.

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I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid by a friend I’ve had since college. Actually, we were in the same sorority and there were four of us who became very close and have remained in contact all this time. We’re all 28 years old now. I was always the ‘funny’ one and felt I sort of had to be because I was chubby and not pretty like my ‘sisters.’ Since college, I’ve gained even more weight and when ‘Amy’ asked if I’d be a bridesmaid, I was very touched but worried how I’d look next to all my sisters who still look great.

To make things worse, my sisters and I got together for lunch with the bride to discuss arrangements. I took a phone call and left the table, then used the restroom at the restaurant. While in one of the stalls, I overheard two of my sisters who had also come in but didn’t know I was there, talking about the strapless wedding dresses and how it wouldn’t flatter me at all. Then one of them said, “You know, it’s really difficult because Amy didn’t want her to be a bridesmaid because she’s obese, but ‘Susan’ talked her into it.” 

I waited till they left and then burst into tears.

Aunty Pam, I know that I’m fat. I know I’ve got issues around food and I’ve really tried to resolve them but I’m struggling. It was hard enough to know that I wasn’t going to look good in a strapless dress, but now to have found out that Amy didn’t want me to be a part of her wedding in the first place and had to be talked into it is just devastating. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to ruin Amy’s big day, but I can’t help but feel she’d be relieved if I dropped out.

Please help. The wedding is two months away.


Fat Pat


Dear Patty,


I have to tell you that your letter has reduced Aunty Pam to tears. Of course, you’re devastated—who wouldn’t be? What a dreadful thing to overhear when you already are reeling with insecurity.

As superficial as it sounds and indeed is, many brides very much want uniformity with their bridesmaids. Obviously, they want to look better than any of them, hence the horrible dresses, but they tend to think about the wedding photographs and everything looking what they consider to be ‘perfect.’ And so it appears Amy was considering this until Susan talked her into including you. So please consider that: Susan has remained a loyal friend by stressing that you, as another longtime friend, should be a part of this wedding. On top of this, Amy moved past any feelings of superficiality and agreed with her. 

I think, however, the air does need to be cleared. Anyone in your shoes would find it impossible to attend given the circumstances. Amy is already going to be stressed as the wedding grows nearer. I think I would reach out to true-blue Susan and speak to her about what you overheard and share your thoughts.

And you know what, Pat? In the meantime, give all of this a few days and really see how it sits with you. Do you really want to be a bridesmaid at this wedding? Would you rather simply attend it as a guest? It’s OK to withdraw if you are dreading the entire event. But if you really want to be part of the sisterhood that’s held a large part of your heart for years, then go for it! I mean, nobody’s curing cancer here—it’s just a celebration of love followed by a DJ and somebody’s drunk uncle doing the ‘Chicken Dance.’


Cheers, dear!!

Aunty Pam