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Busy Mom Sparks Drama By Rejecting Future SIL’s Bridesmaid Proposal At Engagement Party

An engagement party.
Westend61/Getty Images

Not everyone has the same reaction when asked to be in someone’s bridal party.

Some people are honored and excited as they get to stand alongside a close friend or family member and be part of one of the most important days of their lives.

Others, however, are less thrilled, as they associate being more or less “working” for the bride or groom, finding their duties less of a privilege and more of an obligation.

Redditor notyourbridesmaid was somewhat surprised when her future sister-in-law (SIL) asked her to be one of her bridesmaids.

Not helping matters, the original poster (OP) was asked at a rather inopportune time, and responding to her future SIL slipped her mind until she arrived at her engagement party.

When the OP gave her future SIL her response, the overall vibe of the party spiraled downward pretty quickly.

Wondering if she handled things as well as she could have, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for saying no to being my FSIL’s bridesmaid?”

The OP shared why she didn’t feel compelled to be one of her SIL’s bridesmaids and how she took the news:

“My (29 F[emale]) brother (30 M[ale]) Tom is getting married to Kim (30 F) next spring.”

“I’ve always liked Kim for Tom, she’s supportive of him and kind, and she really appreciates and adores him. I’m very happy for them.”

“I’ve always found Kim a little excitable (?) for my taste, but I’m well aware my taste is irrelevant, and I don’t see Kim that often as I’m a mom to a young child and I live abroad half the year.”

“With this context, I was very surprised to arrive home from a trip to find a package from Kim containing a ‘bridesmaid proposal’ (is that what they’re called?) kit and a handwritten letter from Kim asking me to be one of her bridesmaids.”

“I planned to give her a call within a couple of days to let her know I wouldn’t be able to do it, citing a busy schedule and the demands of a toddler.”

“Unfortunately, my husband had a medical emergency the next day, and I had to deal with an ungodly amount of admin for the next few days, and it slipped my mind until I was on my way to Tom and Kim’s engagement cocktail party at my parents’ house.”

“I wasn’t going to say anything about it to Kim that night, but the second I got there, she said she was dying to introduce me to the other bridesmaids, and honestly meeting them and hearing about all the activities further cemented my decision.”

“I pulled Kim aside and told her that I wouldn’t be able to be a bridesmaid.”

“She snapped, asking why, at which point I calmly told her that while I don’t have to explain myself and didn’t appreciate her not respecting my answer, I didn’t have time to take part in the activities or dedicate any time to planning or helping her.”

“Kim tried to argue it with me, which drew the attention of some of her friends, so they were now listening in, and I again explained to her that I couldn’t do it.”

“Kim then snapped that that’s just an excuse, and I can make time for things when I want to (referring to the fact that an employee of my husband got married last year, and I planned and hosted their wedding) for my friends.”

“At which point I said, ‘Yes, but Kim, you and I are not friends’.”

“Something snapped, and Kim began bawling. Her intoxicated friends started swearing at me…it was a long night.”

“There is no consensus on whether or not I’m the AH for not doing it, and responses range from whatever Kim’s friends were saying to ‘Why did she even ask you’ to everything in between.”

“Tom still wants me to change my mind because he says it would make his life easier but says he won’t hold it against me for not taking on the burden, and his opinion is obviously the most important here.”

“It’s not that I am holding out just to make his life complicated, I just really don’t feel that I can do this, and even if I could, I really don’t want to.”

“The time between receiving the box and the party was one working week.”

“I got home on Sunday night, and received the package.”

“Monday morning, my husband was taken to hospital.”

“I forgot everything that happened before that moment for the next five days, including being asked to be a bridesmaid.”

“My husband was released from hospital on the Friday afternoon. The party was Saturday evening.”

“It was only on my way to the party, having finally had a chance to think about something other than the possibility of my life falling apart for more than a minute, that I remembered the box.”

“I didn’t deliberately wait until the party to tell Kim.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Neither the OP nor Kim came off looking particularly good to the Reddit community

Most people felt that Kim did not handle her decision as diplomatically as she could have but felt that Kim’s over-the-top behavior was equally uncalled for.

“You clearly need to learn how to better utilize your kid as an excuse to get out of doing stuff.”

“But for real, why didn’t you just tell her that you were sorry for taking so long to do so but were unable to help out after dealing with the family emergency, young child, etc.”

“She was rude to demand a reason, but I would have tried being civil before taking the nuclear option.”- Realistic_Bike7138


“All you had to say was, ‘While I’m honored that you asked, it is not something I will be able to do.'”

“But instead, you got on your high horse with the ‘I don’t have to explain myself to you’ remark.”

“And the ‘you and I aren’t friends’ was just plain mean.”

“Kim is also TA because she wouldn’t accept you declining and sent her flying monkeys to harass you.”

“Both of you are unpleasant people.”- KarizmaWithaK


“It seems to me like you don’t even like her, and any time someone describes themselves as “calmly explaining” things to others, my AH flags go off.”

“You’re so calm and logical, and everyone else is not.”

“The engagement party was not the right place to tell her the news, and DEFINITELY not the place to tell her she’s not your friend.”- prettylittl


“You didn’t have to be so rude.”

“Even white lies about why you couldn’t do it would have been fine.”- yellohello1001

Some, however, felt that Kim’s behavior was a bit more justified, feeling the OP should not have given such a blunt, unkind answer under any circumstances, particularly at the bride-to-be’s engagement party.


“I think someone being flatly told ‘no’ to the request of ‘will you stand up for me and your brother at our wedding’ it’d be kind of common to immediately just ask the knee-jerk question of ‘why’?”

“For you to ‘calmly’ reply that you don’t owe her an explanation and she needs to respect your answer would be something I might answer passive-aggressively to a coworker I generally and genuinely dislike asking me to contribute to their neighbors gofundme, and someone I also don’t care how I come off towards.”

“You cement that impression by explaining very helpfully that you don’t consider her a friend…at all.”- dart1126

“YTA because of your delivery: ‘I don’t need to explain my reasoning to you’.”

“Alright, like, yes, we know. No is a complete sentence, but this is your sister-in-law, and that’s just an a**hole approach to an otherwise really happy time for people.”

“‘You and I are not friends” therefore, I will not be making time in my life for you’.”

“Like, come on.”

“You could have just said your life is much busier now than it was when you helped with an employee of your husband’s wedding (which is a bit much, and I understand your SIL here- it’s not like you described it as helping with a friend’s wedding last year).”

“And then just your general attitude towards SIL and your sneering at her personality and activities planned.”

“Jeez, get off your high horse.”

“People say no to being bridesmaids all the time because of the financial and time commitments.”

“You should have just approached it in that manner instead of demeaning her.”- EcoAffinity

It’s somewhat curious that the OP was quite as surprised as she was that Kim asked her to be a bridesmaid and didn’t view it as Kim extending her hand to strengthen their friendship as she became part of her family.

Not nearly as surprising, however, as the OP thought it was a good idea to tell Kim “we’re not friends” at her own engagement party.

One can only hope they both patch things up before the wedding.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.