We hate to say it, but even though you’ve been thinking hard about the perfect wedding party for your wedding, it might not work out just how you planned it.

So, you spend all of this time curating a list and asking these important people to be a special part of your day…and someone says no! Obviously, your first reaction will be shock. After all, shouldn’t this person want to stand with you as you declare your love for your spouse?

Shock, and maybe even betrayal, are to be expected. But once you’ve recovered from the initial reaction, think about why they may have turned down this opportunity. Here are some things to think about to put yourself in the shoes of a would-be wedding party member.

MONEY

There’s really no other way of putting it—being part of a wedding party is expensive! Most couples don’t cover the cost of bridesmaids’ dresses or suit rentals. If you’ve ever been in a wedding party, you know that these expenses can be a bit bank-breaking. As a bride or groom, you also don’t want to take on the cost of your wedding party’s attire—you have enough other expenses to cover for the wedding. But try to understand if your friends and family say “no, I really just can’t afford to be in your wedding party.”

In addition to the expense of buying or renting attire, the wedding party is usually also responsible for footing the bill for bachelor or bachelorette parties and bridal showers.

In addition to these costs, many wedding party members also buy a gift for the couple, out of respect. The costs certainly add up! These people likely want the very best for you as you celebrate your wedding, but they can’t justify going broke in order to give you that.

RESPONSIBILITY

In addition to the cost, being in a wedding party can be a lot of work. Put yourself in the shoes of the wedding party member. Depending on how industrious they are, planning the parties to celebrate the marriage could take a lot of coordination and hard work. Even if they aren’t part of the party-planning team (maid of honor or best man) they’ll still have to accompany you and your fiancé at meetings. They’ll have a day of trying on wedding attire, go to tastings, help plan the wedding, and be in attendance for wedding rehearsals.

In addition to the planning and appearances prior to the wedding, they’re also partially responsible for answering questions that the guests have on the day of the wedding. They likely will not want to bug you and your fiancé with their questions, and they are somewhat of an authority to answer any questions guests have pertaining to the flow of events for the day. Even though this isn’t their main role at the wedding, it is an added responsibility!

RELATIONSHIP

Depending on how big of a wedding party you’re trying to have, you may have chosen people that aren’t in your immediate friend group or close family. When these people are deciding whether or not to accept your offer, they may be asking themselves this: “would I include this person in my wedding party?” If the answer is no, that person may use it as a justification for not accepting your offer. Try not to be insulted, because everyone approaches their wedding differently.

It might not even have anything to do with you, either! Being in a wedding party is an incredible bonding experience between a bride or groom and their party members. If someone doesn’t know any of the other people in the party, it may not seem like a social situation they’d like to be a part of. Think about it! If you were invited somewhere that you only knew one person, would you want to go? Especially considering that your one friend will have their attention divided the whole time? That may be a turn off for some would-be wedding party members.

Of course, we hope that you can have the wedding party of your dreams! It’s unlikely that your friends and family will miss the opportunity to be such an important part of your special day, but we just wanted to help put things in their perspective, just in case!