In today’s world, some jobs offer a great deal of flexibility, while others are demanding and require long hours. First responders, such as fire marshals, often have to prioritize their work duties over their personal lives.

An internet user recently asked, Am I a jerk for declining to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding? We want you to share your thoughts on this one. 


wedding lavish
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OP’s brother Harold is engaged to Lillian, and Lillian asks her to be a bridesmaid. OP politely declined and explained why she couldn’t. Harold and Lillian are extremely unhappy with OP’s decision.

What Does OP Do

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OP is a fire marshal. She knows it’s called different things in different countries – her office investigates fires. Since fires don’t just happen from Monday to Friday during business hours, she works all different shifts, including overnight and on weekends. 

What Does OP Say

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OP says, “When Harold and Lillian announced their wedding date (shortly after the engagement and long before I was asked to be a bridesmaid) I checked my work schedule. My schedule is rotating and goes in a pattern so I can see it years in advance. I was scheduled to work on the day of the wedding.

I arranged to switch with another marshal to avoid working the wedding day. I’ve ensured I don’t have to work and can attend the wedding and reception. Otherwise, I’d be starting work before the ceremony and not finishing until after the reception ends.”

Read: 10 “THINGS” You Have One That Makes You “Immediately” Unattractive

What Did OP Do And Why?

Wedding decoration
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To be a bridesmaid, OP would be expected to go to Lillian’s dress appointments, go on the group shopping trip to purchase the bridesmaid dresses, help put them together, host and clean up at the bridal shower, go to the hair and makeup trial appointment, to help plan and go to the bachelorette party, to assist with things like making the centerpieces and decorating the reception room, to go to the wedding rehearsal and dinner and more. 

Lilian had been upfront about the commitment she wanted. However, OP can’t possibly do all that with her work schedule. The dates and times for those aren’t set, and have to work around Lillian’s schedule foremost. 

What Did OP Tell Lillian

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OP says, “I asked Lillian if I could be a bridesmaid and just go to the wedding and nothing else. She said no. She wants her bridesmaids committed to those things.

My sister asked me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding, and I couldn’t do it for similar reasons, on top of being in the middle of the biggest case of my career in the lead-up to her wedding.

My sister understood and didn’t flip out like Lillian and Harold did. I explained the same things I did to my sister back then to both Lillian and Harold and reminded Harold that I couldn’t be a bridesmaid for our sister. I thanked Lillian for asking for me, and because I was trying to make up for not being able to be a bridesmaid, I offered to pay for Lillian’s hair and makeup separately from my gift.” 

Did Harold And Lillian Accept OP’s Offer? 

Conflict between the man and the woman
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Harold and Lillian said that’s not good enough, and OP’s exaggerating her work situation. They want her to change her mind. Both of them are self-employed and control their work schedules. Harold said OP should leave early or not go to work, but if there’s a fire or investigation, that’s not how it works, and she can’t just leave. 

OP further says, “I didn’t think politely declining would be a big deal, but Harold and Lillian flipped out, and other people are getting involved and saying I was wrong. Now I’m not sure because I’m getting so much pushback. Am I a jerk?” 

Not Your Fault, Buddy 

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“Not your fault that they are incapable of understanding that the world does not revolve around them.” Said one. 

“Sorry, people whose house burnt down. I can’t investigate because I have a dress fitting,” Replied another. 

Read: She REFUSED To Pay Her Friend $7000 For Her Share of Trip To Italy. We Think She Did Right.

Bridesmaid Or Free Labor?

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“She doesn’t want a bridesmaid; she wants free labor. Even if you committed to the things she asked, she’d find more. The fact that they are completely unwilling to compromise means they don’t care about having you in the wedding party….they want an extra person to set stuff up and to pay for bachelorette/bridal shower things.” 

Getting Other People Involved Is NOT DONE 

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“Everyone here had a few different choices they could make. Yours don’t make you a jerk. I’d have said no one was, but them getting other people involved crosses the line for me.”

Declining Is WAY BETTER Than Disappointing 

Really?! Shocked and frustrated young lady in formal wear is surprised, standing isolated on the light background, holding copy space
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“You cannot meet the level of commitment needed and know that. This is much better than disappointing the bride continually in the upcoming months. If they’re this unreasonable about you declining, it would likely be a nightmare experience accepting.”

A Previous Wedding Had Already Set The Standards, No?! 

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“You already know you will be unable to do all the free labor things. It was nice of you to offer, but I wouldn’t.  You shouldn’t have to make up for possibly having to do your important job.   

There was already a previous wedding that set the standard.  Your brother should have respected that. I wouldn’t want to be at their wedding party if they are already not taking a No for an answer now. They are already on the edge of being -villas.”

Somebody Needs A Reality Check 

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“Your sister-in-law is acting entitled. You are not in the wrong, and your brother and future wife both need a reality check.”

“Let them have their tantrum now instead of multiple tantrums along the way whenever you can’t make it to one of the appointments.”

Read: She CHOSE To Give More Money To Her Parents Than Her In-Laws. Her MIL Demands MORE For It To Be “Fair”. We Think She Shoudn’t, What’s Your Call?

A First Responder’s Schedule Is Often Misunderstood 

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“Former fire dispatcher, I called you guys (and ladies) out at all hours of the day and night.  While you know your schedule in advance, you can’t just refuse to show up.  Sadly families rarely understand a first responder schedule. I missed a lot of family events due to graveyard shifts and overtime. Thank you for the job you do”

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This article originally appeared on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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