Being a Bridesmaid Sober

Being asked to be a bridesmaid in your friend’s wedding is a huge honor, especially when you are in recovery from a substance use disorder. Your friend asking you to be a bridesmaid shows that any trust issues from your active addiction are on the mend and that your friend views you as a responsible and trustworthy person who she feels close to again. However, being a bridesmaid in the wedding of a person who isn’t in recovery can come with its own set of challenges. Typically, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and weddings all involve alcohol to some degree. If you are in recovery from a substance use disorder, it’s important to create a plan for how you will navigate these situations while maintaining your sobriety. Below are some suggestions:

Discuss your Limits with the Bride

Let the bride know the situations you are and aren’t comfortable in. If the plan for the bachelorette party is dinner at a restaurant and then going out to bars, maybe you communicate that you’ll come to dinner but will leave when they start bar hopping. Whatever your limits are, make sure you discuss them with the bride as soon as possible so that she has plenty of notice. Chances are, since you’re presumably close, that she will completely understand.

Have Someone Hold you Accountable

Ask someone who is responsible and trustworthy to help hold you accountable to staying sober at the bachelorette party, bridal shower, and wedding. This person could be another bridesmaid or close friend of the bride, depending on the event. If there isn’t anyone you feel will do a good job of holding you accountable, ask the bride if you can bring someone from your sober support system to the events. Create self-accountability by volunteering to be designated driver and ask the group to hold you to this.

Make an Escape Plan

Have a way of getting yourself out of the situation if you’re feeling really triggered. For some, that may mean having your car so that you can drive yourself home if need be. For others, that could mean having a friend who can pick you up on call in the event you start feeling uncomfortable. Creating a back-up plan doesn’t mean you’re prone to failure, it means you’re committed to your recovery regardless of the situation.

Being a bridesmaid in your friend’s wedding is meant to be a happy experience. If you still worry that it could jeopardize your recovery, consider talking with a counselor to create a more in depth plan of how to navigate the situation. Call 610-644-6464 to begin the process of getting help today.

Article Written by Shaylyn Forte, LPC, CAADC