When you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, you're giving her a great compliment: She's in your closest circle, one of the people you most want by your side on this important day.
But it's also a burden, as so many brides are aware. There can be extra expenses -- the dress, for sure. And bridesmaids often feel a greater obligation to contribute to shower-hosting costs and effort, and they may feel they need to travel for an extra day for the rehearsal.
I often encourage brides to be as upfront as possible about costs, and to ask their friends to think about it before saying yes. I remember once being asked to be in a wedding, along with my fiance, and thinking it was odd -- I wasn't that close to the bride nor was he with the groom. But when I suggested that we just say no, he was horrified.
Can someone turn down the honor? How would you feel if a friend said no? What excuse would you need?