How do I back out of wedding party duties?

So here is my dilemma. I got asked by one of my friends to be her personal attendant in her wedding which is taking place at the beginning of May. I, of course, accepted. Well, come to find out, I had it in my head that I was supposed to graduate from college the first weekend in May. Recently one of my family members asked for the exact date and time of my graduation because my WHOLE family is wanting to attend to watch me get my diploma. Well, uh-oh, when I looked up the time and date I realized that my graduation is the EXACT same day as my friend’s wedding. If I went to school close to home it wouldn’t be any big deal, but my school is six hours away from where she is getting married and there is no way I would be able to do both.

Now, here is a little tidbit about my friend. She is one of those friends that only comes around when she really needs to vent to me about something terrible going on in her life or when things are going REALLY well in her life. In fact, she once went six months without returning my calls. We used to be really close and over the past few years we have really lost touch and don’t really talk much anymore. So, as you can probably figure out, it is a little more important to me to go to my graduation, especially when my whole family is planning on attending and I believe I am going to be graduating with honors for good grades. (And my parents would be pretty angry if I didn’t walk at my graduation!) Now the question is, how do I tell my friend?

I just looked up the duties of a personal attendant, since I’ve never heard of such a thing in my life, and I think you should be jumping up and down with glee that you got out of it. It sounds like the worst job EVER, and exactly like the kind of thing someone who secretly hates you would want you to do. It’s like, “I don’t want you to actually be a bridesmaid, so I’m going to throw you a bone with this ridiculous bullshit.”

Some people hate being a bridesmaid, but I totally love it. It’s fun. Being a personal attendant sounds shitty.

“Help the bride transport her attire.” Well, that’s just asking for trouble. Since I didn’t even make it to my own wedding without trudging through what could only have been a large-scale ocean-liner-crash sort of oil spill, I don’t think touching anyone else’s wedding dress, EVER, is a good idea. That’s begging to get blamed for something.

“Holding a touch-up emergency bag for the bride.” I ask you, if you’re holding that bag all night, how are you going to hold your champagne glass, cigar, and the hand of the groom’s second cousin from Finland? You can’t. Something’s going to have to go, and I think it’ll have to be the stupid touch-up emergency bag.

“Fielding messages for the bride at home and the ceremony site so she isn’t interrupted for every little thing.” Yeah, don’t do that. It’s just going to make everyone mad at you, and also, that means you’re going to be interrupted for every little thing, and who wants to spend their day like that?

Call her up (no text, email, or voicemail) and say: “Oh, Judy, I was so honored and touched that you wanted me to be your personal attendant, but unfortunately that’s the same day as my graduation. I’m such a ditz; I thought they were two different weekends. I’m sorry I can’t do it, but thank you so much for thinking of me. I know you’ll have a wonderful day and be a beautiful bride.” Judy will probably have a hissy fit, but who cares…you’ll be drinking champagne and dancing the night away with your friends and family to celebrate the amazing thing YOU accomplished, not spending the night as Judy’s errand girl.

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