Is it Ever Acceptable to Drop a Bridesmaid?

What to do when a bridesmaid is behaving badly.

Is it Ever Acceptable to Drop a Bridesmaid?

Photo: KingenSmith

asking a bridesmaid to step down

Do you feel like you made the wrong choice when selecting your bridesmaids? It’s unfortunate, but it happens all the time. If you’re stressing over your bridal party and thinking you need to drop someone, take some time to really think it over. Firing someone from being a bridesmaid tends to be a friendship-ending event. At the very least, she will probably be too hurt to attend the wedding, no matter how gently you let her down.

So first, examine why you want to lose her as a bridesmaid. Is it only because you feel she isn’t helping enough with planning the wedding or going to your pre-nuptial events? Well, that simply isn’t a good enough reason. Take a deep breath and remember that being a bridesmaid is an honor, not a job. Of course it’s wonderful for your bridesmaids to help out, but it’s not required. You may not know about something she is dealing with in her personal life.

Now, perhaps the bridesmaid in question is dragging her feet when it comes to ordering the dress, or providing you with measurements for you to do so for her. Before kicking her out of the bridal party, make sure she fully understands how long it takes for dresses to arrive and get altered. A first-time 'maid might not realize how different wedding attire shopping is to regular clothing shopping. If that’s not the problem, have a considerate heart-to-heart. It might be a financial issue, or she could be self-conscious about her body in the dress.

If you and your bridesmaid have been growing apart, or she hasn’t been in contact with you lately, talk to her before demoting her. She might truly be busy, or perhaps even thinks you’re too swamped with the wedding to hear what’s going on in her life. Maybe she still cares about you, but is sad because she had a recent breakup or has been waiting longer to get engaged than you did and is embarrassed by her jealousy. Just as with your future spouse, communication is key. If you think it would be best for her to not be in the bridal party anymore, give her an out first, and be sure to explain that you completely understand if she needs to step back.

On the other hand, if the bridesmaid in question has committed a betrayal so terrible that you don’t even want her in your life anymore, then it is probably the right decision to remove her from your bridal party. Just keep in mind that she will probably be telling people her side of the story, which may lead to people to thinking of you poorly, however unfair this may be.

If you have not selected your bridal party yet, do your best to avoid being put in this position. Think extremely carefully about selecting your bridesmaids. If you know your beloved friend is flaky or that your cousin always brings the drama, it's easier to explain not picking them than to explain kicking them out entirely.

Opening photo by KingenSmith