Should You “Fire” a Bridesmaid?

A trio of bridesmaids in pink dresses walking with the bride.

Having a wedding party is a fun part of the planning process, but there are definitely times when drama arises. These instances can prompt frustration, fighting, sadness, anger, or a range of other emotions. This can be disheartening, not to mention time-consuming. Finally, issues that stem between you and a bridesmaid could result in quite a bit of confusion and leave you thinking, “Where do we go from here?” Addressing the issue is tricky and there’s no right or wrong answer. Here are some different routes to take in solving these problems to ensure that you can enjoy your wedding planning process as much as possible while minimizing drama and hurt feelings.

Steps to Take Before “Firing” Your Bridesmaid

Even if there are issues between you and a bridesmaid as you approach your wedding, there are steps you can take before resorting to firing this person from your bridal party. Doing so could seriously damage the friendship, so it could be worth working through these measures first before doing something so drastic.

Get to the Root of the Problem

Be honest with yourself surrounding what the root of the issue is before you take any steps to discuss it with your bridesmaid. Try to understand things from her point of view and think about what is making you feel the way you are towards this person. Is it wedding stress? Is your friend not treating your wedding with the importance you feel she should? Have you grown apart? If you feel as if there is a rift, try spending more time together one-on-one to repair the friendship and see if that makes a difference. Understanding the problem is a big part of solving it, so once you reflect on what’s going on, it’ll make a big difference.

Set Up an In-Person Conversation

Two female friends sitting on the dock of a lake.

The first step to trying to resolve the issue is to set up an in-person conversation. Everyone knows that tone can be misinterpreted over text or even on the phone, and fights via these channels can quickly spiral out of control. Set up a time to get together and talk face-to-face. If you can’t do so in-person due to distance or other barriers, set up a video chat so at least it feels more personal. During this conversation, approach the issue from a neutral standpoint and ask to hear your friend’s side of things. Express that the goal of the conversation is to resolve the issue and move forward in an amicable way and go from there.

Put the Onus on Her

If you feel as though the issue is not getting better, you can put the onus on your bridesmaid as to whether she still feels comfortable being a part of your big day. This puts the ball in her court, exempting you from any blame if you were to “fire” her from the bridal party. However, the caveat to this measure is that if this is the route you take, you should be prepared for and open to her saying she wants to remain a part of the wedding party. Make sure you’re okay with that possibility before you pose the question.

Firing Your Bridesmaid

If you feel as though asking your bridesmaid to step out of this responsibility is the only option, there are effective ways to do this with compassion.

Be Ready to Explain Your Reasons

As silly as it may sound, you may want to rehearse the conversation in which you tell your bridesmaid about this decision before you go through with it. Be prepared to explain the reasons that you’ve come to this decision and be succinct in your explanation.

Treat the Situation with Sensitivity

Two women hugging at a coffee shop.

This is a situation that can, understandably, be upsetting to everyone involved. You’ll want to be respectful in your conversation with this individual and ensure that you don’t say anything that you’ll one day regret. Treat this person with kindness, despite what the two of you have gone through, and try to leave it on a positive note to limit any future animosity between the two of you.

Consider Other Roles for This Person

If this person simply isn’t a good fit as your bridesmaid but you still value the relationship and want to include them in your day, consider asking them to take on a different role for your wedding. For instance, let them know that you don’t think it’s working out for them to be a bridesmaid, but they’re still important to you and you’d like them to be a part of your day in a different capacity. This could perhaps be in the form of the person doing a reading at your wedding ceremony or helping plan your bachelorette party. This gesture could aid in maintaining or repairing the relationship and may be a better solution for everyone involved.

At the end of the day, the important thing is ensuring your wedding planning experience is as positive as can be. If changing your bridal party is a necessity for you, there are ways to go about it that make a tough situation easier.

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