Wedding Party Q & A: How Do I dismiss a bridesmaid or other attendant

Dismissing a bridesmaid or other attendant: written by Julia Burgess Julia Burgess Birmingham, AL

A big part of your wedding day is the friends that help you through the planning – the wedding party. These special friends, sisters, or relatives that you chose should be more than willing to help you but excited for you also. In all reality, you maid of honor and bridesmaids are suppose to help and support you, not cause you grief.  

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Your maid of honor has many duties and responsibilities that pertain to her title and role in the wedding. So, also, do your bridesmaids but their lists are not as lengthy. The bride has an established relationship with the people she chose for her bridal party, that is why they got the special part! Sometimes this special role is exactly what the bridesmaid(s) or maid of honor does not want, but might accept anyhow. Let me explain first hand. Almost every bride will have trouble with one or more of their attendants. 

When I first got engaged I was very excited to let my friends and soon-to-be attendants know about the big news. Well, to my dismay all my girls were excited and gladly accepted my invitation to be a bridesmaid in my wedding, except the one that I wanted for my maid of honor. I let her attitude slide and still asked her to be my maid of honor anyhow. She accepted and that is where it went down hill. 

In this circumstance, I could not go about the just way to demote/dismiss my maid of honor. One would think that you would need to sit her down and tell her what the problem is. Well, if this is your first though then you are right. But what if your maid of honor does not return her voice mail, emails, you never see her [because she is out of town], or her phone line is always busy? The number one thing to do in this situation is write her a snail mail letter. I do admit that this is not the best way, nor did I like doing it, but it was the only alternative. She then finally emailed me a nasty little email. I do not understand why, but that is the problem with email or letters, you cannot see the author’s emotion. At this time, I realized that she really did not want to help me out because she was full of excuses and our schedules conflicted, so I did what I thought was the best thing to do. Of course, at the time it was nerve racking, but I do not regret asking her to step down. I actually asked my friend, who took on more responsibility in the beginning and showed more enthusiasm, to move up. 

The second way to go about dismissing a bridesmaid is the common sense approach that I mentioned above: sit her down and talk with her face to face. Tell her what is on your mind, and brace yourself. She might understand or she might take it personally. A true friend will understand why you are doing what you are doing. I suggest that you first ask her if there is anything on her mind that might be hindering her from her duties as a bridesmaid or maid of honor. Then secondly, give her a “way out”. What I mean by that is simply say something like, “[I understand a lot has been going on in your life now but] if you needed to step down as my bridesmaid/maid of honor then I will completely understand, and I would not be mad at you for your decision.” Then if this approach fails, like in my circumstance, then this is where the hard part comes in, actually telling her straight out. Again, this is a good time to brace your self. Making a big decision like this takes some time and planning. Also, it makes your life a whole lot easier. Just make sure that you have a back-up bridesmaid if you want to keep your attendants even



Choosing Your Bridal Party Q & A: What you need to know

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The following information is articles, questions, and answers that have been submitted by ForeverWed readers.  Should these not answer your questions. Feel free to ask an expert

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Getting to know one another
Choosing your bridal party
Can my bridesmaids wear black?
Dismissing a Bridesmaid or other attendant
Do we send invitations to the people in our wedding party?
Do you have a suggestion of a fun, inexpensive way to ask them to be in my
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