Pep Talk Tuesday {Removing Someone from your Wedding Party}

I think I may be speaking from experience, but planning a wedding can certainly bring out the best and worst in people. Get ready for this rather shattering revelation too people; planning your big day can make you wanna kick someones butt all the way out of your bridal party brigade. For the sake of making this post too complicated to follow, below I've referenced bridesmaids as opposed to groomsmen, however I want to make it clear that I think making adjustments to your wedding day team is often a necessary and totally acceptable thing to do when you're it comes to the utmost happiness on your wedding day (without going all bridezilla on everyone, of course). Here are a few of my painless tips for carefully asking someone to step down from their bridal duties and obligations. P.S. I am seriously loving these oversized bouquets and this photo snapped by Dave Getzschman of Ben Chrisman Photography.


{Soul Search} Try to pin point the reason you're removing the person (or wanting to remove them) in the first place. If it's your childhood best friend who couldn't make it to your sixth dress fitting because she was studying for her bar exam and you swear you wont ever.forgive.her.no.matter.what. then perhaps you need to reassess your feelings and take a step back to see how sensitive - and ridiculous - you're being. Sure, it's your wedding day and your feelings matter, but everyone else has a life of their own too. On the other hand, if the person in question is someone you've included in your party simply because you felt pressured or obligated to do so and now that the wedding is close you're realizing your mistake, then it's probably a safe choice to proceed with getting her the heck out. Make sure your reasoning behind your actions is somewhat justified so that come six months after the wedding you don't feel foolish or regretful but instead confident and satisfied with your well-thought out decision. A classy bride to be in always in style.

{Compromise} Sometimes completely revoking someone of their bridal duties, may be a recipe for disaster and thus you're forced to really get creative and make the best of the situation. Be willing to make a compromise with whoever it is that is not accepting of your decision to remove said person, whether it be said person herself, said person's brother, said person's mother (who could very well be your own Mom too), or the other members of your bridal party. There are numerous clever ways to include people in your wedding celebration without officially calling them a bridesmaid or having them walk down the aisle before you too, from ceremony readings, usher duties, a toast or speech and the list goes on. You may even get lucky and lift a huge weight off said person's shoulders by suggesting an alternative role. The good news? All this compromising is stellar practice for your approaching marriage. Score.

{Trust Your Gut} I cannot stress this little three word statement enough. It something does not feel right at any point throughout your engagement, chances are, it's not. The same holds true for your wedding party. If deep down inside your soon-to-be-married heart you feel as if your high school bestie really isn't meant to be your maid of honour but instead your new work supervisor who you haven't even know for a year better fits the job, then act on instinct. Just because your third cousin asked you to be a part of her big day doesn't mean in any way that your suppose to return the favour. If you'd rather have your best guy friend stand up beside you or instead you'd like to forgo the entire bridal party all together and fly solo with your groom, well these are all completely reasonable possibilities. No one except you, knows what you want and understands what will make you feel only positive and fulfilled feelings on your day as a bride. Close your eyes and picture yourself on your wedding day surrounded by only those who support you, love you and respect you as a person and a friend. And the people that come to mind are the ones that'll make the cut.

How about you? Did anyone have the tough task of removing a specific someone from your wedding party?

26 Lovely Comments:

jacin {lovely little details} said...

those dahlias distracted me from the rest of the post. love that picture!

and yes, i agree, although hard to do, if it means making your day seamless and maintaining your happiness, sometimes it's what needs to be done!

Michaela said...

LOVE this advice. Never heard any commentary on this before. Hopefully I won't have to remove someone from my wedding party, but if I do, I know how without going bridezilla (: Love you!! xoxo

Ashlie said...

Oh my did this bring me back to my wedding woes. I wanted to can my maid of honor the entire 8 months it took to plan my wedding, but I just could not do it. She ended up being, on the day of, (better late than never?) one of the most helpful people there. Choosing a solid bridal party is definitely something to really take into consideration. Great post!

- - Little Miss Martha - - said...

I did not...
Although I could have...and maybe should have because my best friend (not anymore) dropped out of my wedding 2 weeks before. :( I know, tear right?
My other bridesmaids carried me through that two week "trying not to cry at the drop of a pin" time and I wouldn't have had it any other way!

HiLLjO said...

This would be hard to tackle. Luckily to keep the drama down and the selection concrete, we only have 3 attendants to each of us and mine are 2 family members and a 15-year long friend.
I can't imagine having to do that! It'd be so hard!

savoringsarah.com said...

Ahhh!If anything, I have had the opposite problem-- trying to LIMIT the number of people I wanted to stand in the wedding. I capped it at 8, but I easily have another 4 long time GOOD friends that I wish I could honor as bridal party members..guess i am going to have to get creative and involve them some other way!

April of A. Liz Adventures said...

Super post Rhi. I (luckily) haven't had to go thru this personally, but one of my best friends did decide to ask a bridesmaid to please not be a part of her wedding day just this past December. It's a long story, but the girl was just bringing unmerited drama to my friend's wedding and created a very dramatic situation when she threw a fit right before my friend's engagement party and left town before the party even started. The entire night my friend was trying not to think about that situation and then got an email afterwards that was still bashing her. Can you believe it? So she's not part of the day anymore and she ended up apologizing for the way she handled it all and agreeing that it was right for her to not be a part of the day anymore. Crazy right?

Anonymous said...

I love you for this post. I wish I read it within the last month when I felt I had to make this decision but chicken'd out (and now it's too late) - - or even 4 months ago when I didn't "trust (my) gut" and asked based on emotions and the feeling of obligation. At this stage, WAY more difficult to make the cut once you've already asked. So much drama in weddings!

Koru Kate said...

I appreciate the trust your gut part best! I asked someone for the wrong reasons, because I was in her bridal party. Then her fiance canceled her wedding. She lashed out at me over the bridesmaid dress & although I never let her go & she never dropped out, it was an unspoken agreement that she was no longer in my bridal party. On my wedding day, my bridal party was absolutely perfect & I knew things worked out for the best. Still, I wish I had never asked her & saved the drama!!

Holly said...

I'm not engaged, nor have I ever been (yet!) but it would be interesting to get your take on the opposite of this topic... What if you want to be removed from the wedding party? There was one wedding in particular that I was in and the bride went crazy (& still is). I was wondering what your thoughts would be on someone in the bridal party wanting to remove themselves... maybe another post idea ;)

Anonymous said...

Rhiannon....
I had a bridesmaid that I didn't want to feel left out and I had reservations from the beginning, but did so anyways. Although at times she was helpful, the amount of time I spent stroking her ego and making her feel important totally negated the joy that I had in planning. It made every decision or task feel like they were too much to ask for help, and ultimately, it bent our friendship to a point, where we have had to take time apart.
This is well founded advice that is appropriate for every bride to have in the back of their mind.
Bronwyn

Megan said...

Rhi Rhi (thats my nickname for you) i love this post. i was just talking to a girl about this on twitter the other day. I had the same problem with an old friend of mine..i caved after she got dramatic and let her still be a part of it.

note "old friend of mine"

Marcie said...

Oh my, luckily I didn't have to do this.

xo Marcie

Miss K said...

Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurl. If you only KNEW!! My wedding is 39 days away and I HAD to ask all 3(!) of my fiance's sisters to be in it. This was one of those battles that even if I "won" I'd really be losing.

Well one sister has been a nightmare. In fact, I try not to even speak with her anymore. I wanted to ask her to step down and have threatened my fiance to make sure she knows she needs to step up and shut up or step the hell down. However, since it's his sister and someone I'll see forever and not someone I can just cut out, I wasn't able to get all bridezilla on her and will just grin and bear it while ignoring her.

My advice to all brides, is to NEVER ask any sister-in-laws to be unless they were YOUR friends to begin with. Family makes small dramas too sticky.

Ally said...

I have been stalking this blog for a while now and I finally feel compelled to say, THANK YOU. I was recently married, and unfortunately, very unfortunately, had to swap out a bridesmaid. I felt terrible about it, mostly because of all the things I read about how horrible it is to un-ask someone and how it reflects on your manners. Immediately after the cut, I actually started enjoying my wedding planning/festivities and I have not looked back since.

It is so refreshing to read an inspiring solution to a very personal problem, rather than a broad, negative, and accusatory one!

Lace.and.Likes. said...

ughhh i had to do this and it was the worst!!
thanks for posting about this lady
i'm sure it will be helpful!

Nikki said...

That would be a tough choice. With long engagements I always suggest not jumping the gun and asking your bridal party right off the bat. Start your planning and when you have a general idea start asking. That worked for me anyway. But I'm also a control freak ;)

Dangermouse said...

I'm due to get married later this year and although I didn't have much trouble choosing my four bridesmaids, they're all currently living overseas, and will be flying back to New Zealand right before the wedding. So I'm getting very little help from bridesmaids, which I guess I always knew was going to happen. I feel terrible unloading all my wedding plans and ideas on non-BM friends, so I've kept a lot of my plans to myself and my fiance, and I am doing a lot of the work myself.

Ultimately though, I'll be glad to have my best friends and sisters up there at the altar with me. I miss them all so much and I know they would have been here helping me plan if they could.

And I guess the distance has saved us from having any fall-outs along the way!!

Lindsay said...

We had some serious bridesmaid drama for the wedding I was in. One of the girls dropped out, then the bride invited her in. Definitely made me think about choosing wisely when it is my turn :)

Great post!

Jess said...

Weddings can be such disasters and make people do crazy things! I never even appointed a maid of honor, however all my friends decided to appoint themselves which caused MAJOR drama. I also had a friend fire ALL her bridesmaids because they didn't like the bridesmaid dress... yikes! Sometimes you really find out who your true friends are that way!

Kristin said...

Whew! That would be a tough one. Solid advice lady!

la petite coquine said...

This is why I just adore you-you're not afraid to talk about the real stuff, and there's always a pretty picture to go along with!

I recently talked to a young woman who felt obligated to include a college bud in her bridal party-during a drunken evening they promised they'd be bridesmaids at each others' weddings. I'm just glad I was able to steer her clear of what would be a bad situation from the get-go!

living well said...

Ahhh this is a problem I'm dealing with right now and never expected it! And it's my MOH. :( She is mean to my other bridesmaids and basically doesn't want to help at all. I've tried talking to her, but to no avail. I don't think I can remove her from my wedding party without causing World War 3 (plus she's my childhood best friend and I wanted her there for a reason!), but I definitely need to get creative and figure out a way to not ruin our friendship...

Anonymous said...

This is such a great post, as I'm having this dilemma right now. With all of the excitement of being engaged, I quickly asked all of my bridesmaids, and am now regretting one. I asked her because as another poster mentioned, years ago in high school during a drunken night we promised each other we would be each others bridesmaids. We now both live in different cities, and talk via text every few months. She's no longer a big part of my life, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to unask her nicely and not come off as the bad person.

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

I just love how you discuss all sorts of topics and are realistic about it too...just wonderful! I don't foresee my having to do that with my bridal party, all have been so positive and helpful saying that anything I want they are happy with and offering to help at every turn! So, I can only imagine how hard it would be if you had to...but this post I am sure would be very helpful!

Liesl :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish I would have read this a couple weeks ago. I just had to do that with one of my bridesmaids and I'm still hearing about it! I really should have trusted my gut (which would have been not to ask her at all to be a bridesmaid) but she is my cousin and we used to be really close and we always told each other we'd be bridesmaids and all that. But she chose her guy over our friendship, which girls do, I know... (we haven't been close in years!) There is a lot to the whole story, but my main reasoning for "firing" her was this: I've been engaged for 3 months, I've had my wedding date set since the day after, she just got engaged 3 weeks ago and plans her wedding for the week before mine...then she tells another one of my bridesmaids that she could care less about my wedding and being a bridesmaid is just buying a dress (like I said, that wasn't the only reason, that was just the deal breaker...) Thanks for this advice though, it makes me feel better about my decision :)