Firing bridesmaids: It’s a touchy subject (they’re the bride’s closest friends, after all), but sometimes it has to be done. It might need to be done to help a bride maintain her sanity as her wedding day approaches, or it could be due to a change in the bridesmaid’s personal situation. But what happens to a bridesmaid once she’s been given the boot? Does losing your bridesmaid title mean you have to give up your spot on the guest list? We asked our experts to help navigate the aftermath.
Deciding to remove someone from your wedding party is a difficult decision, and can play out one of two ways: It could be a true firing as a result of a fight or disagreement, or it could be a mutually agreed-upon decision with that bridesmaid’s best interest at heart. Depending on how the split happens, there are two ways the former bridesmaid should handle the situation.
After a hostile split
Planning a wedding is hard, and comes with a huge list of responsibilities. Choosing bridesmaids is supposed to help alleviate that pressure, whether it’s extra hands for a DIY project or simply support when things get stressful. But the workings of a friendship don’t go on hold just because one of you is engaged, meaning your friendship could simply run its course while you’re planning the wedding; or a major fight (whether or not it’s caused by your wedding) could lead to an abrupt split. And when you’re not friends anymore, keeping her on as a bridesmaid just doesn’t seem right, right?
If you were a bridesmaid and were fired because you and the bride had some sort of major falling-out, your best bet is to politely remove yourself from the guest list. Let the couple know that you won’t be attending. It may be understood that you won’t be there, but a simple text or email that says: “In light of recent events, I think it would be best if I did not attend your wedding” will confirm that you won’t be there. Don’t force yourself (or the bride!) into an uncomfortable situation by attending the wedding.
A wedding is not the time or place to address any issues the two of you might be having, so whether you feel wronged or are totally pissed, you’ll be better off staying home. If you do want to talk about what happened or try to repair your friendship, do so in a different context. If it’s close to the wedding, that might mean waiting until after she’s tied the knot to talk things over.
After an amicable split
Of course, a fight isn’t the only reason you might lose your bridesmaid role, though an amicable split doesn’t really qualify as being fired. Even if you’re so excited to stand by your friend’s side on her big day, it just might not be the right decision for you—no matter how much you want to be there for her. Whether you’ve got a huge project at work that’s preventing you from giving the role your all, or you’ve had a change in your financial situation that means paying for a dress, the bachelorette party, and all the other expenses just isn’t in the cards, it might make more sense to step down.
Whether you’ve volunteered to relinquish your role or your bride-friend has offered to let you step down because she wants you to be able to focus on you, this friendly break doesn’t come along with the friendship-altering change that a hostile split might have—meaning your invitation to the wedding is still intact. If you can afford the time and money to attend, you definitely should! Sitting in the crowd watching the ceremony is just as supportive as standing up at the altar in a matching dress would be, and you shouldn’t feel like you can’t celebrate with your BFF just because you’ve stepped down from your VIP role.