Your wedding day. It's supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. You've met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Most likely, you've been planning for a year or more. You have a perfect vision of how the whole thing will go down. But there's one problem, one hitch in the grand affair that could ruin everything: You have to fire one of your bridesmaids.
Yeah. It's awkward. And you can't exactly hand her a pink slip and go about your business. I mean, you could. If you were a monster. But we're going to assume that you aren't. So how did this even happen, where did it all go so wrong?
When you started planning your wedding, you couldn't imagine doing it without her. She's that friend you've known forever, and while you haven't always seen eye to eye and have gone stretches of time without speaking to each other, you're blissed out on love and you want her to be part of that. Until the actual planning gets under way, that is.
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Then, through a series of misadventures, you realized your mistake. She's impossible to get a hold of, she didn't buy her dress in time, she makes rude remarks about the groom, she is being more of a Bridezilla than you'd ever dream of being. Whatever the reason, the only solution you see? Asking her to bow out. But can you do this without ruining the friendship altogether? Can you guys weather the storm? Using these 5 tips, you totally can.
1. Be Polite
Nine times out of 10, these things can be solved with good manners. If you speak to your friend politely, you nip the problem in the bud. "I'm so sorry, but unfortunately I have to ask you to step down as a bridesmaid." If she asks for an explanation, give her one. But be thoughtful and as polite as possible. Don't do it over email; pick up the phone or, better yet, see her in person. This lets her know that she still has value to you as a friend whether or not she's in the wedding.
2. Give Her an Out
If you can't stomach actually axing her (and you really should), be passive-aggressive. "Man, you seem so stressed lately -- are you sure you still want to be in the wedding? It's really no big deal to me, I just want you to be happy." Give her a chance to quit; she might take you up on it! But be fully prepared for this to bite you in the butt.
3. When in Doubt, Demote
If it's possible, rather than kick her out altogether, tell her that her role in the wedding is changed. Offer her a position manning the guest book or doing a reading in the wedding. Less worry for you, less dress shopping and embarrassment for her.
4. Blame Your Budget
"Thank you so much for agreeing to be my bridesmaid. It means so much to me that you make that commitment. Unfortunately, in the excitement leading up to the day, I got in over my head and I have to scale back the event. I really hope you understand and I would love to see you there as a guest." DONE.
5. Be Totally Honest
This one is also called "salting the earth." We're not always super-honest in situations in an attempt to save people from hurt feelings. But sometimes direct is better. If your bridesmaid is being a demanding diva, a rude jerk, or just totally irresponsible -- tell her! Don't get into a hair-pulling fistfight or anything, but let her know what's behind her canning. It might inspire her to get her act together next time she's asked to participate in a wedding. But don't expect to be invited to hers!
Have you ever had to fire a bridesmaid?
Image via Phil Hawksworth/Flickr