Should I Fire My Bridesmaid?

Whether she’s going ghost, behaving badly, or just not stepping up to the plate, you may start to wonder – should I fire my bridesmaid?

Yes, you know (and understand!) the saying “no one will care about your wedding more than you do.” It makes sense – it is YOUR day, after all.

With that said, you’ll want a bridal party made up of people who do truly care about you and your wedding day. The friends and family who’s opinions and insight you trust. And also – let’s be real –  the ones who will be down for an epic bachelorette to Cabo.

But many brides may find themselves somewhat disappointed in their bridesmaids. Maybe it’s the friend who is completely silent in the group chat, or the cousin that can’t make the bachelorette trip (or the bridal shower or the rehearsal dinner), or the future sister-in-law that hates the bridesmaid dresses you’ve chosen along with every other wedding-related decision you’ve made. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to be frustrated, fed up, or hurt by one of your bridesmaid’s actions.

Does that mean you should consider downsizing your bridal party? Is “should I fire my bridesmaid” a valid question to ask yourself when a member of your bride tribe causes nothing but problems?

Bridesmaids surrounding a bride

Image courtesy of Anecdote Photography

Practicing empathy

It’s really, really easy to take this kind of stuff personally – especially if you were in their bridal party, and worked hard to make things special. But most of the time, a bridesmaid’s misbehavior has very little to do with you. 

Take a moment to consider her current circumstances. Is she quiet in the group chat because she’s got a super demanding job and not much time to text? Is she missing trips and events because she’s a new mom with an infant at home? And while there’s never any excuse for outwardly criticizing all of your decisions, is she hating on your plans because she’s dealing with some jealousy? Or possibly because she just lost her job, and is struggling to afford everything?

It’s important to step outside of yourself and really think about anything your bridesmaid may be going through. That will help you better communicate with her when you discuss your expectations.

Image courtesy of The Glenmar Studio

Have a conversation

We get it – you wish she’d just change her behavior without having an awkward talk. But it’s possible that she may not even be aware of your feelings (oh, hi there bridechilla). As is the case with any conflict in your life, communication is vitally important.

Set aside some time to speak with your bridesmaid. We recommend getting together in person, but if need be, a phone call will do (skip the texting this time). Start out by asking her simply how she’s doing. She may come clean to you about certain struggles affecting her bridesmaid duties – if that happens, you can take it from there. Be sure to express sympathy and understanding, which shouldn’t be too hard – you love her! Depending on how your conversation goes, you can discuss how to move forward in a way that best serves you both.

If she’s not upfront about anything in particular, you’ll need to bring up your concerns. Avoid any critical or aggressive language, and keep your vocabulary as positive (or at least neutral) as possible. So for example, instead of saying “you’ve gone completely ghost in the group chat,” say “I notice you haven’t been very active in the group conversations, is something going on?” Replace “it’s rude that you didn’t come to my bridal shower or bachelorette” with “I really missed having you at my wedding events.” From there, she may present some reasons for her actions (or lack thereof) and the two of you can come to an agreement on future responsibilities. 

Alternatively, you may find that she gets a bit defensive. If that happens, remember to keep things calm and neutral on your end. And remind her that you love her and care about her wellbeing!

Image courtesy of Studio 27 Photography

Should you fire your bridesmaid?

A conversation may reveal that your bridesmaid is dealing with some weighty issues. If so, you can start by brainstorming options – maybe she sits out of the bachelorette, or chooses a cheaper dress, or only responds to texts after 6:00pm. Whatever it may be, taking some of the expectations away may help her be fully present for the bigger picture.  

If finding a compromise isn’t really an option, it may be better for you both if she stepped down from the bridal party. And that’s okay! It’s better to clear the air, be open and honest, and make a mutually beneficial decision before animosity and misunderstanding starts to breed. 

Of course, this is all in a perfect world – and if there’s anything we know for sure, it’s that the world isn’t perfect. Unfortunately, sometimes a friend or loved one will hurt us so severely that it impacts the relationship for good. While this is an extreme circumstance, it’s better to “fire” the bridesmaid before the big day than to bury any resentment, affecting what should be one of the most exciting times in your life.

Asking someone to step down from your bridal party is never easy, and usually it’s a last resort. But in some instances, it can be the best decision – for BOTH of you.