Yes, you can un-bridesmaid someone – but handle it with care

0
8


It’s a very delicate matter (Picture: Getty/metro.co.uk)

Planning a wedding is far from easy, and sometimes that doesn’t exactly bring out the best in people.

It’s easy to get a little further down the line with planning and realise you’ve made a mistake with the people you’ve asked to be bridesmaids.

Anything from making wild planning choices to rubbing the other bridesmaids up the wrong way can contribute to thoughts of un-bridesmaiding someone.

Lisa Forde, who’s the founder of wedding stationery company Tree of Hearts, says: ‘Being a bridesmaid is a huge responsibility, not just on the day itself but in the months leading up to the event, and sometimes mistakes are made and brides-to-be can have a change of heart.

‘I’m here to reassure you that you absolutely can rescind your offer to a bridesmaid if you need to – it’s your day, and you need to have the best bridal party around you.’

That’s why Lisa, who has been in the industry for almost two decades, and counselling directory member Beverley Blackman are both on hand to offer their insight into how you can navigate un-bridesmaiding somebody with care.

Un-bridesmaiding should be a last resort

First, Beverley tells us, you need to have a good long think and a chat with them about what you feel has been going wrong with the whole bridesmaid arrangement, and remind yourself why you asked them in the first place.

She explains: ‘Before you open a conversation, have a think about whether your friend is still the same person as you originally asked, and still loves you and has your interests at heart. Organising a wedding is a stressful thing for all concerned, and it’s possible, when we consider it, that communications may have gone awry, or perhaps your bridesmaid has got a bit carried away and thought a bit too far outside the box.

‘It’s perhaps a good idea to open a conversation about how things are going with your bridesmaid, see where she is up to in terms of the things you have asked her to organise or do, and ask her to outline what plans she has.

‘If these plans are going against what you have asked, it’s okay to remind her gently that you appreciate her efforts (share with her the bits you like – this is important) but that some of her ideas are not quite what you had in mind; could you work together to look at changing them?

‘Rather than starting the conversation with the notion of firing your bridesmaid in mind, it’s better to explore what has been going on both carefully and neutrally and see if there is a chance that you can bring things back into line. Your wedding is important, but so is a long-standing friendship.’

Don’t be too hard on them or yourself (Picture: Getty Images)

Be kind to yourself

This kind of thing isn’t easy, and it won’t be made any easier by putting yourself through the wringer. If you’ve thought carefully about your choice and still think this is the right course of action, you’ve simply got to back yourself.

‘Remember,’ says Lisa, ‘it’s your special day, and you need to do what’s right for you and your partner. So don’t beat yourself up about the decision or let it put any damper on your wedding.’

Try to keep your emotions out of it

Whether you’re sounding things out with them or have decided they’re no longer going to be your bridesmaid, you need to try to keep a level head when you chat to them.

Beverley explains: ‘Conversations like this usually feel tense because they are emotional, especially if your bridesmaid has been a friend for a long time. It’s important that the conversation remains constructive and based on facts. Once too much emotion comes in – and it does tend to, as weddings are an emotive thing which everyone wants to get done perfectly – then the conversation will feel out of control.

‘It’s important to stay cool and explore what’s going on without being accusatory, and it’s important to look for ways in which you can collaborate rather than allow the conversation to become angry or tearful, and hence not constructive. 

‘Try to stay as calm as possible. Remember that this person is your friend; it’s very unlikely that she wants to hurt or upset you on purpose. It’s also likely that both your own emotions, and hers, will be heightened.’

Don’t be too hard on them (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

Be gentle with them

Lisa says that, once you’ve made the choice that they’re not your bridesmaid anymore, you should be firm but delicate at the same time.

‘Maybe you could start off by saying how much your friendship means to you,’ she recommends, ‘yet you want to make sure that everyone at your wedding has the best time possible, your fiancé, and you included, and that’s why you feel the need to do this.

‘You need to give your reasons and be clear so, they are able to understand. It might be an emotional conversation, but try to remain confident in your decision and remember why you have made it.’

It’s likely that this is going to be a bitter pill for them to swallow so, again, hand it to them with care.

‘Gently reiterate what it is that you would like her to do,’ explains Beverley. ‘Explain to her the reasons why this is important to you. Remind her that you don’t want to upset her and that you’re not having a go at her, but put your boundaries in place, and be honest but careful in how you phrase what you want to say.

‘When things go wrong between friends, it’s important to share with the other why you feel as you do, and give them the opportunity to respond with why they acted as they did.

‘Look for ways that you can collaborate or help each other. Look for things that you agree on, and sensitively handle the bits that you don’t agree with – make sure the conversation is balanced, for example: “I really like your idea for the first half of the hen do, but I’m not quite sure about the second half – this sort of thing would make me feel really uncomfortable. How about we look at doing something like XXX instead?”

‘If you take this kind of measured, thoughtful approach, it’s likely that both of you will come back on track as you will be reminded of why you are friends and how you can work together, and there might well be no need for you to fire your bridesmaid after all.’

Give them room to react

This will likely be a bad surprise for them, so you’ll need to give them room to voice this however they can – provided things don’t get nasty, of course.

‘This news will probably come as a shock to your friend,’ says Lisa.

‘Give them the space to react whilst you remain as calm as possible. Once you’ve explained your position, there’s no need to argue or delve into more reasons if you don’t want to. Let them be upset and show their emotion and give them the space they need to do this.’

Don’t feel like you have to abandon the friendship

Yes, this is a very difficult decision you’ve made, and not for nothing. However, think very carefully about how you want to hand your friendship going forward – this doesn’t have to be the end.

‘After you’ve had the difficult conversation and given them some space,’ says Lisa, ‘you should then start to try and save the friendship if you can.

‘Hopefully, your former bridesmaid will understand, be elegant and graceful and still want to be friends. However, you may need to be prepared for the opposite.’

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected]


MORE : Thrifty bride spends less than £4,000 on dream wedding – here’s how she did it


MORE : Wedding ruined after groom raided corner shop when he lost money in crypto scam


MORE : I married my partner after he died







LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here