5 Reasons Bridesmaids Drop Out (And What to Do If It Happens To You)

You were super excited about asking your friend to be a part of your wedding, but now she just dropped a huge bombshell: She may have to drop out of bridesmaid duty. While your first reaction might be to scream, cry or both, take a deep breath. Sometimes life happens (but sometimes her excuse is a little far fetched…). This actually is a problem for a lot of brides, and there are polite ways to deal with it (and sometimes there are a few ways you can ease her worries and keep her in your bridal party).

1. She Can’t Afford It 

We don’t need to tell you that wedding costs can add up fast. Between buying her dress, planning your bachelorette, and other bridesmaid duties, she sees her bank account plummeting.

What to do: If you really want her to be a bridesmaid, see if there’s any way you could help her financially. Is there a cheaper dress you can choose? Is there room in your budget to cover part of her expenses? If not, work with her to figure out some cost-free ways for her to be a part of your wedding, like making her the guest book greeter.

2. She Can’t Make It To The Wedding Day

Maybe she’ll be eight months pregnant or maybe her job is sending her on a mandatory business trip, but either way she won’t be standing next to you when you say “I do.”

What to do: Just because she can’t be there on your wedding day doesn’t mean she can’t be a part of this moment in your life. Find ways to incorporate her into wedding prep, like making her you go-to confidant when it comes to wedding venting.

3. She Doesn’t Like The Dress

When she accepted your bridesmaid proposal, there was definitely a possibility that she would hate the dresses you picked out. It’s always hard when someone questions your taste, but not liking a dress is no reason for her to want to stay home on your wedding day.

What to do: Sit her down and tell her that she’ll just be wearing it for 12 hours at most. Make sure you say that even if she doesn’t love the dress, you do and that you’d be willing to wear a paper bag on her wedding day if it made her happy (also mention that you won’t have a problem with her untagging herself from the Facebook pics after if she really doesn’t love how she looks in it).

4. She Can’t Handle The Responsibility Right Now

She just got a promotion and her new gig is ten times the workload, she needs to work on her rocky relationship or she’s having some health issues that will keep her from participating.

What to do:  If you were having a problem that kept you from being in a friend’s wedding, you would want her to understand right? Trust your friend. See if there is anything you can do for her to help her right now. She’s probably really sad that she can’t be in your wedding, and ignoring her or getting mad would make her feel ten times worse.

5. Her Ex Will Be At The Wedding

Some people just don’t know if they can handle being in the same room as their ex, and your bridesmaid is one of them.

What to do: Yeah, things might be awkward, but remind her that she’s running into her ex wearing a nice dress and her hair and makeup will look amazing. It’s not like he saw her picking up more chips at the store in sweatpants for a Netflix marathon. 

 

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  • Anony
    03/24/14 at 02:26

    Um, if you value someone enough to ask them to be your bridesmaid, maybe not inviting the ex is the appropriate thing to do?I don’t care how amazing I look, if you put me in the same room with my ex-husband, there is not enough make up in the world to contain how angry and hurt he made me.

  • Halli
    03/26/14 at 02:41

    It’s not always you inviting them; the ex could be a good friend of your fiance. Demanding that your fiance not invite their good friend is not really acceptable. I would hope that you would be able to control yourself and your own emotions for a few hours for a good friend despite how horrible an ex may have been to you.

  • 03/24/14 at 02:30

    I have not one but possibly 2 bridesmaids dropping out of my wedding. One has some health issues of her own to deal with and will be recovering from surgery at the time of the wedding. And another is dealing with her moms health issues and is acting as her mom’s primary caretaker so she may not be able to make the trip. I’m sad they won’t be a part of my day but I realize it’s not the end of the world. I have my future sister in law standing in for the one who’s definitely out due to surgery and for the other one I’ll just wait and see what happens. If she can’t make it it won’t be the end of the world. One lucky girl just might have two groomsmen escorting her.

  • Fran
    11/20/14 at 08:33

    I have lost two of my four in my bridal party. After driving my fiancé crazy to make sure he had 4 guys to match my 4 girls. Now we are uneven bc I don’t want to choose 2 more and have them think it was just cause I lost the other 2. So walking out of the church it’ll be 2 guys w one girl.
    It’ll work out. Just still hurts the girls backed out especially since one is my cousin and one was supposedly my best friend.
    Hope you’re day rocks! And your friends feel better!

  • MLR
    03/24/14 at 11:00

    On the DO NOT! list…knees make a horrible focal point. Look at all the pretty smiles and graceful collar bones being chopped in half!

  • 09/11/14 at 01:38

    Mismatched bridesmaids dresses, like the super cute lineup pictured, are a great way to help keep your ladies’ costs down. It lets them find a dress within their own budget and even allows them to explore some creative options, like bridal consignment boutiques. Not to mention each gal finds a dress she loves and she can’t blame you if she never wears it again! For consignment bridesmaids and wedding dresses in Knoxville, TN, check out Bootleg Betty – http://www.shopbootlegbetty.com/

  • Kathryn Webb
    10/18/14 at 11:57

    Whoa TK, you need to fire a bunch of your writers or at least make them participate in the forums and read some etiquette books before writing this bullshit.

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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