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Let’s get real for a minute. Weddings can bring out the worst in people for whatever reason. People that were once your best friends, now won’t answer your phone calls. You get in totally irrational fights with your fiancé or family members. It’s never easy. One of the most common relationships to go south during planning is the relationship you have with your bridesmaids.

Everyone starts out with good intentions but occasionally the financial and time commitment required with being in a wedding can cause some to just crack. When that happens, the whole experience can be less than enjoyable for both you and your friend causing you to want to remove them from your wedding party. So how do you go about asking this person to not be in the wedding anymore?

Chances are, if he or she is unhappy, being asked to no longer be in the wedding will come as a welcome surprise. But none the less, you should approached the situation with caution and understanding. Here’s the best way to handle it that gives you the greatest odds of preserving the friendship.

Sit down in person (or phone if you don’t live near each other). Start with explaining how his or her behavior is making you feel. Then address the specific concerns that you feel the person has (cost, time commitment, general “snooty-ness”, etc.). Explain that you know the “______” is a lot for them to handle and that you understand. Coming from a place of understanding the other person versus accusing them of doing or being X, Y or Z will lead to a much better conversation to follow.

Give him or her the option. If the issue resolves primarily around cost or time commitment, give the person options that might meet their needs. For example, if you’re able to, try to cover some of the cost on his or her behalf or reassure him or her that he or she doesn’t have to be present at every little event. If the person feels that this may relieve some of the burden and they would like to continue being in the wedding with a more positive attitude then allow them to. If this person is just being an overall snoot, don’t give the option. Inform him or her that his or her attitude is putting a damper on your experience and that you feel it best he or she just attend the wedding as a guest. It’s also important to note that, like everything, asking someone to be in your wedding is an expectations game. If you have certain expectations for their involvement, state them. Don’t assume they know what you want or need from them.

Be prepared for the relationship to go south. Even if this person is feeling the pressure of being in the wedding, being asked to leave the bridal party can put a sour taste in his or her mouth. Be prepared for your friendship to take a hit. If the person in question is a member of your family, consider talking to other family members to gauge his or her reaction before having the conversation. Ultimately you have to be happy. However you also have to consider if you’re willing to loose this relationship before proceeding.

Have you ever had to ask a member of your wedding party to excuse themselves? How did it go?

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