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The MBA Bride | August 18, 2017

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How to fire a bridesmaid

The Fired Bridesmaid

Firing a bridesmaid from your bridal party is not an easy thing to do. You may have plenty of reasons to un-invite a bridesmaid: she’s a slacker, she’s just plain evil, or you’re not as close as you used to be. To avoid this problem up front, every bride-to-be should think through who should be in the bridal party.

But, we are human and we do make mistakes. In the excitement of getting engaged, brides are likely to get overexcited and ask friends to be in the bridal party without thinking it through. Good etiquette says that once a bridesmaid always a bridesmaid. But the reality of it is if the bride is going crazy over one woman’s bad behavior, she has every right to protect her bridal sanity. Firing a bridesmaid should be a last resort to other alternatives.

If you are a bride who is being driven crazy by an unruly bridesmaid, know that there are extreme risks. Brides taking on this extremely delicate and awkward task should be business-savvy and very professional about the entire exchange. Firing a bridesmaid is just like firing an employee from a business setting. So here are four things to do:

  1. Tell her straight. Both you and your maid deserve the truth. Even if you try to tell her the news gently, make sure your key points get across. Tell her why you’ve had concerns, what she does and how it makes you feel, and what you think is best for you. Be kind and but resolute and firm.
  2. Keep your cool. Probability says she’s going to flip her sh*t. If so, remember to keep your cool. She may make some personal attacks, accuse you of things that are completely irrelevant and unnecessary, and yell. You, on the other hand, should stay calm, focused, and in control. If she starts to overreact, you can say, “I can see this is making you upset. I’d like to talk about this with you, but only when you’re calm. Do you think you can calm down or should we talk at another time?”
  3. Make it private. Avoid the drama and keep the firing a private matter. Don’t be around other people, do it in a public place (unless you require the safety of strangers in public because she is that much of a psycho), and definitely DEFINITELY don’t do it in front of the bridesmaids. Give her the courtesy and kindness that you would want to receive in this sticky situation. And make sure you talk face to face or on the phone. Firing via text message is as bad as breaking up with someone via a text – just don’t do it.
  4. Tell her how you see the future. A big reason why these conversations go awry is because both the bride and the bridesmaid feel like the friendship could be ruined. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Envision what your relationship will be to the bridesmaid in the future and tell her what you see; she may feel more inclined to share your thoughts. Tell her what success looks like and try to get her to agree.

It’s crucial for brides-to-be to carefully think about who to ask to be in the bridal party. But in the event we have to fire an unruly maid, the above four advice points should help every business-savvy bride.

Have you had to fire a bridesmaid? Share your experience in the comments below.

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