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

by Jessica Zaleski
photo by Millie Holloman Photography

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.

Want more? Right here!

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