I see it way too often; on other wedding planning sites such as The Knot or WeddingWire, there are always posts ranting about, or asking advice about, firing a member of the wedding party. Usually, the complaints are about the bridesmaids and their failure to adhere to their wedding duties.
Let me start this off by providing you with a description of a bridesmaid and her required duties. In the olden days, BM’s were usually very young, very single/unwed women; the more attendants you had on the day of your wedding, the higher your social status. In today’s world, modern brides choose their bridesmaids and how many they want based on a number of things: size of the wedding, relationship to bride/groom and so on. A maid of honor is usually the person the bride has the closest relationship to.
While it’s nice if your Maid of Honor or BM to offer to throw you a bridal shower or assist you with bedazzling 80 wine bottles to be used as the wedding center pieces, it is simply not required. The only things that you should expect from your bridal party are to:
- Purchase a dress within their budget
- Show up on the wedding day (fairly sober, but hey, I enjoy a good party so the sobriety part to me is optional)
Here are some of the most common issues that brides deem evil enough to warrant the firing of their good friend (and yes, these are pulled from many posts I see online, but they’re slightly altered to protect the identities of the ignorant):
“Annie hasn’t contributed financially to any of my pre-wedding events. I want to ask her to step down because my sister, Jenna, is the only one doing all of the planning and purchasing of supplies and gifts”
Tough shit. If your sister graciously offered to host the shower, she nor you should have the expectation that anyone else owes money. Weddings are fucking expensive, not only for you, but for those closest to you. Your wedding party already has to buy their own attire, pay for travel expenses, and will most likely buy you a gift if they can afford it. Placing more financial burdens onto them is downright awful.
“She says she can’t afford the hairdresser and makeup artist I hired for the day of, so she’s gonna do her own hair. I want all my ‘maids to look perfect on my special day! Should I ask her to step down?”
Ugh, no you B. If you require that your girls have professionally done makeup and hair, or they absolutely need those ultra rare purple and yellow vintage pumps, then YOU shell out the cash. Not them
“My bridesmaid has really tacky pink highlights that don’t go with the theme of my wedding. I’ve asked her to dye it her natural color for my big day but she refused. Should I fire her?”
Easy there bridezilla. Your BMs aren’t props that are there for the sole purpose of making your photos look better.
“I asked my friend Mary to be my BM when I got engaged almost two years ago. We have drifted apart since then, so I would prefer to replace her with my cousin Berta. How should I tell her?”
This is why you don’t choose your wedding party years in advance, relationships change, people drift apart. Oh, and by the way, you may think you’re honoring cousin Berta by asking her to be the replacement BM, but Berta is probably feeling like a D-list celebrity right about now.
They are not there to make you or your wedding look better. They are human and they have feelings.
Before you ask someone to be your attendant, ask yourself, “is this a person that I love and cherish enough to stand beside me while I marry my partner?” and NOT “will this person look good in that little chiffon number?” or “will this person throw me the craziest bachelorette party?”
Of course I’m not the president of the earth, so I can’t tell you what to do. If you’re going to fire someone for a silly reason, I can’t stop you. I just suggest that you stop and evaluate the situation objectively, and weigh out the risks of asking someone to step down. Asking someone to be part of your special day is a huge honor and an even bigger commitment. I understand that weddings make people a little bonkers, but just realize that firing a BM/GM can be a friendship-ending move