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How to Tell Your Friend that She's Not a Bridesmaid

Getting married is one of the most important milestones in your life. One which which you'll want to have the most important people by your side. That's right, it's time to choose your bridesmaidsLike many women, you probably have your choices. Usually between family and friends. Unfortunately, however, you can't include everyone. (You can, but we're not sure how you would fit everyone in the pictures!)
Telling a girl friend that she is not going to be a bridesmaid is a difficult task. Some women expect be a bridesmaid, and can feel hurt when that is not the case. Although this is not your intention, it can make you feel guilt ridden. Regardless, it's a decision that needs to be. To help you prepare for this situation, and all the emotions that follow, we're sharing how to tell your friend she's not a bridesmaid.

Let’s Set Things Straight…You’re Not a Bridesmaid

Let's go ahead and establish that no matter how you tell a friend that she isn't a bridesmaid, she will be a little hurt. Informing a friend that she is not a bridesmaid is an uncomfortable situation. It can lead to a lot of emotional turmoil, for the both of you! Be sure to inform her on why you made this decision, and reassure her on how important she is to you.

best friends

Don’t Be Too Blunt

Being blunt is not a good idea in this scenario. Telling someone that they were not selected to be a bridesmaid is crushing. So be gentle with your words, and try to reassure her about your friendship. Spend some time thinking about how you will phrase this decision.

Be Truthful, But Not Too Truthful

Depending on why you decided not to include someone in your bridal party, you will want to consider how much to tell them on how you came to that decision. Being truthful to a friend who is likely to be understanding is great. But don't stoop so low as to hurt anyone feelings intentionally. If you decided not include someone in your party because the friendship is slipping, it's probably best not to use your decision as a weapon.

Talk about How Much You Value Her and Why You Value Her

When you tell your friend that she is not a bridesmaid, she is likely to question your relationship. To soothe her, don't forget to let her know how important she is to you and what a valuable position she holds in your life. You can further reiterate this by checking up on her and involving her in your wedding party in some other way. 

girl friends

Invite Her to Other Wedding Events

There are plenty of elements of a wedding that your friends can be involved in , regardless of whether they are in your wedding party. For those who you have opted not to include, this is a great way to make them feel better. Invite them to take party in other parts of the planning process, like dress shopping. And be sure to invite them to all the other pre-wedding functions, such as your bridal shower.

Assign Her a Different Role (Only If You Want To)

While being a bridesmaid is the highest honor for a friend of the bride, there are plenty of other roles a person can take. For example, put your friend in charge of your hair and makeup. Or let her be your personal attendant come the big day! If you don't have your friend involved in any way, it can mean a lot just to hear your reassurance. Let her know that you would honored simply if she were to attend the wedding.

Listen To Her and Empathize, but Stand Your Ground

When telling a friend that she is not a bridesmaid, you may have someone take the new poorly. She may go on a rant or argue with you, which is likely to make matters worse. So what do you do? Allow her to have her say and be empathetic. Let her know that she is still important to you and that this one decision does not change your relationship. This said, it is important that you stand your ground. Don't let anyone berate your or belittle you, or guilt you into changing your mind.

group of friends

Talk to Her Face-To-Face (Or Over the Phone At Least)

It may seem easier to deliver the bad news over e-mail or a text message, but it has a lot of drawbacks. For one, it's easy for your tone to be misconstrued. Your friend may take your tone as rude, starting drama. Instead, let your friend know about your decision face-to-face. This way you can soften the news and do damage control. If your friend does not live in the same city, you can at least break the news to her over a telephone call.

Don’t Fall For the “But You Were In My Wedding” Card

It can be particularly tough to tell a friend that she is not a bridesmaid if you were a bridesmaid in her wedding. It is also more hurtful for that friend She may consider you to be close friends, and suddently feel as though you think otherwise. Make sure that you do not fall for the argument of “you were in my wedding”. Stick with your decision and remain confident. You are NOT obligated to have anyone be a bridesmaid just because you were. It is a choice that is individual to every bride.

Have a Clear, Concise Reason for Not Having Her in Your Wedding

It is always helpful when you have a clear reason about why you do not want a particular friend as your bridesmaid. The reason could be simple. Like if you are only including immediate family. Or because you wanted a specific number of girls to match the groomsmen. It's to be expected that someone would want a reason for such a monumental decision. So have one prepared!

wedding bridesmaids

After The Talk, Keep the Conversation About Your Wedding to a Minimum

Once you have told your friend that she is not going to be a bridesmaid, it makes sense not to discuss the wedding immediately after. The wound is still fresh and any talk related to the wedding is likely to remind her of your decision. Talk about other things, while subtly emphasizing the importance of your relationship. It may also help diminish her bruised ego, by making additional plans to hang out!

Let's Chat!

Planning a wedding and you have to tell a friend that she won't be in your wedding? We understand! To put it simply, the situation sucks. But by following these tips, we guarantee that the conversation will go a little bit better. Let us know if you plan to use any of the advice!

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Once you've established who will be in your bridal party, it's time to propose! To help inspire you, we’ve come up with a list of some of our favorite creative ways to ask your bridesmaids! Here is our Ultimate List of Bridesmaid Proposal Ideas.

the ultimate list of bridesmaid proposal ideas

Leave a comment

January 28, 2021 08:55

My best friend in the whole world broke the news to me over a text message yesterday, the day before my birthday. Someone who I considered in the running for my maid of honor position. So as a receiver of this terrible news, at least have the decency to call her. And don’t tell your friend that it’s because of her, even if it is, if you want to salvage your friendship.

December 10, 2020 10:55

My best friend of 12 years was my maid of honour at my wedding 7 years ago, and is a godmother to my first born. Was I gutted when I wasnt cnosen as a bridesmaid, absolutely but i knew how terrible she felt and how much courage it took for her to make that call. And I knew that she had already had a lot of close friends she kept in contact with more regularly so I already prepared myself for the possibility. Do I resent her? No, from the friends point of view: Ij said to her " Look, it doesnt matter to me if I am standing at the alter with you or in the crowd with your loved ones, it means the world to me to see you marry the love of your life and man of your dreams. The fact that you have so many close friends just speaks volumes about you as a person"
At the end of the day it is about the bride and groom, not the fanfare. And that is all that matters. ❤

August 22, 2020 14:53

I am having a huge issue with this. Almost all of my friends are very close friends to me. Plus I have a sister and an adult daughter. I do not want to have 9+ bridesmaids! But I also don’t want anyone’s feelings hurt. I don’t have the desire to have a personal attendant or any other random job for anyone. Plus I feel those jobs can feel like a slap in the face to people who feel they should be bridesmaids.

June 21, 2020 06:29

Needed this. Have two friends make comments about bridesmaids and I tried to avoid it.

June 14, 2020 08:44

Very difficult talk, but having the conversation is healthy for your friendship!

May 11, 2020 10:34

Such a difficult conversation that I’m NOT looking forward to!

Alisha Dan
April 07, 2020 17:01

Thank God for sisters, so I have a built in excuse! 😂

March 30, 2020 16:13

I had to have this awkward conversation with a close friend of mine when she asked me to be in her wedding. I told her she was so important to me and definitely should’ve been in my bridal party, but it would’ve caused major hurt feelings if I’d asked her and not her sister (her sister and I grew up together and have been friends for 21 years. That friend and I grew apart, but I’m still really good friends with her sister), so I decided to leave them both out. After I told her the reason, my friend definitely understood and wasn’t unhappy at all. She still asked me to be in her wedding.

Natalie Mrozek
February 23, 2020 17:36

Literally a conversation I’m having to have, and while we have a long ways to go before the wedding, I’m hoping the relationship can be mended before the event so she will want to still be involved…

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