How to Tell a Friend She’s Not a Bridesmaid (Nicely!)

We covered cutting your bridal party numbers in our guide to selecting your bridesmaids, now it’s time to do the dirty work. For some, telling a friend that they won’t be in the bridal party will be quick and painless. For others, a bit more care is required. Here’s our guide to letting your friend know what the story is without hurting their feelings.

Don’t Make Them Feel Bad for You

No matter what the circumstance, don’t apologise so much that your friend ends up having to comfort you. Over-explaining and making a huge deal out of the situation will just make her more uncomfortable.

Whatever route you’re taking, brevity is the key.

Get in Early + Privately

Tempting as it is to postpone awkward conversations, it’s best to get this one out of the way before anyone’s hopes are up. You’ll probably be seeing friends soon after your engagement. Use this time to manage expectations and let them know that your numbers are limited.

Got a Good Reason? Use It!

If there’s a clear reason that your friend can’t be included in the bridal party, just come out with it. Maybe they’re living on the other side of the world, or maybe you’re only having your sisters by your side. These reasons and more will diffuse any tension that might creep in if a pal is feeling left out.

Weather the Wobbler

If your friend was looking forward to being in your wedding party, all the care in the world might not stop them from being disappointed. Give them some space and avoid bringing up the wedding in front of them until they’ve licked their wounds. They’ll come round.

Give Them a Job

If you would love somebody to be in your bridal party but can’t swing it, try to find another way to include them.  You can ask if they’d like to do a reading at your ceremony, or something similar. Once you’re not piling actual bridal party work on them, they’ll probably be honoured to be included in the big day.

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