How To Tell a Close Friend

She Won't Be a Bridesmaid

Couples Corner

It’s time to choose your bride squad and your friends/family who will be by your side for your big day. But what happens if you are having to choose between friends and have to tell one of your friends that she cannot be your bridesmaid? This can be hard for some brides and definitely be an uncomfortable conversation to have. Here are some steps to help you during this process.


Know Your Reason

Being confident in your reason as to why you are not choosing a friend to be your bridesmaid is going to be important for the following steps. Here is a list of potential reasons:

  • You and your partner have decided to limit the number of people in your bridal party
  • You only want family
  • Based on past behaviors (i.e. excessive drinking, belligerence, yelling, crying, etc.), you want to feel comfortable on your wedding and not worry of how they will act
  • They are negative
  • They are not dependable
  • They are jealous and genuinely not happy for you
  • You do not want your wedding to be a financial burden on them
    • This is a tricky one and one that should maybe start off with letting them know your concerns first, before making the decision for them. Especially if you know that your friend is struggling financially and being in a wedding can be expensive.

Have a Conversation with Them

Give your friend the time and respect to let them know in person (or a video call if they do not live close by) to share that you have decided to not have them be in your bridal party. If possible, try to make this conversation be just between the two of you, instead of in front of other friends or in a group setting.

Be sincere and let them know that you are not going to be choosing them to be in your wedding. A conversation can start like this:

  • “I wish we could have you in our wedding party but we have decided to have a small wedding party and have chosen other people, I hope you can understand.”
  • “I wanted to let you know that we have already chosen our wedding party and have decided to not ask you to be in our wedding party because I have felt hurt the past few times we have talked about my wedding and you have been negative and unsupportive.”

Some tips to help in the conversation are to empathize with them, give them time to talk and ask questions, and speak slowly and calmly.

Do You Need To Have a Conversation?

Now if you are wondering that this would be too awkward and maybe not needed, then you do have the option to not have a conversation with your friend. This is recommended if you and your friend are close or life long friends and there is some kind of assumption that they will be a part of your wedding party.

However, if this is not the case, then you do not have to worry about it going through the conversation above.

Normalize Your Feelings

It will be natural to feel guilty, sad, anxious, or nervous, but remembering your reason why (which we talked about above) will help you stay focused.

Remember to take a deep breath before starting the conversation and it’s okay to write it down if needed.

Don’t Bring It Up Again

After you break the news, it may be awkward for the two of you, and that again is normal, but if you keep bringing it up, it will only drag out the awkwardness. You have already had the conversation so there is no need to continue to apologize that they are not in your wedding. You can still talk about your wedding, it is something that is still happening and it’s okay to talk about it with them, especially if they ask. If you do feel too uncomfortable talking about your wedding, well, take this as an opportunity to talk about something else.

Choosing your wedding party can also be stressful and it’s important to find ways to take care of yourself and lean on people around you. If you are interested in additional resources, be sure to check these out:

  • Free Conversation Checklist
  • A guide that will help you strengthen your relationship for only $17
  • Videos and additional worksheets packages

By Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT, Owner of Modern Wellness Counseling

Priscilla specializes in working with engaged couples and helps them learn the strategic tools needed so that they can be on the same page throughout every chapter of their lives.

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