When a Bridesmaid Backs Out
It’s two weeks before the wedding, and a bridesmaid asks to talk to you privately. It seems there are some serious issues going on in her family, and she’s going to have to withdraw from your wedding. She’s really apologetic and you know she wouldn’t do this to you unless it was an emergency, but what do you do now?
Take a breath and sit downFirst of all, let your friend know you understand. Whatever is going on doesn’t need to be complicated by you flipping out on her. Give her a hug, and tell her to keep you posted about what’s going on. Next, don’t panic. Take a deep breath, sit down and think for a moment. You actually do have several options. You can ask a friend or family member to step in the bridesmaid place. However, it can go two ways here. Your new candidate may refuse you because she wasn’t your first consideration, and her feelings are hurt. Or on the other hand, she may be more than happy to help you out of a pinch. If she does decide to be in your wedding, be profuse in your thanks.
The next thing is the bridesmaid dress. Hopefully, it will fit with a few alterations. If it doesn’t or if you don’t have the time for alterations, you may have to consider different alternatives. If the dress doesn’t fit, you could find a dress in the same color but a different style. If the dress is too different, have the new bridesmaid either walk down the aisle as the first bridesmaid or at the end as the last. Don’t put a different bridesmaid dress in the middle with two of the same.
Make the new bridesmaid feel welcome
When you do make your decision on your replacement bridesmaid, make her feel welcome. Introduce her to all the wedding party members. Have them give her a warm welcome and make her feel part of the group. Don’t have the bridal party refer to her as “the replacement.” Brief her on what her duties will be on the day of the ceremony and make sure she’s comfortable with it. Give her a bridesmaid gift along with the other bridesmaids. Include a little something extra to show her how much you appreciate her bailing you out and making your day less stressful.
If you can’t find a replacement, once again there are several options. You could just have three bridesmaids instead of four. Odd numbered wedding parties aren’t as uncommon as you may think. As long as your photographer is aware of the issue, the pictures will be great. If you’re really set on having an even number of bridesmaids in your wedding, you could cancel one of the groomsmen. Just be aware though, this may upset your groom. He has put a lot of thought into the people he has chosen and may not want to give one of them up. A third alternative is to have one groomsmen walk with a bridesmaid on each arm.
A cancelled bridesmaid is not the end of the world, although at the time you may think so. Keep your head together and talk the situation over with your fiancée and the rest of your wedding party. The situation will be resolved, and your special day will be wonderful!