It's important to pick your bridesmaids carefully. You don't want to be left with a situation where you have to take back the offer because one of your maids is unreliable, not supportive, or just generally not being helpful. The question is, can you actually ask a bridesmaid to step down after you've asked her to be in the wedding party? The answer is yes! But it’s certainly not the most pleasant of jobs for a bride to fulfill before her wedding day. If you’re unfortunate enough to be in this position, we have some handy guidelines to follow to ensure you end your wedding day with the same amount of friends you started with.

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Get a second opinion

Always make sure that your stressed-out, bridezilla-head is not firmly strapped on when making serious friendship judgments. Everything can seem much worse than it really is while you're in stressed mode, but there's a tiny chance you might be unreasonable. Explain the situation to a close friend/family member who is somewhat removed from the situation and gage their opinion on the matter. If others are in agreement with you, think very clearly and rationally about what you are about to do. First and foremost, try for a resolution on the matter. Asking her to step down from her duties should be a last resort, as this can not only scupper your perfectly preened wedding plans, but ruin your friendship in the long run.

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Face the music

If you’ve made the tough decision to ask a bridesmaid to step down from her duties, make sure you do it face-to-face. Doing so by text or even over the phone is highly insensitive and will more than likely sever any ties already present in the friendship. It’s a nerve-wracking thing to do but for the sake of your wedding, it may have to be done. If you think you may struggle to get the words out quite right, write something down beforehand to ensure you get your point across absolutely perfectly. Make sure she knows that it's not a reflection on your friendship it's just about the wedding.

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Offer an alternative

Offering your now ex-bridesmaid an alternative role to play in the wedding is a great way to soften the blow and repair some relations. For example, if the responsibility that comes along with being a bridesmaid is too overwhelming, ask her to do a short reading at the church instead, therefore, including her in the most special day of your life whilst regaining some of the control. But be warned, she may be very quick to decline the alternative offer! She’s probably feeling slightly embarrassed over being initially dismissed so expect a not-so-positive response.

- Michelle Storey

Image credits: Patterned dresses: Lauren Peele Photography | Pale blue dresses: Luna de Mare Photography | Boho dresses: Ali Harper

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