Wedding Etiquette For Dummies
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How do you "fire" someone from your wedding party? Removing a bridal attendant can be a sticky situation, and the need to do so may arise from his or her behavior or the behavior of an attendant in the opposite party. Cutting a bridesmaid or groomsman should be done clearly and graciously.

If you find that one of your bridesmaids has turned into an overbearing diva or that one of your groomsmen won’t return phone calls or e-mails, you and your spouse-to-be may have to make the difficult decision to remove him or her from the wedding party. Think carefully and consider the source of the problem; possibly the attendant has some jealousy issues, financial burdens or time restraints that may pass with time.

Solicit input from your other close friends or family members to make sure you have a clear perspective of the situation and aren’t being oversensitive. At the same time, don’t turn the situation into a poll with the rest of the wedding party. After you’ve heard a few trusted opinions, talk directly to your attendant and take the time to really listen to his or her side of the story.

If you genuinely believe your attendant will modify his or her behavior, give the attendant another chance. If your gut feeling is that you’re going to experience more of the same, quickly and politely tell the person that you’re removing him or her from the wedding party. Letting the attendant know may save your friendship.

It’s often best to be practical, not emotional, in these situations. Say something like, “Olivia, I appreciate the fact that you agreed to be in our wedding, but you haven’t made it to any fittings, contacted the maid of honor about dates for the bridal shower or confirmed your travel arrangements for the wedding. I think it would be best to find someone else to take your place. We’d still like you to share in our day as a guest, if it fits into your schedule.”

While you’re not expected to reimburse the former attendant for any of the costs he or she has already incurred, offering aid would be gracious if you know the expenses have created or added to a financial hardship for them.

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Sue Fox is the author of Etiquette For Dummies and Business Etiquette For Dummies. She is the founder and president of The Etiquette Survival Group, a California-based professional development and publishing company.

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