What Happens When a Bridesmaid Quits

Also known As: How to Give a Friend an Ultimatum

You Feel Ashamed, like YOU did something wrong.

You must be a complete Bridezilla if your friend had to quit on you…right? Wrong.


So I’ve been debating for a while if I should write about this but I figured maybe it will help someone else. In short, I’m going to say it will mess up some of your plans but ultimately it was probably for the best. My bridesmaid left about 4 months before the wedding. I really feel for the brides-to-be that lose a bridesmaid (or Maid of Honor!) even closer to the wedding.


You Feel Regret.

*This may be combined with anger and some “I should have knowns..” but that will pass quickly. She’s still your very dear friend. You absolutely still want her to come to the wedding. You’re just frustrated it had to be like this.

My bridesmaid had to drop out because she couldn’t afford it. This is the same reason that most bridesmaids quit. Whether they underestimated what it would cost, had poor spending-plans in place or some unforeseen cost affected their personal budget, this is usually why a bridesmaid will drop out of the wedding party. From my perspective, I only wish I had known sooner. I kind of wish I had asked someone else in the first place so I had more bridesmaids to fall back on or maybe asked someone else in her place. Hindsight is always 20/20 like that though. I had asked her to be a bridesmaid 8 months before this “discovery” (over a year before the wedding date) so she had plenty of time to either prepare or realize that she couldn’t make it work.


You Offer to Help.

In an effort to try to make it work OR make it [painfully] clear that it wouldn’t—I gave her an easy out—I offered to pay for her dress (because if she was going to be a bridesmaid it absolutely had to be ordered that week) but also told her that would be all that I could cover for her. I told her that I know being a bridesmaid is expensive and that if she needed or wanted to drop out I understood. She asked what else she might have to  pay for and what it might cost so I did her a favor and did some math on what it cost for me for the two weddings I was a bridesmaid in. I let her know that for one I spent over $600 and for the other I spent over $800. I also let her know there was several things I didn’t end up having to pay for (like lodging for either wedding) that could definitely increase the cost. In the end, she knew that was too much for her right now.


Finally, You Accept That It’s for the Best and Laugh It Off.

I guess maybe I should have known with how much she seemed to be dragging her feet about everything and that her busy schedule was making things complicated from her end and mine.

The thing that made me smile about the whole thing was my Matron of Honor thinking the bridesmaid leaving the group was her fault. This showed me what a great friend she was; my poor sweet best friend was worried she had asked too much or been demanding or unreasonable. She thought she had been a maidzilla. She thought it was her that had been driving force towards the former bridesmaid quitting and that simply wasn’t true. I was the driving force and I knew it. I gave her the ultimatum.


At this point, [about a month later] I’m so glad I did. The bridesmaids ended up having to switch some details of the shower they were planning (since only three people were sharing the cost rather than four). Close friends and family who heard were concerned about my numbers being thrown off for bridal party pairings but that wasn’t an issue since they were already uneven…now they are just more uneven. Oh well!

My attitude with everything wedding-planning related has been “what should happen, will happen”. If something wasn’t meant to be that’s fine and I can move on. Having her as my bridesmaid was not ultimately her destiny or mine and that’s perfectly fine, I’ll still see her at the wedding.



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