How to Remove a Bridesmaid or Groomsman

There probably isn’t anything harder about planning a wedding than having to remove a groomsman or bridesmaid once you’ve already picked them. It can be a bitter process that causes resentment between you and the other person. However, in some cases, this is something that you’ll need to do for the wedding’s sake. But how can you go about effectively removing a groomsman or bridesmaid? And how can you do it in such a manner that it doesn’t cause them to have negative emotions towards you? That is what we’re going to cover in this article.

Is it Bad Etiquette to Remove an Existing Groomsman or Bridesmaid?

Despite what most people may believe, there is nothing that says that you shouldn’t remove a bridesmaid or groomsman whom you have already chosen. While it may be a hard pill to swallow, it is called for in some instances.

Speak Directly and Honestly

Make sure that they person who is being removed hears the news from you first. Otherwise, tempers will flare and they will most likely hold some resentment towards you. The best thing that you can do is invite them out for lunch and simply explain the way that you feel. Let them know that although it was a tough decision, you felt as though it would be better if they weren’t part of the lineup. They may or may not understand but at least you’ve said your peace. From here, remind them how special they are to you and how you would still like them to be a part of your special day.

Get Them Involved

In order to smooth things out between you and the person you’re removing, try offering them other ways to give back to the wedding. One way that you can really make them feel appreciated is to have them help you with planning a certain aspect of the wedding. For example, you could ask them to help you choose floral arrangements or the color scheme for the wedding reception. If it suits the situation, invite them to read a short poem during the ceremony. Getting them involved will lessen the amount of resentment they may feel towards you.

How to Choose a Bridesmaid or Groomsman

So, how exactly can you go about choosing the right bridesmaid or groomsman for your wedding? First and foremost, realize that there is nothing against have a woman be a part of the groomsman party and there is nothing against having a man be a part of the bridesmaid party. The amount of people that you choose to be a part of your line-up is entirely up to you and your fiancé. Some couples like to use as many as five bridesmaids or groomsman each while others like to use a lot less (or more).

Either way, there is nothing wrong with straying away from tradition. Basically, try to choose people who are extremely reliable. This will result in fewer issues later on down the road. And despite what you may have heard, you don’t necessarily need to choose your brother or sister to be a part of your groomsman or bridesmaid party. This is certainly an option but you can also choose a party that only contains close friends. However, do take note that most brides do like to incorporate their family into these decisions.

Avoid Emotion – Be Practical

In most cases, it can be much more beneficial to you to avoid being emotional when you attempt to remove a bridal party member. Simply explain the logistics to them and let them know that this decision is designed to better the wedding day as a whole. In most cases, they will respond better to this.


Removing a member of the bridal party is never easy. The best thing that you can do is take them aside and be as honest as possible. If you really care for that person and don’t want to create negative emotions between you and them then get them involved in various aspects of the wedding planning process.

Have you known of someone in the wedding party that had to be removed?  If you do, please share your experiences!  Why were they removed?  How did you communicate your decision to them?  How did they handle it?  Did it affect the ceremony and/or your relationship after?