(Closed) Eliminating Bridesmaids and demoting my MOH.

posted 8 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
1988 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Now that you have already asked these ladies to be bridesmaids there is no way of getting around your large wedding party.  If you didn’t want such a large wedding party you shouldn’t have asked so many people.  There is also no way you can “demote” your sister.  You asked her to be your Maid/Matron of Honor, so she is.  Just because she doesn’t live near you is not enough reason to demote somebody.  My ladies and I are all spread out too, I do not expect them to be part of the planning process short of picking their dress.

Demoting or eliminating bridesmaids is a sure fire way to ruin friendships forever so I would be very careful about trying to change things now.

Post # 4
1441 posts
Bumble bee

Wow.  11 Bridesmaids. 


I guess I’m not sure what you can do if you’ve already extended invitations to these girls to be bridesmaids.  Maybe you could outline what you envision their duties to be, and say if they cannot participate that you understand if they’d prefer to just be a guest.  If you make the list long enough and costly enough maybe several of them will voluntarily back out, but then you look like a ‘zilla.  But you already run that risk if you decide, after asking them, to have a smaller group of attendants and eliminate some of them.    


  It seems like an unenviable place to be, I hope someone else has better suggestions.


Post # 5
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MAshM42882:  can your bridesmaids help from a distance? I have bridesmaids all over the country and they help me out any way they can. as for demoting a Maid/Matron of Honor.. it isnt her fault she is so far away so that is kind of rude. is one of them married and one not? you could have a matron of honor and a maid of honor.

and i have more people in my wedding party then will be at our wedding. but I wouldnt change it, because i asked all my BM’s for a reason (well except 1, id get rid of her in a heartbeat if i could, but she is my sister so i cannot) try coming up with things for them to do from where they live and if you really want a smaller wedding party.. ask 2 to be greeters, 2 to do another task (whatever you can think of) instead of being bm’s

Post # 6
764 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

IMO the only way you could go about this is by eliminating the entire wedding party.  Then you can call/send out an email and say you and groom have changed your vision for the wedding and are eliminating the bridal party because you want everyone to be able to enjoy the wedding as a guest without feeling like they have duties and responsibilities.  Maybe indicate that you’ve realized that the kind of wedding you were going to have was too stressful for everyone and that the change makes coordination and planning easier for all. 

Post # 7
5191 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

Your Maid/Matron of Honor is the person who is most important to you in helping you honor and uphold the vows you make, not necessarily the person who lives closest to you or is most willing to help with wedding crap. Don’t choose your nearby friend for the wrong reason. And if you “demote” your sister, be prepared for the worst.

You’ve put yourself in a tough spot. But I think there is hope. Since most people would consider your Bridal Party to be excessively large, you could probably make a reasonable case to your Bridal Party that the size of the bridal party has simply become more than you can sanely handle. Most people will understand that trying to manage the schedules, expectations, budgets, etc. of so many people is a ginormous undertaking and would be willing to cut you some slack. Just be nice and explain that it’s all just become too stressful for you and that you need to simplify in order to maintain your own sanity. Tell them you still want them to attend as your beloved guests and that you hope they can understand your decision. But here’s the trick…. you must drastically cut your Bridal Party. Like going from 11 members to 1 or 2. If you only cut a little, it will appear that some people just were not that important to you so you chose to cut them and keep the rest. It has to be a drastic reduction (as a bonus…. small BPs are awesome!). Good luck!

Post # 8
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

What’s wrong with just having 2 MOHs? I think with such a large wedding party, that wouldn’t seem “weird” or anything. And it would certainly save any bad feelings that would come if you demoted your sister.

I would also talk to them and see if any of them can help. You don’t have to involve your bridesmaids in every aspect of the wedding. I’m doing a lot of the planning myself, and then my bridesmaids and I will have “check ins” just to see what’s been going on with each other and where I am with the planning. Then sometimes they’ll volunteer to do something for me, but I never expect them to help me every step of the way.

Post # 9
531 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I guess it all depends on what you expect from your bridesmaids. I’m not a DIYer so no need for help there.

I have 5 bridesmaids and they live in 4 different states. Only 1 is in the same state as me. They have planned my bridal shower/bach party/etc by email. I only know some of the details because it’s a surprise. Some of them have asked if they can help but for me they’ve done more than enough. Just me.

Keep your sister as your Maid/Matron of Honor. I’m envious that I don’t have a sister to choose to be Maid/Matron of Honor. Sounds like a blast and the ultimate in bonding! 🙂

Post # 10
6263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Why does your Maid/Matron of Honor need to live close? It should be the person you are closest to and that you have a long/good history with and not the person nearest in distance that can be more of a planner or “employee.” 

I agree with PPs and I would possibly eliminate the entire bridal party or have 2 MOHs.

Post # 11
1320 posts
Bumble bee

@MAshM42882:  You can have two MOHs (I’ve been a part of bridal parties where this worked out perfectly). Your sister can be the honorary Maid/Matron of Honor (re: she just gets the title because you’re family), and your cloes friend can be the “working” Maid/Matron of Honor (re: because she is actually doing all of the work and you want to give her the honour of the title).

As for letting go of BMs, as PPs said, you have to tread very carefully. Even if the Bridesmaid or Best Man wants nothing to do with the wedding party, this sort of situation can still end friendships for certain people. I think you should first think about cutting:

  • those you asked out of obligation 
  • those you aren’t very close with
  • those who may not actually be interested (as told through the grapevine)

After that,things get even more touchy. So, you have to be as straightfoward as possible. Tell her you overextended your Bridesmaid or Best Man invitations and now have too many, etc., and then accept personal responsibility for your part in any fallout or negative consequences

Lying/manipulating is a great way to end friendships, btw. I’d advise against that. I know I would be livid if I was axed from the bridal party and the bride didn’t even have the ovaries to tell me the true reason why.

Post # 12
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@MAshM42882:  No no no no no no. Sorry hun, but it’s too late. You cannot fire your bridesmaids just because you didn’t think everything through. You may promote your friend to be Co-MOH, but do not fire your sister. That would be so hurtful. And rather ‘zilla.

Post # 13
30393 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Frankly, I think most of those bridesmaids would be happy to get the news that you have changed the whole vision of your wedding and are having a much more intimate affair. If they haven’t purchased dresses or incurred any other expenses specifically related to being a bridesmaid, it’s not too late. They will likely be more than happy to attend as a guest without the expenses and responsibilities of being a bridesmaids.

This is the kind of conversation you have in person or on the phone though, not by email or text.

You can explain that it doesn’t mean you love them any less, you just got carried away when you were first wedding planning and haven’t been able to book the cathedral that 11 bridesmaids would call for.





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