How to "Fire" Your Maid of Honor

It's a last resort, but sometimes you're left with no other choice.

Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill

She's your BFF, your sister, the Thelma to your Louise. She's your maid of honor, and when you got engaged you could not imagine her not being your right-hand lady. But now she's acting like a diva, dropping the ball on her duties, being rude to your fiancé, or has done something unforgivable, and you have no other choice but to give her the boot. Here, relationship expert Jamye Waxman, the author of How to Break Up With Anyone, offers her advice on how you can deliver the news as pain-free as possible.

Have a sit down.

Unless your friend has done something so terrible you never want to see or speak with her again, do not send a text or email breaking the news. Having a face-to-face conversation (or phone call if your friend does not live nearby) "gives everyone the opportunity to hear and be heard," says Waxman. Choose a private or semi-private setting to avoid any potential outburst and because "finding a way to end the conversation in a private setting can be harder and more awkward," says Waxman. Sit down over coffee and explain to her why she can no longer be a part of your wedding. Be sure that you keep the conversation civil-nothing good will come out of it if you get angry or condescending. Be sure to thank her for all that she done so far and her willingness to accept the role. "Research has shown that ending a conversation on a positive note can smooth things over more easily," says Waxman.

Be honest.

An easy way out of having confrontation with your maid of honor would be to lie and blame your budget, a family situation, or a scheduling snafu but "honesty is the best policy since you don't then have to worry about covering up the fibs in the future," says Waxman. Also, by being clear, concise, and truthful about your decision, you'll have a clean conscience come your wedding day, adds Waxman.

Consider a demotion.

If you're comfortable and still want your friend to be a part of the wedding party, ask if her if she would be okay being a bridesmaid. But if you decide to appoint a new maid of honor, be sure to "give your former maid of honor a heads up so she is aware of the change of plans and hears it from you first," says Waxman. "By doing so you'll be showing your friend respect and providing her with the knowledge that you're being honest and transparent in what you're doing."

Make peace with your decision.

There undoubtedly will be whispers among the other bridesmaids and your friends about the situation, but remember you did what was necessary and this is not the end of you and your BFF if you don't want it to be. "Will the friendship take a hit? Likely, but it doesn't have to be a devastating blow," says Waxman. "Owning up to the fact that this changes things, and may change everything in your relationship, may allow the two of you to feel closer in the long term."

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