Some friends just work better as a bridesmaid than the maid of honor.

When choosing your bridal party, there's one woman who rises above the rest: the maid of honor. Whether she's a best friend or relative, your head attendant will plan pre-wedding festivities, help you with big-day preparations, and provide much-needed emotional support. But what if a friend wrongly assumes she'll be the maid of honor at your wedding? Here's what to do.

Be Honest

If a close friend assumes she'll be the maid of honor, it can be difficult to break the bad news. You may worry that she'll feel offended, embarrassed, or hurt. To maintain the friendship, though, a bride must be honest about her decision. If you'd like the friend to still be included in the bridal party, ask her (preferably in person-never over text or email) to be a bridesmaid. Even if she won't be in the bridal party at all, you still need to be truthful no matter how awkward the situation may be.

Explain Your Reasoning

If your friend is upset about not being the maid of honor, soften the blow by explaining your decision. Does she live far away? Is she going through a major life event (like a big move or job change) that might mess with her schedule? Would you rather choose a family member for the top job, or did you decide to forgo a wedding party altogether? By offering a concrete explanation, your friend will better understand your motives-and hopefully not obsess about why she didn't make the cut. Keep in mind, however, that if the reasoning is offensive (say, you don't think your friend would be reliable or dependable), it may be best to keep it to yourself.

Give Her Another Role

If you want to prevent hurt feelings, make sure your friend still feels valued and important. Give her an important task in the wedding, like reading a passage at the ceremony. If she's going to be a bridesmaid, ask her to take the lead on certain tasks, or work with your maid of honor on planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party.


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