Three Tips To Gently "Firing" A Member of Your Wedding Party
Broaching a little bit of a sensitive subject with this blog, but I have seen the question come up in different Facebook groups recently, so I figured it appropriate to add my own little tips & thoughts on the matter. You never want it to be a reality, but sometimes the situation arises when you need to ask a member of your wedding party to step away. This is a delicate process and conversation but remember this is your wedding day and your wedding photos you will be looking back on, so if it no longer feels right or something has created drama/animosity in the relationship, it may be time to cut that tie (at least in this way)… Without intentionally burning the bridge. Sometimes the situation simply comes about because a friend does not have the time they thought they would (or you hoped they would) to devote to wedding activities & duties. Sometimes the situation is a little more heated and will result in the end of a friendship entirely. No matter why you have come to this decision or conclusion, three tips I have to making the situation as least hostile as possible are…
1. Do not be petty or cruel on purpose! Bringing up old bad blood, unnecessary jabs, or just straight up being mean is not going to make your conscious feel better – even if they say something first. This is the adult world, not a high school movie, so keeping the conversation on track, to the point, and actually about the why you came to this decision will help to keep any new potential animosity at bay. It’s never going to be fool-proof and it’s likely going to cause hurt feelings no matter what, but being petty has never made a situation better.
2. Try to have the conversation in person or at least over the phone – a text message in this situation is not appropriate. It’s like a breakup, and if you have ever been broken up with over text message you know it doesn’t feel good. If you have been the one to break up with someone over text message, you likely did it because you knew it was the easy way out. Well, friends, I am here to say that life is not about taking the easy way out. You are about to enter a marriage. Marriage is not easy and tough conversations with your spouse cannot and should not be had over text message either. Text messages cause things to be taken out of context or misconstrued for something it isn’t. Voice inflection can also play a huge role in these kinds of conversations. I don’t think anyone truly likes confrontation and this kind of conversation can have high emotions, but it is important to be honest, face-to-face, with this person whose friendship you value (or at least valued at one point).
3. Go into the conversation with listening ears and an open mind – sometimes even with our closest friends there could be something else going on that you are unaware of. Life is messy, family is messy, friendships are messy. Entering the situation with an open mind and ready to not only speak your truth and your mind, but also hear the other person’s truth is important. Again, this is not fool proof and people are not always honest, but it is better to look at life with the glass half full attitude and give a person the benefit of the doubt than to be cynical and on the defense all the time. Some excuses may not be enough for you or valid, but you are going to likely get an excuse no matter what, so just listen, absorb, think, then react. The first thoughts that enter our minds are not always the ones you want to blurt out right away – believe me, I have been there.
These three tips are just that… tips. These are not easy conversations that have easy solutions or resolutions, but if you can keep a level head it will likely help keep the drama to a minimum. Be sure about this decision before bombarding your friend because sometimes (not always, but sometimes) a resolution from an honest conversation is sitting right in front of you and it may not be as dire or dramatic as you have made it out to be in your head. Best of luck and remember, it can be helpful to have someone in your corner – like a wedding planner – who is an outside party and can be your sounding board when wedding planning stresses get high.
Head over to my contact page to start a conversation and let’s chat about how to make this process FUN and not so stressful that you never want to do it again!
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