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Special Circumstances > Bridesmaids: Making the "Cut"

Q . I have decided that I do not want to ask someone to be a part of my bridal party, but I know she is expecting to be included. What do I do?

A. Kudos to you for going with your instincts. It may sound like a cliché, but you will want to look back and remember that the people who were standing with you at your wedding were there because you wanted them there. That being said, you may want to reconsider your reasons for not including this particular person. Keep in mind that the days of the obligatory equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen are long gone. Excluding someone on the basis of logistics might turn out to be a decision you regret.

Still ready to make the “cut?” Here are a few tips for handling the situation tactfully and pleasantly. (1) Ask yourself if an explanation is truly necessary. Perhaps she’s not really thinking she’ll be asked? (2) If it’s a close friend or someone you see often, your best bet is to sit down with her and tell her openly. The moment may be awkward but it truly will make the next many months easier. Just be honest and gentle and focus on the friendship you share. (3) Ask her to be a part of your day in other ways (welcoming reception guests, guarding the guestbook, reading during the ceremony, etc.)