How to ask friend to replace bridesmaid

Recently one of my bridesmaids and long time friend told me she suffers from a very bad addiction. She has since denied any help I offer, doesn’t answer my calls or texts and removed herself from my life. Needless to say, she will not be a bridesmaid or attend our wedding.

I have another friend who I wanted to ask from the beginning and did not have room for her. How can I ask her without seeming like she was a after thought or a second choice? I know she would be thrilled but at the same time I don’t want her to feel badly.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

Unfortunately, there is no way to ask her without making her feel like a replacement because she IS a replacement. The fact that you see it this way means she probably will too. Often brides think a friend would “be thrilled” to be asked, when in reality they feel just as you described. I’d leave everything as it is. There’s no need to replace that bridesmaid.

If this friend brings up the subject and offers, you can certainly accept.

Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I completely agree with Donna, let things stand. Wishing you all the best ~

Jay Remer, The Etiquette Guy, International Protocol and Corporate & Social Etiquette

Although I understand and respect Donna’s advice, I am prepared to offer two other choices. In the end, you must decide. One choice is to be honest and totally up front with your friend and explain the situation in full. This would reveal that she was not a first choice, but this being due to numbers. If your hunch is correct, and if she is a true friend, whom you would want in your bridal party, hopefully she will understand and not feel slighted. It’s all in how your phrase the truth. The second choice is to ask her as though she weren’t a substitution at all, just the last person to be asked. The comings and goings of other bridal party members need not be a factor or even mentioned. This of course will depend on the time frame within which you are working. If either of these choices feels ‘right’ intuitively, I think they are appropriate. If these choices do not resonate positively, Donna’s choice is a fine one and very practical. Focus on the positive and trust your instincts. Best of luck.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

Thank you. I respect you too, Jay!

But, I have a feeling this friend probably knows the score already. By pretending that you intended to invite her all along would not be the truth, and I don’t think you should run the risk of being untruthful with a good friend since she could find out and be cross. Is having another bridesmaid in the wedding worth that risk? Only you can decide that.

Personally, I wouldn’t like to have this done to me. Put yourself in her place and honestly assess.