Is it rude for a bridesmaid to NOT attend the rehearsal?


My wedding is Sept 1st and our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner is going to be held the night before, starting at 6pm. One of my bridesmaids says she is unable to attend the rehearsal because she cannot get time off work.

She’s known about this wedding date for a very long time, plenty of time to plan ahead and ask for the appropriate time off. She says she can’t do anything about it and that her job is very important… basically “tough luck”.


Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Lilmsbritches,

This happens. It isn’t rude, it is just life. A person’s job is very important and sometimes we simply cannot take time off. So, you will just have to fill her in on what she needs to do for the wedding. If you have other attendants, this shouldn’t be a big deal.

Best wishes,

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

Even if she’s known about the wedding, she may not have figured in the rehearsal or maybe her boss didn’t. I agree with Rebecca. Sometimes even with the best planning work issues come up. Remember that this is your wedding, not hers. It will never be as important to anyone else (except maybe the parents) as it is to you and your fiance. Your friend has to do what is best for her life too.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.


Well, the thing is… she did know about the rehearsal. She lives about 30 minutes away and doesn’t like to travel outside her “zone”, she makes up all kinds of excuses on a regular basis why we need to come to her house instead of her coming here. She is the kind of person who needs all the attention on her and doesn’t do well when it isn’t. She’s known about all the details of the wedding for about a year.

You see, she slipped up at my bachelorette party and told my maid of honor that the night of the rehearsal is the night her Mom flies in from Arizona (visits often) and they want to go out for drinks afterwards. Drinks and driving to my rehearsal doesn’t mix so I suppose one plan had to go. That’s the part that really hurts my feelings. I suppose I should expect it from her after all. Her “my work is important” excuse is simply that, an excuse. She is getting off early to have drinks with her Mom and hubby.

The way things are structured at the ceremony, it may be difficult to have someone just show her what to do the morning of. I suppose it is what it is, nothing I can do about it.

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

You knew this about her when you asked her to be a bridesmaid – sorry, I don’t mean for that to sound cold and uncaring. I understand that you’re hurt and agree that she should be making it to the rehearsal but, as you say, there isn’t much you can do about it except remember this about her when other events come up in the future. If she screws up at the wedding, she will be the person embarrassed, not you. Also, if you think she may be unreliable for the wedding day, have some plans in place for what to do if she’s late or doesn’t show. Factor that into the rehearsal.


True, very true. Wedding stress… aghhh!!!

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

The best advice I can give you is to focus on what is important – which should be you and your fiance vowing to love each other for the rest of your lives. As long as that happens, all the rest is icing on the (wedding) cake. If you’re planning for perfection, stop now. There are bound to be glitches, so, if you are able to see the big picture without stressing over the things you have no control over, you’ll be fine. Most of all, enjoy the planning and the day, it all goes by very quickly.