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Featured: You’re Fired… How to downsize your wedding party without downsizing your friends



Okay, hands up who is guilty of going mad in the first few weeks of wedding planning and asked everyone including your best mates aunties dog to be a bridesmaid and now is having a mini freak out because there are more people in the bridal party than attending the wedding?? Okay just me then?

Fair enough, what ever reason you might have to sack a bridesmaid/grooms man here are a few. Think about the following before you even approach it with them…

Why did you ask them in the first place?

  • You are best buds?
  • They are your Sister/Brother and even though you aren’t close you thought that was what people did?
  • Was it because you were in the bridal party at their wedding and you thought you had to reciprocate?
  • Was it because they were your cousin once removed and you though your aunt/ mother would explode if you didn’t?
  • Was it because they are the only sister/brother related to the groom and you felt obliged to?

Why are they getting their wedding P45?

  • You are no longer best buds?
  • You are just not seeing eye to eye on the whole wedding front
  • Money is turning out way to tight to buy dresses/suits for everyone and someone has to get the chop (After all its them or the cake!)

How to downsize your wedding party

How best to approach it

If you aren’t bothered about them ever speaking to you again then a) you are probably not reading this because you’re not to bothered about hurting their feeling and b) you have already just sent the “hey your are not going to be my bridesmaid after all” email job done.

If you really do want to remain friends then you need to do the following:

Talk to them

I know its scary but honestly, if you want them not to feel like you are stabbing them in the heart with the big knife of rejection then you can, under no circumstances, send an email or a text. It has to be a actual conversation one in which there is a good chance you or them or probably both will cry.

Explain the situation

Not on the same page of the Wedding magazine (not even reading the same magazine in fact)? If it’s a case that you just don’t feel that you are on the same page wedding wise you need to make it clear that its not that you don’t want them at the wedding. Far from it! You just think everyone will be happier them included if the pressure is off and they come as a guest. They might even be secretly relieved!

If it’s costs spiralling out of control

If they are a good friend then they will get it, no one wants to see their friend borrowing money to buy stuff for them.. they may even offer to foot the bill for their dress/hair/ make-up etc, which if you are happy to do then problem solved.

If it’s a case you have drifted apart

This one can be a bit trickier… you haven’t spoken to them in ages, getting them on the phone might be the challenge in itself. Once you get them on the phone don’t launch straight into your Alan Sugar impression. Have a chat, if you reconnect, arrange to meet up and have some drinks it could be that they have just been busy and things got in in the way of your friendship but it might not be to late. Conversely if you find conversation a bit slow coming, then maybe its all for the best and they probably won’t mind stepping down.

The cousin once removed

This also is tricky I would try and talk to the cousin themselves first if you explain to them that you felt pressured into asking them and actually having had time to reflex, and you would rather that the did a reading or hosted one of the games you have laid on for after the ceremony perhaps if you are still happy for them to take part in a lesser role. That way hopefully you can get them on side before having to break the news to the family.

And finally just remember its never going to be easy or fun but if you approach it like an adult and have a sensible conversation about it, then there is a good chance that they will react in a similar way. Leaving the way clear for you to continue to go down the pub on a Friday and have at least one mate who isn’t talking weddings all the time.

How to downsize your wedding party


Graham Crichton is an award winning professional wedding & portrait photographer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With 10 years of experience and having photographed hundreds of weddings he has photographed weddings all over Ireland, the UK and abroad.


Hannah Crichton is the principal photographic assistant, blogger and studio manager (and other half of Graham Crichton Photography). Hannah and Graham recently married themselves in Ynysybwl, Wales, where Hannah is originally from. Hannah loves “everything wedding"!





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