If you're a bridesmaid or maid of honor or anyone who's been chosen to be a part of the bridal party and feel like you might need to bow out, don't feel bad. There are many reasons why a wedding party member might consider a graceful exit.
For starters, committing to the bridal party is a big deal. The bride counts on her bride tribe, and as a team, decisions affect the group. But life happens, finances get tight, overwhelm set in.
Whatever the situation is, if you're thinking about dropping out, doing so in a respectful and supportive manner will ease tension and stress. Here are some ideas on how to gracefully drop out of the bridal party.
Consider your reasons for dropping out. Is it a financial thing? Short on time? Tension with other bridal party members?
If it's because you're not getting along with another another bridesmaid, reconsider before you say 'Later!' If it's not too bad, stay committed for the bride's sake. Stick to your duties and try and not interact, except in a professional manner, with the other bridesmaid.
If it’s for financial reasons or you feel that you've over committed, let the bride know you won’t be able to put your all into the wedding planning. If she's cool with that and still wants your help, awesome! If not, let her know she's free to bring someone else in as a replacement.
Give her plenty of notice. If possible, let the bride know of your plans to bow out not too long after she's asked you to be a bridesmaid/maid of honor. Waiting until a few weeks or even a couple of months before the wedding could be devastating. Of course, there are some situations that can't be helped (a death in the family for instance), but for the most part, consider letting the bride know as soon as possible.
And PLEASE don't commit to being a bridesmaid then ghost the bride-to-be. That's just frustrating and disrespectful.
Let her know you can occasionally help. If you know for sure you won't be able to be a part of the bridal party, but still want to lend a helping hand as a nice gesture, let the bride know when you're available. If you can spare a weekend to help her with some DIY projects, give her a heads up or let her know she can call/text you if she needs an extra pair of hands every once in awhile.
Keep in touch. Leaving the bridal party doesn't mean you can't check in with the bride. Giving her a call or having coffee together shows your support and that you still value your friendship.