Here's what to do if one of your attendants backs out before the big day.

By Courtney Levia
April 02, 2020
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Life tends to throw some unexpected curveballs our way every now and then—a bridesmaid suddenly telling you she can't be in the wedding in the weeks or even days leading up to your wedding would certainly qualify as such. When something like this happens, it's hard not to react in anger or panic, but it's important to remember that this won't stop your wedding from taking place. After all, there are no rules concerning how many bridesmaids you have to have on your side by the big day, meaning that while it may sting a little, you shouldn't fret about it for long.

To help you react with reason instead of emotion, we asked two weddings planners for their tips on how to handle this situation gracefully should it happen to you. From keeping a positive attitude to understanding why your bridesmaid may have dropped out, these three helpful pointers will help you work your way through the situation.

Remember That You Don't Have to Have a Certain Number of Bridesmaids

"Our clients are making bridal parties, and the traditions that surround them, a thing of the past," says Jesse Tombs, creative director of Alison Events Planning + Design. "As long as you have the most meaningful and important people near you during your wedding ceremony, that's all that matters." The one thing you will have to do? Let your florist know; he or she will need to make one fewer bouquet. While they likely won't be able to refund you so close to the big day, you should ask if they can reallocate those blooms somewhere else—perhaps in your own bouquet or into table arrangements.

She Probably Has a Valid Reason Why She Can't Participate

"If your bridesmaid suddenly drops out, trust that she probably has a good reason for doing so," explains Michelle Leo Cousins, owner and lead designer of Michelle Leo Events. Sometimes the financial commitment of being a bridesmaid can be overwhelming, she says, causing one to drop out if they can't afford the necessary expenses. Unforeseen health concerns (or last-minute family issues) can also interrupt previously made commitments, she adds.

It Won't Ruin Your Day

"It's important not to feel obligated to replace your bridesmaid, should this actually happen to you, Leo Cousins explains. Don't let this little hiccup get in the way of your enjoyment—hopefully she'll still be able to join you as a guest.

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