Ask the Experts: Can I Fire My Maid of Honor?

Q: I thought my maid of honor was a true-blue friend. But she’s late for every appointment, wilts when I ask her to help me pick bouquets and complains about the expense of being by my side on one of the most important days of my life. Can I fire her?

A: Before you pull the trigger, put yourself in your maid’s dyed-to-match pumps.

“Brides need to realize that no one is as interested in every detail of the wedding as they are,” says Mark Kingsdorf, owner of the Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants in Philadelphia and consultant for Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 5th Edition (Collins, 2006). “It’s unreasonable to expect their maids to dote on them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

If you still want to make a change, you should sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with your maid of honor—preferably before she has paid for her bridesmaid’s gown. But in the interest of preserving the relationship, stop short of booting her from the wedding party. “Let her know that things aren’t working out—and give her an opening to bow out gracefully,” says Kingsdorf. —Eileen Smith