A maid or matron of honor is chosen as the chief attendant at a wedding ceremony. This woman, usually your best friend or family member, is asked because she is likely the one who gave you the most support at important times in your life. However, if the relationship changes between the time you asked your maid of honor and the wedding day itself, and you believe it will be destructive to your wedding day if you keep her, it is important to make a change. There are constructive ways to change your maid of honor so that the friendship is salvaged and the wedding day remains your primary focus.
Pinpoint the exact reason for wanting the change. Do you have guilt because you almost chose someone else and now that person is upset? Or, does someone else, such as your mother, want the change? Refrain from switching your maid of honor for these kinds of reasons. Only replace your maid of honor if she proves herself untrustworthy or continuously disrespectful, such as criticizing your wedding plans, using drugs, insulting the bridal party or propositioning the groom.
Enlighten your maid of honor about your concerns. Give her a chance to explain her behavior and make her aware of your thoughts. While her explanations or apologies may make the two of you understand each other better, this is not justification for keeping her as your maid of honor. This discussion simply gives her a head's up that you are unhappy with her choices.
Discuss changing your maid of honor with your fiance. Tell him what you are considering and ask his opinion. Talk about the pros of asking her to step down, such as asking someone you are now closer to, and the cons, such as long-term family problems if she is a sister. Weigh the consequences for your actions against your strong feelings.
Tell your maid of honor that you have changed your mind due to the present circumstances. Call her if you feel she will listen, express disappointment or relief in a mature manner and will still want to come to the wedding. Give her a way out first, by saying something like, "I know how busy your life is right now with a new baby in the house" or "You must be going through a lot right now trying to juggle school, work and a family." She may take the bait and step down herself. Write a certified letter if you feel she will explode with anger or say hurtful things in response to the news.
Ask your new maid of honor if she will step up. This will likely be someone from the bridal party. Explain the situation, without getting into every detail, and sincerely ask if she will be your new maid of honor. Keep it upbeat without the focus being on the old maid of honor. Portray this change as something you are excited about, rather than something that you had to do.
Reimburse your original maid of honor for dress expenses. Send a check as soon as possible and certify the envelope. If she gave you a bridal shower, it is not necessary to pay her back.
Let the other members of the bridal party and close family members know of the replacement so there are no surprises on the wedding day.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.