Can you turn down the position of maid of honor?


Why You'll Head the Wedding Party
A really bad bridesmaid dress is no excuse for declining the maid of honor position.
A really bad bridesmaid dress is no excuse for declining the maid of honor position.
©iStockphoto.com/aceshot

There are plenty of reasons why you may want to decline the maid of honor position, but, unfortunately, they probably aren't going to work.

Most women tend to think about their wedding in emotional, sentimental terms (dreaming about the day since childhood will do that to a girl), so you just can't pass on the offer without bruising a friend's feelings. If you reject the position with a bad excuse, at best she'll hold a grudge, at worst your friendship will be over. Even if there's no way she can get rid of you completely -- you're sisters, for example -- refusing to be her maid of honor could still irreparably damage your relationship. Therefore, you need to consider the potential results of your decision before you cast off the position, and giving excuses like the ones below are a good way to lose her friendship.

  • Reason: You think one of her other friends would do a better job.Why It Won't Work: She asked you, so trust her decision, and start helping her plan the wedding.
  • Reason: You've dated the groom.Why It Won't Work: If she's asking you to be her MOH, chances are she knows all about it. And if she's OK with it, you have to be OK with it (even if it's weird).
  • Reason: You're not as close as she thinks you are.Why It Won't Work: Even if you're not the BFFs she believes you to be, she obviously considers you a true friend or she wouldn't have popped the maid of honor question. Unless you're cold enough to kick your friendship to the curb, say yes.
  • Reason: The dress she wants you to wear is hideous.Why It Won't Work: Just don't show the pictures to anyone. Your friendship is worth an afternoon in an ugly dress, right?
  • Reason: The third member of your threesome is going to be crushed.Why It Won't Work: Just try to break the news gently to her. Better yet, have the bride do it.
  • Reason: You can't afford it.Why It Won't Work: Sell something, borrow money or charge it. This is a once (maybe twice) in a lifetime event, and she wants you to be a part of it. Cough up the dough and support her. You can, however, let the bride know you're hard up. She deserves to know this is a financial hardship and that her bridal shower isn't going to be the extravagant party she's been envisioning.
  • Reason: You have to work.Why It Won't Work: No matter how busy your work schedule might be, you should still find a way to make it to the ceremony. It's just one day, after all.
  • Reason: You just don't want to deal with it.Why It Won't Work: This is probably the most common excuse, but it's not the best one. Taking on this position might not be how you want to spend your nights and weekends for the next few months, but it's important to be there for your friend. Besides, you'll probably have fun once you're in the thick of planning a wedding with your BFF.

Lacking self-confidence or having to don a repulsive dress may not get you off maid of honor duty, but we know some excuses that will. Find out what they are on the next page.

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