19 Stories From People Who Were Supposed To Be Bridesmaids And Groomsmen, And All The Reasons They Chose Not To

19 Stories From People Who Were Supposed To Be Bridesmaids And Groomsmen, And All The Reasons They Chose Not To

Anyone who has ever been in a wedding party knows it's equal parts exciting and fun as it is stressful and expensive.

Katherine Heigl and two other bridesmaids in gothic attire holding red bouquets
© 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

We recently asked former bridesmaids and groomsmen in BuzzFeed Community to share why they decided to quit a friend or family member's wedding.

Kristen Wiig sitting on a couch looking at Maya Rudolph's engagement ring in Bridesmaids
Suzanne Hanover / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

From cheating scandals to people being really, really bad friends, here are the most memorable stories that came in:

1."We were 20/21. I was best friends with both the bride and groom. Before the engagement, the bride had broken up with the groom because he wasn't proposing in a timely manner and she immediately started sleeping with someone at school. One morning after the new guy spent the night, the ex came over with a high school art class-made ring to propose to her and told her he'd purchase a real engagement ring if she said yes. Meanwhile, the other guy hid in her bedroom and she kicked him out after her now fiancé left. She asked me to be her bridesmaid and initially, I agreed but I felt what she did was wrong and couldn't continue being both their friends knowing the full story. I slowly removed myself from the friendships and was kicked out of the wedding party. I haven't spoken to either since and it's been almost 20 years."

Drew Barrymore in a server uuniform holding a tray with food, standing in front of flowers and greenery

—Anonymous, Michigan

© New Line / Courtesy Everett Collection

2."I quit after the bachelorette weekend. I had already spent my bridesmaid budget and still had the shower, fittings, shoes, gifts and the actual wedding. I calculated what that would cost me and realized I would need to drop another grand. I was the financially mature bridesmaid. I could do it, but I was the only one who could without undue financial issues. I started to worry about the burden on the other bridesmaids and talked to the bride before the bachelorette. I told her that her friends were struggling to pay for the bachelorette. Instead of letting her friends cover her travel costs, I advised her to step up and pay for her share. She proceeded to go on a 40-minute rant about how her friends' debt wasn't her business or fault and she shouldn't have to suffer. She regretted asking them because she knew they were in debt and would put a damper on her experience."

"At that point, I thought I was too far in to back out. But her lack of grace and appreciation during the bachelorette changed my mind. I told her I would remain a member of the bridal party but was backing out for personal reasons. She lost it. She demanded I continue or we were no longer friends. I saw how she treated her friends. I saw how little she cared for them and I told her our friendship was over. I then invested $1000 that I would have spent in the stock market. I knew that I would at least have a positive return on that."

—Anonymous, Washington

3."I had to quit a wedding because the bride decided to pack up her bags and move to Australia without telling her wedding party. We found out via Instagram stories. Needless to say, that friendship was over."

Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway seated side by side look at each other, one in a veil and the other bare-shouldered
© 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

4."I was maid of honor in a wedding and my husband was a groomsman. The bride and I were not close, and it became clear I was to be her wedding planner. She was young and didn't have great family support, so I offered to lend a hand but I ended up finding her venue, doing her guest list, designing her invitations, building her website, setting up her RSVPs, and more. Two days before her bachelorette party in northern New Hampshire, her sister asked if I could drive the bride and two others. Out of the eight adult women, only two of us had functioning vehicles. I agreed but quietly wondered why transportation hadn't been discussed sooner. The night before the party, we learned it would snow the entire night before and the whole day during our drive up. I told the group I didn't feel safe making the 3+ hour drive as my car didn't do well in the snow."

"The host of our Airbnb even offered us a free cancellation due to the weather, so I suggested we accept and offered to find an alternative way to celebrate. The group decided to go anyway and I called the bride to let her know I wouldn't be able to attend.

She seemed understanding and fine with my decision. However, shortly after the party, the bride sent me a mile-long text accusing me of failing to pull my weight and telling me she expected more from me since I had been maid of honor before. I called her right away, and she yelled at me about how selfish it was for me to cancel and force the others to find another way to get to the party.

She insisted the roads were fine (based on the news and some friends I had in the area, she was mistaken). The kicker was she said she had a horrible weekend because the Airbnb lost power and heat but 'it wasn't because of the storm it was just because of the wind.' I let her know I wouldn't be apologizing for choosing my safety and she called me a terrible person and hung up. Eventually, her fiancé got involved and demanded my husband make me apologize which led us both to bow out of the wedding altogether."


5."I didn't leave a bridal party, but one of the bridesmaids did. For an entire year, we all saved up money to buy the dresses. On the day we went shopping, she refused to buy it saying she ran into money problems and left the bridal party in a hissy fit. The bride replaces her. The day of the wedding comes and we're all walking down the aisle when we see her sitting NEXT to the bride's mother and father. Her siblings were even confused. The ceremony goes on and finishes. We all get into the limo to take pictures in a park. We're all getting out when we see that the former bridesmaid followed the limo with her car to the park for the photo session. We overhear her talking to one of the groomsmen when he asked her why she was there and she answered, 'Well, I didn't know anyone so I thought I'd come along.' We look over at the bride and she is just as confused as us and she didn't tell her she could come."

Three women in elegant dresses; one in black, others in green and purple, looking aside with serious expressions

6."I was invited to be the bridesmaid at my best friend's wedding. I thought it was going to be the greatest thing ever, so we went to a bar for her bachelorette party. She didn't touch alcohol and wandered off halfway through the party. I went to find her and she was making out with another bridesmaid. I couldn't look at the groom knowing what I saw so I told her I had a thing come up."


7."I was maid of honor for my older sister's wedding in early 2023. Multiple little things started to mess with my head. She not only insulted the bachelorette party I had thrown for her, but also revealed my pregnancy to our family and her friends. At the time I was still in college and only had a part-time job, and I recently discovered my pregnancy was high-risk. I quit so quickly and just sent a gift."

Rachel McAdams in a red bridesmaid dress pondering down a wedding aisle
© New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

8."Growing up, I had a friend that I went to school with starting in elementary. We lived in the same neighborhood, were in the same scout troop, and had a few extracurriculars together in high school. We were never super close but knew each other forever. After we went to separate colleges, we still met up a few times, even after graduating. She asked me to be a bridesmaid about six months before her wedding, and I gladly said yes. I was added to the bridesmaid group chat which had been established two years prior. She sent me the link to buy the dress and to book a hair and makeup session."

"The wedding was far enough away that it was going to be an expensive drive or an expensive flight with a checked bag. She also sent me the info for the block of hotel rooms they had reserved, but of course, I'd be paying for my own on that as well. I didn't read the thousands of messages in the group chat, but I realized they had already gone on the bachelorette trip. At that point, I realized I was most likely replacing someone she had originally asked who backed out, and I didn't feel like that was the level of friendship I had $2,000+ lying around to spare while I was still establishing myself as a young adult. No hard feelings. I just told her I wouldn't be able to make it and I'm pretty sure she asked another 'old friend.'"


9."I was maid of honor. We went to a shoe store to exchange a pair of shoes that her fiancé was supposed to wear the next day. Understandably, they couldn't take them back because the fiancé had worn them and they were covered in dirt. My then-friend threw a major fit and told the employees that she would just go look at another pair of shoes to buy. I told her I had to use the restroom while she went to get another pair of shoes. When I came out, she was standing there holding the box with the old pair of shoes and said she couldn't find any shoes his size. Turns out, she switched the old pair of shoes for a new pair."

Raven-Symoné in a tattered gown next to an officer in a police station

10."I was in two weddings after college. One was a friend from college and the other was my future sister-in-law. Not able to afford both I chose family and was banished from the friend's wedding, showers, and life."

—AJ, Pennsylvania

11."I was co-maid of honor for a friend I had known since middle school and helped plan a majority of the bachelorette party, which was out of state. I decided to fly in a day early to get things prepared and be ready. The rest of the girls ended up doing the same thing, but stayed at a completely different hotel for some reason. I had picked the hotel we were staying at for the weekend. The next morning we were all supposed to meet up, but when I went to text everyone they all ghosted me, yet were able to post photos of themselves on Instagram at a pool somewhere. I ended up sitting in the hotel lobby for three hours waiting for a reply to find out where everyone was. I changed my flight, grabbed an Uber, and headed home after being there for less than 24 hours."

Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon on a bachelorette party wearing pink sashes and one woman rolling two suitcases

12."It was my sister’s wedding. The week before she was supposed to get married I came to her house to drop off some of the wedding plans and found her in bed with a man. This man was not her groom, and I recognized him as the groom's father. My sister saw me and told me I couldn't tell anybody because I wouldn't want to ruin their marriage. I told her I wasn't going to be a part of the wedding anymore and immediately told the groom. He freaked out and confronted them while they were still in the act, and called off the wedding. A few years later my sister was engaged again and I told her I wouldn't be in any more of her wedding parties, and that I had enough of her nonsense."

—Anonymous, California

13."I had a friend who was having a destination wedding at a luxury resort in the Caribbean. In addition to the cost of travel, which was around $7k, her maid of honor then requested we buy $400 bridesmaid dresses. The bachelorette party was a destination as well, but I had to pass because of work and family commitments which didn't go over too well. It ultimately led to a big falling out and me backing out of the wedding. When the bride finally came around and understood she was out of line with her requests, she re-invited me to the wedding, but I already made plans with the cash saved from celebrating her event and spent 10 days in Hawaii instead, the week of her wedding. Needless to say, we're not friends anymore."

Kristen Wiig seated by Annie Mumolo on a plane during a scene in Bridesmaids

—Tina, New Jersey

Suzanne Hanover / © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

14."I was to be the maid of honor, or matron I guess, for my sister's wedding. My husband and I were trying to get pregnant in the period leading up to the big day. She knew this and was supportive the few times we talked about it. Well, we got pregnant. When I called her with the good news, she screamed at me, 'You're just trying to steal all the attention for yourself.' She said I couldn’t be her maid of honor. She didn’t invite me to her wedding. She showed up in the hospital after my son was born and acted like nothing had happened. I think she never wanted me there and was pleased to have an out. Still sad."

—L, British Columbia

15."I was the maid of honor in my college best friend's wedding. The week before, she got blackout drunk and cheated on her fiancé with MY boyfriend at the time. Caught them in MY house and ended things right then and there. Obviously quit the wedding party and later on, the entire wedding was called off. She's still with him. It’s a very toxic situation but they’ve got three kids and another on the way. The fiancé moved out of the state and I've moved on as well. No contact from any party, though."

Katherine Heigel wearing a pink bridesmaids dress and holding a pink bouquet by a bride smiling


© 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

16."As the chosen maid of honor for Liz, my dearest friend of over a decade, I was overjoyed. Liz and I weren't just friends; we were soul sisters, navigating life's highs and lows side by side. But our unbreakable bond faced a test when Liz unveiled her secret romance with Jake, a musician fifteen years her junior. Despite my reservations about Liz's unconventional choice, I resolved to support her newfound happiness. Yet, her clandestine affair left me feeling like an outsider in our once inseparable friendship. As Liz cautiously introduced Jake into our circle, our daily conversations dwindled to occasional catch-ups. Her excuses about Jake's social circle and age-related concerns only widened the growing chasm between us."

"When Liz bestowed upon me the honor of being her maid of honor, I hoped it would rekindle the closeness we once shared. However, it soon became apparent that my role was merely symbolic. Liz's delegation of wedding duties to her fiancé's inner circle left me feeling sidelined and disconnected.

The tipping point arrived when Liz revealed her elaborate wedding plans, complete with surprise skits and events I knew nothing about. Feeling blindsided and undervalued, I confronted Liz about her lack of communication and inclusion in the planning process. Her dismissive response shattered any illusions I had about the depth of our friendship. It was clear that my role as maid of honor was a superficial gesture, rather than a genuine acknowledgment of our bond.

Recognizing that our friendship had irreversibly changed, I made the agonizing decision to step down from the role. It was a moment of clarity that laid bare the stark reality of our fractured relationship. Though I attended her wedding as a guest, it was evident that our connection would never be the same.

In the aftermath, Liz and I drifted apart, our once unbreakable bond reduced to a distant acquaintanceship. While our paths may never converge as they once did, I've come to accept that some friendships are destined to evolve, even if it means letting go of the past."

—Nicole, Kansas

17."I didn't quit, I was fired. A college friend was wedding planning during my first year of grad school, and I wasn't as available as she liked for calls and various planning events. Finally, she unilaterally announced a dress shopping excursion for a weekend I had a mandatory in-person assignment. When I told her I couldn't attend and why, she told me she didn't think I was committed enough and fired me."

Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig and Ellie Kemper at a bridal shop in Bridesmaids

18."I was kicked out of the wedding party, but the reason why is bizarre. It was about a month before the actual wedding and I was one of the bridesmaids. It was the wedding of a long-term friend of mine, so of course I was excited for her and excited to be in the wedding. So, before the wedding, I find out I'm pregnant. I didn't want to tell a lot of people, but I did tell the bride because I considered her to be one of my closest friends. Immediately her reaction was upset, going on about how I'm gonna ruin the wedding and take the shine! I was trying to tell her this wasn't planned at all, and that likely no one would even know I'm pregnant by the time the wedding comes, because me and my husband wanted to keep it under wraps. She then tells me I can't be in the wedding."

"I'm confused as hell, so I ask her why not. She looks me in the eye and has the nerve to say to me 'You're gonna mess up our skinny valley b--ch look with your pregnancy weight.' I was going to be barely two months by the time of the wedding, and when it did come I still wasn't even showing. I carried small the whole pregnancy. I ended up still coming to the wedding to support her but we don't talk anymore. She didn't even send her congratulations or anything when I had my son. I don't know if she genuinely thought I was trying to steal her shine or ruin the wedding party 'look' but I don't even care anymore."

—Riley, California

19.And finally, "I was in my best friend's first and second weddings. When she got married a third time, of course, she asked me to be part of her wedding. I had young children at the time and my husband worked weekends. I called her and asked for a free pass as I had done two out of three. She laughed and gave me the pass. She's still married to number three now going on 24 years and we're still friends."

Anne Hathaway wearing a shoulderless bridal gown and veil holding a bouquet of flowers
© 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Have you ever quit someone's wedding party? Give us all the details in the comments!

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.