The dresses have been purchased, the flights are booked, the countdown is on, and one of your bridesmaids calls up and tells you that she can't make it.  She probably has a perfectly valid excuse, whether it is a non-negotiable business trip or she has come down with a wicked case of the flu. But whatever it is, now you need to move forward. Here is a quick little guide of what you should do if various wedding VIPs cancel at the last minute.

Maid of Honor/Best Man  Someone needs to hold your bouquet. And your guy needs his sidekick to hold the ring.  Promote a bridesmaid or groomsmen and keep the wedding party uneven.  If you have relatives in your bridal party, choose one of them as your maid of honor to avoid any hurt feelings among your friends (this is not a rule, just a suggestion to avoid drama--you need the least amount of that right now).

Bridesmaid/Groomsman  It might be tempting to ask one of your friends who didn't make the initial "cut" to fill in.  But once you have settled your wedding party, you really should leave it that way. No one wants to feel like an awkward substitute. It's perfectly fine to leave a wedding party uneven. You may have to change the recessional around a little, but that's about it.

Reader  The programs have already been printed out and you really love the selected reading.  Go ahead and ask a relative or close family friend, such as your aunt or best friend's mom to do this last-minute favor for you. Similar to the wedding party member situation, you don't want to ask anyone that might have felt slighted about not being included in the wedding party.  When you ask them, be honest and explain what has happened, and how grateful you would be if they would fill in.  Make sure to send them a little token thank you gift or beautiful card following the wedding.

Usher/Guest Book Table  Usually if one of these people cancel, a groomsman or younger relative can step in.  I dare you to not sign a guest book when an adorable 8 year old asks you to.  If your grandparents are able, they are also a lovely greeter at a guest book table and would probably be very proud to fill in.  Ushers should be extroverted and engaging, so pick a substitute based on personality rather than where they are on the family and friends hierarchy.  It's far better to have an outgoing acquaintance escort guests to their seats than a terrified cousin.

No matter what, your wedding is going to be fine.  These are just some simple ways in dealing with the little issues that can arise with wedding planning.


Photo Credit: Le Cape Weddings