bridesmaids walking

Asking someone to be a bridesmaid in your wedding is nothing short of a big deal—and a bad bridesmaid can totally ruin your day. Essentially, by giving someone this title, you’re telling them that they play a huge and important role in your life—and are someone who you see as fulfilling this role throughout the rest of your life as well. For this reason, the decision of who should be your bridesmaid should not be taken lightly. You have to imagine that you will not only be friends with this person throughout your life, but that you will be happy that she is next to you in dozens of wedding photos and up on the altar as you say “I do.” If you should also feel 100 percent confident in your decision of who to have as your bridesmaid. Otherwise, it may be an indicator that she doesn’t live up to the standard.

To help you in your decision making, we asked wedding experts to share the key signs that someone may be a bad bridesmaid at your wedding. 

She’s super unreliable.

If you’re really good friend is tons of fun to hang out with, but a bit of a flake, think carefully before including her. “You don't want her to flake on important bridesmaids tasks such as dress shopping and showing up to the ceremony rehearsal on time,” Lindsey Nickel of Lovely Day Events in Napa, California, says. “An unreliable, bad bridesmaid will only cause you anxiety and put stress on your relationship.”

You were frenemies at one point.

If you and this friend have a fraught relationship, meaning at some points she’s your best friend but at others she’s your worst enemy, it’s probably not a good idea to have her as part of your bridal party.  “There is a good chance this friendship will fade and there is no need to placate her now,” says Jodi R.R. Smith of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting in Marblehead, Massachusetts. “Just keep in mind that you will need to have the difficult conversation to let her now she did not make your short list.”

You’re friends by association (or situation).

If there’s someone in your life whom you see often based on circumstances, for example she currently sits in the cubicle next to you at work or is dating your husband’s best friend, you may feel tempted to make this person part of your bridal party, especially since you might communicate with her on a regular basis. However, Jodi warns not confuse a situational friend with an enduring friend. “Sure, invite them to the wedding, but there’s no need to have them at the altar.”

You feel obligated to choose this person, not excited.

If you’re feeling pressured to make someone your bridesmaid, whether it’s because she’s a family member or someone who asked you to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, it’s probably a sign that the relationship isn't one of the most important ones in your life and she’ll make a bad bridesmaid, notes Lindsey. She recommends always following your gut (and your spouse) when selecting bridesmaids. “The wedding is about celebrating you and your future spouse, so you should surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you feel good,” she says.

She won’t be able to attend the big day.

If one of your closest friends or family members lives far away and won’t be able to attend many of the events leading up to your wedding, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to give her the title (and responsibility) of bridesmaid. At the very least, she can make it to the wedding. However, if you’re considering someone for the role of bridesmaid who won’t be able to make it to your wedding, you might want to reconsider. After all, what is the point? Giving someone this title shouldn’t be like naming someone the godparent of your child (although that’s an incredibly large responsibility too!). The main objective of this role is to stand by your side on your wedding day, and if she is unable to fulfill that responsibility, she shouldn’t be your bridesmaid.