• Other Friendship Advice

My maid of honor has a drinking problem

Published: April 20, 2016 | Last Updated: April 20, 2016 By | 5 Replies Continue Reading
How do you handle a drinking problem in your bridal party?


I’m getting married one month from today and it feels like it’s going to be a huge mess because my maid of honor has really been slacking in that department.

Everything was going fine until about three months ago. When I would text her about stuff for the shower, she would ignore my texts, or be drunk and forget what we talked about.

Fast forward to my actual bridal shower, it was nice but so disorganized. She was drinking the whole time and left early, leaving me me to clean everything up. I don’t know what to do. We are supposed to be good friends but it feels like all she cares about is getting drunk with not so great people.

Any advice would be great thank you.

Signed, Marla


Hi Marla,

No bride should have to deal with the stress of a maid of honor who isn’t up to the task. You have so much on your plate right now and having someone unreliable at your side on your wedding day may be worse than having no one.

Based on your maid of honor’s behavior at the shower, her behavior at the wedding is likely to be the same. Liquor will be flowing and if she has a drinking problem, all the triggers will be there for her to get drunk.

I think you need to speak to her right away and tell her that you care about her, know she has a drinking problem, and hope she seeks help but you can’t place yourself, your fiancé and your family and friends in a potentially embarrassing situation on your wedding day. Tell her that you were very disappointed in the way she handled herself at the shower.

Explain that you can no longer have her as your maid of honor but you hope she will attend as a guest and do her very best not to embarrass you. Moreover, you hope that she will use the next few weeks to sober up.

Is there a relative or another bridesmaid you can ask to rise to the occasion at the last minute and to be your maid of honor?

The timing is very unfortunate but I don’t think you have any other choice but to cut your losses.

Hope this is helpful.

Best, Irene

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Category: Bridezillas and other monsters

Comments (5)

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  1. Amy F says:

    Your friend will probably be angry with you when you replace her as maid of honor, but you’ll be doing the right thing for both of you. She has a problem, and her problem is affecting you. There are consequences to her drinking, and that includes being replaced as your MOH. Be loving and direct with her. “I care about you. I was concerned and upset when you were drunk at my shower and did (said) X, Y, Z. Because of this I’ve asked Mary to replace you as MOH. Please, please get some help for your drinking. If AA isn’t for you, find a therapist or go to rehab. I don’t want to see you hurting yourself and your relationships. I miss the person you were before you drank. I also don’t want your drinking to interfere with my wedding and I don’t trust you to be able to be there for me. This is hard for me,but my decision is final.”
    Then you’ve got to allow her to have whatever anger and reaction she has, and not be manipulated by it. If you’re so inclined, offer to go to a meeting with her, or help her find a therapist.
    Have a great wedding and marriage!

  2. ShootingStar says:

    I wish I was the maid of honor for your wedding! My case is the bride to be doesnt have her self together! No gown, no bridal attire, hasn’t asked the bridal party to be in the wedding or me to be MOH and her wedding is June 1st! Her shower is at the end of this month and I still don’t have a guest list to send formal invites out yet. 9 days away. Everyone including the BRIDE deserves to have a great time. The MOHs duty is to take all the stress on her shoulders so you don’t have to. Realistically as cold as it sounds idk if it’d want her there even as a guest. She will be drinking and many drunks can become angry and hostile. Be careful.

  3. Salstarat says:

    The problem with people who have an addiction issue is that they are entirely self-focused. She doesn’t care about ANYTHING or ANYONE except for when her next drink is coming from. You do not deserve to be treated like this and you must now pull her aside and tell her that you are aware of her drinking problem and that you feel that it would be too difficult for her to focus on the duties as your Matron-of-Honour whilst she is distracted with such issues. Soften the blow by telling her you still value her friendship and she is welcome to play a supporting role behind-the-scenes if she wishes – but don’t be in a hurry to delegate any duties to her because it is doubtful that she would be able to cope anyway. Do NOT allow her to talk you out of your decision … even if it means that it could impair your friendship. The wedding day is all about YOU, YOUR family and YOUR fiancé/husband. The chances are that if you have other bridesmaids who are mutual friends of this woman, they are already aware of her drinking problem … find one of those girls to step in as the Matron-of-Honour. You will then need to think about where you are going to seat her and her partner (if she has one). The best idea would be to seat her with people who know her well so that she doesn’t make a fool of herself with other friends/relatives of yours that do not know her – perhaps you could ask a close mutual friend (with whom she is seated) to monitor the amount she drinks so that she doesn’t get falling-down-drunk at your wedding.

    I noticed that your friend seemed to have “suddenly” became an alcoholic three months ago … do you know what happened to cause this change in her? Perhaps she needs some outside help, eg AA or counselling to get to the bottom of the problem before it is too late.

  4. BJ says:

    Hi Marla: i agree with Irene–get her out of your wedding party now
    –even if it means her not coming or not speaking to you for a period
    of time–weddings are about the bride and groom–it is the day they start
    their new life together and no one should be allowed to spoil that day
    for them–as Irene said,tell her that you were not happy with her at the
    bridal shower and fear a repeat at the wedding and that is why you are
    replacing her at the wedding–based on how she takes that news i would
    decide if she should be allowed at the wedding or not–if she takes it
    well then let her come if not she could be just as drunk and disruptive
    as a guest as she could be as a brides maid–you could think about offering to go to a AA meeting or to support her in finding help after
    the wedding–maybe this is the wakeup call she needs to realize that her
    drinking is out of control–it will be a difficult conversation but she
    needs to hear the truth and if you are her real friend you owe her nothing less than your honesty–good luck and cograts

  5. Lisa says:

    Marla, wow, is all I can say. I do however agree with Irene. How many girls ar ein your wedding party? If it at least three then I would ask your next favorite friend/relative to step up as your maid of Honor. Fill the others in on what has transpired and if you are one girl short it is ok, I have seen wedding parties one groomsman more, and it looks fine. I know it is disappointing, but, I would rather be disappointed than embarrassed. I too am getting married in one month and 2 days so I know how scrambled you are for time, and do not need any additional stress. If she will not be clean in time for your wedding, you have to do the next best thing for you,your future husband and your guests. Do you really want a fiasco on your special day? Best f luck to you AND CONGRATULATIONS !!! I will be thinking of you on your special day.

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