Post # 1
Hi! We are choosing to do a reception only celebration with the larger group (and getting married at the courthouse with just my parents present)… Planning to do a nice reception, but not having a lot of the formalities that usually come along with one. However, I still really want to have a Bridal-party of my 5 closest girlfriends. Is it okay to have a bridal party group if you aren’t having a formal wedding ceremony? I would like to honor them, as my close friends, and find a creative way to recognize them or have them play a part in the reception.
I woudl like the reception to just be everyone mingling and having a great time, but I do not want to have any speeches or things like that. Was also thinking about doing some sort of a fun entrance, and maybe that would be a good time to have the bridal party involved?
Also, to add to the complication, I dont think my fiance will have a wedding party… so would that be odd to have only a bridal party group, but not groomsmen? Thoughts?
Also, I would like my close friends to help me with a bachelorette/shower… so that is another reason I would like to designate my bridesmaids.
Is it accceptable to have a formal “bridal party” if you are not having them involved with the wedding ceremony?
Sorry I am new to all of this!
thanks for your ideas and advice.
Post # 3
I think it’s cool just as long as you don’t have them spending a lot of money on their attire.
Post # 4
I think it seems a little odd especially if your fiance is not having any. But hey its your wedding you can do what you want.
Post # 5
i would think its a bit weird – a reception is basically a party and i feel its a lot to ask of friends to buy new dresses/accessories/hair ect when they dont actually get to stand with you during the ceremony
Post # 6
It’s ok to do that if that’s what you want to do 🙂 But, just out of curiosity, what would they actually do at the reception that makes them stand out as bridesmaids?
When I think “bridesmaid” I think of the things they do during the ceremony. They don’t really do a lot at the reception as such. I guess things like a fun entrance like you said, but maybe come up with a few more ideas so they stand out as being bridesmaids. I can’t think of much apart from what you already said, sorry lol.
Post # 7
You can do whatever you want, but I guess I really don’t see the point. I’d be a little annoyed if someone asked me to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, spend money, and not actually have a ceremony. Personally, if there is no ceremony, I don’t see a need to go through the process of selecting BMs, dress shopping, etc. Plus, if your fiance isn’t having one, it’ll look doubly weird.
I also think a grand entrance with a bridal party without a ceremony is bizarre, too. Your entrance I can understand, but I don’t see the need for a Bridal Party in this case.
Post # 8
You can do anything that you want to do but this could embarrass Fi a little if he has no one, also don’t really know what they would do???
Post # 9
I think it’s kind of strange, too, especially to have 5, which is a lot. Bridesmaids are really there to stand up for you at the ceremony, and to have them only for a reception seems quite weird. That being said, it’s your wedding, so if you want them (and your Fiance is okay with it), go ahead!
Post # 10
The point of a reception is to RECEIVE guests and thank them for attending the ceremony… could you possibly get married at your reception?
Post # 11
Thanks for all the feedback; It’s appreciated! I guess I just wanted to recognize my closest friends and have their support during the process. and yes, my intentions were to Not have them spend a lot money on dresses/etc. I am pretty low maintenenance, and didn’t want them to have any burden financially. I was more thinking of having them just all wear a black dress and have a matching bow/sash. It would just be great to have them play a special role in some way. So, perhaps then find an alternative way for them to play a part in the reception without having them be formal bridal party…and set expectations with them up front. everything everyone says makes sense, but I was just hoping to think out of the box somehow! 🙂
Post # 12
@clk: Why not get them all a corsage or something along those lines?
Post # 13
I think it would be a little strange to have the girls do the entrance with you guys, but have no groomsman, but honestly, it’s your wedding and I think you should do what feels right to you. If you ask all the girls to wear black or a similiar color, you could still get some really cute pictures together which would be nice!
My Fiance & I decided not to have anyone stand up with us at the ceremony, but I still plan to ask my few closest friends to be “non-bridesmaids”, basically to help with the bachlorette/shower still and be there day of to get ready together, etc. Basically just to let them know I still can’t imagine my day without them, even if they aren’t in matching dresses or standing next to me during the ceremony. I doubt I will recognize them at the reception, but I’m still planning to get them all gifts and write them a nice thank you note.
Post # 14
Girl, you can do whatever you want. Go for it.
Post # 15
That’s a very helpful idea… Essentially that’s what I would like – is their closeness during bachelorette/shower planning..and on the day of, to be able to take pictures with them and let them know they are special! Hopefully more ideas will come on how I can give them a special role at the reception without it being strange
Post # 16
I may not say anything different than some above posters, but here’s my take.
1. Bridesmaids and not groomsmen. In my religion (or culture) bridesmaids and groomsmen are not something that is traditionally done. Nowadays people in America of this religion have started doing it because it is the way things are done in America and the influence is there. However, no bridesmaids or groomsmen stand up at the ceremony because that is not the way a ceremony in my religion works. The only people standing up are possibly siblings and then for sure parents and that’s it. Additionally, because bridesmaids and groomsmen are not typically seen in these types of weddings, most guys don’t have them. They don’t feel the need for them. So what is now happening is that the bride is choosing bridesmaids and they are buying or making dresses of the color and they are present for one particular part of the wedding pre-ceremony and then that’s it. It is rare to find bridesmaids walking down the aisle, and certainly I’ve never seen couples walk down an aisle unless they were married and siblings of the bride or groom (i.e. no bridesmaid/groomsmen match-ups). At my wedding I had 7 bridesmaids and my husband had no groomsmen, and the only ones to walk down the aisle were our siblings. This is how it is done in my religion/culture. So I just wanted to say that where I’m coming from not having groomsmen, but yes having bridesmaids, isn’t a foreign concept and I think if you want to do that then you definitely can.
2. I don’t think you should include the bridal party in your entrance.
3. If the girls really don’t have to put out a lot of money on a dress/hair/accessories, etc. then I don’t really see the problem in calling them bridesmaids. To me the problem is if you have them act as bridesmaids in every traditional sense and then don’t have a ceremony. So what I would suggest – which based upon your update I see you’ve considered – is having the girls wear a specific color, something easy to find or a color that they would already own, and then you buy the sash or belt that you want them all to match with. I think you can write them all a little note or create something cute to ask them to be bridesmaids with and explain to them the situation upfront so you’re all on the same page as far as expectations. Then on the day of the reception they can be with you to get ready and take the bridesmaid pictures with and then have a great time at the reception. As far as recognizing them at the reception, I have no out of the box ideas.