Post # 1
I’ve been engaged since February and I cannot for the life of me figure this out on my own (or with the help of FH) so I’m turning to you ladies for help …
FH and I are having a small-ish wedding of around 100 people in June 2017. We have been going back and forth about the wedding party for months. One day we decide we don’t want any additional stress and to keep costs down and we decide to go with three on each side: his three best friends and my sister as Maid/Matron of Honor and his two sisters, who I am close with, on my side. Then the next day I’ll say that I feel like it doesn’t feel quite right to only have family on my side and that I want girlfriends involved too. Then we both get talking about that and end up saying, “Let’s do it! Six on each side it is!” But the cycle continues …
I think part of what’s holding us back from making a final decision is that it feels like it’s either three girls (my sister and his two sisters) or six girls (my sister, his two sisters, and my three closest friends). I’ve tried to think about how I could cut the six girls down to four or five but I’m at a loss when it comes to choosing between the three.
So, with that said, I am asking for your opinions on who to choose (if any) based on the info below (yes I know you don’t know these girls AT ALL let alone ME but I’m losing it here!)
Potential Bridesmaid or Best Man #1: We were best friends in high school, moved away to university together, lived together and pretty much knew each other inside and out from age 15 to 24. I’m 29 now and in the last few years we have drifted apart. We live in different provinces now (Canada) and rarely see each other. We still Skype and Snapchat to keep in touch but she’s not a part of my life on a daily basis (I’m sad to say). I might be holding onto something that’s not there anymore but for some reason it bothers me when I think of not including her in the wedding … even though we are clearly living different lives.
Potential Bridesmaid or Best Man #2: We’ve worked together for the past 2 years and are ‘work besties’ as they say. We clicked instantly and talk about my wedding, starting a family and the meaning of life all the time. We have TONS in common and she is a very positive and calming influence on my life. I can see us remaining close through the next stage of our lives as we get married and have kids etc. However, she is a newer friend and maybe if we stopped working together the friendship would fade. My FH also doesn’t know her that well.
Potential Bridesmaid or Best Man #3: We met in our last year of college and have grown even closer in the years since leaving college (I’ve known her about 3 years total). I wasn’t in her wedding party which was a year ago but I was the wedding photographer. We double date with her and her hubby lots and my FH loves them both. I can also see us remaining close into the future. She has probably been the most involved in my wedding thus far in terms of asking about where I’m at with stuff and helping me out by answering questions I have but it might be because she is the only one of the three who has gotten married …
Ok, so what are your thoughts Bees? Include one, two or all three of the above potential BMs? I know I sound completley neurotic but this is really stressing me out. Please tell me what you think!
Post # 2
I personally would not have a bridal party. If you really want one, bear in mind things like extra expenses to the people whom you ask. 6 on each side for a wedding of 100 may be too many, but honestly it’s whatever YOU want to do. I would not feel bad about not asking his sisters, irrespective of how much you like them, because they are still his sisters, not yours. I’d go with the people you truly want up there with you
Post # 3
I think sisters only is a good line to draw. A 12-person bridal party is a lot for a 100-person wedding, IMO.
Personally, I’m not having a bridal party, and it’s made things SO EASY.
Post # 4
I think #3 sounds like your closest friend, so involve her. I don’t think not asking a work friend and a fading away ‘best’ friend rates the same at all. It’s just nostalgia in my opinion. Then you’ve got a party of 4 – not too huge but you still have a friend there as well as relatives. If you still feel bad about the other two, ask them to do a reading or something.
Me, I wouldn’t involve an in-law at all. If he wants them in the wedding, they should be on his side. But you do say you’re close, so I guess that counts as friends, too.
Post # 5
Either do just sister + sisters-in-law, or all 6. Don’t try to pick between the 3 friends.
6 is not too many for a bridal party, if that’s what’s holding you bavck.
Personally, though, I did sisters only. That was a drama-free way of choosing, for me.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2017 - Mississauga Convention Centre
Our bridal party is just family no friends
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2017 - The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek
Are you against uneven parties? Why not just do his 3 close friends on his side and your 3 close friends and family (6) on your side?
Also, is there a reason 3 (or fewer) is better than 6? We always knew we were going to have 2 on each side (sisters and their SOs), so I’m not really sure if there’s a financial reason or anything for having fewer wedding party members.
Post # 8
Persoanlly, I would add your college friend to the lineup but not the other 2 girls. You’re obviously still very close with your college friend and your Fiance is also friends with her. I personally wouldn’t include the childhood best friend or work friend – you’ve pretty much explained why already (you’ve drifted apart from the first and may not stay in touch with the second if you no longer worked together). Of course you should invite them to the wedding, but I don’t think leaving them off the bridesmaid list is a big deal.
For what it’s worth, one of my sisters (2 years younger than me) is my Maid/Matron of Honor and the other (13 years younger than me) is a bridesmaid. My best friend is a bridesmaid and so is one of my FSILs (my Fiance has three sisters but we decided to only ask the one that we are both closest to; there were no hard feelings, but leaving only 1 out would have been asking for drama).
Post # 9
I voted for #1 only. In my opinion, bridesmaids are your oldest, best friends. She was so close for so long, and there doesn’t seem to have been a rift. I know there are many stories on this site about how old friends who you’ve drifted part from can make cr*ppy bridesmaids, but I think those stories are the exceptions, and when you dig deep you find they were cr*ppy friends in the first place. If you’re on good terms and she’s always been a good and loyal friend, I would include her.
#2 is a definite “no” for me: you have known for too short a time and will probably stop being close once one of you changes jobs.
#3 is a “maybe”. The fact that you’ve only known her for 3 years, and you weren’t in her wedding, means you can safely leave her out. But it’s also probably safe to include her if you feel you need to to balance numbers.
Post # 10
I would add all 3. To me they seem like very close friends. 6 is certainly not too many. I think that you’ve had such a hard time deciding is a good indicator.
Post # 11
I’m open to uneven numbers on each side but FH isn’t too keen on it. In terms of three being better than six…I guess my thinking was that a smaller party would be less expensive. Although when I really think about it, I don’t know that it would be that much more expensive to have six. It would really just be a bit extra for gifts since in our area it’s most common for BMs to pay for their own dress, hair and makeup etc.
Post # 12
I was concerned that 6 BMs would be a lot for a 100 guest wedding. But I guess it depends on who you ask – some people think it’s a lot and others wouldn’t think twice about it.
Post # 13
Bridesmaids seem to be a really important choice with weddings, and can become a major pain point as exemplified on these boards. I think that you should include anyone in your wedding party that you WANT to include, and not who you might feel obligated to include. You want people in your bridal party who are going to support you and not want to cause drama (read: want to do what’s best for you). I think BM# 3 sounds like a great choice, especially since you and your fiancé are so close to her and her hubby.
I also think it speaks volumes that you wrote that #2 is a calming influence. I honestly think that that’s really important.
FWIW, I have 4 on my side. My Maid/Matron of Honor is my current best friend that I met 3.5 years ago. She turned my world upside down in the best possible way, and if it wasn’t for her – I wouldn’t have a lot of good things in my life, including my fiancé. This is her first time being an Maid/Matron of Honor (she is a few years younger than me) and so far is a rock star, eager and ready to DIY all the things (she offered) and has already expressed she is open to whatever dresses will work with harder to dress bridesmaids.
I have my 2 sisters as matrons of honor – they’re older than me and have each been married ~20 years. They’ve also been very helpful and are very open.
And last, is my bridesmaid – really a title only. When she got married 2 years ago, she had so much drama with her bridesmaids. She would go out shopping with them, and they’d be at each other’s throats, completely ignoring that she was seeking their help about her. They just wanted to make it about them. I, not in the bridal party, took her out to brunch and shopping for things she needed and gushed with her while her bridal party was too busy being wrapped up in themselves and their drama. She also has suggested DIYing all the things, and when I asked her for some advice about a wedding venue logistical issue, came back with viable and helpful options that were extremely well researched – it blew my mind!
All that to say – planning a wedding is a huge undertaking, as I’m sure you already know. You are likely going to have a million ideas and, admittedly, be a little fickle. You want people in your bridal party that are going to have your back and be patient with you (bad have the time and energy to) and support you (and that you want to support and gush over back). I’m sorry this was so long- I’ve just seen the fallout from poor bridal party choices and don’t wish that on anybody!
Post # 14
Thank you!! 🙂 I very much appreciate your thorough reply. I agree that it’s so important to have people involved that are patient and supportive. I definitely think that all the girls have those qualities but I’d have to say Bridesmaid or Best Man #3 is probably the most willing and eager to help out and spend an afternoon doing DIY centrepieces with me haha. #BM 2 would be most likely to talk me through a panic attack though … 🙂
Post # 15
of course! I should add that my bridesmaid, I’ve also only been friends with for about 3-4 years but we have become very ingrained in each other’s lives (met through work, but her future SIL is an old friend of mine from high school and her brother works with my fiancé and they are friends). Actually, when I asked her – she told me how much she regretted her choice in her bridal party and had Her fiancé at the time been able to choose one more person on his side, she would have asked me (she also had told me this shortly after asking the members of her bridal party way back when).
By comparison, I actually had a falling out with my oldest friend over…bum bum bum. Her wedding. We’d been best friends since kindergarten, and always said we’d be each other’s Maid/Matron of Honor. I never expected her to follow through on that promise, but when she got engaged she decided on a family only wedding and excluded me completely (nevermind that we were closer than quite a bit of her family). We’ve since reconciled, and it has actually left me with some weird feelings about what capacity I want her involved in my wedding. Just reassuring you that the loyalty you need here comes from the quality of your friendship rather than the longevity :).
How is about for BM#2, asking her to help you with a few wedding things and seeing how she handles it? And how it makes you feel? You don’t have to ask her today! 🙂