Post # 1
Some background: I’m 34 and consider myself to be an ‘older’ bride – meaning, I’ve been to my share of weddings, have my collection of never to be worn again Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses, paid my share of alteration, hair, shoe costs, etc.
I have 3 childhood friends that would make up my wedding party – 1 married gal, 1 single gal, and 1 single guy. We have talked about this and they are totally fine with whatever I decide (meaning to do the wedding party or not). The married one thinks I might be sad to miss out on the pictures and the whole bridal party thing after the fact… which I’m beginning to think I may.
In the past, when I thought about my wedding, I was intent that I wouldn’t do a wedding party and I’d just make sure there were tons of pictures with my friends in whatever wedding attire they chose. I also thought it would be more cost effective (less bouquets, less cost for my best friends having to pay for stuff, have to stand during the wedding, etc etc etc…). But now that I’m engaged – I’m reconsidering this as I’m beginning to think that I will regret not having the whole wedding party experience.
Any pros and cons you have experienced after making the decision to have a wedding party or not??? I’ve read that bridal parties are the source of much stress, but I know this wouldn’t be the case with this group (we’ve all been friends for 20+ years).
EDIT: I suppose I should add what FI’s thoughts are on the matter. 🙂 He isn’t too sure who he’d include on his side, so he could take it or leave it…
Post # 3
Personally…being in my share of weddings (including my first) I don’t have a use for a bridal party. I would throw in too that I am having a destination wedding. I just didn’t see the point of asking a group of women to buy a dress and to stand around for 20 minutes during the ceremony. It’s a lot of money. I did ask one good friend to stand up for me, as did my Fi. A bridal party just wasn’t our thing. We want everyone to just come and enjoy!
No matter what you decide it will be wonderful!!
Post # 4
I’m also an older bride and am not having a wedding party. I just couldn’t imagine a bunch of my girlfriends standing up there in uncomfortable dresses holding flowers. My feeling is that weddings are stressful enough without having to add friends into the process. 🙂
My best friend was married in April and did not have a wedding party either. It did not diminish the wedding in the slightest.
Post # 5
@betagirl – that’s exactly why I was leaning towards NOT doing them – even with comfy shoes and dresses, as a Bridesmaid or Best Man I always feel a bit awkward sharing the stage. Sure, it’s nice to be up close to the bride, but it’s a tad uncomfortable.
I guess there is a part of me that feels the ceremony will lack something if there isn’t the ‘traditional’ procession, etc. I feel that the bridesmaids walking down leads to the anticipation factor of the bride… but I suppose the whole day will be anticipatory! 🙂
Post # 6
I’m 35, and will have no bridal party for our small Destination Wedding. We do have a Maid/Matron of Honor and Bridesmaid or Best Man, but not in the traditional sense. My Maid/Matron of Honor is my BFF (all these acronyms!) and is mostly providing moral support. At the ceremony, she will sit with her husband, in a dress of her chosing. FI’s Bridesmaid or Best Man, for financial reasons, may not even make the trip. This isn’t my first wedding, and it’s so very much just between Fiance and I. I haven’t decided whether or not to have my dad walk with me. I just kind of imagine this very ‘alone’ moment with Fiance, despite our guests…
ETA- No party seems to be more common now, so don’t worry about coming off as awkward. Especially in these financial times, I hated the idea of asking folks to spend more money.
Post # 7
I’m debating the same issue. I really don’t think I’ll mind not having a bridal party, but I’ve never been to a wedding without one. I’d love to hear what the processionals have been like at the weddings people have attended without a bridal party.
Post # 8
@bananabelt – the one wedding I went to without a wedding party really didn’t seem that different. The family (grandparents and parents) still processed and then she came down with her dad. They specifically mentioned during the ceremony why they chose not to have a wedding party (a few touching remarks about how everyone in attendance held a significant importance to them and their lives).
The more I really think about it – I think the issue that’s giving me the most hang up are the photos. I have tons of pictures with these friends in all different life events and I want my wedding photos to be different – special, if you will. And, while I’ll be in my bridal attire, I think I would love it if there was something that tied it all in (ok, I’m a sucker for cool bridal/wedding party shots). Maybe I need to think of a way to make the photos look ‘wedding’, instead of traumatizing my friends with BM’s getup! 😉
Post # 9
i decided early on not to have a bridal party. it’s a small wedding. the friends invited are all very close. picking a bridal party from that would be too in your face. having been a bm many times, i thought my friends would also appreciate not having to buy a dress, pay for shower / party, etc. all that still holds true. i also relish not needing bouquets, bm gifts, etc which help with the budget. it simplified some of the decisons i had to made too.
however, i do miss having people that have to help me out no matter what b/c that’s their job. as my sis reminded me: i chose not to have a bridal party so i can ask people for favors to help me do things around the party but they are not obligated to do so – they can always say no. i’m not doing a lot of diy so i hope that’s fine. i am worried that on the day my friends will be too busy enjoying themselves to help me if something arises.
Post # 10
I don’t think it has to be an all-or-nothing deal. You can invite your closest friends to stand up with you without having the matchy clothes, extra bouquets or anything like that. Professional photos will be special no matter what – after all, when is the last time you got a professional to take pics of you and your friends? And if you like the get-ups, you could just give them a color scheme and go with that. It doesn’t even have to be that expensive. In my opinion, bridesmaid bouquets, etc. are all just window dressing. My wedding party of one, my lifelong best friend, won’t be carrying a bouquet and I don’t think she could care less.
That said, if you decide against having a wedding party, you can also invite your friends to participate in other ways. My brother, my fiancé’s sister and a father-type figure will all be doing readings of their own choice at our wedding, and I think they’re stoked to be able to contribute.
Post # 11
Thanks, bees! You guys are great and helped me process this decision…. which is – no bridal party! I think Fiance will be thrilled with this decision, too 🙂
I think I’m going to offer to pay for my 2 would be BM’s to have their hair done for the big day… I think that gesture would be appreciated and also help make the pictures a little different than others we have taken together.
Post # 12
no wedding party it is way to stressful you will end up worry about them more then you do your big day. Its about you and your fi not wedding party dramma and you can easily forget that when you have a stressful wedding party.