Post # 1
Good morning Bees! I have an issue which may not seem like an issue to some people. I just want a little advice. no backlash please. I have a lot of very close girlfriends. My Fiance and i were talking about bridesmaids and groomsmen. I realized he only has 3 people on his side. Best man, groomsman, groomsman. I on the other hand have 8 and was considering another 2 girls since…. so in order to bring my bridal party down i decided to just stick to fmaily members, my 3 cousins. My concern is that when my friends find out they’re not in the bridal party they’ll feel sad. I also dont want to hurt anyones feelings so i felt that if i choose just family members none of my friends can be hurt that i picked so and so but not so and so. It’s not a factor of importance. All of my friends are special and important to me in one way or another. One i met in college and we’re super close, 2 i’ve known since preschool (i was in both their weddings), one i met about 6 years ago dancing (i was in her wedding), one i’ve known since highschool etc…
Here is the deal i want to say something to them along the lines of “i love you girls very much and i’d love to have you all in my bridal party but Fiance and i have decided to stick with strictly family members for this because…..” and i can’t finish it. I want to give them a reason why we’re just doing family members. A lot of people will say you dont have to give them a reason, you dont have to say anything but the thing is i WANT to. i’m asking you bees that maybe have been in the same situation what you did? what did you say? what can i say to my girls so that they know that they’re still crazy important to me but we’re just having a family only bridal party?? I’ve been thinking of what to say for days and i just can’t come up with anything that makes sense. The only thing i came up with was a lie by saying that my church only allows a certain amount of people in the bridal party so we went with family only so we didn’t have to pick and choose our friends since they’re all important. Help me out please Bees!!!
Post # 3
I just want to make sure I understand this correctly : your friends are still guests at your wedding, but they will not be part of the bridal party ? Or are you un-inviting them / changing your mind about having them as bridesmaids, when you’ve already asked them ?
In either case, I would simply tell it like it is. You don’t need to make up a reason, just tell the truth : you wanted the bridal party to be equal to the groom’s. Since you didn’t want to choose between your friends, because you didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings as all your friends are equally important to you, you thought the best solution in this case was to only involve family members.
If they’re your friends, they’ll understand this. A bridal party is a nice tradition, but it’s not meant to cause drama. It’s not a ”right” either to be part of a friend’s bridal party. These are all personal choices, and true friends will not find yours offensive, they’ll understand you want to be fair and that you could not be if you had only half of your friends as BMs. They should be old enough and mature enough to see it’s not a big deal, actually. And they can still get involved for your bachelorette. 🙂
Post # 4
@daniellemc: I know you want to give them a reason, but if you can’t think of a good one, I wouldn’t. Here’s what I would say:
“i love you girls very much and i’d love to have you all in my bridal party but Fiance and i have decided to stick with strictly family members for this because…..”
Or, if you really need a reason say you couldn’t choose between all of your awesome friends.
I also decided to go family members only (sister, cousin, future sister-in-law) because I couldn’t decide between friends and knew I wanted my sister and cousin for sure before we even got engaged.
Friends don’t get hurt when you leave them all out of your bridal party; they get hurt when you include some friends and they also think they should have been included and aren’t. You’re going all family, so there would be no logical reason for them to feel bad OR be included in your bridal party.
You’re over thinking it.
Post # 5
@daniellemc: I had the same issue! I have six best girlfriends that have been my best friends for the last 15 years.
But I only had 2 BMs, my sister and SIL! They totally understood that I was only having family.
Post # 6
@NauticalDisaster: thanks for the insight. I didn’t tell them i wanted them to be in the bridal party since we haven’t set anything in stone. They’ll still be invited to the wedding absolutely. But i didn’t even mention anything to any of them about possibly being in the party in case we changed our mids… which we did lol.
Post # 7
@BrandNewBride: that’s why we’re doing just family. it’s just too many girls. Did your friends still participate in your bachelorette party??? I still want them to be a part of that but i dont know if it goes against etiquette to ask them to be involved in that if they’re not in the party…
Post # 8
@daniellemc: I would be honest:
“I love all you girls so much, but Fiance and I have decided to stick strictly with family members because we need to downsize the wedding party so we have even sides.”
If you also want to add it is becuase you couldn’t pick between them, that may make them feel better too.
Post # 9
Then you have no reason to provide to them ! You’re having a small bridal party, with family members, and that’s all. If any of them inquire about it, you tell them you would have had to choose between them, and that wasn’t fair to the other ones. Nobody will get offended by that !
Post # 10
@daniellemc: The guests of the bridal shower and bachelorette party need to be invited to the wedding; they definitely don’t have to be in your bridal party to be invited.
Also, your wedding isn’t for another 23 months (if your date is correct). Typically people don’t start talking bridesmaids until maybe 8-10 months out. Your friends are already asking who is going to be in your bridal party 2 years from now?
Post # 11
@daniellemc: Yep! I planned a girls night out, and they surprised me with all sorts of bachelorette party acessories!
Post # 12
@daniellemc: you are way overthinking this. No please don’t lie that’s absurd. If they are rational thinking friends who love you they won’t care less if they are in the Bridal Party or not.
There are a lot of stories here with girls taking revenge on the bride for not having them in Bridal Party. Really thoes are your friends? ugh. I don’t get it.
I don’t think you need to tell them anything. If they ask wo’s in your Bridal Party tell them it’s your cousins. You doin’t need to make excuses for that.
I don’t get it, maybe I’m just not sensitive, I wasn’t a Bridesmaid or Best Man for a friend who was my Bridesmaid or Best Man, it didn’t really cross my mind to be hurt or whatnot, there are sisters and sister in laws cousins etc who come before me, I get it.
I think it would be worse if you had to pick and chose from a group of friends, but I don’t think you need to go out of your way and make an annoucemnet to them and make up elaborate lies, seems crazy.
Post # 13
OP, your friends might be disappointed, but they are unlikely to be hurt. I remember one of my BMs talking about a different bride who had asked her sister and 1 friend. My Bridesmaid or Best Man said, “i wouldn’t have been hurt if she had only asked her sister, but because she asked 1 friend that made me feel bad that she didn’t ask me too”.
I don’t think you need to give reasons at all, as you are more likely to end up digging yourself into a hole.
If you must say something, say you couldn’t choose between them. I disagree with a PP that you could explain you are doing it for the sake of having even sides. If I were your friend and you told me that, I would feel hurt that you cared more about aesthetics than celebrating with your friends.
As I said, I think the less you say about it the better. Instead, suggest meeting up for ice cream!
Post # 14
I agree with the pps. Don’t lie o make up a reason. Be honest and just say you’ve decided to have a family only bridal party. Done. They’ll get over it.
(FI and I are doing a much more extreme version of this — our entire wedding is immediate family only. We’re not making excuses, it’s just how we’ve decided we want our wedding to be. People have been generally been a little disappointed, but supportive of it!)
Post # 15
@DomesticDiva: Good to know about the party situation since i want them included. And yes my date is correct. Here on Long Island where i live it’s standard to start planning your wedding this far in advance. None of my girlfriends have asked about being bridesmaids at all because they’re not rude. My Fiance and i will be announcing our bridal party at our engagement party in 3 months so we want to talk to those people before so that they can decide if they would like to be in our party in the first place. I can’t just assume because they’re family they’ll want to accept the responsibility.
Post # 16
I’m only having family my sister and cousins.
I think the more you think about what to say you are going to go crazy. I do not think you need to have this big explanation short and sweet to the point.