Ask Evie: My Fiancé And I Don’t Have Anyone We Would Want In Our Bridal Party. Are There Any Positives To Not Having Bridesmaids And Groomsmen?
Welcome to Ask Evie, our advice column. Readers can submit their questions, and our editors will dish out their best advice!
READER’S QUESTION: "My fiancé and I just got engaged very recently and are currently in the beginning stages of planning a wedding. After talking about things like venue, cake, and guest list, the topic of the bridal party came up, and we both realized neither of us had people we really liked enough to be bridesmaids and groomsmen. I haven't been close to my sisters in a while, and my fiancé has been distancing himself from his ‘best friend’ (who is also my brother-in-law) due to this friend not being a very good person. It feels very pathetic that two people in their 30s have no friends, but I was wondering if there were any pros to not having a bridal party or is it just rather sad? Is there a way we can make the best out of an odd situation?"
EVIE’S ADVICE: First of all, congratulations on your engagement! The wedding planning process can be quite stressful at times, especially when you’re considering where other people in your life fit into the equation. Traditionally, the purpose of the best man and the maid of honor was to have people there to stand as witnesses to the marriage. These days, however, it has become a way for the couple to acknowledge and honor the important people in their lives. While that sounds sweet, you should remember that this day is ultimately about you and your fiancé – no one else. If asking people to be in your bridal party feels more like a chore than something you’re excited to do, then skip it! Just make sure that you choose legal witnesses in advance instead of having to grab random attendants at the last minute. Plenty of brides and grooms these days choose to forgo their bridal party and instead have the focus on them and their vows at the altar, so it’s not uncommon at all.
The women and men in your lives who could’ve been asked to be bridesmaids and groomsmen may even feel like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders simply because of the cost and responsibilities that go along with those roles. Telling your sisters and his best friend that they get to simply show up to your wedding wearing whatever they want (as long as it’s still appropriate), enjoy the evening, and not have to spend money on a specific dress or a suit, and everything else that goes along with the day will probably be a relief. Not to mention, not having a bridal party at all will alleviate any worries you and your fiancé may have had about excluding certain people or hurting anyone’s feelings. Just tell everyone that you two decided to go a different route for your wedding and are excited for them to attend and enjoy the evening without any stress.
Not having a bridal party also means not having designated people to plan your bridal shower or help with wedding duties.
When choosing this path, however, you both should remember that not having a bridal party also means not having those designated people to plan your bridal shower, or bachelor/bachelorette parties, or to assist you in planning the wedding. This may even mean that you’ll be on your own on the morning of the wedding getting ready (which can either feel totally relaxing or a bit lonely, depending on your personality). If you choose not to have them stand at the altar with you on the day, it would be unfair to expect them to still carry out the bridesmaids/groomsmen roles – unless they offer willingly. You can skip these events if you don’t feel like they’re necessary, you can hire a wedding coordinator, recruit your mom to help out, or you can plan and host everything yourself. If you’re both okay with accepting this as part of the equation, then there’s really nothing holding you back from making that decision as a couple.
At the end of the day, what makes a wedding memorable and special is not the flowers or the dress or the bridal party – it's the elements that make it personal to you. That's what you and your guests will remember. So do what makes you feel comfortable, and don't worry about anyone else.
Have a question you want our advice on? Email it to us at email@example.com.