Having a wedding without Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Some days, weddings don’t seem like they’re worth the bother. From frantic calls from your childhood best friend asking why you chose your college best friend as the Maid of Honor, to the panic of trying to fill five empty bridesmaid slots to match your groom’s five brothers, it’s tempting to throw up your hands and just hit the courthouse instead. However, there’s an easier way to cut down on wedding-day drama: nix the wedding party altogether.

It seems almost sacrilegious to confess your decision to your friends and family. After all, what’s a wedding without bridesmaids and groomsmen? Your close friends and siblings have been vying for this role for decades. And what of the friends who included you in their wedding parties? Don’t you owe it to everyone to have a conventional wedding party?

Actually, you’re not obligated to plan any sort of wedding that makes you uncomfortable. The wedding is a celebration of you and your beloved. Any friends or family members who resent not being given a starring role need to rethink their priorities.

A Financial Favor

Before you get too stressed out about revealing the news to your nearest and dearest, take a deep breath. It’s entirely possible that your friends will look upon your decision as a huge relief. After all, being a bridesmaid or groomsman comes with a lot of financial responsibility. Many non-millionaires secretly dread their friends’ weddings because of the monetary strain that comes with the honor of being in the wedding party. If you break the news that there aren’t any special positions to be held in your wedding–your friends get to simply enjoy themselves as guests–you may very well hear a few sighs of relief.

No bridesmaids and groomsmen means no extra costs for you, too. You can skip purchasing ten matching dresses, boutonnieres, bouquets, umbrellas, watches, necklaces, flasks, or other wedding party gifts. Instead, use the extra room in your budget to plan something truly memorable that all of your loved ones can enjoy–like special wedding entertainment!

No Rating Your Loved Ones

One great reason to avoid the wedding party rigmarole is to avoid the awkwardness of rating your loved ones. Who’s to say which of your sisters really deserves the role of maid of honor, anyway? No more grooms winnowing friends (or reaching for more) in order to match the number of bridesmaids on the other side of the altar. No more putting your family members’ names in piles based on who you’ve spoken to most recently, or worse–who’s likely to give you the bigger gift. 

Rating loved ones just leads to complications and unnecessary wedding-day drama. Skip the inevitable tears and gossip, and instead let your loved ones know how honored you are that they came to witness your wedding–not as aesthetic fixtures in matching outfits, but as themselves.

Who Plans the Party?

Without sorting your loved ones into roles, it can be difficult to know who is responsible for which aspects of the wedding celebration. The maid of honor, for example, traditionally plans the bridal shower while the best man plans the bachelor party. If you’re worried that your wedding festivities will slip through the cracks, you have two choices: plan them yourself (at least you know you’ll get what you want) or assign specific friends to the task. You may find that your girlfriends are much more eager to plan a wild bachelorette party if it doesn’t obligate them to wear fuchsia taffeta during the wedding ceremony.

Include Everyone

The nice thing about not singling out a dozen of your friends is that the rest of your guests feel equally important to your celebration. Plan some interactive games to gently draw out your shy guests. Be sure to mingle thoroughly until every single person in attendance has gotten some personal attention. Your friends and family came, after all, so they could be a part of your celebration.

Rather than sequestering a group of bridesmaids and groomsmen in matching uniforms that set them apart from the rest of the guests, doing away with special roles suddenly means that everyone is invited to take an active part in making the day special. If you want, you can inform everyone that they are all in the wedding party; after all, it’s your wedding, and you want to have a party!