Wedding Party

NOT having a wedding party--opinions wanted!

My fiance just got engaged! YAY!

Before we even got engaged, we had discussed in detail of not having a wedding party for our wedding.  Reasons being:
1) I have been a bridesmaid/personal attendant,etc in a few weddings and while I feel honored and appreciate the gesture, it is a lot of work. We really just want our friends to come to our wedding, enjoy themselves, and not feel like they have a "to do" list. And most importantly, not spend a lot of money!
2) My fiance does not have a lot of friends.  Not in a bad way, but we have a ton of mutual friends, and due to his social awkwardness (which i adore), he just doesnt even know who to pick for groomsmen
3) I have a lot of friends from various different parts of my life that just dont mesh that well together.

There are a couple of other reasons, but those are the most important.

The opinions or questions that I have are as follows:
1) If you had a bridal party free wedding, what did your ceremony look like? Who held your rings/bouquet during the ceremony? Is the processional "weird" without a bridal party preceding you down the aisle? 
2) How did you honor the friends and family members that helped you out during the planning process?
3) What was some of the feedback or opinions from people when you told them you had no wedding party? I am concerned on how to politely explain that we arent having a wedding party without insulting those who did have a wedding party. I am one of the last of my friends and family to get married, so I dont want them to feel bad for choosing to have a wedding party.
4) I would still love to have a bridal shower and bachelorette party. I know that I cannot plan these things for myself, and I feel it is rude to ask someone to host one for me that is not a bridesmaid/groomsmen.  I understand if it cant happen because of my choice to not have a bridal party, but I would still be a bit disappointed that I wont have one.  Is there a way to have one without a bridal party?

Any other advice you bridal party free brides have would be greatly appreciated!
JediElizabeth

Re: NOT having a wedding party--opinions wanted!

  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2015
    My fiance just got engaged! YAY!

    Before we even got engaged, we had discussed in detail of not having a wedding party for our wedding.  Reasons being:
    1) I have been a bridesmaid/personal attendant,etc in a few weddings and while I feel honored and appreciate the gesture, it is a lot of work. We really just want our friends to come to our wedding, enjoy themselves, and not feel like they have a "to do" list. And most importantly, not spend a lot of money!
    2) My fiance does not have a lot of friends.  Not in a bad way, but we have a ton of mutual friends, and due to his social awkwardness (which i adore), he just doesnt even know who to pick for groomsmen
    3) I have a lot of friends from various different parts of my life that just dont mesh that well together.

    There are a couple of other reasons, but those are the most important.

    The opinions or questions that I have are as follows:
    1) If you had a bridal party free wedding, what did your ceremony look like? Who held your rings/bouquet during the ceremony? Is the processional "weird" without a bridal party preceding you down the aisle? 
    2) How did you honor the friends and family members that helped you out during the planning process?
    3) What was some of the feedback or opinions from people when you told them you had no wedding party? I am concerned on how to politely explain that we arent having a wedding party without insulting those who did have a wedding party. I am one of the last of my friends and family to get married, so I dont want them to feel bad for choosing to have a wedding party.
    4) I would still love to have a bridal shower and bachelorette party. I know that I cannot plan these things for myself, and I feel it is rude to ask someone to host one for me that is not a bridesmaid/groomsmen.  I understand if it cant happen because of my choice to not have a bridal party, but I would still be a bit disappointed that I wont have one.  Is there a way to have one without a bridal party?

    Any other advice you bridal party free brides have would be greatly appreciated!
    Congrats on your engagement! In response to your second set, the questions:

    1. I had a wedding party but it doesn't look strange to not have people standing up with you. I have attended several weddings with no attendants. Whoever is sitting in the front row can take your bouquet from you when you begin the ceremony. The officiant can already have the rings, or your FI or you can or someone sitting in a seat can bring them up.

    2. With a heart felt private thank you. 

    3. I don't think you should worry about this. If people ask you can say that you love all of your friends and family so much and are thrilled to invite them to the ceremony and reception. In terms of WP you decided to nix it to keep things simple.

    4. Anyone can throw a shower or bachelorette. Even if you have a WP, they aren't required to throw them for you so it's not a guarantee you will have one. I had 5 girls stand up with me, and someone who was not family and not in the WP offered to throw me a shower. ETA: Your gut is right, it would be rude to ask someone to host one of these events for you. It would  be rude to ask a bridesmaid/groomsmen, too, because these events are gifts to you.
    jessicarose1988[Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited December 2015
    My fiance just got engaged! YAY!

    Before we even got engaged, we had discussed in detail of not having a wedding party for our wedding.  Reasons being:
    1) I have been a bridesmaid/personal attendant,etc in a few weddings and while I feel honored and appreciate the gesture, it is a lot of work. We really just want our friends to come to our wedding, enjoy themselves, and not feel like they have a "to do" list. And most importantly, not spend a lot of money!

    Being a bridesmaid is not supposed to be "a lot of work."  If it is, that means that the bride is mistreating her attendants.  And "personal attendant" = "unpaid slave."  It's really rude and inappropriate.  If you want someone to be in your wedding party, then just ask them to be a bridesmaid/man, MOH, or reader.  Nor do you have to ask them to spend a lot of money - in fact, the first thing that you should ask them is what they can budget and then use the lowest amount as the amount for all.

    2) My fiance does not have a lot of friends.  Not in a bad way, but we have a ton of mutual friends, and due to his social awkwardness (which i adore), he just doesnt even know who to pick for groomsmen

    That's his problem, not yours.  That said, if he's going to pick anyone, then they should be the persons he feels closest to (aside from you ;) )

    3) I have a lot of friends from various different parts of my life that just dont mesh that well together.

    They don't need to "mesh well together."  Being a brides/groomsmaid or man is only supposed to happen for a few hours on one day.  Surely your friends can all act like adults for one day?  That's all they need to do with regard to each other.  They do not have to entertain each other at parties, go shopping together, do DIY projects together, or otherwise spend time together.

    There are a couple of other reasons, but those are the most important.

    The opinions or questions that I have are as follows:
    1) If you had a bridal party free wedding, what did your ceremony look like? Who held your rings/bouquet during the ceremony?  Usually your MOH will hold your rings/bouquet, but this is entirely up to you, especially if there is no MOH.

     Is the processional "weird" without a bridal party preceding you down the aisle?

    No.

    2) How did you honor the friends and family members that helped you out during the planning process?

    Tell them thank you and perhaps take them out to dinner or give them small gifts, and invite them to the wedding.  Being a guest at a wedding is in and of itself an "honor."  You are not required to "honor" them by doing anything else. 

    3) What was some of the feedback or opinions from people when you told them you had no wedding party? I am concerned on how to politely explain that we arent having a wedding party without insulting those who did have a wedding party. I am one of the last of my friends and family to get married, so I dont want them to feel bad for choosing to have a wedding party.

    This is no one else's business.  The only persons who have any say in whether or not there is a wedding party and who is in it are the couple.  Parents et al do not get a say.  Paying for any or all of the wedding does not give parents a say.  This is one of the few areas of wedding planning where that is the case.  If someone makes any judgmental comments about this, they are speaking out of turn.

    4) I would still love to have a bridal shower and bachelorette party. I know that I cannot plan these things for myself, and I feel it is rude to ask someone to host one for me that is not a bridesmaid/groomsmen.  I understand if it cant happen because of my choice to not have a bridal party, but I would still be a bit disappointed that I wont have one.  Is there a way to have one without a bridal party?

    As long as you don't host these parties yourself and don't ask anyone else to do so, anyone else can take it upon themselves to throw them for you. But if no one does, then you don't have them.

    Any other advice you bridal party free brides have would be greatly appreciated!

    thisismynickname2[Deleted User]
  • Congratulations on your engagement! You don't have to have a wedding party if you don't want to, and don't worry what other people think. If they find it odd, that's their problem.

    We had just a maid of honor and best man at our wedding, and it was really nice and completely drama free. That is just another option for you to consider if you have any reservations about not having a wedding party at all. Just make sure you have a wedding party for the right reasons if you decide to have one - remember that nobody is obligated to help you plan the wedding, nor are they required to throw any parties for you. Wedding parties are about honoring your friends and having people you love standing with you at a special moment in your life, not who will be the best at organizing and planning things.




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    [Deleted User]
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    First, your wedding party members are not required to do anything except show up on the day of the wedding in what you have chosen for them to wear. It shouldn't be "a lot of work" and if a bride or groom made you feel that way in the past, they were in the wrong. 

    You bridal party members don't need to mesh, or be friends. As long as everyone is civil and friendly, there shouldn't be any issues. 

    My H and I have a lot of close friends, but we decided to have just a MOH and a BM. I did ask one of my best friends to do a reading. That's a way you can honor people. Otherwise, just being a guest is an honor. You don't need to assign jobs or roles for people. 

    It's rude to tell people that they're not in your wedding party, so you shouldn't be contacting people to tell them. If anyone asks, just say you decided not to having a bridal party. Otherwise, don't bring it up. 

    You also can't ask people to throw you any parties. If someone offers, great. 

    You can ask anyone to hold your bouquet. Your FI can hold onto the rings. I've attended weddings where there were no bridal party members and it didn't look weird or odd. The bride had someone in the front row hold her bouquet. 

  • Who will hold your bouquet when you exchange rings?
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    CMGragain said:
    Who will hold your bouquet when you exchange rings?
    OP you can hand your bouquet to someone in the front row, like your Mom or Grandmother, or really anyone else of your choosing.  Or you could have a pillar placed nearby where you can set your bouquet down (better then having to put it on the floor).

    lc07spockforprez
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Maybe you can put a vase or other holder on the altar (if there will be an altar or something like it at your ceremony venue) to hold your bouquet during the ceremony?
    [Deleted User]
  • geebee908geebee908 member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited December 2015


    CMGragain said:

    Who will hold your bouquet when you exchange rings?

    OP you can hand your bouquet to someone in the front row, like your Mom or Grandmother, or really anyone else of your choosing.  Or you could have a pillar placed nearby where you can set your bouquet down (better then having to put it on the floor).

    BOX
    I've seen the pillar thing happen. It was a nice way to have the bouquet accessible and it made putting it down and picking it up less of a distraction.
  • A lot really depends on what type of ceremony you have.  If where to put your bouquet is the biggest problem, either set it on the table/altar, between the kneelers (in the case of a Catholic ceremony), or have your Mom hold it during the ceremony who can hand it to you easily when it's time for the recessional as you walk by.  The only thing you may need to concern yourselves with is who signs the marriage license as a witness to the ceremony depending on your state's requirements.

    As for the rings, you could have them tied into your bouquet, otherwise we had to give them to the Priest/Deacon the AM of the wedding and they were kept by him until the vows. 

    How you honor your friends who help(ed) you during the planning process - simple - an immediate thank you or some gesture immediately after they've done such.  Flowers/spa or massage gift certificate, etc., if the situation warrants.  Just as you otherwise would if you had a WP.

    Thinking of weddings that haven't had WP's, it's kind of a bummer in a sense, but one that's quickly gotten over.  If anything, I felt bad having had the one in our wedding because if she was that jilted from having been in all these weddings, did we wreck her day(?!?!?) KWIM (she was an usher, the only activity she had was show up to the rehearsal and day-of)... 

    As for the Bach/Showers...  The Bach has a little more leeway to a degree, but you don't get to call it your Bach party if you plan it, it's just a "Last Harrah" party.  And if you're the one planning it, please remember people don't want to follow you around getting sloshy drunk nor spend tons of money - keep it fun and affordable (preferably you'd pick up the tab) but not past the line that you wouldn't want your Mother involved for example..  Shower - yea, that's someone else's gig to offer or not offer..  It's a super fine line, don't cross it!!!

    You are most likely going to have people involved in your day even if they aren't a formal Bridal party - there'll be people involved in the ceremony for example.  Above anything, a day-of coordinator is worth spending a little on so you've got someone who will handle the "take-down" at the ceremony site (haul flowers from ceremony to reception), clean-up after the reception, etc.

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  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We didn't have a bridal party so I'll try and help answer some of your questions. 

    1) If you had a bridal party free wedding, what did your ceremony look like? Who held your rings/bouquet during the ceremony? Is the processional "weird" without a bridal party preceding you down the aisle? Our processional didn't look "weird" without any bridal party. Our officiant had H's parents walk down, then my mom and her husband, then H escorted our officiant (female), and then my dad walked me down the aisle to H. I handed my mom my bouquet and FIL held on to the rings until it came time for them, and then brought them up when our officiant asked. 

    2) How did you honor the friends and family members that helped you out during the planning process? Even though we didn't have a bridal party, we still had two of our good friends do readings during the ceremony, and our sisters (we each have one) were our witnesses and signed the marriage license, which we also incorporated into the ceremony. Our moms came up and participated in our wine ceremony. So this let people who are special to us participate without having the "traditional bridal party". We gave small gifts to those who participated. 

    3) What was some of the feedback or opinions from people when you told them you had no wedding party? I am concerned on how to politely explain that we arent having a wedding party without insulting those who did have a wedding party. I am one of the last of my friends and family to get married, so I dont want them to feel bad for choosing to have a wedding party.  My best friend was incredibly hurt when I told her I wasn't have a bridal party. I was her MOH and I know she wanted to do the same for me. Once she got over the hurt, she dubbed herself and my other girlfriends (both of whom did the readings) unofficial bridesmaids and they both wore coordinating dresses in our wedding colors (totally their choice, not mine AT ALL, to be clear) and participated by doing readings. I thought it was a little silly but I also knew that it was very important to her to feel like she was a part of my day (we've been best friends since we were 12) so I let her give herself whatever title she wanted! No one else cared that we weren't having a bridal party. 

    4) I would still love to have a bridal shower and bachelorette party. I know that I cannot plan these things for myself, and I feel it is rude to ask someone to host one for me that is not a bridesmaid/groomsmen.  I understand if it cant happen because of my choice to not have a bridal party, but I would still be a bit disappointed that I wont have one.  Is there a way to have one without a bridal party? The only way you can have these parties is if someone offers (key word, of course is offers) to throw them for you. I didn't care either way if I had them, but my mom really wanted me to have a shower so she threw it with my sister. My two best friends (mentioned above) really wanted to throw me a bachelorette party - they jumped on it pretty much right after I got engaged - so I accepted their offer as well. The bachelorette party turned into a giant bust (for lots of reasons, none that I was involved in, I only knew what happened after everything fell apart) and I was really disappointed but let it go. It's just a party. If you really want a girl's night out, then organized one and just don't make it related to the wedding. 
  • 1) If you had a bridal party free wedding, what did your ceremony look like? Who held your rings/bouquet during the ceremony? Is the processional "weird" without a bridal party preceding you down the aisle?  Not at all, been to weddings where there wasn't one & it was still beautiful
    2) How did you honor the friends and family members that helped you out during the planning process? What about thanking them during your reception when you give a toast/speech? You can also get them corsages to so they stand out as VIP
    3) What was some of the feedback or opinions from people when you told them you had no wedding party? I am concerned on how to politely explain that we arent having a wedding party without insulting those who did have a wedding party. I am one of the last of my friends and family to get married, so I dont want them to feel bad for choosing to have a wedding party. My friend just told us that she couldn't choose so said she wasn't going to try to single out anyone. What was important to her was that we were at her wedding to share her special day with her. I appreciated that.
    4) I would still love to have a bridal shower and bachelorette party. I know that I cannot plan these things for myself, and I feel it is rude to ask someone to host one for me that is not a bridesmaid/groomsmen.  I understand if it cant happen because of my choice to not have a bridal party, but I would still be a bit disappointed that I wont have one.  Is there a way to have one without a bridal party? Yes, your family & friends can throw one for you. There is no rule that those events have to be done by a bridal party. When my friend got married & opted not to have a bridal party, her mom & cousin organized a bridal shower for her. And for her bachelorette party one of her close friends organized a nice girls night out. Well technically it was a girls night in with a sundae bar & chick flicks. But to me a bachelorette party doesn't have to be an expensive night out on the town or trip, it's more about spending time with your best girlfriends.
    cupcait927
  • My best friend (who was MOH in my wedding) got married this summer and did not have a WP. The ceremony was beautiful!

    The bride met the groom at the start of the aisle and they processed in together.

    The MOB and MOG held their respective rings. They sat in the front row, stood up and presented the rings when asked by the officiant.

    The bride gave her bouquet to her grandmother who was sitting in the front row. Someone holding the bouquet is a total non-issue. Give it to someone in the front row. Put it on the altar. Put it on the signing table. 

    The MOB and MOG signed the marriage license as the witnesses. 

    The B&G sat with a group of friends during the reception. These friends were all from different aspects of the B&G's lives, so they only knew their own dates. Thus the B&G thought it would be awesome to sit with this group of people and be the common link, vs. trying to sit people with other friends and family they wouldn't know.

    Not having a WP needs no explanation. You don't owe anyone an explanation about why you have or have not chosen someone for your WP. No one should feel offended that you aren't having a WP while they did. You simply say, "We have chosen not to have a WP". 

    I would have loved to be in my friend's WP, but I didn't assume to be or expect to be since I was never asked. It was pretty clear the day of I wasn't in the WP ;). Well, that and she told me casually in conversation that she wasn't having a WP (not that this needs to be said). I was also in no way offended that she wasn't having a WP while I did. 

    Myself and two other close friends still threw her a shower and bacchelorette party- because we wanted to.

    The bride should not host any pre-wedding parties for herself. But anyone can offer. In a similar vein, the WP does not have any jobs except to show up the day of, reasonably sober, in the agreed upon attire. Even if you had a WP, that does not automatically mean you would get a shower and bach party. Likewise, your friends can still offer to host this for you (if they want). 

    When I got married, we had a smaller WP that was split across the country. I had friends who were not in my WP host my bach. party, because they offered. No one assumed to be in my WP, nor demanded to know why they weren't either. 

    Regarding the question of honouring those who help- help is always offered, never expected. If a friend hosts something, or offers to help, you may accept, and it is given as a gift. You can always thank these individuals with a card and/or gift, or during your toast at the reception. 
    [Deleted User]
  • We had a smaller wedding with immediate family and close friends, and didn't really see the point of having a wedding party in our case.  It didn't really change anything in the ceremony - I simply passed my bouquet to my sister in the first row when needed, and she also held our rings and passed them to us.  As for the processional, I just walked in by myself with DH waiting at the front of the aisle.

    My gfs were thrilled that we weren't having a wedding party; they didn't have to spend time and money to get matching dresses they'd likely never wear again, and could just hang out and spend time with us at the wedding.  Beyond that, no one really cared whether or not there was a wedding party, and there was nothing to explain to anyone.

    As for pre-wedding parties, having a wedding party does not automatically mean that they will host parties for you.  Likewise, not having a wedding party does not mean that no one will host events.  It's up to those that wish to volunteer to host an event.  My sister elected to host my stagette party, and I didn't end up having a bridal shower (I didn't want to have a shower though).

    Have fun planning!
    SP29
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