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How should I go about this? Unofficial bridesmaids (no title or responsibility)

Before I get bashed like I've seen on other similar posts, hear me out here ;-) 
I'm 32 and feel so fortunate to have made important friendships throughout my 32 years, but I'm not really trying to have 12 ladies in matching dresses stand beside me on the big day, especially as we are doing a more informal, intimate-vibe park wedding (okay huge bash with like 350+ ppl, still a boho urban park wedding vibe)
I'd like to host a special brunch/lunch on the day of the wedding with my dear friends, and have dedicated professional photo time before the wedding, and they'd also be invited to the rehearsal dinner. They can wear what they want, won't have to spend hours DIYing or show up for the wedding so sleep deprived from all the bridesmaid duties and expectations like I've experienced in the past LOL, and won't have to spend 12+ hours away from their young children on the day of the wedding. I don't expect or care about a shower, and I already know a lowkey bachelorette weekend will happen anyway and I'm positive I wouldn't be a bridezilla expecting people to spend a month of income on a weekend. 
Is this realistic? What do I call this, and how do I let my friends know they are special to me and I would be honored to have their presence on the big day, maybe like an invitation of sorts...I don't know. I honestly think they'd like to feel like special friends/guests on the big day and I'm not asking them to spend a ton of money or time, so isn't it a win-win? Or is it rude and tacky? 
Thanks for your honesty!

Re: How should I go about this? Unofficial bridesmaids (no title or responsibility)

  • Thank you for your response! I re-read my post, and I did not mean to sound judgy of traditional bridal parties - I love them in theory and photos and generally like traditions - I'm just still a bit burnt out from previous bridesmaid and MOH experiences but I shouldn't have let that shine through. I'm in a place where I DO want many components of bridesmaids but don't want them to feel stretched so thin as I have in the past, so I think I'm swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. Anyway, thank you for your insight!
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Thank you for your response! I re-read my post, and I did not mean to sound judgy of traditional bridal parties - I love them in theory and photos and generally like traditions - I'm just still a bit burnt out from previous bridesmaid and MOH experiences but I shouldn't have let that shine through. I'm in a place where I DO want many components of bridesmaids but don't want them to feel stretched so thin as I have in the past, so I think I'm swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. Anyway, thank you for your insight!
    Oh I completely sympathise. There are far too many stories on here about people treating their bridesmaids abysmally. Just this week a bride wanted her bridesmaids to go on a week long hen do in Las Vegas and Disneyland! 

    Part of "righting the ship" back towards normal wedding behaviour is having bridesmaids as a role of honour (which it is) and not having any extraneous requirements. 

    I think your friends will love it. 
    knottiefa679c5e38f9290ccharlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Our bridesmaids wore whatever they wanted (check out our pics on the wedding recap board), and their only responsibilities on the day of our wedding were to show up and look presentable. That’s all you need. 
    knottiefa679c5e38f9290ccharlotte989875
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I decided to forgo a traditional bridal party. I had just a MOH, and I had another friend do a reading. I told my MOH to wear whatever she wanted. I didn't have a bridal shower, but my MOH did throw me a bachelorette party with all of the rest of our friends. 

    But like a PP said, BMs and MOHs don't really have any duties besides showing up the day of. 

    eileenrobOurWildKingdom
  • I think there’s a few things to do; if you want them standing beside you when you get married ask them to be bridesmaids but have them wear anything (really anything!) they want, decline a shower/anything you don’t want to do, and have fun! You could also not have a wedding party at all and still host a brunch/breakfast with them the day of your wedding and invite them all. You could also have reserved seats for them at the ceremony, have their tables near you during the reception, and get them a corsage. There’s no real rules here on how to honor your friends! 
    eileenrobInLoveInQueensOurWildKingdom
  • I agree to asking this group of friends to be your BMs.  What you want to do, honoring them for being your close friends, is exactly what being a BM should be!  The plus side for that is then they would be expecting to be in some of the professional shots.

    You can still make it as low-key for them, as you want.  They don't have to stand up at the altar with you, if that's your preference.  You can tell them to wear whatever they want.  Or pick a color you'd prefer, ie wear something navy blue.

    With all that said, if you'd still prefer to have no WP, I think your plans sound fine.

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    eileenrobInLoveInQueensMesmrEweOurWildKingdom
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited February 15
    I think the way to go is what the PP have mentioned - let them know it's a casual park wedding, they're to wear something they feel awesome wearing to the park for the event, get them a small corsage or nosegay type bouquet of tied simple flowers, invite them to lunch ahead of time, and as others said, no showers, bach parties, matching attire, etc.
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    OurWildKingdom
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