Wedding Party
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Wedding party...

Hello,I have a group of girlfriends that I've known for YEARS.  The problem is I'm not able to include all of them as bridesmaids because it would simply be too many people.  There's 2 girls out of this group that I've had to leave off (just based on that while I'm close with them also, I'm much closer to the other girls).  I haven't included some female relatives in my wedding party either.  My question is what jobs can I give to these 2 girls in order to include them in my wedding ceremony somehow?  I have 2 nephews handing out programs, and our ceremony isn't a religious one so there will not be readings.  Any other ideas??  I could really use some help with this ASAP!!  Thanks!Lori

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    Are you sure you don't want readings?  I've seen them at non-religious ceremonies.Other than that, remember that it's just fine to ask them to be guests.
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    Little jobs like "person who gets people to sign the guest book" is the worst. job. ever. Really, who wants to be the nag at the party who has to tell people to "Please sign the guest book!" to every person in the room. Not fun on any level. It's work, which isn't a good way to include anyone.In general, stuff like that is just work that no one wants to be stuck doing.Really, though... having them as guests and just spending time with them at the reception taking pictures and dancing is a really good way to let them know you care, in my opinion.
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    Really, if you're inviting them as guests, you DON'T need to find anything else for the "to do". Being a guest IS an honor in itself (You and FI didn't invite every single person you've ever met, I'm sure, you had to make cuts somewhere).I mean, aside from doing a reading or ushering people (Or just making them BMs), there's not much else to do that doesn't cross the line of becoming "work" instead of an honor.A lot of the "jobs" that people pass out to "honor" are really more of an annoyance to the person bestowed on them. Guest book attendant, punch pour-er, bride's attendant, flower pinners, "candid videographers/photographers"(Unless somebody VOLUNTEERS for this one), etc. are just "free labor" no matter how you slice.I'm sure some crazy person is going to respond saying "Na uh, I've been a guest book attendant a bunch of times, and I always felt honored! I guess that makes me a better friend". It doesn't. It just means that she was perfectly ok with skipping out on your reception to perform some meaningless task that, trust me, you will NOT remember she did for you in 20 years.

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    Being a guest is an honor....think about that. Oh, and we did a non religious ceremony and we had a Dr. Seuss reading.
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    Being a guest is an honor. You don't have to find a way to include everyone in the ceremony. They're big girls, (hopefully) they understand you can't have everyone in the world in your WP. Don't make up random jobs, like guest book person, punch pourer, cake slicer. Those are JOBS, not HONORS, and they won't feel special doing them. Make sure they are invited to the shower and bach party. I'm sure you're already doing this, but just make sure you keep the wedding talk to a minimum around them or if you're all in a big group, just in case there are hurt feelings.
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    Please read several of the other posts below that address this very topic.Couples get so caught up in trying to "include" everyone in their wedding that they forget that being a guest  IS being included.Most of the "jobs" people think up as a way to "include" someone are pity jobs, and everyone asked knows it.  "I don't want you in the WP, so I'm going to ask you to stand here and remind people to sign the guestbook instead of being able to go and enjoy the party.""I don't want you in the WP, so I'm going to ask you to follow me around ALL day long and be my unpaid go-fer (slave) instead of being able to go and enjoy the party.""I don't want you in the WP, so I'm going to ask you to be the cake cutter and punch pourer instead of being able to go and enjoy the party.""I don't want you in the WP.....you see where this is going.Don't make up silly tasks thinking that will make someone feel "included".  Let them be a guest.  Spend a little time with them at the reception.  Let them enjoy the ceremony and the celebration.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    I also agree to just have them as guests...but FWIW, I am also having a non-religious ceremony, and there are a TON of readings out there that are non-religious...it would be perfectly acceptable and probably lovely to choose a few readings that mean something to you and your fiance. It can be anything...a poem, a passage from a book, etc. It doesn't have to have anything to do with religion!
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    You could certainly include readings if you want - we're not having a religious ceremony and we're asking 2 family members to do readings (they are not part of the WP but we wanted to include them in a special way). You don't have to think up "jobs" for people - guest is certainly an honor as well. Most reasonably mature adults won't throw a tantrum if not asked to be part of the WP - they'll understand that you can't necessarily ask everyone. And the 2 girls might realize that you're not as close with them as you are with your other friends and it probably won't even be an issue in that case, you know?
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    I had a completely non-religious wedding (officiated by a judge, at the venue, with ZERO mention of god) and we had two readings. Ceremony in married bio.
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    Ditto everyone.  The roles that trix mentioned aren't honors, they are chores or jobs.  Being a guest is a bigger honor, IMO.
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    Thank you everyone for the feedback!  I like the idea of having readings that are poems, I hadn't thought of that!  I appreciate all the helpful words! :-)
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    I know I'm super late to this post, but maybe you could pick two of those friends to be your witnesses on the marriage license.  It might seem silly, but my fiance was recently in the wedding party of a couple of our close friends and though I wasn't, they asked us to be their witnesses.  It wasn't any work and even though I wouldn't have been put out if it was, it was a nice gesture.  And it made me feel like a part of it.You could try that, if it works for you.
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    I agree with PP's - being a guest is an honor in itself.That said, if these are people who want to be involved and help, then asking them for help isn't the end of the world.  They might not even care if they're in the actual ceremony.  Do you have a personal assistant?  Also, if you don't have a day-of coordinator, have you considered asking someone to make sure the timeline is executed correctly (people and 'stuff' in the right place at the right time)?  I have separate people doing these things for me so that they can concentrate on the task at hand.  Just a couple of more thoughts.And in case anyone has issue with what I've asked my friends to do, that was not originally the plan.  I had a dear friend who was a wedding planner who was going to do day-of as a gift to us.  She unfortunately passed away very unexpectedly and I reached out to those around me to ask for assistance - it will take two people to replace all that Julie was going to do for me, as a close friend who knew me well and a professional coordinator.
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    they could do non-religious readings like poems or passages about love from literature. also be sure to include them in any girl-outings such as bachelorette parties.
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    i have an off-topic question that i can't find an answer for ANYWHERE - where do you go to get those little icons for your signature that say "DIY bride" or "spring bride"? they are so cute!
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    I had the same problem. I have one girlfriend who i wanted to include but was not able to have as a bridesmaid. We are having a civil cerimony and i have asked her to do a reading (in no way does a reading need to be religious). I have come across this reading that I am concidering and I thought i'd pass it ur way. “Blessing of the Hands", revised by Rev. Daniel L. Harris Hope this helps!
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    Hi Lori,If you have space... have them ride in your limo/party bus with the wedding party.  You could also have them get ready with you guys.  If you choose to have them do a non-religious reading you could also have the two girls dress to match your brides maids color scheme.  A friend of mine did that a few years back and it worked out great!Best of luck!,Emily
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    I have a few family members that I am not able to include in my wedding party, but (fi you have time) you include them in events leading up to the wedding...ie. I have an aunt who is really great at flowers so I told her I would really value her opinion on which flowers to use. Good luck!
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    I know I'm late on the reply, but I'm planning on asking certain family members or friends that aren't in the wedding party to perform certain other tasks - like my uncle plays the piano/keyboard and I'm thinking of asking him to play the processional. Little things that utilize their talents that may make your wedding extra special. Maybe you could have them help you with a DIY project. Then they get time with you, plus they get to see their contribution during the actual event! I'm not sure if this helped you out at all but I hope it gave you some ideas!
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    Readings are great if your friends/family would be comfortable with that but sometimes (especially for people who tend to be more shy than others) that is just adding stress when your intent was to make your friends or certian family members feel special and honored. I understand wanting to let people know they hold a special place in your heart and even though it is impossible to have them actually stand up with you, you still want to honor them in a special way. I have sent my 3 aunts all handmade 'honorary bridesmaid' invitations with a short letter letting them know how much they mean to me and that I want to make sure to take pictures with them so I have something meaningful to hang on my wall with the women I love and adore. I also put a small note letting them know they can wear whatever they choose and I have talked to my florist about giving each of them a single stem to carry so they stand out as they are being seated.
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    Obviously there is a lot of great advice here, but I did want to be the one to throw in the other side of the so-called "JOBS" argument.  I have asked three of my friends to be ushers and a hostess of sorts.  This does mean that as other guests are filing in they'll be pointing out things like the guest book, where gifts should go and where escort cards are, but I think that how much of a JOB it becomes depends entirely on how you set up the relationship.  Like, I'm not asking someone to watch the guest book and track everybody down - I'm asking her to let people know how it works as we're planning to have a guest book that is a little out of the ordinary.  And I don't expect them to hang out there for a significant part of the party - no longer than I'm asking the wedding party to be waiting with me, really.  Also, I view these people as a part of the wedding party - they are invited to come get hair and make-up down with us if they want, they will definitely be a part of photos before the ceremony, etc.  They are also three people who I know to be ridiculous and awesome - which I'm sure your friends are too if you want to include them so much - and they can make anything fun and so much more special than a job.Basically, don't feel ashamed of asking someone to do something that seems like too much work.  It is work to be in the WP too... but as long as you don't go bridezilla or treat them as free labor, then they won't feel that way.
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    A friend fo mine included many of her girlfriends by letting them choose the flowers that would be in her bouquet.  You could also choose a flower that represents friendship to be a part of your bouquet, and send each friend a note prior to the ceremony letting them know about the flower that honors them.  I am considering doing this.
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    I am in a similar situation, and one thing I thinking about doing is saving the front two rows (or however many) for special guests, including very close friends and family.  You can reserve these seats and tell your close friends that they should feel free to sit in the reserved section.Also, I've told my friends that although I'm not having bridesmaids, I would be asking them if I were.  They offered to take part, and I've asked them to throw my bachelorette party and help my MOH with my shower. 
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    i don't know, i liked being the candle lighter in my aunt's wedding :)
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    I decided to keep my wedding party to family and asked my closest friends to be my "something blue." They are going to wear blue dresses and I will have corsages for them so they feel special and stand out without having to be a "bridesmaid."
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    do one of them sing? At my friends, her friend that didn't make the party sang "from this monent on" by shania twain. It was beautiful. Also, you could have one of them put a slideshow of you and your hubby together and have her present it on a big screen during dinner. I LOVE watching those, and it is a personal contribution from her to you.
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    I agree with a post above about guestbook attendant. I have two former teammates that I asked to guide people to the book and the gift table. I also told them that I didn't want them missing any part of my reception so as soon as a line forms, people will know where it is and they can come party! I DO NOT WANT THEM HUNTING PEOPLE DOWN! But, I have a very large family and I am marrying someone of the opposite religion. I will not be having a full Catholic mass so I had to find "new" jobs for those who would have brought up gifts. I have chosen to have a memorial candle for my loved ones who are longer with us, and one for his family members who are no longer with us. My aunt is lighting one candle and his cousin is lighting his family's. Whether it will be included in the ceremony or before the ceremony, TBD. Hope this helps!
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    I was just at a wedding that they had two friends read poems (one was written by the friend and one was a published poem)Even though you are not having "Religious" readings doesn't mean you have to exclude all readings.  Have them read a poem about love, or marriage or even friendship.  It's an easy way to include them and add a special flair to your ceremony.  Also, do they sing or play an instrument? Include them in your musicians.  If one of them sews have them make your ring pillow (if you didn't purchase one already),  If computer literate, ask them to design your program, You could even have them help you with the rehersal, have them be your organizer for the hectic day before...that way they are apart of your big day but you don't have to have a thousand girls standing up for you.  Either way, make sure you have the photgrapher take a special pic of you and ALL your girlfirends to make sure they know you think they're pretty special.
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