Wedding Party

"Personal Attendants" ... but not what you think.

Without going into two much detail, I have seven very close girlfriends, including my sister.  My fiance also comes from a large family; he's the middle of eight children, with three sisters.  Ideally, to include all of my best friends plus his three sisters, I would have 10 girls/women standing up with me on the alter.  I think this is too many (and not an option at all), however, so I have chosen 6 of them, leaving out his two older sisters and two of my friends.  Having only my sister (MOH) and his sisters as attendants has been suggested to me, but this is also not an option.  

I feel terrible leaving the other four out.  His sisters have assured me they understand completely and are just fine with it. One of them even seems a bit relieved, since she's getting married six weeks before us and is the MOH in her best friends wedding the week after ours.  I haven't told my two friends yet (don't know how!!), but I know they will be hurt.  

All of that being said, I need them to be involved in the wedding somehow.  My plan was to have at least two of them be "personal attendants" and the other two do readings during the ceremony.  However, reading through past posts on here, "personal attendant" is not a very well-liked or accepted "position", ha!  I think, though, that my idea of a personal attendant is not the same as the association on these boards.  They would never, ever, ever be expected to be my "b*tch" on my wedding day.  It would simply be a title. A reason for them to be listed in the program. An excuse for them to hang out with me for my entire wedding day and to join us on the bus between the ceremony and reception.  A way for them to know they mean more to me than my other 40 (exaggeration) girlfriends sitting in the "audience" (for lack of a better word, haha) on our wedding day.  

So, I'd like to hear your thoughts. I need outsiders' opinions.  Any thoughts at all. No matter how harsh! Is it okay to have them be "personal attendants" if it's just simply a title and I make sure they know that from the minute I ask them?  Is there something else I could have them do?  Or should I just leave my two friends out entirely and deal with the hurt?  

(I guess one thing that might be worth mentioning is that this is a small-town northern Minnesota wedding, casual yet still somewhat elegant, at least for where it's being held...the great majority of my family members are the stereotypical small town "hicks" (again for lack of a better term Wink) and the little tiny etiquette issues really aren't a huge deal for me as most of our guests won't know the difference! haha!) 


Thanks everyone!

Re: "Personal Attendants" ... but not what you think.

  • I guess something else to add is that I'm also concerned about them thinking the opposite..."Well, I'm not good enough to be in the wedding party, so why should I even bother participating in any way?!"  (This is more relevant to my two friends, not his sisters).  

    So then the question becomes, do I ask them to be this "second string" part of the bridal party or just leave them out entirely, giving them the freedom to just hang out with our other friends the whole day instead??
  • Honestly, I think if you want them standing up with you, you should ask them to be bridesmaids.  Since it seems like his sisters are okay not being bridesmaids, they could be readers or your FI could ask them to stand on his side as groomswomen.  You'd then have 8 bridesmaids.  They don't all actually have to stand with you.  You and your FI could ask the best man and MOH to join you at the altar and have the other attendants sit in the first row or pew.

    I would not ask them to be "personal attendants" (however you define it) just so they can hang out with you and be listed in the program.  If you are really uncomfortable with 8 bridesmaids or want to keep it at 6 in order to keep costs down, just let them be guests.  They shouldn't ask why they aren't bridesmaids, but if they do you can reply that you weren't able to ask everyone you would have liked to be in the party.
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    Anniversary


  • Ditto everything PP said.  Even if your definition of a personal attendant won't require any work the title still gives off that vibe and I'd be a little insulted to be asked to be second string BP.  Either have them in the BP or don't.  You can ask them to be usher(ette)s, or readers, but those are the only two other positions, IMO, that are legitimate reasons to list someone in the program. 

    You can also ask them to get ready with you without giving any sort of title. I think that's better than a fake title, but, again, they might feel a little insulted.  If a friend was having only a MOH, or no BP at all and asked me to still get ready with her that day and basically act like a BM without the title - sure.  But if a friend has 6 BMs and asks me to act like a BM without the title it feels like numbers were more important than me as a friend, because apparently you think of them as your closest friends and want them in your BP but had 'too many'. 
  • Look, your motivations are great, but no matter what, the title of personal attendant sucks.  Either they are in the bridal party or they aren't-don't make them second string.  Being a guest is an honor itself, and if you really wanted to, you could always include them in other prewedding activities.
  • If you really want them to be involved in your day beyond the roles of guests, just ask them to be BMs.  Your FI doesn't have to have the same number of GMs.  Asking your friends also doesn't mean you have to ask his sisters.  He could even have his sisters stand on his side as groomswomen.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I would ask the two friends to be BMs and ask his two sisters to be readers.  If you think that's too much at the altar, you could just have MOH/BM stand during the ceremony and have the rest of your attendants sit in the front row.  While 8 is a lot of attendants, people are more important than numbers, no matter what.  

    I agree that you're going to hurt their feelings if you try to make them a runner up BM.  It doesn't matter if you expect them to work or not, they are going to feel like crap when you ask them to be second string.  You'd be better off just not asking them to do anything.  
  • When my cousin got married, he and his wife only had her sister and his brother in the party. We are close (she's one of my BM's) and she invited my sister and I to her suite to get our makeup on, get dressed, relax, and partake in mimosas. We left before the did pictures and went down to the ceremony. 

    I never felt slighted by not being a BM, and I still got to participate and be there on her day. I don't think you need a special title to invite them to spend the day with you. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • If it's numbers that are what's important to you (don't want six on your FI's side and ten on yours) you could also always have your FI have his two sisters as groomswomen and your two friends as bridesmaids, leaving you with 8 each (might be a better option if it's just numbers keeping you from askign everyone you like...)
    photo a826c490-726a-4824-af5c-d938878de228_zpseb85bb5a.jpg
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_wedding-party_personal-attendants-but-not-what-you-think?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:37Discussion:dad92a1d-5e93-4809-9f9d-7465cde96b71Post:fd2be651-e603-439d-8137-1f66074bdb29">"Personal Attendants" ... but not what you think.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Without going into two much detail, I have seven very close girlfriends, including my sister.  My fiance also comes from a large family; he's the middle of eight children, with three sisters.  Ideally, to include all  of my best friends plus his three sisters, I would have 10 girls/women standing up with me on the alter.  I think this is too many (and not an option at all), however, so I have chosen 6 of them, leaving out his two older sisters and two of my friends.  Having only my sister (MOH) and his sisters as attendants has been suggested to me, but this is also not an option.   I feel terrible  leaving the other four out.  His sisters have assured me they understand completely and are just fine with it. One of them even seems a bit relieved, since she's getting married six weeks before us and is the MOH in her best friends wedding the week after ours.  I haven't told my two friends yet (don't know how!!), but I know they will be hurt.   All of that being said, I need them to be involved in the wedding somehow.  My plan was to have at least two of them be "personal attendants" and the other two do readings during the ceremony.  However, reading through past posts on here, "personal attendant" is not a very well-liked or accepted "position", ha!  I think, though, that my idea of a personal attendant is not the same as the association on these boards.  They would never, ever, ever be expected to be my "b*tch" on my wedding day.  It would simply be a title. A reason for them to be listed in the program. An excuse for them to hang out with me for my entire wedding day and to join us on the bus between the ceremony and reception.  A way for them to know they mean more to me than my other 40 (exaggeration) girlfriends sitting in the "audience" (for lack of a better word, haha) on our wedding day.   So, I'd like to hear your thoughts. I need outsiders' opinions.  Any thoughts at all. No matter how harsh! Is it okay to have them be "personal attendants" if it's just simply a title and I make sure they know that from the minute I ask them?  Is there something else I could have them do?  Or should I just leave my two friends out entirely and deal with the hurt?   (I guess one thing that might be worth mentioning is that this is a small-town northern Minnesota wedding, casual yet still somewhat elegant, at least for where it's being held...the great majority of my family members are the stereotypical small town "hicks" (again for lack of a better term  ) and the little tiny etiquette issues really aren't a huge  deal for me as most of our guests won't know the difference! haha!)  Thanks everyone!
    Posted by ashley3132[/QUOTE]


    Personal attendant is a dumb title, even if you aren't asking them to be your bitcchh for the day.  It is meaningless, and will absolutely "tier" your friendships.  You don't think they will sit back and think "oh, why is SHE a bridesmaid, but not me?".  I say, either cut out all of the friends and only have your family in it (that is an easier cut-off to explain) or, you have them all in.   I also agree with one of the PPs, why not have your FI's sisters on his side, if he wants them in the wedding?
  • This is so weird.  Have them do readings, have them be BMs, or invite them to join you in the car/getting ready.

    The title is insulting.
  • Maybe it's a Minnesota thing for "personal attendants" to be ok. I've been a personal attendant twice (in Minnesota), and I was honored to be included in the weddings. I was slightly bummed that I wasn't asked to be a BM at one of them, but it also would have been a huge financial burden at the time, so it worked out perfectly. I got to hang out with the brides throughout their wedding day, and it really didn't seem that different from being a BM except I didn't have to get the dress I would never wear again or spend a bunch of extra money. 
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