Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions
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# of Bridesmaids for VERY Small Ceremony?

I'm thinking about having a small, immediate family and VERY close family/friends only ceremony on a weekday and then having a big reception/party on Friday or Saturday. If this ends up being our plans, is having only a Maid of Honor, 1 bridesmaid, Best Man and 1 groomsman fine? I think that having a total of 4 people in the wedding party would make it much easier to explain why I picked those people and left others out. BUT, it means more work for fewer people (or does it?). Could I have additional bridesmaids/groomsmen for the reception since it will be a different day? They could have different roles and we can all still be a wedding party? I don't know, I'm trying to think of innovative things for my wedding.Thoughts?

Re: # of Bridesmaids for VERY Small Ceremony?

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    In general, the duties of an attendant consist only of showing up for the ceremony and wearing whatever outfit you ask.  If you are expecting them to do more than that, it is critical that you discuss this with them when asking them to be in the wp.  There are way too many tales here of brides who are offended when the MOH does not go with the bride to shop for the dress, organize a shower and a bachelorette party, help with DIY projects, address invitations, etc.  None of those are duties of the MOH, unless agreed in advance.That being said, your wp can be as small as you like.  We will be having only a MOH and "dude of honor" at ours.Conversely, people who assist at the ceremony are not typically referred to as MOH, Best Man, bridesmaid, or groomsman, because those refer to roles in the ceremony rather than the reception.  You can ask people to have specific roles at the reception, and can use whatever titles you like.  However, there is no real reason they would have to have matching dresses, etc., for that.
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    There's no need for a 2nd wedding party for the reception - there's no point.  Just choose your WP for the ceremony and everyone else is a guest. There is no "work for fewer people" to factor into your decision since there is no work for them to do.
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    Pick the people you want for your wedding party. They are NOT there to work. They are there to be honored because they are your friends. Assigning roles and work to them is not what you should do for friends. FI and I only have four attendants total and we are inviting about 160 guests. It has nothing to do with the size of our guest list ... we just wanted to keep the WP to our siblings and closest friends. We're not concerned about their work load because all we are expecting from them is to show up looking pretty, be in some photos, participate in the ceremony and then party their butts off later.
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    Here's the "work" of a WP:  get the outfit, walk down the aisle, stand respectfully during the ceremony, smile for the pictures.So it doesn't really matter if your WP has 20 people in it or 2 people in it.Please lose the idea immediately of a WP having to WORK.  Your wedding=yours and your FIs to plan and execute.  If people volunteer, great.  If they don't, great (because they don't have to.)And I'm not at all sure why you'd need an additional WP at a reception.  A WP is really only "on" during the ceremony.  Once the reception starts, they're the guests too.  So no, you don't need to choose another WP.  I think that would be really bizarre.Choose who you want, and then own that decision.
    "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 think that having a total of 4 people in the wedding party would make it much easier to explain why I picked those people and left others out. BUT, it means more work for fewer people (or does it?). WP Fail.  They aren't there to work so it doesn't matter if you have none or 500.
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    You can always ask friends who aren't in your WP to help you look at dresses, music, etc... it doesn't have to be the WP.  And they aren't responsible for throwing showers and bachelorette parties, though somehow it seems to always get pushed onto them.  Other friends can help out in whatever ways you need, and usually are happy to, you just have to ask.  
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    1. There is no work for the WP as they only need to show up and smile anything else is a gracious gift that they are not required to do 2. The Wp is for teh ceremoney at the reception they are just guests no you do not have different ones for different events 3. The reception must be teh day of the wedding if you want a 2nd event later that is fine but the real rec3eption is when you offer hospitality for those who came to your wedding and celbrated with you. That follows your wedding and you serve them food and drink appropriate to time of day 4. FYI if doing a weekday wedding tell your bp that when asking them as it is likely to cause them to decline and that is something you shoudl graciouslty accept because short of a sibling many folks would not attend a weekday (including friday wedding) 5. Make sure that innovating does not become rude
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    We're having 2 bridesmaids and 2 groomsmen. That's all. Adding more for the reception will make them "second-tier" attendants, since they didn't make the cut for the first round. Don't do that.It's honestly much easier to have a small wedding party. Ask girls on here. It's tough to round up 6, or 8, or 10 girls to go dress shopping, or to coordinate dinners or events for, or to buy presents for.
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    We will have about 80 people max at our wedding. My attendants are my 2 sisters, FI's attendants are his best female friend and best male friend. He has no siblings. This made it easy to choose. However, I have a core group of 4 girlfriends who love to plan things that have volunteered to help me plan and execute. I will honor them in the program and with a toast at the reception, but we made a pact long ago that none of us would ever have to be bridesmaids again (no more ugly dresses for us) but that we would help each other as much as possible. they have already offerred to throw me a shower, which my sisters can't do because they live in across the country from each other (im in the middle). Our official attendants are people who are special to us that we want standing up with us during the ceremony. I have no other expectations of them. My other friends have volunteered to help so I am happy to have them as consultants. While there are certain traditional duties that go with BM and MOH designations, it doesn't have to be that way, and you dont have to ask people to be in the wedding to get some assistance with planning, should you need it.
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