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Rethinking having a wedding party but we already asked everyone and started planning!

Hi everyone, 

My fiance and I are about 6 months away from our wedding in June. When we first got engaged, I suggested not having a wedding party at all (obviously honoring siblings and best friends in some way) but my fiance preferred to have one. So we moved forward with the bridal party - 6 on each side. 

Yesterday, we were discussing our vision following a long day of bridesmaid dress shopping and now we're starting to rethink having a formal bridal party. The girls have picked out dresses but the orders have NOT been placed so NO money has been spent so far (phew!). The shop we're working with suggested that we place the dress order by mid January at the latest so I really need to figure out what we're doing before we order and regret it. I'm also a little worried that my girls might be offended and think that the reason we changed our minds is because I don't like them not because I'm just not enthralled with the idea of the bridal party. 

Are we able to still change our minds and go sans bridal party since no money has been spent so far? Is it ok to go to all of the girls and let them know that we have rethought our vision and still want them involved in some way? Will they be offended if we change our minds? If we decide to go without the official wedding party, are there suggestions for how to make everyone feel included/honored?

Thanks for any thoughts/suggestions/advice!

Re: Rethinking having a wedding party but we already asked everyone and started planning!

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    Hi everyone, 

    My fiance and I are about 6 months away from our wedding in June. When we first got engaged, I suggested not having a wedding party at all (obviously honoring siblings and best friends in some way) but my fiance preferred to have one. So we moved forward with the bridal party - 6 on each side. 

    Yesterday, we were discussing our vision following a long day of bridesmaid dress shopping and now we're starting to rethink having a formal bridal party. The girls have picked out dresses but the orders have NOT been placed so NO money has been spent so far (phew!). The shop we're working with suggested that we place the dress order by mid January at the latest so I really need to figure out what we're doing before we order and regret it. I'm also a little worried that my girls might be offended and think that the reason we changed our minds is because I don't like them not because I'm just not enthralled with the idea of the bridal party. 

    Are we able to still change our minds and go sans bridal party since no money has been spent so far? Is it ok to go to all of the girls and let them know that we have rethought our vision and still want them involved in some way? Will they be offended if we change our minds? If we decide to go without the official wedding party, are there suggestions for how to make everyone feel included/honored?

    Thanks for any thoughts/suggestions/advice!
    Will it really hurt anything to have a wedding party? I am guessing the people you asked are good friends so will it really be that horrible to have those people next to you on your wedding day?

    Also I am not understanding your last question.  You want to basically nix the wedding party but then turn around and try to include them/honor them in some way.  The way you include people is by having them in the wedding party.

  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm a big fan of small/no wedding party. I understand that some people really do have 5-8 people that mean THAT much to them but I don't. My fiance and I each have one best friend and really no one else so we're sticking with just them. 
    In your situation- I would probably be hurt/offended if you all of a sudden cut out 2-3 of us but left the others. That would be bad. But if you decided to have none at all...I would actually be relieved. Not to be rude but nobody likes spending all that money to be a BM. Sure we all put a smile on and do it to support our friends but if anyone let me out of it, I'd be pretty happy. Still get to be there and celebrate with you but without spending a fortune on dress, shoes, hair, etc. I especially wouldn't be mad since I hadn't spent money yet, I'd kill you if I already bought the dress lol. 

                                                                     

    image

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think that you could seriously impact your friendships if you decide to get rid of your WP.  But if you decide to do this, do not keep anyone in the WP to stand up for you.  Then it would look like you are playing favorites.  If I were one of your friends and you told me you didn't want any WP any further, I would be very confused and hurt.
    aurorajanette
  • I think i would be disappointed if i had been asked and then everything was nixed. However, if there was a legitimate reason that you weren't able to have a wp (costs, location, etc) i might not be as concerned. If you were unsure, why on earth did you ask the girls in the first place? 12 people is ALOT of people to ask and not be sure. Hopefully they will be understanding, but i'm not sure there is anyway to honour someone in your wedding and not have a wp.. i personally don't think being in charge of the guestbook is that much of an honor... that's just me though.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • edited December 2013
    Edited: sorry for the DP.. damn computer


    I think i would be disappointed if i had been asked and then everything was nixed. However, if there was a legitimate reason that you weren't able to have a wp (costs, location, etc) i might not be as concerned. If you were unsure, why on earth did you ask the girls in the first place? 12 people is ALOT of people to ask and not be sure. Hopefully they will be understanding, but i'm not sure there is anyway to honour someone in your wedding and not have a wp.. i personally don't think being in charge of the guestbook is that much of an honor... that's just me though.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • Yeah I agree with PPs, I think you're better off keeping them. Give them a guideline for attire (color, length, material, etc.) set a budget for how much you'll spend on their gifts (ex. giftcard, bottle of wine, etc.) and have a low-key rehearsal dinner of pizza, wings and beer if you need to have a rehearsal. Unless you guys were postponing your wedding I would be majorly butt hurt about not getting to be a BM anymore.
    Anniversary
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If you want to "honor" or "include" someone, then you either have them in your wedding party, or just invite them as guests.  There are no other ways to "honor" or "include" someone at your wedding that won't make them feel demeaned.

    But if you already asked them, I think you can't unask them without risking your friendships with them.
  • I would keep them and just make it less formal. You can just have them sit in the front row and not stand up front (very common at Catholic weddings) or you can have them not do the precessional. You don't even really need a rehearsal if the directions are simple. Don't make them get a certain dress. You don't need a huge getting ready session.  Maybe ask if they can show up 30 minutes early for some pictures of just you and your girls. You can still list them in the program as BMs and get them a small thank you gift to show them you care about them. They might be excited that they get to do a low key version of BM. I would be!
  • You don't want a wedding party because you have "rethought your vision?"  To me, that means that you care more about your pictures and the way your ceremony looks than you do about your friends or their feelings.  These are people that you invited to stand next to you because you want to honor your relationships with them.  And now you think that their presence would cloud your "vision" for your ceremony?  That's pretty terrible.

     

    You can have them sit in the front row, maybe give them bouts/bouquets, definitely still llist them as bridesmaids/groomsmen in the program, and definitely in this case do NOT require them to buy matching attire, get ready with you, etc - but i'm betting some of them will be disappointed about anyway.  It's a pretty serious downgrade.  You definitely should have thourhg this through before inviting them to be in the wedding party.

    KeptInStitchesBlue_Bird
  • I agree with PPs.  I would be hurt if you asked me to be your BM (and even went BM dress shopping), but then you decide to not have any BMs because of your vision.  

    IMO it's too late.  You already asked everyone.  You already took your BMs dress shopping.  These people are obviously important to you so have them stand up with you as your bridal party.

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'd be pretty hurt if I was asked to be in a wedding and then told the B&G decided not to have a wedding party. There's really no other way to make your friends included. That's why people have BMs and GMs. Technically you can probably get away with nixing them from the wedding since no one has spent any money. But you need to be prepared for a lot of hurt feelings. 

  • I would be extremely hurt. I think it's really selfish to put your vision before the feelings of your closest friends and family.
    Blue_BirdKeptInStitches
  • What is your new vision exactly?
    Blue_Bird
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I would be very hurt if I was a BM and you kicked us all out because you "changed your vision."  I don't think it's the ending move of kicking out a single person, but you will really hurt some feelings.

    This is why it's so important to wait before asking WP members.  Once you ask, there's no turning back.  
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Why don't you want them? If you had a really good reason and could convince us, as a test, then maybe you could convince them. I've yet to hear your reason.
  • I personally would be hurt and confused if you asked me to be a BM and I went shopping with you for dresses, only to have you turn around and tell me that you changed your mind and weren't having a WP at all. I'd probably re-think even attending your wedding.

    IF, however, you were changing your entire wedding and were eloping without anyone attending, then I would understand. But that's pretty much the only situation I would understand. 

    Could you tell us how having a WP affects your vision? 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I would be hurt, and honestly a little pissed off. Unless the reason is legitimate. As the others asked, what is your vision?
                                 Anniversary
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