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Wedding Party

How to Have Bridesmaids Without Them Actually Being Bridesmaids

edited January 2016 in Wedding Party

Some background: I have a number of close relationships and have been a bridesmaid in 13 weddings, most of which have been a joy. I am now engaged (at 31). I would like a simple event, and to me that means not having the 10 bridesmaids I would probably want. My fiancé doesn’t have a large list of possible groomsmen, so we’ve decided to each have our sisters (1 each) stand with us. The thing is, there is a group of women who I love dearly and somehow want to “call out” without them needing to wear a matching dress or stand during a ceremony. A friend suggested listing them in the program as “bridal party” and having them be readers, ushers, etc. I was thinking maybe there’d be a way to have them wear a flower in their hair to identify them as being a part of it, but half of me thinks that idea is dumb.

Does anyone have ideas or feedback?! Thanks for any thoughts! 

Re: How to Have Bridesmaids Without Them Actually Being Bridesmaids

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Ditto PP.  And don't go handing out jobs to these women either.  Guest book attendant, program hander outer are not honor positions to give people.  Think of it this way, if a basket or sign could do the job, then don't assign it to a person.

    I think it would be a nice way to honor these ladies with corsages (wrist ones!), if you must.  But make sure you won't hurt other friends feelings by singling out these 10 ladies. 

    Also, for future reference, please stick to black font.  When you use different colors, it can be hard to read.

  • Thanks! Good point about them being useless or burdening positions. Font color- my first post and it somehow linked to something, but I think I fixed it. 
    OliveOilsMom
  • Another option would be to include them in getting ready that morning, if they are available. You could all get ready together, hang out, have breakfast/lunch together the morning of, and then when it was time have them head out and take their seats. I agree with PPs, don't give them a job to do, especially something a table can already do like hand out programs. A job is not an honor. Readings are fine, but 10 readings would be too much so you would probably still have to cut down. 
    image
    JediElizabethSTARMOON44PrettyGirlLostshort+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I would just invite these people as guests. That's an honor in and of itself. And it's okay for them to be invited to, or to host (if they volunteer), parties for you as long as they are invited to the wedding.
    [Deleted User]
  • Invite them to join you when you go for your mani/pedi the week of the wedding. Let them know that at a certain time, you want them to be at a certain location so that you can do photos with them. But let them just be guests. Here are some reasons to not do more then that

    • If you have them do anything like being a reader, usher, etc, you need to get them a gift & invite them to the rehersal dinner. At that point, you can just make them a bridesmaid because it's going to cost you the same
    • Skip the flowers in the hair, again, going to costs you money & then they all have to figure out their hair style for the day that will work with having a flower
    • If you have them with you while getting ready, you'll need to make sure to get a large room to fit everyone and then will need to make sure to have beverages (even if just water & pop) and possibly snacks to host everyone


    I get that these women are special to you, that's why you are inviting them to your wedding. Just to be able to share this moment with you, even as a guest with no special attention, will still mean a lot to them.

    PrettyGirlLostSP29
  • I would just let them be guests. 10 readings is too many. PP have some good ideas about seeing if they want to get ready with you in the morning if you want.

    Rather than flowers in the hair if you want to you can give them a corsage. It's a subtle way to recognize important people. For example my aunt who helped me out a bunch I had a corsage for her.

    It's really not necessary though, I'm sure these women know they are important to you and are just looking forward to celebrating with you. I definitely wouldn't put them in the program.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • My sister and her husband didn't have any attendants.  They both had their "people" get ready with them the morning of the wedding; the women in the salon, the guys in the hotel room.  My sister must have had about 10 women all fawning over her.  Her husband had his three buddies.
  • I was in a similar situation. In the end, just had my SIL as my bridesmaid, and DH had his brother.

    I told my friends that since our wedding was so small (35 people), we kept it just family. Honestly, I think some of my friends were a little relieved. We're in a wedding surge lately, so some had been bridesmaids 2 times already that year, there was a destination wedding for another friend, so it was getting pricey.

    I did consider having them there when I got ready, but in the end just had my sister in law. I felt like I had plenty of fun with my friends, and if was equally as important that they were just there vs bridesmaids.
  • Thank you for all the thoughts! It helped me feel more at peace about the decision and gave me ideas for how they can still be included without being burdened. 
  • You are always free to invite them to any pre-wedding events, or appointments (such as if you wanted to invite them to go dress shopping with you). Of course they are free to decline. 

    I don't think you have to do anything "special" per se. You could get them corsages if you want, but to me that is personally a bit weird (but not wrong)- it's OK if you don't have bridesmaids, and as a guest I think I would wonder why random women have corsages. Having a friend do a reading, or having them sign the marriage license as your witness are also options, but that won't cover 10 friends, thus I would lean towards none. 

    My friend, who was my MOH, didn't have a WP. A few of us still threw her a shower and bacchelorette because we wanted to. Another friend planned for 4 of us to go get a mani/pedi the Friday before the wedding. 

    The above is something you could do- take them all out to lunch one day and let them know how important they are to you. Ask if any are interested in getting their nails done with you before the wedding, maybe go to dinner beforehand. 
  • I am having this EXACT same problem. I will be 31 and I have been in 10 weddings, all family and close friends.  Having 13 bms seems sort of ridiculous to me at some points and sometimes I am very "it is our wedding, who cares what other people think".

    We have something (in Texas) called a House Party that is the female equivalent of the ushers. I have contemplated having 12 House Party members, all wearing the same shade of dress or whatever, and only have my sister by my side.  Although this is a bit confusing, as I am getting married in California and several close friends here. I have a year until the wedding date, but I definitely empathize with you!! It is a difficult decision, I totally understand.

    Good luck and let me know what I am in for!
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I am having this EXACT same problem. I will be 31 and I have been in 10 weddings, all family and close friends.  Having 13 bms seems sort of ridiculous to me at some points and sometimes I am very "it is our wedding, who cares what other people think".

    We have something (in Texas) called a House Party that is the female equivalent of the ushers. I have contemplated having 12 House Party members, all wearing the same shade of dress or whatever, and only have my sister by my side.  Although this is a bit confusing, as I am getting married in California and several close friends here. I have a year until the wedding date, but I definitely empathize with you!! It is a difficult decision, I totally understand.

    Good luck and let me know what I am in for!
    Ugh. The House Party thing is awful. Please don't do it. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    [Deleted User]MyNameIsNotOliveOilsMom
  • It's so common in the South, it isn't a big deal. I have never been in or to a wedding without one.  Kind of like Bridal portraits, I see why people are turned off, but traditions are different for everyone, everywhere. That's the beauty of life!
  • House Party? Do I even want to know? Because all I can picture is a party at my mums house with cheap vodka and random people puking in my front garden. I'm going to assume these are different.....
                 
    [Deleted User]Heffalumpcharlotte989875
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I am having this EXACT same problem. I will be 31 and I have been in 10 weddings, all family and close friends.  Having 13 bms seems sort of ridiculous to me at some points and sometimes I am very "it is our wedding, who cares what other people think".

    We have something (in Texas) called a House Party that is the female equivalent of the ushers. I have contemplated having 12 House Party members, all wearing the same shade of dress or whatever, and only have my sister by my side.  Although this is a bit confusing, as I am getting married in California and several close friends here. I have a year until the wedding date, but I definitely empathize with you!! It is a difficult decision, I totally understand.

    Good luck and let me know what I am in for!
    It's so common in the South, it isn't a big deal. I have never been in or to a wedding without one.  Kind of like Bridal portraits, I see why people are turned off, but traditions are different for everyone, everywhere. That's the beauty of life!
    As a native Texan, house parties do exist & I was in one once.  I honestly didn't realize how tacky they were / are until I came to TK.  When I was in a house party, I encouraged people to sign the guest book & handed out programs.  At the time, it felt a bit like a runner-up to being in the bridal party, but I just didn't make the cut.

    @Knottie1456264999, please don't ask these women to do this.  If you want to honor them in some way, give them a corsage or something.  This really isn't necessary / appropriate.
    AddieCakesparklepants41[Deleted User]OliveOilsMom
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I'm aware House Parties are common in some places, especially having lived in TX for 13 years, having gotten married there, and having had someone try to talk me into having one for my own wedding. That doesn't change my response that they are awful. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • To each her own! 
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    To each her own! 

    STUCK IN BOX

    Yeah, no. We can't stop you from doing whatever you want, but that doesn't mean that House Parties or "Loyal Ladies" or whatever bullshit title you make up isn't tacky as hell. 
    ________________________________


    [Deleted User]InLoveInQueensadwks
  • Wow. These boards are just insane with judgement and negativity.  Can't say I blame the people on here who have left for other websites.
    drmariner
  • Wow. These boards are just insane with judgement and negativity.  Can't say I blame the people on here who have left for other websites.
    If they're "on here" then they haven't left for other websites, now, have they?
    adwksthespeshulestsnowflakeholyguacamole79
  • Wow. These boards are just insane with judgement and negativity.  Can't say I blame the people on here who have left for other websites.
    Did you READ the letter??  If there was anything in this thread that was full of judgment and negativity that's it.
    [Deleted User]artbyallieHeffalump
  • Wow. These boards are just insane with judgement and negativity.  Can't say I blame the people on here who have left for other websites.
    This is news to me. Correcting someone who makes a sweeping statement about an area you live is now "judgement and negativity".

    image
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