Weddings have traditionally been about, well, tradition, which can be stressful — especially when those customs are expensive or impractical. The #1 headache from couples usually deals with the wedding party. Of course your nearest and dearest want to celebrate you, but the logistics of multiple wedding events and the associated costs often adds up to stress for all involved, including you. After all, they wouldn’t have made Bridesmaids if having (or being in) a bridal party was a breeze. The good news is, there’s no reason why you can’t have the best of both worlds with this new wedding trend: Your friends can still support you without being your bridal party. If Sophia Vergara and Whitney Port’s wedding traditions didn’t include it, yours don’t have to either.And yes, you still get to have that epic bachelorette party! Here are eight reasons why it’s okay to ditch the bridal party, and how to do it without losing all your friends.
1. You don’t have to choose one Maid of Honor or Best Man: You have three or more BFFs, and each one could be your Maid of Honor. Or, Jill is your oldest friend but you’re closer now to Sarah. No matter how you slice it, choosing a single “best of best friends” can cause some tension in your other friendships. Sit all the candidates down for one-on-one chats or Facetime to explain that while they will always be bridal party status in your heart, you’d rather they just focus on having a blast at the wedding as guests.
2. No tough cuts to the team: Your squad is large and you have a lot of cousins and siblings. Unless you want a 40-person bridal party, some cuts will have to be made. In some cases, it would be easier to cut off one of your own arms to avoid that family drama. The upside to not having a formal bridal party is you can still ask people to help out, and they are likely to say yes with enthusiasm.
3. Everyone can help out more: If your friends don’t have to spend the whole wedding day looking great for photos, they have more time and ability to help out behind the scenes. You can ask your friends to be ushers for the ceremony, DJ or emcee during the reception, drive the getaway car and so on. Just like that, you’ve got a lot more budget-friendly help that your friends are sure to jump at.
4. No awkward talks about finances: We all know being in a wedding is expensive. Odds are you’ll have some income disparity among the group. Nothing ruins a shower or bachelorette faster than half the group not being able to afford it. Take the pressure off and just plan some quality bonding time with your nearest and dearest. Brunch, camping, spa day or a good old-fashioned sleepover are great options.
5. Save hundreds on the wedding: Having a bridal party is the one money-suck everyone forgets about. Not only do the bridesmaids and groomsmen have to shell out for the shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties and wedding outfits, but it also costs the bride and groom money too. The hotel suites for getting ready, hair and makeup, bouquets, boutonnieres, bridal party gifts and transportation all add up to lots of cash that could be better spent elsewhere (like maybe the honeymoon).
6. Make the wedding day last longer: Everyone talks about the wedding day rushing by in a flash. That is less likely to happen if you have some downtime to yourself. Maybe have your makeup, hair and dressing time with your bestie or just with Mom. Then invite your closest friends to the first look photo session. They’ll get a preview of the dress, have time for a quick mimosa and a group hug.
7. Skip the rehearsal dinner: Without a bridal party, there’s no need! This is a great help for anyone who would have to take off an extra day of work for the rehearsal, and it’s at least another couple hundred bucks off your wedding budget. Instead, how about meeting up in the hotel the night before the big day and go Dutch on drinks and apps — you’ll actually be able to spend more time with everyone.
8. No sudden line-up changes: Your groomsman breaks a leg skiing in Aspen over the holidays, or your MOH finds herself pregnant soon after accepting the job as your right hand. Life happens, and sometimes it can really screw with wedding planning. Keeping your variables to a minimum will help you sleep at night and also build in room for life’s little complications that are bound to crop up.
Are you thinking of ditching the bridal party? Check out our Pinterest for more bold wedding inspo!
(Photo via Maison Meredith Photography)