How important are bridesmaids to your wedding?

Nearlyweds Gabrielle and Dwayne (shown here with Gabby's buddies Essence Atkins and Sanaa Lathan) are saying no to a wedding party.

Your favorite celebrity bride-to-be Gabrielle Union (sarcasm intended) recently told talk show host Arsenio Hall that she and fiance Dwyane Wade will not have a wedding party. And she’s unapologetic about it. Check out what the engaged actress confessed about nixing the tradition:

“There are no bridesmaids and no groomsmen. Trying to wrangle a bunch of broads…somebody wants one type of dress, somebody wants something else, you start to not like them after a couple months. And we’re older. This is the second time around. It’s us and the kids. We’re just riding out…just us.”

Triple B supports any couple that does whatever they can to make their wedding about them. That might appear to be a no-brainer but it is much more challenging than most would realize. Gabby’s sentiments echo those many brides (especially those over 35) have these days. Bridesmaids, groomsmen and the like can cause the marrying couple additional angst, and possibly costs, during an already stressful time. However in many cases, they decrease stress and some attendants go out of their way to shelter the two jumping the broom from drama so they can best enjoy their big day. Gabrielle doesn’t seem to have a shortage of good girlfriends — Essence Atkins and Sanaa Lathan are both BFFs and Dwyane appears to be quite close to his Miami Heat teammates so this decision seems to truly be about doing what makes them happy.

  What say you? Are bridesmaids necessary for a wedding? Sound off!

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  1. I don’t think bridesmaids are really that important at the end of the day. The people who are your true friends are going to be there for you on your wedding day whether they’re labeled a bridesmaid or not.

  2. I agree with Gabrielle totally. Especially at 35 or above, it’s time to stop following the crowd and do what works for you. Why create stressful situations when life will throw them your way at random? The more people the more stress, it’s a given. Plus, that cookie cutter, everyone dressed alike can come off juvenile at times. Yet, everyone doing their own thing can come off too busy. No wedding party = problem solved. Keondra stated it well.

  3. Thanks for weighing in @Keodra and SD! I appreciate your honest feedback. My own decision to have a bridal party was a unique one that I think I’ll write about in my book. I respect and admire G & D’s decision. I tried to keep things for my own bridal party as stress-less as possible but there were still some issues. Live and learn. However Donna just left a message on the Triple B Facebook page that I thought I should share here for balance. See below:

    “Although we have had some issues, I am enjoying having my “sisters” with me during the planning. I’m an only child and my mother just passed away two years ago. My 3 bridesmaids are reminding me to enjoy this process.”

  4. Am I the only one that notices the seductive look Essence is giving ME in the picture? As for the bridal party – each couple should do what they feel most comfortable doing.

  5. To each couple, according to their own preference.
    Personally, I think it’s nice to be sheltered by friends who can remind (force) a bride to enjoy the good times and stop her from pouting or isolating due to the stress of general wedding planning. I still remember being a ‘maid and having to politey correct a family member on behalf of a bride when that individual burst into the bridal suite making demands. The bride shouldn’t have to deal with any BS on the wedding day. My ladies were amazing through what was a very trying time for me and, even with the difficulties we experienced, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
    Much depends on one’s resources, too. If I were a millionairess marrying a millionaire and wanted to pay people to do the things my galpals did for free, maybe I would have gone bridesmaid-free, as well. Either way, they seem genuine and I wish them the best.

  6. Avatar Gerald McCoy says:

    From a guy’s point of view, we ended up not having a bridal party for our wedding and I thought it made the entire ceremony and process less involved and “cluttered”, for lack of a better word. I definitely thought long and hard about it though since it would have been great to have my close friends and brothers up there with me. But at the end of the day, I kind of liked the idea of allowing them all to sit back and enjoy and take in the wedding ceremony from the front row with the focus being on just myself and my bride. Not to mention the additional cost for them to purchase and lug matching suits to the Caribbean. And even though there was no wedding party, our friends were still there with us every step of the way to offer us whatever help and advice was needed at any time. As mentioned earlier, a lot of it depends on the bride/grooms situation and what they expect from everyone involved.

  7. Side note: Sanaa is such a natural beauty! Re: wedding party, I think it’s up to the bride and groom too. I’m really indifferent on this. Whatever the want. My sister is getting married soon in Hawaii and will not have a wedding party either.

  8. Loving all this feedback. Keep it coming, folks.

  9. We are having a destination wedding and had only planned to have 2 people standing up for us on each side. 1 of each couldn’t make it, so we’ll only have a MOH and BM. I hate to sound cheap, but a smaller bridal party means less $$$ (bouquets, boutonnieres, gifts, etc.).

  10. I have 11 bridesmaids we picked out their dresses in one day going only to 2 stores. I think it is important that you choose wisely all of my bridesmaids are GREAT they are very helpful. They are helping with everything from bridal shower to assembling DIY projects. I have a large family and a host of women who I would be stressed more with out them there

  11. @Tiffany – No judgement on being cheap here! ;-)

    @S.Bouie – Good for you! Eleven bridesmaids seems like a lot to manage (to me anyway) but you seem to have an incredibly supportive crew.

  12. I wish I had thought about it before I made the decision on having bridemaids in my upcoming destination wedding. I decided to have 4 after being talked into it by my fiance. Its not all of them but the person that I thought would give Me less problem is the one driving me insane. My sister (The maid of honor). She went from not wanting to order her dress from where I requested them to order it, to attempting to have her wedding the same day we are celebrating ourS (we got engaged in august, she got engaged in december) to changing it too two days after and now she has the nerveS to tell me she got her dress designed and want to have it made by someone other then the company I had choose. The dress she got designed has a longer train than mines and mind you I made it clear N she knows that its going to be a casual wedding at the beach. I have a feeling that im going to end up blowing up before the august gets here … I wish I had stuck to my guns and jst made it about me and my fiance no drama included.

  13. Dear @Tired!!- please know that her behavior is about her and not about you. It seems like there is some unresolved issue between you and this sister that needs dealing with. Step 1: I recommend praying over this situation. The , consider taking her to lunch and having a real, but totally calm, talk about it all. Start from a place of love and concern for her and she may open up and tell you what’s really going on. If you’ve tried that already, consider having a neutral party (not a close family member) talk to her or mediate a discussion between you two. In the end, though, bridesmaids have to either sail in the direction the bride is headed or get off the boat; being present but disruptive is not really an option. I’ve worn many I dress I didn’t like because my girl told me to- 4 of 5 times, to be exact!
    Remember, though, this is your sister so please try your best to act in a way that will preserve your relationship in the long run, even if things are difficult in the short term. Wishing you the best!

  14. @Tired – I think Ronda gave you the best advice anyone possibly could with the information you provided. Despite the drama with your sister, try to soak in as much bridal bliss as you can. This is a special time in your life.

    @Ronda – Thank you for being so thoughtful! Triple B is truly a family.

  15. I never would have thought that to have or not to have bridesmaids would generate so much discussion, BUT it’s all good. I have read from points of view that I never imagined. Yes, I had bridesmaid (soon to be 36 years ago), and yes it probably was because that’s what everyone did, and yes there were some behind the scenes discussion about who would represent, etc. However, it was a special time with some special people and I do not regret having had my bridesmaids included in our wedding.

    Given the discussion above I can see that it is nobody’s business but the couple invovled, not friends or relatives who might be hurt.

    @Tired – your sister needs a wake up call, i.e. rescind the invitation to be in the wedding. No one/bride needs to be that long suffering.

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