Bridesmaids. Groomsmen. Maids and Matrons of Honor. The Best Man. Who makes the list?  How many people should be included? Dresses. Matching dresses or mix-match?

Dis tew much.

After the Do you have a date set? question that is asked of most brides-to-be approximately 10 minutes after announcing an engagement, brides must then explain all of the details of their wedding — colors, number of guests and of course the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Well, I can’t even begin to describe the looks of pure shock when I declare that I’m not having any bridesmaids or groomsmen. None. Zilch. Zero.

I have been a bridesmaid on several occasions — and have been honored each and every time. However, being a bridesmaid is a huge financial commitment and investment in time. All of but one of my stints as a bridesmaid occurred in my mid to late 20’s. Life was slightly more manageable. Work wasn’t as demanding. Adulting was still rather new. Now, being on the other side of 35, my priorities have definitely shifted and I did not want to impose any extra stress or burden on my girls because I am getting married. Although my aunt who is more like my older sister is going to serve as my official Matron of Honor for the day (hold my bouquet, help with my dress, etc.) I still wanted to somehow incorporate my all of my girls in my wedding sans the extra costs and time commitment.

I will admit I struggled with my decision not to have bridesmaids. When Vlad and I considered a traditional wedding party, my list was like close to 20 women! He had a strong 5, maybe. There was no way I could have that many women standing up next to me – especially when we were planning an intimate wedding. I could just reduce my number of potential bridesmaids to a more manageable number and that would solve my problem, right? Um, no. I felt like I was somehow ranking my friends. I am that girl who is still friends with her best friend from 5th grade…and 7th grade…and 9th grade…then there is my college clique…oh, and my line sisters…and my cousin, who is like my sister, and my girlfriends that I have bonded with since I moved to Saint Louis and graduated from law school.

This isn’t why I’m not having bridesmaids but it is a pretty funny meme.

I was stuck! How could I have bridesmaids but not really have bridesmaids? I didn’t even like the word bridesmaids. These were my girlfriends after all, not maids of any sort. Then, I figured it out — I would have “Girlfriends of Honor”. I wouldn’t be as limited to the number of girlfriends that I could include and the commitment would be extremely minimal. Vlad decided he would do the same for his friends (he even increased his number by a few. LOL) I found cute cards on to ask my girls if they would participate as one of my “Girlfriends of Honor”, enclosed a personal note, and once all of my cards had been received, sent an email to my “GOH” explaining in detail their roles. My email explained that…

As a Girlfriend of Honor you are required to do the following:

  • Wear a dress of your choosing — no matching dresses, unless you would like to conspire with another GOH to be twinsies. Here’s a sample of our wedding colors, I would love for your dress to fall within this color scheme unless you can give a compelling reason as to why you can’t follow this request.
  • Attend my bachelorette party and bridal shower, only if you can. Since the wedding is in Cali and most of you are traveling far and wide to share in my big day, I do not want anyone to feel stressed or pressured about traveling for these events. Now, if you just must attend, both events will be lit (as the kids say), so I’ll see you there.  *wink*
  • Sit in a designated section at our wedding. Standing room only is reserved for the bride, groom and our girls. We will have a nice floral wrist accessory for you to don while you are in your VIP section.
  • Help me plan this thing and listen to me vent. Self explanatory.
  • Allow me to honor you for being you and always being there for me.

My girlfriends are so excited! They all appreciate the consideration of their time and money, but still vow to help however possible. Vlad, our girls and I can have our unity ceremony and still incorporate close friends in our wedding. A win-win. I got all my girls with me after all.

Are bridesmaids a definite yes? What are your thoughts on the no wedding party wedding?
Check out last week’s Road to Mrs. post here.