Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Don’t Have Anyone I Can Ask to Be in My Wedding”

I recently got engaged to the most fantastic man. We are very excited, but there’s one thing that is putting a damper on plans for me. Since I’ve been little, I’ve moved around a lot, including a move across country a couple of years back after college to be with my now-fiancé. Because I’m so used to moving far away, I tend to pull away from good friends after moving so the distance doesn’t hurt as much. I still try to keep in touch with them, but we’re definitely more Facebook acquaintances than friends. I’m naturally shy, and have a harder time making friends to begin with, so in my new town, I have a group of girlfriends, but we’re not super close, nor have we been friends for that long.

My dilemma here is how to choose bridesmaids. My fiancé is so wonderful he would be willing to forgo attendants at our wedding if it made me feel better, but I know it means a lot to him that his best friend and his older brother both be groomsmen. I thought about having only our siblings and his best friend as attendants, but that would make the count very lopsided towards the male side, and the only women on my side would be his sister and sister-in-law (who are both wonderful people, but I wish I had someone from “my” side up there). I also don’t have any sisters or family members to be there (except for my mom, whom I love, but no). I feel like bridesmaids and maids-of-honor should be women who are very close to you and have been in your life a long time, but I don’t feel I have that.

Should I consider having my new girlfriends in the wedding, even though we haven’t known each other that long? Would they be creeped out if I asked, like I’m over-thinking how close we actually are? I also have a life-long friend from my childhood whom I keep in touch with and could offer a position to, but she lives very far away from me (it would take almost a day of traveling by plane for either one of us to reach the other), and I wouldn’t want to impose the financial burden on her, nor has she really shown interest in being in the wedding. — Bride Without Maids

Let’s get this out of the way first: no, do not ask your new female acquaintances to be attendants in your wedding. For the love of God, do not do this. Especially if you want them to continue talking to you. That role is reserved for people you or your fiancé are close to, not casual friends you may not know very well. Asking them to be in your wedding for the sole purpose of evening out the bride’s side with the groom’s side would be weird for everyone, so don’t do it.

I have a couple of other suggestions for you. First, since your fiancé is the one who has people — a brother and a best friend — he wants to honor with special roles in his wedding, why not make them ushers or readers (or even officiants)? If he won’t be satisfied unless they’re both groomsmen, why not have his sister be a bridesmaid for you along with your brother — I’m assuming you have a brother since you mention “our siblings” in your letter — as a bridesman. Yes, a bridesman. Nowhere does it say that the attendants on the bride’s side have to all be women. It’s 2012. Let’s get with it.

If these suggestions still don’t seem right to you — if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of three out of four attendants being more closely tied to the groom, I’d really just chuck the whole idea of attendants. Your fiancé already told you he’d be fine with that. I’m sure he doesn’t want you agonizing over this. His brother and best friend are still going to support him even if they can’t stand right next to him at the altar. What’s the big deal? My husband and I didn’t have attendants and it was great. Our siblings signed our marriage license and we had four close friends (including my male BFF) hold the chuppah. Done and done. No one went broke buying taffeta dresses or any of that nonsense. No one had hurt feelings because they weren’t asked to be in the wedding. And people threw us bachelor and bachelorette parties because they wanted to not because they’d been appointed some silly role that made them feel obligated. Seriously, this is your wedding. It’s about celebrating you and your fiancé. Everyone else is going to come to the wedding, have a great time and feel happy for you whether they walk down the aisle before you or not.

One more thing: now that you’re getting married, don’t turn your back on that group of girlfriends you’ve started to make. People need friends outside their significant others. It’s good for you personally and it’s good for your relationship if you have some other people you can talk to and hang out with. You aren’t that young girl moving around all the time. You don’t have to protect yourself from the pain of losing friends. But maybe it’s time to protect yourself from the pain of not having close friends…

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

57 comments… add one
  • avatar

    heh January 5, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Like in that movie.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee January 5, 2012, 3:16 pm

    I think Wendy gave you a lot of great advice about how to approach your wedding party. If you are that uncomfortable with uneven sides, which I had and no one noticed, or your brother standing up on your side, do away with the wedding party. Believe me, if I could go back and do away with the idea of a wedding party, my wedding would have been a lot easier and happier.

    However, it seems that the logistics of your wedding party is probably less important than what you are really worried or upset about in your letter, not feeling like you have anyone close to you. Since you moved a lot when you were younger, I can understand not wanting to develop close friendships, but friendships are important.

    Maybe your friendships with your casual friends will develop further and maybe they won’t. No matter how great a husband is, how close your family is, there is something that female friends fulfill that no one else can. Allow yourself to open up to friends, invite them into your life, and you will have people that are close to you, but I wouldn’t rush friendships with people you just met. Your wedding isn’t about even sides or your bridal party, even though they can be a great support to have, it’s about marrying your husband.

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  • avatar

    bethany January 5, 2012, 3:17 pm

    I was a Groomswoman in my brother’s wedding, and it was awesome! I highly reccomend it. Also, I agree with Wendy about not having attendants. I think a LOT of people are actually relieved when they are not asked to be in the wedding, due to financial and time committment burdens.
    I’ve only been a bridesmaid in 2 weddings, and I was very close with both of the brides, so I was delighted to be included in their weddings. That said, if I wasn’t super close with the person who asked me to be in the wedding, I would have been super creeped out and probably said no.

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    • avatar

      Callifax January 5, 2012, 10:09 pm

      My male best friend wants me to be his Groomwoman of Honor…or something along those lines…and I am super excited about it! 🙂

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    • avatar

      LizC January 6, 2012, 8:29 pm

      God yes. I’ve been in one wedding and if I never have to be in one again I’ll be fine with that. I far prefer attending the wedding with no responsibilities. I’m more willing to travel to a destination if I also don’t have to pay for an ugly dress.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 5, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Wendy gets wiser by the day.

    I just wanted to support the notion that there are NO rules here. No one says you have to have bridesmaids at all. I love the idea that Wendy proposed of assigning your fiancee’s friends with other important roles (ushers, doing readings, etc) rather than making them groomsmen. No attendants! Problem solved.

    Lastly, I just wanted to say that you seem like a wise, friendly, compassionate woman and I am sorry you find yourself in this spot. I agree that you have an opportunity to put down some girlfriend roots now with your new social group and I’d be willing to bet you will serve as bridesmaid to one of those new friends in a few years down the line.

    Congrats on your wedding!

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    • avatar

      Kristen January 5, 2012, 3:39 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly, and I think Wendy’s insight about the LW no longer having to shield herself from the pain of moving as a child is spot on.

      LW, this is your chance to make your own life and family. You can choose where to live and how long to live there. Let yourself get invested in friendships; get close to people! You’re on the cusp of a great time in your life, so don’t let that slip away because of the coping mechanisms you used as a child. You sound like someone who would be a great friend, and I’m sure your new group of girlfriends agrees.

      Congratulations on getting married!

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    • avatar

      MJ January 5, 2012, 4:47 pm

      NO rules. I like that. I hate when people try to make their wedding conform to a template.

      For example (not the LW’s problem):
      “I have to have my dad walk me down the aisle!” (even though he hasn’t been a part of my life for years and we have a strained and awful relationship)

      “I have to have the same number of attendants as my groom, but they all have to be the same gender!”

      WHY?! Why can’t your mom walk you down the aisle? Why can’t you walk by yourself? Why do you even need an aisle? Why can’t you have your brother or someone else stand up with you? What is this fucking obsession with plugging members of your family (or whoever else you can jam in there) into a pre-determined template.

      (sorry, that wasn’t directed at any one person. I just have to rant sometimes.)

      LW, make your own rules for the stage where you are now. I’ve heard plenty of people say they wish they’d had family only as attendants, since those are the people you still see 20 years down the road, when many friendships have faded. But it doesn’t matter. Do what makes sense, don’t worry about whether it’s proper, and enjoy your day!

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      • Jess

        Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 6, 2012, 9:31 am

        Bless you! And Amen! Couldn’t agree more.

        Also, this: “Why do you even need an aisle? ” cracked me up. And SO TRUE.

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  • avatar

    Elle Marie January 5, 2012, 3:46 pm

    Since I’m in the process of planning my own wedding, and also have generally felt that I am not super-close to many of my female friends, this is definitely something I can relate to. You are NOT alone.

    When my awesomesauce partner and I were first talking about marriage, I broached the topic with some of my female friends by stating that I wasn’t sure who would be interested in being in my wedding, because I feel like it is a huge financial and time commitment. I was really (very pleasantly!) surprised that a few of my friends (including one of the friends that I feel closest to, even though we live a few hours away from each other) said that they would love, and be honored, to be in my wedding.

    My dilemma now is that while I have two super-amazing bridesmaids, I don’t have a maid of honor. I originally planned on having my sister be my maid (rather, matron) of honor, but she lives on the other side of the country and even if she is ultimately in the wedding party, it wouldn’t be possible or practical for her to do the duties typically associated with being maid/matron of honor. Most of it – dress fittings, bridal shower, etc. – is stuff that I don’t feel is super-important (two bridesmaids, no one needs a spreadsheet to make sure they have what they need to wear and feel like they fit well), and I would feel incredibly awkward if someone arranged a bridal shower for me. I may ultimately ask my fiance’s sister to be a bridesmaid, because I really like her and I know she would love to be included in the wedding planning process, and because my fiance would like to have more groomsmen and would feel awkward if he had more people than I did.

    I guess the point of this comment is – A) your friends may surprise you and B) “tradition” doesn’t really apply as much as people seem to think it does. Check out A Practical Wedding (buy the book! it’s awesome and saving my sanity at the moment!) and take a deep breath. No one needs officiants. The people in your bridal party don’t have to be men-on-the-groom’s-side, women-on-the-bride’s-side. Think about the people you want to have supporting you and helping you on your wedding day, and talk to them.

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    • avatar

      Elle Marie January 5, 2012, 3:47 pm

      OH NOES MAJOR TYPO. I meant “bridesmaids/people in the wedding party other than the people getting married” not officiants. According to your local laws, you probably DO need an officiant. D’oh.

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    • avatar

      Amanda January 5, 2012, 3:59 pm

      I’m also in the midst of planning my wedding (8/4/12!) and I can’t recommend the websites OffbeatBride and A Practical Wedding enough!

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster January 5, 2012, 4:38 pm

        OffBeatBride is seriously amazing. I heart Ariel Meadows. OffBeatHome is a serious internet addiction for me.

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      • avatar

        Bethany January 5, 2012, 7:26 pm

        I’m pretty sure that’s where I got the idea for our first dance song! (we used the song Adam Sandler sang at the end of The Wedding Singer- Grow Old With You)

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      • katie

        katie January 5, 2012, 8:19 pm

        tara, lol… yesterday i saw a comment you left on offbeat home, and i was all tara! shes from dear wendy… lol. it was funny.

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      • avatar

        Red_Lady January 5, 2012, 9:38 pm

        I love Offbeat Bride! Ariel’s book is pretty awesome too – I think it’s the only non-fiction book I’ve ever read that I’ve really actually enjoyed!

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  • avatar

    Fabelle January 5, 2012, 3:47 pm

    I would go with NOT having any attandants at all– your fiancè said he’s okay with that & as close as he is to his best friend & older brother, I can’t picture any dude being very upset that he has no groomsmen? I mean, as long as they’re there, right? And maybe get a special thanks or get to give a speech as if they were groomsmen, but not actually standing anywhere during the ceremony that would make things visibly “uneven”

    I understand where you’re coming from, though– I recently attended a wedding where the bride had like, 7 bridesmaids? & it made me feel kind of bad that I could think of only one or two people who I’d ask to be in my wedding party. I’m not “into” the wedding planning process at all, and would happily forgo attendants myself, BUT like mandalee said above– the implication of having no one on your “side” is that you don’t feel close enough to anyone. It’s great you have casual friends though, so I’d work on developing those (without handing them the responsibility of being in your wedding!)

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  • FireStar

    FireStar January 5, 2012, 3:47 pm

    I had no attendants at my wedding either. I loved it. No drama. No extra expense for my loved ones. My best friend slept over the night before my wedding after a visit to the spa and talked me down from the ledge while getting my hair and make up done and then sat in the first row crying the whole ceremony. My mom witnessed my marriage certificate and held my flowers for me.
    My two closest girlfriends that got married before me had insane attendant drama – people who expected to be asked, made assumptions about their roles etc. It was my greatest joy to tell them both feel free to count me out – I love you and I’m here for whatever you need but I don’t feel a burning desire to wear matching outfits on your special day if that makes your life easier. So I just went as a guest and ran point on whatever they needed. Pick people you love to stand up for you if you want attendants – you don’t have to limit yourself by gender or numbers. When you look at your pictures 20 years from now, the last thing you want to think is “who was that girl again?”

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  • avatar

    AKchic January 5, 2012, 3:48 pm

    *giggle* Makes me almost want a wedding in order to get my 6’4″ tall “brother” as my bridesman.

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  • avatar

    NewAroundHere January 5, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Before I got married a few months ago, I was all over the wedding blogosphere, so I am familiar with the obsession with even sides. It’s a really pointless thing to get worked up about. I’m also introverted, and wondered if I would appear glaringly friendless with only my two sisters standing up with me, to my husband’s 4 groomsmen. I considered asking 2 friends to be bridesmaids to make us an even 4 and 4, but ultimately decided not to cave and I am so glad. Having a small wedding party was intimate, gentle on my introversion, and logistically so much easier. If I had it to do over again, I’d do it the same way or have no wedding party at all. Also, if anyone noticed the unbalance during the ceremony, no one commented on it to me (and trust me, some relatives have decided not to hold back their criticism of other aspects of the wedding, such as our choice not to have a flower girl (!), among other extremely trivial things). Anyway, don’t stress about this. In the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing. Best wishes and happy wedding!

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  • avatar

    YouGoGirl January 5, 2012, 4:04 pm

    I think the LW is feeling shame and embarrassment that she does not have sisters or close female friends able or willing to take on this role. I can relate to her feeling. I think the other readers have made valuable suggestions. But now she has entered a new phase of her life and she is well on her way to making new friends.

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  • avatar

    silver_dragon_girl January 5, 2012, 4:14 pm

    Elope.

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    • landygirl

      Landygirl January 5, 2012, 4:38 pm

      Thank you. I just got married in October and though I enjoyed the wedding, if I could do it over I’d elope.

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      • avatar

        rangerchic January 5, 2012, 4:53 pm

        October is a great month to be married! (that’s my anniversary).
        However, I’ve been married 13 years and when I think back I too would just elope. I think weddings in general are overrated – sure it is nice to get married with your loved ones there to witness but, oh the pressure EEK!

        I agree with Wendy’s and everyone’s suggestions above. Really the day will mostly be a blur anyway in a few years unless something dramatic happens. I was hoping for the “perfect” wedding and ya know what happened? My little sister (she lit the candles for us – she was 12) fainted in the middle of the ceremony! She was fine but it is what I remember most about my wedding. In retrospect I’m kind of glad it happened – gives us a funny story to tell!

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      • landygirl

        Landygirl January 5, 2012, 5:51 pm

        I was in my sister’s wedding 20 some odd years ago and I was really sick and I coughed all through the ceremony. Good times.

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      • avatar

        Bethany January 5, 2012, 7:35 pm

        Me too!!

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    • Tracey

      Tracey January 5, 2012, 5:01 pm

      That’s an excellent idea! You and the groom run off and have a marvelously romantic, private ceremony somewhere, then come back and have a huge party celebrating your marriage with all your friends where you can wear a fabulous dress (and he a fabulous tux), eat cake, do the chicken dance, and not worry about picking attendants.

      You can also have a very intimate, small wedding with just you and the hubby to be – no attendants. This saves you from the challenges of picking attendants, and gives you more money for a fabulous dress (and equally fabulous tux for him), a yummy cake to eat, a cool band to play the “Chicken Dance” song, and enjoy the luxury of a simple wedding.

      Whatever you decide, focus your energies more on creating a fabulous marriage than on a fabulous wedding ceremony. In the long run, the life of the marriage matters more than details of the wedding ceremony.

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet January 5, 2012, 4:48 pm

    My boyfriend and I went to his best friend’s wedding in The Bahama’s a couple years ago. He was the best man, but didn’t stand next to the groom during the wedding. The only thing the “bridal party” did was take a few professional pictures after the ceremony. No one cares! Don’t put anyone out several hundred dollars to be your bridesmaids unless you truly want them there.

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  • avatar

    SherBear January 5, 2012, 4:53 pm

    I recently attended a wedding where 3 out of the 4 in the bridal party “belonged” to the groom. No one batted an eye. The bride had a good college friend from out of town do a reading since she wasn’t even sure she could afford making the trip until two weeks before the wedding (she ended up flying into my city, staying on my couch and riding to and from the wedding in my rental car and then crashing one more time on my couch). I, being a lifelong friend of the groom, throw the bride her bachelorette party. I also invited some casual acquiantences of bride’s who weren’t invited to the wedding – and it was awesome. No one thought it was weird being invited to the bachelorette party since it was a) a small out of town wedding and b) they weren’t close friends of the couple. Wendy is right, it is 2012 and it’s your wedding – do whatever makes you happy!!!

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  • avatar

    BeenThereDoneThat January 5, 2012, 5:21 pm

    When I married for the second time, I had my son and his son both walk me down the aisle. Then, they stood next to my fiance. Our five daughters preceded me down the aisle in the order of birth. The eldest child from each side signed as witnesses. It was wonderful and beautiful. We didn’t give a hoot if anyone thought that was odd – we were very happy. Also, we did not require new clothing or matching outfits. Dress clothes with a tie for the boys, dresses for the girls with the special request to not show more cleavage than the bride.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't January 5, 2012, 7:53 pm

      That sounds totally lovely.

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  • avatar

    Meaghan January 5, 2012, 6:01 pm

    I’m in the exact same situation when it come to my ‘Real Wedding’. My husband has a huge family and a lot of friends that he is still very close to while I have a tiny family and only three people I really consider friends. Weddings are a huge deal to his family (one of the many reasons why they don’t know we’re actually married) and so not having attendants would really just crush them as they see standing up with someone as a way to support and honor that person and the fact that they could be there on the special day. My maid of honor is my one best friend who lives near his family (what a coincidence! Thankfully it means she can carpool!) and the other four maids are all his sisters and sister in laws. My other two friends are a man, and the other just wouldn’t be able to handle the financial burden of the dress and everything so I’ve had her as just a very special guest.

    To be honest, not having friends sucked. It was embarrassing to admit to his family members that I had no one to stand up for me. I really like his family, but I’ve only met them three times so it’s just a bit weird. Still, I asked them because they will be a huge part of my future when we move back by his family in a couple years so I figured what a great way to start our new lives!

    My advice to you: ask his sisters. In the future if you meet a friend that you want in it you can upgrade her to a bridesmaid or even maid of honor as long as you give that sister the heads up when you ask. In the end they will be essential to help you keep everything under control that day, and this could help you forge bonds that will cement your new found role in their family.

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  • avatar

    CottonTheCuteDog January 5, 2012, 6:11 pm

    Welcome to my word, LW! My fiance has a ton of friends who would gladly be in the wedding. I have my sister and that is really it. So he just asked his favorite friend to be the best man I have my sister as the maid of honor.

    It works out. If I were you I wouldn’t have his sister or his sister in law standing next to you at the wedding. The ladies that stand next to you are there to support you. To be there for you and to show that they support you entering into a marriage with your fiance. These women aren’t supporting you. They are supporting their brother and brother in law. There would be absolutely no way I would ask them.

    I think your best bet is to have no attendants. Have your fiance ask his brother and his best friend to read or give a toast or be ushers. It really isn’t that big of a deal to not have any attendants.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger January 5, 2012, 6:39 pm

    I love how the wedding questions bring out the cultural differences. In (traditional) Jewish weddings, the parents of the bride and groom are part of the ceremony — they walk their child down the aisle and then they chill out under the chuppa too; (its in hebrew and i can’t see, so I have no idea what they do up there). So the idea that this bride doesn’t consider her (assuming well-liked, nonabusive, happy to have around, call every other weekend) mother as part of her bridal party totally threw me.

    Personally, I like the idea of a bridal party so I get where her fiance is coming from, in having a preference for them rather than not having one. And he’s proven that he’s a keeper because he was so willing to make his bride happy.

    I haven’t been to a wedding without them, but the procession would seem awfully short. I think i like the idea of waiting in the back as this ceremony begins and occurs, that i get to be apart of, with music playing and people who love me and whom i love waiting attentively to watch me declare my love for the man I want to spend the rest of my life with (it just happens to be a man in my case). If there’s no bridal party, isn’t it just the groom walking down the aisle and then the bride a couple seconds later? or do they walk in together? It kind of just seems to cut to the chase (cue “marriage in a hurry, marriage in a hurry” from robin hood: men in tights); which I’m sure can be awesome, but I like to see the whole movie, not just the good parts.

    So I love the idea of you having a bro’s-maid.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy January 5, 2012, 7:01 pm

      Not if it’s a long aisle…

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    • avatar

      Rachel January 5, 2012, 7:20 pm

      My friend’s husband had his dad as his best man. I thought it was really sweet. If she’s close to her mom, I don’t know why she would feel so weird having her at her side. People just get too wrapped up in what you’re “supposed to” do.

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  • avatar

    jaybro January 5, 2012, 6:51 pm

    Another thing you could do if you decide that you really are not for the no-attendants plan (which I think would be the better route), is just split the siblings up. There are two girls, so one girl on your side, one on the groom’s (for that nice, even look that you seem to be concerned about). Your brother can be on your side, and the groom can have his brother on his. Any other siblings/friends of the groom can be ushers or whatever other roles, like Wendy said.

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  • avatar

    Alexa January 5, 2012, 7:11 pm

    I agree with Wendy about not having attendants. I wouldn’t invite the “new girlfriends” to your wedding as you haven’t established that close and strong of a relationship with them. Therefore they are not good “candidates” for the role of bridesmaid which is rather for people who are family members or people you are very close to.

    I have moved around a lot, too including between different continents and faced the same problem when I had my wedding 3 months ago. Most of my close friends are far away and I didn’t want to put the financial burden of buying expensive airfare, hotel, dresses, etc on them. Hence, my husband and I didn’t have any attendants and it was an awesome wedding.

    That being said, here is the spin. It is a normal human need that you would like to share your happiness with other people. Happiness is multiplied when it is shared. See how you laugh when you are alone watching a comedy and how hard you laugh when you watch it with somebody else. However, happiness multiplying works best when you are on the same page with the other one. In other words choose only the ones to be your bridesmaid who you can really share your happiness (usually the ones who are close to you and know you well and your situation) with and who are able to honestly be happy with you and multiply happiness.

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  • avatar

    WatersEdge January 5, 2012, 7:32 pm

    I had no attendants, for similar reasons. I moved a few times and lost day-to-day touch with my old friends, but I didn’t know my new friends well enough to fill that role. It happens. Chalk it up as the price you pay for having an interesting life! Having no attendants was awesome. Planning a wedding is so stressful, it’s just an extra unnecessary thing anyway. I say either do siblings with one male and one female on either side and honor your fiancés friend somehow else, or just skip it!

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    • avatar

      WatersEdge January 5, 2012, 7:34 pm

      Also- seriously consider an elopement or a teensy destination wedding. Having a wedding is so not worth it IMO.

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  • katie

    katie January 5, 2012, 8:30 pm

    LW, i just want you to know that this is your (as in your and your future husband’s) wedding, and everything you do should mean something to you or your fiance. if it is important to him to have attendants, then let him have them. have one stand next to you and one next to him- whatever. i am a firm believer that there are certain things that are important to the bride and the groom, and those things have to be taken into account. my boyfriend and I have had this disscusion and we both picked things that are very important to us and HAVE to be done. mine is having all my friends there (ie anyone who cant afford to go we will pay for), and his is having his chef friends actually good the wedding dinner. so those two things, we agreed, will be the #1 things in the planning process.

    as far as having a “balanced” bridal party or whatever- to hell with that. you do whatever it is to make you and your fiance happy and no one else has to care what you did.

    just as an idea, this is something i thought of for my wedding because i have the same problem you have, but im the one with bridesmaids and my boyfriend doesnt know who he would ask…. so i have this idea to have my bridesmaids walk down the aisle with their dates/husbands/boyfriends/alone. so there wont be any awkward “there is no one to walk my friend down the aisle” problems. they can just walk down with whomever, or alone, and then all of them will SIT DOWN! leave the first row or whatever open for them to sit down so that if its lopsided it wont look weird- but more specifically, just so people wont even notice. so my friends will walk down the aisle with their dates, and then my boyfriends brother and maybe friends will walk down the aisle with their respective dates, in no particular order, and sit down. then, my boyfriend and i will walk down the aisle together. that is my vision for my wedding to take care of all the bridal party issues. i hope that gives you some ideas!

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  • avatar

    Married by Elvis January 5, 2012, 9:10 pm

    My recommendation – get married by Elvis! Viva Las Vegas!

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    Jillie Z January 5, 2012, 9:35 pm

    9 years after getting married, i remember the wedding planning process as being one of the most stressful, annoying, and family obnoxious times ever… so if you can avoid it, don’t let that happen to you. Do things the way you want and try to make the experience positive. I had an uneven amount of attendants, one of my girlfriends had a bridesman… do what you want and have fun with it! And include your new friends in the wedding process – ask if they’d like to help you address invitations, put together favors… whatever… people love helping out with stuff like that. Ask for their advice with wedding planning, vent about your frustrations (without being a bridezilla =) and you’ll start to build stronger friendships. Put yourself out there and accept help and provide the same in return. It takes time and work, but it so worth the effort in the long run!

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    Meredith January 5, 2012, 10:46 pm

    We didn’t have any attendants and it worked out just fine. I suggest it. I do not suggest asking girls you are not close with or haven’t been close to for a while. When I was 19 this one chick asked me and my best friend to be in her wedding despite not being close to her for three years and we hadn’t even spoken to her in almost two when she asked us. We did out of obligation but it was so awkward and weird. Your wedding is supposed to be one of the best days of your life, not filled with awkwardness.

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    Renee January 6, 2012, 4:36 am

    I mentioned in another thread that I helped out in my church with marriage prep, but my husband and I would also help out on the wedding day. We would be at the wedding rehearsal the day or two prior, and on the day to assist the vendors and the wedding party/guests at the door. For example where’s the bathroom, how to get up to the balcony, stepping in when a late guest wants to start a conversation with father of the bride moments before walking down the aisle, and not letting you forget that Unity Candle (we don’t want them, we already have candles).

    Being witness to several weddings as an observer, at the nuptials a larger party is pretty useless and more likely to slow things down.

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    GatorGirl January 6, 2012, 9:49 am

    LW, make up your own “rules” for your wedding. Don’t do anything on your wedding day you don’t want to do.

    My BF’s little sister is having a huge blow-out bash in a high rise downtown with 7 attendents each. She could not be more excited for her day. My BF and I decided we want basically the opposite- small wedding at home, with no attendents, and most likely grilled food. We’re happy for her to do the more elaborate and thrilled we’ve decided to do something more simple.

    Really, who cares about the attendents, you’re getting married!!

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      GatorGirl January 6, 2012, 9:54 am

      Also, between the two of us we have four sisters and two brothers. I’ve got maybe 2 girlfriends I would ask and he has a huge 20+ group of close male friends. The numbers just do not work out. So we’ve decided to have no attendents. After all- we’re the ones getting married; we want the focus on us.

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      Renee January 6, 2012, 10:30 am

      Gator, one of the nicest receptions I’ve ever been to was in a backyard and the families cooked potluck style.

      I feel so sorry when I go to a wedding reception at a hotel/country club and the food is fair at best, knowing that they paid an arm and a leg for dinner and planned out their menu a year in advance.

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        GatorGirl January 6, 2012, 12:44 pm

        We are super excited about our plan but some people look at us like we are crazy when we say back yard. It’s really important that it is a celebration with our family and friends- and to me that means big party in my parents yard, not a stuffy three corse meal and being kicked out at 10.

        But to each their own.

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    Sue Jones January 6, 2012, 11:08 am

    I am in the small wedding, no attendants camp. My husband and I had just 2 friends, my stepson and the Unitarian/Unity minister ( I forget which) at our wedding on our living room rug when we got married. Then we went out to dinner and a movie ( we saw Evita with Madonna!)
    Then 4 months later we had a big gathering and party of all the friends and family to honor our marriage. Everyone loves a party but I seriously do not get all this emphasis on the wedding as opposed to the actual marriage! To each his own, but you do not need to buy into the whole thing… and I agree that you should really work on keeping up the girlfriend friendships after your marriage. It keeps the relationship healthy to have outside interests and activities.

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    Bossy Italian Wife January 6, 2012, 11:16 am

    Wendy is right on about not asking your new friends. It’s just too soon.

    But I don’t understand why you won’t consider your mother. It’s not that strange. When my husband and I wed, his father was his best man and my mother was my maid of honor. We felt that those were the people that had the supported us the most, and it seemed appropriate (even though we had big wedding parties anyway). So I wouldn’t totally count your mother out.

    Also, many people don’t have attendants because, as Wendy said, this is 2012! We don’t’ need to continue traditions that simply don’t fit our lives.

    You need a shot of tequila and some creativity–I know you can work it out so that you will have a beautiful wedding that is totally YOU! That is the point–to have a wedding that is a reflection of who you are! So let your flag fly!

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      GatorGirl January 6, 2012, 12:50 pm

      I second the tequila!

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    seresarah January 6, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Have you ever been a bridesmaid? Probably not, due to the lack of close friends. I’ve been a bridesmaid once, maid of honor once. Both times the friendship felt WEAKER after the wedding than before, and I enjoyed the reception less. In the end, I didn’t really see the point except as live decorations. I don’t plan to have attendants when I get married in the future. So this is my vote for no attendants!! It just isn’t worth it, and it’s one less thing for you to stress about. Do consider getting closer to the friends you do have, though, if it’s not too late.

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      Sonia January 6, 2012, 10:35 pm

      I’ve been a bridesmaid 6 times (3 times in 2010 alone!) I’ve had that happen to me, one friend criticized the bridal shower I threw her…but in some cases I’ve felt closer as a friend too…I think it depends on the friendship and th kind of bride you’re dealing with…and come to think of it, the critical bride chose me because she had few female friends and it was kind of convenient

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    Jay January 6, 2012, 2:28 pm

    I’ll be your bridesmaid! :))

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    Sonia January 6, 2012, 10:29 pm

    One thing I’d like to add regarding the close friend you have that lives a day away…ask her. Don’t make the decision for her that it’s too much. Discuss all of it wih her, because if she is a good friend you should also just turn to her a a friend. When my friend was getting married on DR last year she talked to me about wanting to ask me to be her Mai of honor but in part because she expected that her bf wouldn’t be able to foot the bill some she and her husband an son would also need to go. I convinced her to just talk to her and she was so excited, and my friend was grateful that she asked instead of assumed which I think would have really hurt her feelings (I did get to be a bridesmaid too). Maybe the ambivalence you’re feeling from our friend is partly because you haven’t mentioned including her in he wedding, even as an invitee if not to be on it. Just something to consider…

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    a_different_Wendy January 27, 2012, 2:23 pm

    I know a couple great girls that I only met 6 months ago, and I asked them to be in my wedding. We’ve spent a decent amount of time together, and while we’re not super close I feel like this is a good way to bond.

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