Consider this: on your wedding day, it’s just the two of you taking on the event together. No MOH (just like Meghan Markle), no best man, no bridesmaids, groomsmen or wee ones. Sounds like a sweet recipe for an easy breezy day doesn’t it?
While we appreciate how helpful a bridal party can be, we are also fully behind this new movement towards flying solo through your day. It can make things a little easier and let you focus solely on each other and your guests. Toronto-based event planner Gillian Roberts says this is a trend she has seen gaining popularity. “I am absolutely seeing a trend towards couples skipping bridal parties all together, or only have one person stand up with them such as a sibling or best friend,” Roberts shares. We quizzed Roberts about the pros and cons of abandoning attendants altogether.
Why do you think opting to not have a bridal party has become a thing?
“Couples going this route are ones who have already attended lots of weddings and been in a number of wedding parties themselves. They tend to go this route because they know how much work being in a wedding can be. These are the people who have been in countless bridal parties where people complain about the costs, the time commitment and the overall experience of being in a wedding and they don’t want to do the same to their friends.”
Do you think it’s a good idea? What are some benefits of not having attendants?
“I think that not having a bridal party is a great idea for the low key couple who don’t necessarily want a big production. These are the people who don’t want any drama on their wedding day, which large groups of close friends and family sometimes bring.”
Are there any down sides?
“The drawback of not having a wedding party is the help in planning that people often get from their party: someone to plan the bachelorette, bridal shower, help choose a menu, florist and so on. Many close friends will do this anyway, but it’s not as structured. You also miss out on that special time with your closest friends getting ready for your wedding, however you do skip any drama that comes with it.”
So in other words no bridal party equals a much less stressful wedding day?
“Yes, a very small bridal party, or no bridal party at all makes for a much more stress-free day. You’re not rushed to get hair, makeup, and pictures of a group of people—you just have to focus on you! There are always hair and make up issues at weddings and the last thing you want to worry about is that one of your bridesmaids isn’t happy with her hair…I’m telling you, it happens every single time!”
If a couple still wants to go the wedding party route, do you have any advice for making the decision more manageable and drama-free?
“Give your bridal party as much freedom as you can. Let them be part of the decisions on what they have to wear, how many pre-wedding festivities they have to attend, how their hair should look, what colour their nails should be. Putting a lot of restraints on people causes them to put their backs up, therefore creating a tense day. One thing that bridal parties often really appreciate is being able to sit with their own spouses during the dinner, rather than at a bridal-party-exclusive head table. Wedding dinners can be long and attendants often feel guilty if their partners are at a table of people they don’t know.”
“Another tip that is often is overlooked is to actually ask your bridal party if they want to be in it. Don’t just assume. The gesture of being asked means a lot however some people just don’t have the capacity to take it on. They may have a new baby or have just bought a house or are too busy at work and although they’d love to be a part of the day, they know they would be better suited as a regular guest. The more relaxed you are about your bridal party, the more relaxed your day will be.”