I don’t want bridesmaids. Why is this a crime?

5 Apr

Three months away from the wedding and people keep asking me or pretty much demanding to know who my maid of honor is or why I haven’t chosen bridesmaids yet.

What’s it to you? I’ve got enough wedding stuff to do, I don’t need to hear nag, nag, nag too.

I don’t want bridesmaids. I don’t have a sister or a friend who has really stuck with me through thick and thin. That only person is my mom, and she definitely won’t do it. I don’t want to put a hierarchy on my friends. To avoid creating said hierarchy, I’d have to pick five or six bridesmaids.  Who makes the cut? Like I don’t already have a freaking boatload of decisions to make with this wedding.

I understand that people move on or change, and that’s the way that life goes and its fine, but why am I obligated to have people stand up with me when I’d rather be there with fiance only? You know, the guy who is joining me in paying a ton of money to show the world that he’s always going to be with me.

After months and months of everyone trying to convince me, I still feel the same. I don’t want bridesmaids. Besides, it’s just extra stuff to do to sort out their dresses. But fiance wants dudes, so again, this dear wedding means I’m stuck making yet another decision I really don’t want to make.

Either way, aren’t bridesmaids supposed to throw you showers and parties? My own wedding stuff is enough of a pain in the ass, I don’t need to offload any onto them. And I don’t think anyone would take the initiative to throw a party anyway, especially if they live on the other side of the country. I can’t expect them to do that. And my friend who was a bridesmaid for her own friend’s wedding said she spent a boatload of money on pre-wedding parties. I can’t expect them to do this either.

My other friend is from England. When her sister got married there, she had no bridesmaids. That’s right, not even her own sister. Apparently no bridesmaids is normal in Europe. Too bad we can’t all live there, so that people wouldn’t ask incessant questions to force me to justify my decision for my own freaking wedding. It’s exhausting.

I think I’m going to cave and pick someone just to shut them all up. Better to suck it up and pick than to hear “who is going to be your maid of honor?” again. But how do you pick out of all your friends?

And question: If we go this route, who is the “witness” when you sign the papers?

Here’s some other peeps online who had similar troubles

EDIT: New comments today: “If you don’t have bridesmaids things will look unbalanced and people will think you have no friends.”  Except the whole wedding will be filled with friends!!!!! Ugh!!!


30 Responses to “I don’t want bridesmaids. Why is this a crime?”

  1. rae April 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    You’re awesome. I guess misery really does love company, because it makes me feel better knowing that you’re going through this crap, too. o_0 I went the opposite route: I’m only inviting, like, 4 people total, so everyone’s a “bride’s maid.” They can wear what they want, throw parties if they want, but I wash my hands of planning any of it.

    • unhappybride April 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      I wish we had done that! But we’ve already put down deposits, so now we’re stuck.

      I really don’t understand HOW people could love wedding planning…and why they are creeped out when I say I don’t care and can’t be bothered. It’s the *marriage* that really matters to me. So it makes me feel better that someone else feels the same!

  2. cris of kiss my tulle April 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    I have 3 bridesmaids (my 3 closest friends who are always there for me) and people keep acting like its AWFUL that I ONLY have 3. Like, you’re not REALLY married unless you have 9 random chicks standing up there with you. Stupid.

    With your sit, don’t have any. If your guy wants dudes with him then that’s cool. Instead of standing all on this side, have them form a semi-circle on either side of the officiant (so they surround you). Or ask one of them to be your Best Man (like @craftyminx did). Otherwise, you only have a few months left for stupid questions. Hang in there.

  3. Ariella April 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    We sort of had the opposite problem. It took Chuck months to decide if he was having groomsmen or not. I honestly didn’t care one way or the other, but I needed to know for planning purposes. Now that he picked 4 guys everyone wants to know who his best man is. Everyone seems to have more of an issue with it than he does. People ask us, “who’s going to sign the witness line?” When it comes down to it, it can be anyone. Traditionally, it’s the MOH or the BM, but it can be anyone.

    When it comes down to it if you want no bridesmaids or 20 it’s up to you and everyone else can suck it.

    • unhappybride April 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

      Hmmm, telling them to suck it. If this were Facebook, I would “Like” this.

  4. Deana April 20, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    I got married almost 5 years ago – I couldn’t deal with the bridesmaid thing either, even though I have a circle of close female friends. I was 36, getting married for the first time, and my husband and I planned a great ceremony where we handled things like decorations and flowers ourselves, and friends contributed music and the cake and photography. My dress came from a department store. People wore what they wanted. It was fun.

    During the ceremony, my brother stood up for me (he was my Man of Honor) and my husband’s brother was the Best Man. That was it. They signed for us as witnesses. I don’t regret it and have some great photos of my 6 foot, 250 pound brother holding my bouquet (and no, I didn’t throw my bouquet, my brother gave it to my sister (engaged at the time) after the ceremony).

    • Kalia May 28, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      This sounds like a dream wedding!!!

    • Sandj June 3, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      Wow, it’s a silly tradition when you think about. Wear what you want and let the bride and groom have their day!

  5. Anonymous September 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    So, I loved reading this. It has totally solidified my decision to not have a bridal party. I have some great friends But they can be quite catty(w/o knowing) and I absolutely do not want that whole hierarchy situation on my hands. And i was actually starting to get upset with all the questions and “looks” on why i have not chosen or will not choose to have anyone stand next to me @ Me and my fiance Wedding. And to help you out. I actually had a friend act sort assholish and not want to help or participate in any way other than be a guest if she wasn’t pick as a maid of some kind. When she makes it her business to call me her “best” her “sis”….. So yeah I feel you. Skip the headache and make it about you and your future husband. It’s you guys day and no one else(especially if it’s you and him paying for it). Though that might be weird with he having groomsmen. But my goodness, there have been thousands of weddings where the man stands alone. Why cant a bride shine on her own. I wonderfully don’t have that problem because my finance completely agrees with me not picking or having bridesmaids nor maid of honor. but good luck to you two and whatever you decide i’m sure it will be beautiful.

    • unhappy bride November 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

      Thanks for all your support! I ended up picking bridesmaids to silence everyone. I hurt one of my good friends in the process (she lives in Vancouver, so there was no way she could have gotten to dress fittings etc. We bought the bridesmaids dresses at David’s Bridal, and those only exist in Toronto. Four months later, we got our wedding pictures back, Fiance’s sister, who was a bridesmaid is frowning in every single wedding picture she is in! No joke! Goes to show that the couple should just do what they want, no matter how much people whine about it. If no bridesmaid drama is what you want, I hope you stuck to your guns, and whatever you decided, I hope it was beautiful!

      • Sandj June 3, 2014 at 10:58 am #

        I was asked to be in a friends wedding. She wasn’t really a great friend. Seems like she was wanting 5 brides maids. Numbers..I decided the dress her friends picked out were a bit costly and she wasn’t wanting the same color different dresses. I dropped out. Lol

  6. Anonymous September 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    also I planned on grabbing the nearest friend next to me and have him or sign as a witness.

  7. H January 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I’m starting to plan my wedding, and I never imagined my wedding with bridesmaids. I’ve never had a friend that I’ve been particularly close to….that is, not someone that I’ve opened my heart to and told every single thing to. On top of that, like you mentioned in your post, even if the few friends of mine that I’m inviting can make it- they’d be flying in from NY and it’d be another headache to push a dress on them and hair and makeup appts (and it’d hurt my tiny wallet even more).

    So, I’ll say it loud and proud – NO BRIDESMAIDS…I’m already marrying my best friend so why do I need people that I’m not that close to stand there beside me???

  8. Rebecca September 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    I feel the same way. I was a military brat, and I don’t have a “best-girlfriend”. My best friend is a platonic guy friend from college. I have always gotten along better with guys. My sister is a hot mess, and I can’t rely on her to even show up for the wedding. I guess you don’t have to have witnesses in Indiana, but even if you do have to have witnesses there will be plenty of other people there to sign the paper.

    I think a lot of the wedding “traditions” are stupid. I will not be spending money on cheap favors for people to throw in the backseat of their car and just forget about them. I will not be doing the garter thing either. I don’t want my fiance grabbing up my skirt in front of my dad! I have always thought that was really weird.

    Also, the shows on tv talking about spending 1000-3000 on a dress you wear once! And wedding photographers’ prices are ridiculous. I will be glad when it is all said and done. I wanted to go to the court house, but was told by my dad and fiance that they wanted a ceremony. However, I am the one left planning everything.

    • Kalia May 28, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      I totally agree…not all brides want fuss and fanfare, never mind the hassle of planning.

  9. Anonymous September 16, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    OMG finally. I just got engaged and the idea of bridesmaids is making me stress much more than necessary. I absolute don’t want them, it may look normal in young couples like my fiance and I, but I find it unattractive. So the answer is NO, the problem is, I’m marrying a frat boy who loves his pledge brothers. He said he already has a list of 6 or 7 guys (ARE U FFF KIDDIN ME!!) that will stand with him, he makes it sounds like something he’s always wanted and this is such a huge conflict. I feel like im going to do everything on my power not to have a line of ppl behind us, but i feel bad by breaking his “dreams”.. He is a really amazing man in many ways, but i find groomsmn and bridesmaids so juvenile, kinda tacky even. It sucks because is taking all the excitement of planning my own wedding just for that stupid factor.

  10. Anon September 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Oh thank goodness!

    I live in England and I actually found this by frantically Googling ‘Don’t want any bridesmaids’ lol.

    I had no idea it was ‘normal’ here, I’ve never heard of anyone not having any! But thank you thank you thank you!!!! I feel so de-stressed! ❤

  11. Anonymous December 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    I just had a major fight with my sister about not having any since I want a small ceremony…your article totally just reinforced the reason why I’m not having any…also, my best friend and sister don’t get along either…so it is a disaster waiting to happen. Thank you for this article!!

  12. Anonymous January 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    SO glad I stumbled across this! I did the same thing as the previous poster – googled ‘what if I don’t want bridesmaids’ and came upon this. If I’m being honest, I’m not engaged, but hope to be soon 🙂 (hopefully that doesn’t sound too weird – my boyfriend has dropped hints and we’re taking a trip soon :)) anyway – many of my friends are getting engaged and married and this has been a looming topic in my mind for quite some time. I, like others, have many friends who I consider myself fairly close to, but hoenstly none that make me think my day would be incomplete if they weren’t standing next to me! Whew – so glad I’m not alone!!

  13. katemalay March 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi! I know I’m a little late to this, but thanks for posting! I have my own reasons for not wanting bridesmaids (and fiance similarly was hoping for groomsmen though he’s willing to let it go), and I’m really nervous about the reaction from those in my life who would be the obvious choices. I just want us to honor our moms. They’ve been nothing but supportive every step of the way!

  14. Amanda March 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    I googled “don’t want any bridesmaids” leaving out the: because all my friends suck clause. Because they do. My one “best friend” will ditch me first hand for her boyfriend of the month. My other best friend just left me out of almost all the bridesmaid DIY get together because I didn’t show enough enthusiasm at the first get together. So why would I want these people standing up there with me? I feel catty, but to me the people up there with you are supposed to be the people you can’t live without. I am definitely considering no bridesmaids at this point. Doesn’t seem worth the stress.

  15. Kalia May 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    You are excellent…I’ve quit making female friends to avoid ever being asked again. It is an unpleasant and expensive pain in the ass to be a bridesmaid and people always think they’re doing me an honor when they ask me. In my opinion a good friend doesn’t make people she loves spend money and do all kinds of tasks when they could be getting their own shit done and enjoy their own lives. When I get married, we’ll elope so no one had to waste their time or money on my personal life decision to marry the man I love. Etiquette magazines are sponsored by of expensive products and services…it’s a rip off, just like Christmas….people being pressured to spend money on crap they don’t need out of guilt and obligation.

  16. Beth June 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Happy to be marrying a foreigner from a country (Turkey) where bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t “a thing!” Luckily I’m getting no push back from anyone when I say I am not doing bridesmaids.

  17. Anonymous September 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    I could hug you! Just got engaged and all my friends are extreamly excited. I just want my brother and my fiance’s sister standing next to us. I don’t like the perade of bridesmades and groomsmen, I’m from Spain and we don’t have any of this so to me it’s very normal. I have spoken to one friend about it in passing (testing the waters) and she said that it would be dissapointing to not be part of my wedding. To me being invited is part of the wedding, so now i have to tell my friends (who are already coming up with ideas for my wedding) what I want. Oh the sad puppy faces I will be seeing.

  18. Anonymous October 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I got here the same way as some others girls, googling “is it ok to not have bridesmaids?” 🙂 My mom’s side of the family is from Spain (I was born there also but dad is American and I’ve grown up most of my life in the States with plenty of visits back to Spain) and in Spain bridesmaids are an unheard of thing. My aunt one time even asked me when I went to a wedding if I could take a pic of the bridesmaids to send to her so they could giggle. It’s becoming more of a known thing in Europe and other parts of the world due to American movies and stuff but I really just don’t think I want it, at least not the full extent. Not engaged yet either as one other girl on here but I hope to be in the near future and the only person that I absolutely love and would want up with me maybe is my cousin from Spain, we are like sisters so I think that should be good enough. My bf has just one brother and I’m an only child (hence cousin that’s like a sister) so I’m thinking just a maid of honor and a best man and that’s it. Hope the bf is ok with that too!

  19. Jane March 20, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    In the last year, I have participated in my three (and only three) close friends’ weddings. And while each bride has been polite, not demanding, and flexible (and their bridesmaids were friendly and easy to get along with) it has just been a big pain in my ass (and wallet) to be part of their wedding parties. I do not want a bridal party just for the fact that I want my what-would-be-bridesmaids to be able to show up to my ceremony and reception and just wear what they want and enjoy themselves. And not have to pay for clothes they won’t wear again, make up, hair, manicures and pedicures, parties, and then have to be at my beck and call for the week leading up, do damage control, and be clean up crew afterwards (and this whole time not get to spend more than a few minutes with their dates) for my wedding.

    I’d rather they just show up, dressed how they want, with the one thing and only thing they spent money on (a gift), with their date, and enjoy my ceremony and celebration of mine and my future husband’s marriage that we planned. Because when you are part of the wedding party you don’t get a lot of time to enjoy what you have helped plan. And it sucks.

  20. Beth June 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    I originally asked two girlfriends (ok, well my best friends are guys, so…) to be my bridesmaids in addition to my sister (who lives in another state). After a month of them arguing about dress choices (I gave them a ton of options under $150, or wear their uniforms (we’re all in the Navy)), I told them that they could either wear one of the two options I narrowed it down to (they FOUND/PICKED those two dresses!) or just forget it. Well, they didn’t like that. The funny thing is that I wanted to keep the dresses cheaper (under 150, preferably closer to 100) so they could keep THEIR costs down. They didn’t like that either and said that “we understand that your dress is in the spotlight, but since we have to pay for our dresses we absolutely have to love them”, no matter what I wanted for my wedding. So now I’m apparently the bad guy because I gave them an ultimatum (even though it was from dresses they found…). Now I have monogramed bracelets for them, and they have no use.

    The dress parameters: dark red/burgundy, floor length, sweetheart neckline, not empire waist, no bling. Everything else was totally up for grabs.

    So, no bridesmaids it is. My sister might not come (leave issues at work, but she said she would wear whatever I wanted *if* she could make it), so I asked one of my best guy friends if he would walk down the isle bridesmaid-style so I wouldn’t be on my own. He is totally thrilled and will wear his dress uniform to make it easy.

    Why do people have SUCH an issue?!

    And now I have the awkward task of figuring out if they will actually be going to the (small) wedding or not…

  21. Sara July 16, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    This thread is amazing. I’m getting married in about 8 months (a very, very small informal wedding) and I just had a revelation today that I don’t want bridesmaids. Not only do I have issues with all the little details like dresses, shoes, matching colors, very different body types, some of the girls that i would’ve chosen up there with me would clash personalities. I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders when I read this thread and decided 100% that it will just be my fiance and I up there and I’m proud of it. My parents and sister will be in the front row watching and everyone will be wearing what they want. I feel so relieved! No choosing/hurt feelings/worry/stress/extra finances.

  22. Bridal Guru December 24, 2014 at 2:25 am #

    Contrarty to puplar belief: Bridesmaids are not required. You are not required to have bridesmaids just because the guy has groomsmen. No, it doesn’t “look funny.” The guests DON”T CARE.

    Bridesmaids are not “supposed” to do anything besides show up. Anyone who wants to throw a shower can do so – and a bride is not entitled to a shower. If nobody offers, she doesn’t get one.

    The lists of “wedding party duties” are published by the wedding industry. They have a financial interest in making people believe they have to have matching everything, and throw parties. It pumps money back into the industry.

    • Sandj January 21, 2015 at 8:54 am #

      Bridal Guru, you could have anyone throw you a shower. You can throw your own shower. Another idea is to have a bridal lunch before the big day. The wedding is about the couple, not the brides maids. Be unique and to something different at your wedding. Had a friend who had a male stand up for her, and her future husband had a female stand up for him.

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