Involving Your Friends While Skipping the Bridal Party

You can still make your friends feel special without making them bridesmaids.

There are plenty of ways to make your closest friends and family members feel important without compromising on your vision.

Relationship Advice
Photo: The Observatory

how to involve your friends in your wedding without having a bridal party
Photo by Branco Prata; Planning & Design by EVOKE

As weddings become more personalized and nontraditional, many brides choose to not have any bridesmaids on the big day. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have your friends involved in your celebration. In fact, in many cases, your nearest and dearest might be pleased that they don’t have to go out and buy a dress of your choosing that they’re unlikely to wear again. Of course, especially with ladies you’ve been close to for over a decade, they likely imagined being a part of your nuptials in some capacity. Luckily, there are still plenty of ways to make these close friends and family members feel important without compromising on your vision.

- Take a special photo. Whether it’s with your group of girls or everyone individually, make sure to get a shot together at the celebration. 

- Have her do a reading. If you have a gal pal who doesn’t mind public speaking, consider asking her to perform a reading during your ceremony. Some couples will even have a loved one sing a meaningful song during the proceedings. 

- Get ready together. Just because they won’t be wearing matching dresses doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some mimosas and tunes while getting ready for the big day. If you’re feeling especially generous, you can even spring for hair and makeup like you would for bridesmaids. 

- Invite them dress shopping. Just because you and your future spouse decided against a bridal party doesn’t mean you can’t have your best friends with you while you try to find the perfect gown.

- Throw a girls’ night. Without an official maid of honor or bridesmaids, chances are lower that someone will plan a bachelorette party for you. That said, if you want to invite your favorite ladies to a spa weekend or your favorite club to celebrate your impending nuptials, everyone loves an excuse to party! 

Discover the pros and cons of a big bridal party, learn what to do if you and your family disagree on ceremony traditions, and read this guide to bridesmaid etiquette.