Pros and Cons: Having a Wedding Party

The perks and drawbacks of including bridesmaids and groomsmen in your ceremony.

Pros and Cons: Having a Wedding Party

Photo: Ira Lippke Studios

Friendship always means something different to each individual: for some, it means one person you spill all of your innermost thoughts and feelings to, and for others, it means having a gaggle of pals with which you share your time. When it comes time for a member of the group to wed, the question of “who’s going to be in the bridal party?” is bound to arise.

However, in this day and age, more and more engaged couples are electing not to incorporate their friends – in the traditional sense – into the planning process and the vows themselves. This can be a difficult, and sometimes painful, decision, but it’s another element of your big day that you need to consider. To assist, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons to including bridal attendants in your nuptials:


-  The added excitement and help they provide. It’s much easier to celebrate the small things during the planning process when you’re surrounded by encouraging friends. What with bachelor and bachelorette parties, engagement fêtes, and more casual get-togethers, you’ll be buzzing with motivation. Additionally, you’ll receive extra help with wedding details: planning, setting up, and day-of coordination should be far less difficult with a bridal party to back you up.

-  The ability to honor your closest confidants. Receiving that beautiful note in the mail reading “Will you be my bridesmaid?” is a memory that will last a lifetime. Including your close friends is a wonderful way to show them just how much they mean to you.

-  Clearly defined roles. Delegation of duties will be made much easier with a team of helpful attendants ready to receive assignments. You won’t have to struggle to organize everything yourself hours before your vows: each member can be given a specific task to make your morning run smoothly. 


-  There may be some hurt feelings. When picking and choosing a bridal party, chance are, someone is going to feel left out – however, if you choose to forgo the custom altogether, you’re bound to have some confused and bruised pals. Any time you buck a major wedding tradition, attendees are going to have strong opinions. You’ll likely hear a lot of “Where’s the maid of honor?” and “I didn’t see any matching dresses” after the ceremony.

-  There’s no guarantee they’ll be able to help. While friends may be eager to join in the festivities initially, life can always get in the way. No matter how loyal your sorority sister is, relying too heavily on her and the other girls can result in a disaster if someone can’t make it to a major event – let alone the big day itself. Plus, there are always people who say they’ll be involved, but never get into the idea.  

-  The extra costs will pile up. Your friends are volunteering for this position, which means you should be footing the bill for most of their expenses pertaining to the wedding. While it’s fine to ask them to pay for a dress that’s within everyone’s price range, you should consider writing the check for the hair, makeup, and accessories you’d like to see them in. Not to mention, with all of the aforementioned celebrations, you’re sure to have extra charges you wouldn’t otherwise.

Opening photo by Ira Lippke Studios