27 October 2014

Thoughts on Bridesmaids

I have thought for a long time about this subject. 

This was probably even one of my first thoughts after Ben and I started discussing marriage a couple years ago. 
Sometimes, I felt a total rush and assurance that yes I did want my best girlfriends by my side when I got hitched. But most of the time, I just felt total dread. I felt pressured and anxious. I didn't want to deal with it. I'd fall asleep at night thinking about my wedding day, the people off to my side in a blurry haze of indecision. Bridesmaids. 

Don't get me wrong; I love my girlfriends dearly and I appreciate them deeply. And I understand the concept of bridesmaids and I like the tradition behind it. But every time I thought about who would actually be my bridesmaid, I'd panic. 

The thing is, I have lots of close friends, but they are all from different parts of my life. I have my sunshine blonde best friend from childhood who I spent my young years ridding bikes to Blockbuster and emptying their shelves of 80's horror films and Milk Duds. I have my high school best friend with her sun-kissed dreads and raspy voice, who, whenever we skype makes me feel like I just left her five minutes ago. I have my heavily tattooed college best friend who makes me laugh harder than anyone and I have my dearest girlfriend here in Moscow who makes my expat life feel more normal. And I have Ben's sister who is going to be my family and who I greatly look forward getting to know. And while I love them all, the idea of them all in matching dresses, or standing around me, or taking pictures together, it stresses me out. 

And not really for any reason, but it does. Maybe because though they are all close to me, they are all strangers to each other. Maybe because I feel like I will have to spend my time trying to get them to see what I see in all of them. But really, it just isn't me to be hanging out in a group of girls. 

I'll explain. 

For as long as I can remember, I have hated being in groups of girls (insert traumatic birthday sleepover story here). It just isn't me. I've always been a best friends kinda gal or a big group of party friends, but nothing really in between. 

And what are bridesmaids really for? They're who you get ready with, right? All pomp and circumstance aside, they're supposed to help you out on your big day. Well, I don't want to get ready with a group of girls. It's not me. And while I want all these ladies to know how special they are to me, I don't want to show that with dorky dresses and forced pictures. 

So here's what I'm thinking:

I think I'm going to skip the bridesmaid thing.

I'd like to incorporate my close friends into the ceremony, maybe with readings from a poem or toasts later on in the evening, but I'd really just like it to be me and Ben up there. 

This is a hard thing to back away from and I feel a bit wary about doing so. I know my friends won't mind because they know me and they'll understand, but I also feel anxious about how it will look or something. But that shouldn't be what weddings are about. The wedding should be a reflection of the couple and the beginning of your joined life together. And I don't want to spend that time feeling uncomfortable because I'm an introverted loon. 

I read stone fox bride's blog every now and then (and you should too--and follow their instagram, it's absolute gold) and the brides featured always have the most badass advice. Someone--I can't remember who--finally said the words I'd been waiting to here:

It's your day. Do what you want. If you want a gluten free cake, have it. If you want to walk down the aisle to the Grateful Dead, do it. If you don't want bridesmaids, don't do it.

Etc. 
These pretty gals are rockin' those blush dresses, that's for sure.
Image found here.

What do you guys think? Did you have bridesmaids? Will you? Was it less stress than you thought it would be? Am I going to regret it in the long run? Is it OK to just throw tradition to the wind and do whatever you want?

I'd love to here your thoughts on the matter or read about what you did. I still might change my mind, but I wanted to bring it up in this space.

xo,
lisa

15 comments:

  1. hi lisa!

    just wanted to let you know that it is totally okay to feel this way. i felt this way. so much in fact that my husband and i decided on an "honorary bridal party" of sorts. he invited friends he has known all of his life and besides our sisters, my girlfriends i'd only known for a short time. it just felt forced and awkward, considering we have been traveling for the last few years and it's really only him and i. we pretty much got ready on our own. a few girls were in the huge room with me getting ready themselves. we let them know that our colors were earthy and neutrals but to come as they are. we took a few photos with them because they are important to us and we reserved the second row for them during the ceremony. with that being said, it's so true... this day is about the two of you! do what you guys want and what's important to you. it worked out for us! :) http://ulmerstudios.com/weddings/carter-sara-wedding-by-the-creek/

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    1. sara,

      first of all, your wedding was *beautiful*! Absolutely perfect. And thank you so much for your words--I really like your idea of taking pictures with your special people. I'm so glad to have seen your wedding because it may be the first one I've ever seen without a wedding party. very comforting. thank you so much for sharing, it was very comforting :)

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  2. Lisa - you said this so well. I actually think I feel the same way about a lot of this stuff (especially never wanting to be in a group of girls - the idea makes my skin crawl)

    I'll probably still do the bridesmaids thing, but only a couple. Or maybe JUST my sister. I dunno. I know Cam definitely wants groomsmen so we'll figure something out.

    either way - you do what you wanna do. the way I see it: if it doesn't make you excited, leave it out of your wedding. ya know? xo

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    1. I had a feeling you would feel the same way ;)
      Read the comment above --I think she has a really great idea.

      and I agree about leaving stressful things out of your wedding. it's just hard to push back against norms like that, ya know?

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  3. I had four bridesmaids (two of which are family now, one was and one married in) and I loved it, I'm not a big groups of girls person either so I found my kitchen tea really daunting though having mostly family there helped alot, and my bridesmaids took care of everything on my wedding day. But if I'm honest my mom did the biggest amount of planning and work for everything. Having been a bridesmaid twice it is seriously so stressful, trying to work with people who all think differently and plan things.I think your idea is great for the minimal stress factor and I think maybe going back I would have only had like 1 bridesmaid- that being said having a bridal party is so much fun but we were lucky in that our bridal party were all already friends and they all went for dance lessons together and did an awesome swing number to open our dance floor- my husband and I are not centre of attention people so they kind of took the pressure off and us in that they helped keep things lively. hehe either way its a tough decision:)

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    1. You're probably right about moms being the biggest help--I know mine is/will be. And I know that a bridal party will be fun on the dance floor and what not, I guess I just need to find a way to incorporate it into my style. Sigh.

      That's hella cute that they all did a dance for you BTW!

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  4. Okay, have to comment.

    So, I feel the same way. It's like you have all these great people in your life who you want to incorporate, but are you doing that because you WANT to, or because you feel like that's what you should do? I have been in weddings that are traditional, with 9 girls all in a room getting ready, drinking champagne and spying on guests. It's fun as shit, and I'll admit it. However, it is stressful. It's a lot of energy, a lot of nerves and just a ton of people in your space, on a huge day. If it's not your thing to have bridesmaids, it doesn't mean you love those people any less, it just means it's not your style.

    If you want to wear a green dress and purple earrings and have no one there but you and Ben, do it. It's your day, your life, your choice. Your girls will understand. You shouldn't do anything on your day for anyone else. If someone thinks your choice is silly, fuck em.

    Whatever you guys do, it will be amazing. xoxo

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  5. The "I hate groups of girls" comments make so uncomfortable! I feel like the blogosphere is pretty much one giant girl group. And I like it that way! Not that I have any opinions on weddings, I am in law school and engaged to the library until I graduate, hahah.

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    1. Well, that's your opinion and these were ours. Everyone feels comfortable in different situations. Nobody is girl hatin' ;).

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    2. Dat snark! Best of luck to you and your blog.

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  6. I didn't have bridesmaids! It stressed me out too. (We didn't even have a wedding cake. We just had bunch of different flavored cupcakes!) I just had my sister be the maid of honor and Sean's good friend as the best man and that's it. They were also the "witnesses" and signed our marriage license.

    DO NOT listen to people who say, "You must have this and that!" There is no "must" about it. Absolutely do the least stressful, very best thing for you guys and don't let anyone pressure you into feeling different.

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  7. I had those same fears when I picked my bridesmaids. I was worried they wouldn't get a long because none of them had ever even been in the same room together, and they all have such different personalities. But I knew I wanted them there with me to distract me from everything else that would inevitably be going on. It turned out great. We were together all day Friday for the bridal luncheon and the rehearsal and afterwards we went to a wine bar and had the best time. It's different for everyone, but I couldn't imagine my weekend any other way, especially not without them.

    Also, on throwing tradition to the wind. My mom had more trouble with that than I did... I say it's your day do what YOU want because YOU have to remember this day for the rest of Y'ALLs lives.

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