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You Shouldn't Have A Wedding Party - Is This The Right Choice For You?

Tips For Choosing A Wedding Party

By Jeffrey House Photography


Every year, lots and lots of couples regret how they handled the planning of their wedding.  

One of the aspects couples regret is their wedding party.  Their wedding party was too large or they asked the wrong people!

This article isn't about tips for choosing a wedding party, it's about whether or not you should skip it altogether.  Not having a wedding party is something that been trending over the past 4 or 5 years.  For many couples, choosing a wedding party is a daunting task because you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  You also don't want to ask people to be part of your wedding party that will only add to your stress levels.  They're jealous because you're getting married first or because you're having a nicer wedding.

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The landscape of weddings has changed!

We hear all the time, weddings are changing, but that's not true.  The truth is, weddings have changed.  Weddings have become more personalized experiences.  90% of couples that I work with now have a pre-ceremony first look.  10-15 years ago, 99% of couples never would have considered this because it strayed from tradition.  

Now, many couples are no longer having wedding parties.  Again, 10-15 years ago, if you suggested to this couples they would have looked at you like you lost your mind.  The bottom line is this - the landscape of weddings has changed and everything is open to consideration.  Tradition is a thing of the past. 

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why would couples skip having a wedding party?

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, choosing a wedding party can be overwhelming for many couples.  Many situations can arise that place you under a lot of pressure.  Let's take a look at some common situations.

Parental Pressures

Many parents feel it would be nice to include certain family members in the wedding party because they're "family."  But, often times, your relationship with these family members is distant at best.  You may visit with them at family functions, but you don't have much in common and you don't speak or engage with one another on any kind of consistent basis.  Asking them to be part of your wedding party feels more awkward than anything else.  

Relationship Pressures

Relationship pressures generally relate to your friends.  More specifically, those friends that mean a lot to you, but don't necessarily want as part of your wedding party.  I touched on this earlier when I mentioned the "jealous friend."  I've literally seen a bride under extreme stress because she didn't want her childhood best friend to be part of the wedding party.  She felt an enormous amount of guild for feeling this way, but couldn't imagine dealing with her drama over the next 12-14 months.  Her friend was that "jealous friend" - always in competition with her.  This first to get engaged, the first to get married, comparing who had the more expensive wedding, etc.  It was like Bride Wars 2!

When choosing a wedding party, it's easy to choose people because you feel obligated to ask; however, while your friends might be the obvious choice, they aren't always the best choice. 

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Life And Responsibilities

We've talked a lot about how weddings have changed.  This is true, especially when we consider the average age of couples getting married is 30-31 years old.  Generally speaking, that also means their friends are in the same age range.  At 30-31 years old, many couples are buying houses, having children, working full time jobs, etc.  They have lives and a lot of responsibilities.  

On average, it costs $1,000 - $1,5000 to be a bridesmaid in a wedding and this doesn't account for the time they feel obligated to spend dressing shopping, helping with favors, etc.  Being a bridesmaid - or groomsman - can often feel like a huge hassle because it's a significant time and financial commitment. 

what are the benefits of not having a wedding party?

We've taken a look at why having a wedding party can drive you a little crazy.  What about not having one?  Are there any benefits to skipping the wedding party?  Absolutely!


As we just discussed, it's a big deal when you agree to be part of a wedding party.  It requires serious time and financial commitments.  When you add these additional concerns to the worries of everyday life, it can be completely overwhelming for your family and friends.  By not having a wedding party, you're going to lessen their load and they're sure to appreciate your decision.

Enjoying The Experience

Given the average age of couples getting married, it's likely the people in your wedding party will be married or in a serious relationship.  Typically speaking, it's rare that their significant other will also be part of the wedding party.  This means your wedding party will have to spend a significant amount of time away from their partner.  By not having a wedding party, they can attend your wedding together and enjoy an adult night out.  This is especially true if they already have kids. 

Less Pressure For You Too

Most couples don't realize how difficult it really is to choose a wedding party until after the fact.  By not having a wedding party, it's going to make your life easier too.  You don't have to worry about hurting anyone's feelings, you don't have to worry that someone won't pull their weight, and you won't have to worry about any other potential drama. 

More Time Having Fun

From a wedding photography perspective, not having a wedding party will require less time for photos.  This will provide you with more time to spend with family and friends enjoying your party!

Wedding Costs

Smaller wedding parties save on your wedding costs too as you no longer have to worry about purchasing thank you gifts, flowers (bouquets, boutinniers, etc.). 

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A Final Thought

If you decide that not having a wedding party is the right choice for your wedding, I have one recommendation.  This really pertains to the bride just because  her attire is more complex.  

Ask a person you trust with your whole heart to be help you on the wedding day.  They don't have to spend every second by your side, but they can be helpful during photos to assist with your dress, hold your flowers, etc.  This extra pair of hands will simply make your life a little easier.

Again, weddings today rarely adhere to tradition.  Couples are finding new and creative ways to personalize their weddings every day.  These trends aren't for every couple, but they certainly give you a lot to think about.  


what do you think about skipping the wedding party?  do you think it's a good idea?  share your thoughts and don't forget to share this article!  


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