Big Wedding, Small Budget

Bridesmaid “Duties”

on November 12, 2012

I think I’ve probably mentioned this before on the blog, but Steve and I will not be having a traditional wedding party. Instead, our families will be walking down the aisle and standing up at the chuppah with us. But I still wanted to involve my friends in some way, especially for the fun parts like the bachelorette, getting ready beforehand, and taking pictures.

You might wonder why I’m involving friends (as non-bridesmaid bridesmaids) if they won’t be walking down the aisle? Good question. First, it’s an excuse to spend some extra time with my closest friends, most of whom live far away. I’m especially looking forward to hanging out and getting ready together the morning of the wedding; it’s usually my favorite part when I’m in the bridal party. Second, I have always valued my close friendships, and I tend to go to my friends often to discuss things, process my feelings, and get honest feedback. I don’t think I’ve ever made a major decision without at least talking it through with a friend; that’s just how I naturally operate. I don’t really keep my cards close to the vest. So I can’t imagine getting married without having my friends be an integral part of it. And third, with such a big guest list, I wanted some closeness with my inner circle on the day of the wedding. All of our guests are important, but I wanted to intimate feel, and having some kind of bridal party helps with that.

According to the web, though, my reasons are all wrong. I’m supposed to choose bridesmaids so they can help me with the wedding. You know, so they can come over to help me put together the DIY stuff, help me shop for the best bargains, address envelopes, and set up and clean up the day of. You might guess that this line of thinking comes from the WIC, but I’ve actually seen it more in the indie blog circles, probably because those brides are more likely to go heavy on the DIY. I’ve seen forums where women are struggling with whether or not to ask a long-distance friend to be a bridesmaid, because she won’t really be able to help out. Or wondering if she should add an in town friend to the list, so she can be there for the shopping and the craft parties.

This is ridiculous. Look, I’ve been in quite a few weddings, and some of my best memories are of running around, helping out, making sure that everything was perfect and easy for the bride. But that was never expected. That was something I was happy to do. And I never felt like it was the reason that I was asked to be a bridesmaid. It’s just something you do for your friends.

I feel pretty strongly that this is my wedding, my (our) responsibility, my list of things to get done. I don’t expect anyone else to be as committed to it or as excited about it as we are. I have a hard enough time accepting help from people that offer (that will probably be the subject of another post). I would never expect it. Of course, I will probably need help with a few things on the day of the wedding. I will for sure be looking to my bridesmaids for hair and makeup help, since I am completely inept in those areas. I might need some running-around help, some help gathering gifts at the end, or someone to give us a ride back to the hotel at the end of the night. But I didn’t choose my (non) bridesmaids based on who I thought could help, or who would available to work the hardest. I chose my nearest and dearest, the people I want surrounding me on my wedding day.

**For further reading, check out this post at Offbeat Bride.

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