This question comes up again and again from engaged couples: do I need bridesmaids? Am I weird if I don't have bridesmaids? Is it mean that I don't even WANT bridesmaids? Even more generally, do I need to have wedding attendants at all?
The answer is nope: you do not need bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower children, flower grandmas, ring boys, ring bears, or any other wedding attendants on your wedding day. Here are four reasons why not having bridesmaids is not only just fine — it can be awesome!
1. You don't need their help
Now, I don't mean that you don't need help with your wedding — I mean that you don't need BRIDESMAIDS to have helpers.
One of the common reasons why people choose to have bridesmaids is because they want help with their wedding. They want a crack team of DIY manual labor. They want someone to hold their bouquet. They want someone to go shopping with.
Well, here's the deal with that: bridesmaids are not henchmen.
If you need help with your wedding, you need to ask explicitly for specific kinds of help… and you don't need to have bridesmaids to get that help.
2. They might not help anyway
Sure, bridesmaids might help you with your wedding… but they also might not have the time or interest.
You can skip having bridesmaids and just make explicit requests (“Do you want to come over and have pizza and do a wedding invitation assembly line while we watch old rom coms?”) instead of a vague one (“I want you to be a part of my wedding in ways that may or may not involve a special dress, helping me do things, organizing wedding showers, and maybe other things”).
If you need help, ask for help. Don't confuse having bridesmaids with having help.
3. Avoid drama
Oh lordy, if I had a dollar for every email I've gotten from readers about bridesmaid drama, I would be typing this from my gilded chair with a designer cat on my lap.
Now, I'm not saying everyone is doomed to bridesmaid conflict, but we all know that female friendship can be complex, and wedding planning is stressful, and there are a million and one things that can go wrong… You asked someone to be a bridesmaid when you were wasted and then realized you barely know them! You asked this person to be your bridesmaid, and that person got offended that you didn't ask them! Someone agreed to be your bridesmaid and then got side-blinded by a life crisis and has to drop out.
It sucks, and wedding planning can be challenging enough without having to Google “how to fire a bridesmaid.”
4. You don't need them for pictures
We've featured tons of weddings without a bridal party and you know what? They're all gorgeous.
Do not plan a wedding based on how you want things to look on Instagram or Pinterest.
I'll take that even farther and say don't plan your LIFE based on how you want things to look online — it's a recipe for frustration and disappointment.
Want a few examples?
If you need more proof that you do NOT need bridesmaids (or any other wedding attendants) at your wedding, you should check out our archive of folks who had no wedding party.
And PS: for those of you who are like “Having bridesmaids was the best decision I made”… that is awesome! This post isn't meant as an attack on those who choose to have bridesmaids — most of y'all have fabulous experiences. We just want to make sure that those who are considering not having them at all know that it's a great option, too.