Let’s talk about it!! This feels like a taboo subject, but I have worked many weddings where there wasn’t a wedding party. So, I wanted to break it down with pros and cons from each side.
Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, this is one of the biggest things you can do to reduce stress on your wedding day. Shifting from the logistics of having 10-15 people moving around you all day to just yourselves makes a huge difference in time, your energy, and even cost. And, guess what? All those people are still going to be at your wedding, and because you will have SO much more time in your timeline, you can probably actually hang out with them at cocktail hour, not to mention all the other people you love! The last couple who ditched the wedding party said “Why would I rank my friends?” and that really stuck with me and inspired this post. That’s just the first few things off the top of my head…here, I’ll organize these thoughts a little bit more for you:
Wedding Party Pros and Cons: Photography
- Save time! Wedding party photos take (on average) 30-45 minutes. Much of that is the time it takes to say “hey, wedding party, time to go take photos” then wait for people to realize they still haven’t put on their shoes, written their speeches, etc. Herding cats can be an understatement.
- Prioritizes photos of yourselves. 99% of my couples say that the portraits of them are the most important thing on the wedding day. Wedding Party photos and Family Photos are what usually eats away at that time in your schedule, and it means that if you don’t do a first look, you’ll wind up spending your whole cocktail hour taking photos. So, keep it more relaxed, chill, and get better, more authentic photos.
- Authenticity. I can do a lot to loosen a group of people up and get some smiles and goofs going, but fundamentally these photos are posed and unnatural. No group of people will ever be standing in a forest in formal-wear walking together and high-fiving. Or jumping. Or looking at each other laughing. Can those photos be fun? Absolutely!! But, a lot of it depends on the attitude of the group and who is willing to play along. It just adds another thing that could go wrong and make your day harder. If you know your crew are solid and aren’t going to create drama, you’re good to go.
- You get fewer posed photos with your best friends. But, I will make sure the candid photos happen!
- Less people in the “getting ready” photos. I do love these, and love the candid moments that happen during this time with the group. But, you can still invite people to help you get ready with you, and not have them as a formal “wedding party.”
Wedding Party Pros and Cons: Money
- No need to rent a party bus or limo to move everyone around to different locations
- No putting financial pressure on your besties to buy dresses, shoes, suits, accessories, whatever!
- Saves you money on so many other things: florals, photography, hotel rooms, etc.
- I can’t think of one!
wedding party pros and cons: Experience
- The only thing that caused us drama planning our wedding was our wedding party, and we had a pretty small group! Putting stress on your friends can cause relationships to crack, and why introduce that in your lives. I almost always hear stories about something going wrong on the wedding day itself, or leading up to the wedding with at least one member of the party.
- No invitations out of obligation. Trust me, Aunt Nancy is totally going to call you and say “oh, we thought your cousin Tricia was going to be in your wedding party.” Let’s just avoid that whole can of worms, yeah?
- Ease off on the logistical stress. No matter which way you look at it, adding more people to the logistics of a wedding makes it more stressful. Also potentially more fun. But, you will might a better time on your wedding day if you’re not mad at your group because they enjoyed the mimosa’s a little too much and now aren’t listening to the wedding planner as they’re trying to prep you for the ceremony.
- If you want your whole wedding day to feel like a rager party with all your people around you all day, this is not the post for you. Embrace it, and have that party.
- It can be a really meaningful gesture to bring someone into your wedding party—maybe you can rekindle a relationship that you let lapse, or show your bestie how much they mean to you. If you don’t have one, you miss out on some of these vibes!
Well, that’s my bit. I realize this is a bit off-the-beaten-path and breaks a lot of the wedding traditions, but that’s kind of what I’m all about! I had four weddings this year with no wedding parties and I was SO relaxed all day. I didn’t realize how much extra stress was being added by them until I went through these weddings. So I figured I would share the love.
Tell me what you think! Agree, disagree? Tell me why!