I Didn’t Have Bridesmaids Because I Didn’t Want To Hurt My Husband

One topic my husband and I never really discussed before our wedding was bridesmaids and groomsmen. Ultimately, I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable on the most important day of our lives, so I told him we should skip having wedding parties despite the fact that I have really close friendships. In the end, it was the best decision I could have made.

  1. I have a lot of friends, so choosing would’ve been hard anyway. I’ve been pretty fortunate in my life to have maintained ridiculously close friendships with many of the people I’ve known since childhood. I also spent a significant portion of my early adulting years in another part of the country and ended up finding a new crew of awesome gals there as well. It stresses me out thinking about hurting anyone’s feelings or narrowing any kind of bestie list down, so skipping the bridesmaids kind of brought a sense of relief.
  2. My husband isn’t close to many people. My husband’s childhood was different from mine, as were his college years. When I met him, he was at kind of a turning point in his life. He had realized he wasn’t living the life he wanted, so he moved to a new part of the country (where we met) to start a new chapter. He still speaks with his friends from his earlier years on occasion but hasn’t maintained extremely close friendships. He definitely has a few close friends he’s made more recently, but they’re not really groomsmen-status friendships.
  3. I feel weird making people spend money. Because we were from one part of the country and getting married in another, many of our wedding guests already had to spend a lot of money on travel. I’m awkward about a lot of the traditional wedding guest spending and we didn’t have an engagement party or make a registry because of it. I just feel like a six-year-old begging for any shiny toys that catch her eye. Asking bridesmaids to buy dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, and every other little thing that comes along with being a bridesmaid just seemed like a big ask.
  4. It made things more comfortable. I asked my sister to be my maid of honor and he asked his brother to be his best man. It meant a lot to both of them to be involved in our ceremony. Since we weren’t having bridesmaids and groomsmen, it felt more personal because every person standing by us as we exchanged our vows was already family. There was no awkward sister-in-law or friends his brother was just meeting for the first time. It was just us.
  5. It kept things simple. Our rehearsal took about three minutes, and it was easy to get a reservation for the rehearsal dinner because there were only a handful of us. We saved on expenses and were able to have an intimate dinner instead of a large gathering. We also had more time flexibility with hair and makeup since it was just my sister, my mom, and myself. It gave us more time to actually enjoy the day.
  6. I had a lady party on my wedding day. I got married at a kids campground and everyone stayed in yurts and cabins. Because getting ready was a breeze without bridesmaids, we had hours to spare before the big moment. I invited any of my lady friends who wanted to come to my cabin for mimosas to stop by and it turned into a little shindig. There was no guilt, and no one was left out. It was so carefree and fun. We all just hung around telling stories, dancing to music, and enjoying each other’s company in a laid-back atmosphere. I was so grateful to have that time.
  7. The final pre-ceremony moments were with my two best friends. Because I didn’t have bridesmaids, I got to spend my final hour with my mom and my sister. It was really special to have that uninterrupted time with the two women I love and respect most just before I said “I do.” I know things would have been different if there were bridesmaids with us. My mom and sister don’t live near me so they wouldn’t have known some of the people in my bridal party very well. There would be plenty of time to meet one another and celebrate that day, but having those final minutes just the three of us helped slow things down and really allowed me to take in the moment.
  8. It’s our day, not my day. It bummed me out at first to think about not having my gals up there with me on the big day. I’d kind of envisioned we’d all be up there together, but on the day of the wedding, I didn’t care about that at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends. But when you are about to marry the man of your dreams, it doesn’t matter who’s standing where or if there’s anyone around at all, because it’s just about the two of you.

I would never have guessed that I’d end up choosing not to have bridesmaids. While the reason I didn’t have bridesmaids was initially to spare my husband the discomfort of grappling for groomsmen, in the end, it was part of what made the best day of my life that much more special.

Lee Woods is a writer, artist, and designer. She tends to have a lot of projects going at once. She loves one-way tickets, and she's been known to pick the next place she'll live out of a hat. Today, she is deep in the woods of beautiful Maine.