By Jenna Miller
The movie Bridesmaids tells the harrowing tale of one woman’s barbaric bridal party, complete with yelling, tears, and dress ripping; and The Hangover tells a story of how a group of groomsmen lose their groom in Las Vegas.
Maybe you’ve seen the flicks or lived out the tales yourself as part of a bridal party—and now want to steer clear of having groomsmen and bridesmaids as a whole. We—along with Kelsey Rae Angelotti, owner and creative director of Kelsey Rae Designs—have news for you: that’s okay!
Angelotti has plenty of ways to incorporate your friends into your wedding from planning to the reception without having a formal bridal party.
To help incorporate your friends into your planning process, take them dress shopping with you to pick out your suit for the big day. Follow it up by a cake tasting or even venue shopping.
“Your friends are your support, regardless of if they have a bridal party title or not.” Angelotti says.
For your bachelor and bachelorette parties, it’s a great idea to find an incognito maid of honor or best man to help you plan the trip. Find someone who loves creating itineraries and someone who loves the hunt for unique, affordable vacations.
When you’re thinking about people to invite to this shindig, extend an invitation to a large list of friends. With no bridal party, you won’t feel obligated to only invite a certain group of people.
“Often times, when your friends aren’t in the bridal party, they won’t feel the pressure to join,” Angelotti says. “Other times, since the pressure is off, they might be inclined to take a vacation and now have an excuse to travel and have some fun!”
The Big Day
Now, if you don’t want to be all by yourself when you’re getting glammed up, invite a special group of friends to come get ready with you. Sip on mimosas, snap some pics, and raise a glass for a pre-ceremony toast. During your ceremony, give your friends special jobs like greeters, candle lighters, or guest book attendants.
For your reception, invite your friends over to your table and share in a special toast. You can also choreograph a cool dance routine with your friends and surprise your guests with it later on in the evening.
In any case, remember that you don’t have to be traditional, so create the wedding you want, not the one you think everyone else wants.
“Stay true to yourself,” Angelotti says. “This is the one day where you call all the shots and get to do what you want to do. Your true friends will always love you and will understand whatever decision you make.”