The Pros and Cons of Not Having Bridesmaids at Your Wedding

Are you wondering what having no bridal party would be like?

Three bridesmaids in pink robes pour champagne before a wedding.

Serhii Sobolevskyi / Getty Images

If you’re toying with the idea of not having bridesmaids at your wedding, you’re in good company. As nontraditional as this move might seem, it’s becoming an increasingly popular decision made by today's brides. And while there are some downsides to ditching the practice at your wedding, experts say there are some surprising benefits, too—especially with regard to the planning process.

Here, a wedding expert shares some pros and cons that can help you determine whether having bridesmaids at your wedding is a must or a mistake.

Meet the Expert

Jessica Janik is the creator of Invisible Bridesmaid in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Pro: It’s a Great Way to Honor Those Closest to You

Being asked to be someone’s bridesmaid is a true honor—especially when so few individuals were selected to carry that title. “These are the girls who have been by your side through thick and thin and only want what’s best for you, so asking them to stand next to you as you marry the love of your life is the ultimate honor,” explains Jessica Janik of the Invisible Bridesmaid in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Your selecting them as bridesmaids symbolizes that each has helped you to become the person you are today.”

Con: It Will Require Room in Your Budget

While your bridesmaids might pay for their own dress, many additional costs are covered by the bride, such as a bridesmaid gift, hair and makeup, the bouquet of flowers for them to carry down the aisle, etc. All of these items can add up quickly, so if you're looking to bring your wedding costs down, not having bridesmaids may be the way to go.

Pro: Extra Emotional Support

The added support leading up to one of the most important milestones of your life is undoubtedly one of the biggest benefits of having bridesmaids. On your wedding day, having a crew of your closest friends and family members nearby—in the early morning, through the getting-ready process, just before you walk down the aisle, standing next to you when you say your “I dos,” and at nearby tables during your reception—will help make you feel more comfortable and at ease.

Con: It Can Create a Breeding Ground for Conflict

You might get along with all of your girlfriends, but they might not be so chummy with each other—especially if you’re mixing two groups, like your high school girls and your college pals. “Having too many opinions and personalities in one room on a normal day can drive anyone crazy, not to mention more so on your big day as a bride,” says Janik. “While each bridesmaid likely has your best interest at heart, sometimes all of the opinions create more indecisiveness, stress, and confusion.”

Pro: More Helping Hands

Since traditional bridesmaid responsibilities include planning the shower and bachelorette party, you’ll be taken care of for most of the extraneous events leading up to the wedding day. The same goes for smaller day-of duties, too. If you have any errands or wedding emergencies, your bridesmaids can help you out in the moment—and they can help you remember to eat something substantial and drink enough water!

Con: You Might Hurt People’s Feelings

Oftentimes, deciding which of your close friends and family will make the cut to be on your bridesmaid list can create tension. Someone may feel left out if they aren't chosen, and the decision-making process in itself can cause stress.

If you still want to have someone by your side on the big day but want to keep things simple, consider choosing just one bridesmaid to be your maid of honor—this may make it easier to explain to others that you just wanted to keep things small and have one person by your side.

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