Having a bridal party just isn't for every bride. Picking and choosing among close friends and family members for just three, five, or even 10 people to be your bridesmaids may end up causing more drama than it's worth to you—or, hey, maybe you just don't want to do it.
The bridesmaid tradition may be one that seems so outdated to some brides that they just don't see the point, while others take the tradition to the next level and ask their bridesmaids to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars to be there for them on their wedding day.
If you decide to skip out on the tradition of having a matching squad of bridesmaids accompany you down the aisle, plan a bachelorette bash, and set up the details of your bridal shower, that's perfectly okay. But you'll have to break the news to the people closest to you, who may have already assumed they'd be taking on the role. If you find yourself nervous to ditch the "Will you be my bridesmaid?" conversation in favor of the "I don't want any bridesmaids" conversation, here are the best five ways to tell your number-one gal pals that you can't wait to have them at your wedding—as just guests.
It's Not You, It's Me
Depending on your friends, the first reaction to the news may be a gasp of shock or a sigh of relief. If it's shock and dismay in their eyes, they might be wondering if you decided to skip the tradition because you didn't think your friends were good enough for the role. Let your friends know that it has nothing to do with them, and then give them the reason why you decided to follow through with this idea. If it's the other side of the coin and your bud jumps for joy, give her a hug and leave it at that!
Ask for Their Help
It's okay to still ask your friends for wedding help, even if they don't take on the title of bridesmaid extraordinaire. If your friends still seem eager to be there for you during the wedding-planning process, ask them what they'd be willing and excited to help you with, so that you can still get them involved at a level both of you feel comfortable with.
Give Them the Benefits
When you break the news to your friends and find that they are disappointed, let them know the benefits that are coming their way now that they aren't going to be bridesmaids. First, they don't have to buy an expensive dress that's the same color and style as everyone else's, which they probably won't wear again. Second, they don't have to go back and forth on email and text chains with other bridesmaids, playing a guessing game over what the bride might want to do and have for pre-wedding events.
Finally, money—a whole lotta money. The average bridesmaid spends $1,324 on a wedding. Let them know what they can use that cash for now that they don't have to spend it on you.
Let Them In on What's Next
If you're still planning on having a bridal shower or a bachelorette party, let your friends know. They may wonder who will be in charge of those events, so either let them know it's TBD or tell them that you're going to handle it, with help from them when needed. If you're planning on skipping any and all pre-wedding events, you may want to throw DIY wedding decoration parties for your friends at your house so that everyone can get together, catch up, and celebrate the upcoming wedding while also helping out with decorations.
Or, keep it low-key and choose a favorite restaurant or bar to kick back and relax with your friends for an evening.
Do It As Soon As You Can
The biggest tip of all to follow when telling your friends you've decided not to have bridesmaids: Do it as soon as possible. Once you've made the decision, don't wait very long to tell your friends. They may start making plans, printing matching T-shirts for the bachelorette party, or writing on social media that they can't wait to be part of your bridal party—before they've been asked. While it might be hard to tell them, it's important to get it over with so you can continue planning your wedding and they can continue helping you in only the ways you need it the most.