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Cutting down the bridal party

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#1 WAJA2009

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    Posted 22 January 2009 - 04:17 PM

    I hope this doesn't sound trivial or stupid but here goes....

    I expected a party of about 65 people to attend my wedding.
    As we are getting closer and closer to the date, I only have confidence in maybe 20 people going! Now, there could be more people, but the chances seem very slim.

    Everyone has a deadline of March 1 to pay for their stay at the wedding site/resort so we will know who is really going by then. I currently have 8bms (including two juniors) and my fiance also has 8. We think it would be silly to have the majority of the wedding attendees in the wedding party, but we have already asked our bms and GM to be a part of the wedding. Now, we want to cut some back. Maybe just have 2 on each side. Most of the wedding party doesn't really seem like they care one way or the other, and many have expressed how paying to coming to the wedding is burdensome, so this may actually be a relief.

    Sooooo, my question is this....

    How do we politely tell them that we don't want them to go through the trouble of being bridesmaids and groomsmen?

    #2 boscobel

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      Posted 22 January 2009 - 04:37 PM

      I think that if you asked them to be in your wedding, it means they are very special to you. Who cares how many guests you have? I had 3 BM's and 5 (or was it 6?) GM's as well as 2 flowergirls and 1 ring bearer, and we only had about 25 guests. Including the weddnig party! So I don't think there is anything wrong with having the people that you felt should be in it! I also had 4 BM's that couldn't come to Jamaica, but they still participated in everything (shower and whatnot) and wore a special dress to the AHR so they appeared to be a part of the bridal party. I wouldn't change a thing.

      Ok, so that was me. Maybe you don't really care what I say (not in a mean way!), and you want to ask people to step down. Who will you have remaining? Siblings? Just wondering, cuz I think it depends on the people on how to go about it. Like if you have a sis and your FI has a bro, and those are the ones you want to remain in the party, I think it would be easy to say "We aren't having the turnout that we originally thought, so we decided that we needed to cut the bridal party down to jsut family." Or whatever.

      But honestly, I don't think you HAVE to, unless you WANT to. Hope that all makes sense and maybe even helps you!

      #3 Kristy!


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        Posted 22 January 2009 - 04:54 PM

        We're having 5 on each side. I have a maid and matron of honor, and FI has one BM. Those three will stand up with us and the rest of the wedding party will be sitting throughout the ceremony. We wanted each one of them in the wedding party regardless of the number of guests (which by the way is 30).

        One other thing...we are not requiring anyone to purchase a particular dress or whatever. They all were happy with that.

        #4 JaimeLynne

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          Posted 22 January 2009 - 04:53 PM

          I think (since it sounds like people are already hesitating) that your gut instincts are right - it probably would be a relief to some if they didn't have this "obligation". I originally had 4 BMs. 2 have been participating right from the get go, and booked their trips already. 1 started acting really withdrawn, so I ended up confronting her and found out that she didn't think about what she was getting into when she accepted my invitation to be a BM. Turns out she really can't afford it. We talked it out and she ended up stepping down, but still wants to be a part of everything else (showers and such). Turns out we don't really talk anymore, but it doesn't really have to do with that (long story). My other BM started out really excited but hasn't said a word about booking or dress shopping or anything like that. So the other night at dinner I asked if she was still planning on coming and then found out that her roommate owes her a lot of money and she's now in debt. Totally sucks. She's still gonna try, but I told her I'd count her out for now and then of course if she can make it then she's still invited/included. I think it's turned out for the best because the two girls who are definitely going are awesome and I know I want them both there with me.

          Let's see, where was I going with that... lol

          Oh yeah! Haha... so anyways, if they haven't booked yet or don't seem eager - I'd just let them know what you're thinking and give them the opportunity to "step down". You may be surprised by how many will take you up on that. Or you could still keep them as "honorary BMs". Maybe they could all wear BM dresses and walk down the aisle, but then go sit down. That's what I was planning if I had all 4 show up - just have them all walk down, but then 3 of them take their seats, so it would only be the MOH and BM standing up. I'm sure they'd understand. It makes sense to me, anyways!

          When it comes down to it - just do what makes you feel comfortable. And be honest with them. Confrontation on these kinds of things SUCKS but in the end it helps to know the truth sooner rather than later - for everyone's sake.

          Hope that helped some... Good luck!

          ~ Jaime & Martin ~
          "Rain or Swine! 2-0-0-9"

          We had 24 people attend our wedding in Las Caletas, Mexico on May 24th, 2009!

          We all stayed at The Marriott in P.V., and Honeymooned at The Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios, Jamaica!

          #5 *Kerin28*

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            Posted 22 January 2009 - 05:25 PM

            I think that sounds like a great idea... if you have everyone who still wants to be in it you can just have the maid of honor and BM stand up and everyone else can walk down the isle and sit down. Sounds like a good compromise! But Hey, do whatever you are comfortable with.

            #6 WAJA2009

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              Posted 22 January 2009 - 05:26 PM

              That's a great idea to have them walk down the aisle but then sit down! I like that idea. I actually thought about that and I've seen that at many of the DW weddings that I viewed online.

              I don't know. Most of them don't even mention the wedding and my two MOH's both told me the other day they are not sure if they can make it, which has me discouraged about the whole bridesmaids/gm thing. I am just over all of the hoopla and just want to have a beautiful wedding and celebration with as many of my family/friends as possible. Having official "bridesmaids" and "Groomsmen" isn't really that important to me as it once was because they don't seem too enthusiastic about it anyway.

              #7 BeautifulBridetoBe

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                Posted 22 January 2009 - 06:06 PM

                We thought about this as we were deciding on a wedding party and decided against having adult attendants for this reason. Paying to come is burdensome and we thought that if we asked people to be in our wedding, they would feel pressured to come. So what we did was when families booked of their own free will, we asked if their children could be flower girls or ring bearers and we will outfit the kids. Kids are SO MUCH easier to dress than adults. And it turns out that the kids we wanted are the ones who are coming, so it all worked out.

                For you, I think they may actually appreciate being asked to enjoy the ceremony instead of being in it. With 20 people, that is an intimate number anyway, so it is not as if they will not have a front row view of your day. I would just kindly explain the TRUTH...that " We'd really love to have you in our wedding, but with so few people attending, it may seem silly to have the 80% of the guests in the wedding party. So are just going to keep it small."

                Now who to choose? The one or two on each side that are closest to you, I'd say. Family/ siblings are almost always the safest bet. And just one maid-of-honour, or just use your two MOHs...and no bridemaids.

                And if someone really wants to particpate, perhaps they can do something else: like a reading during the ceremony. Others can have an informal role that is over once the ceremony starts, like parasol giver-outter, or fan and program handler. There are also reception roles that they can fill, like emcee, microphone handler, etc.

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                #8 Debs

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                  Posted 22 January 2009 - 06:56 PM

                  We waited until people actually booked the trip before asking them to stand up for us, for that reason. Everyone was gung-ho when we first announced it, but then people dropped off the face of the earth when the invites went out.

                  Turned out that there were only 11 of us altogether.DH had a BM, and I had a flowergirl, but otherwise walked the sandy aisle alone. It was perfect.

                  #9 kowie

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                    Posted 22 January 2009 - 07:12 PM

                    I am going through the same thing too. I think the main thing is that you have your close friends with you and celebrating you day. If you give them an option of stepping down (by the sounds of it) I think they would be grateful. In my instance, I thought the chance of half of the guests wearing the same outfit might look a bit silly - so I got rid of the bridal party all together and have assigned tasks to my closest friends that are attending

                    #10 sunsetbride1

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                      Posted 23 January 2009 - 03:19 PM

                      As of now, the only people that we have booked (put down deposits) are our bridal party, parents and one additional couple (my one BM who backed out of being a BM). For us, that's okay if noone else shows up. We asked them to be in our WP for a reason and if noone else shows up, we will sit them in chairs during the ceremony and FI/I will stand up there alone maybe...

                      If you truly don't like the asthetic of only have a WP in pictures and only having the singular outfit style; then give people the option of standing down. Maybe ask them to do a reading or have some other special place in the ceremony..

                      Honestly, be prepared if some people are offended. I am not sure how I would feel if a friend or family member asked me to be in their wedding and then as the date approached; asked me to not be in the wedding. I know how much it bothered me when people have backed out of our BP; so I imagine it would feel the same reversed.

                      That being said, if they don't book their trip by the deadline .. then I would ask them if they really want to come and/or be in the WP and assure them it's okay if they are no longer sure they can do it.

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