How To Have A Wedding Without Bridesmaids And Groomsmen

Here are five steps on how to have a wedding without bridesmaids and groomsmen to ensure that everyone still feels appreciated, but you can stick to your decision firmly. We’ll also guide you on what to expect if there is no bridal party during the wedding ceremony. 

For additional tips in ensuring that no one’s feelings will get hurt, here is how to include friends in weddings that aren’t bridesmaids. Perhaps the bride has many girlfriends, and some didn’t make the final number of bridesmaids she wants or is capable of having. 

how to have a wedding without bridesmaids and groomsmen


How To Have A Wedding Without A Bridal Party: No Bridesmaids And Groomsmen


Step 1. Plan accordingly

  • Since you won’t have bridesmaids and groomsmen, there will be changes in the traditional flow of the wedding ceremony
  • The bride won’t have the maid of honor standing with her at the aisle, so she’ll need to find another person sitting at the front to hold her bouquet
  • The groom won’t have the best man keeping the rings, so he’ll entrust the bands to the officiant directly
  • The music for the processional will be shorter, and the processional itself will finish much quicker since only the couple will walk down the aisle
  • Make sure that the right music will accompany the bride 
  • Since the bridal party also includes the flower girl and ring bearer, their tasks are also no longer included in the program
  • The officiant will be the only one doing the readings, poems, prayers, or songs if there are any in the ceremony

The main takeaway is that having no bridesmaids and groomsmen means the wedding will also be considered small. To avoid false expectations, read how to have a small wedding with a big family to explain to relatives that you desire not having a bridal party.


Step 2. Consider a friend or relative as the wedding officiant

  • You might want an important friend or relative to be a part of the wedding program, so why not ask them to be the officiant instead?
  • Since there is no bridal party where you can include this very close person to you and your partner, maybe they are qualified to officiate the wedding ceremony
  • Just make sure that they are ordained, and are willing to handle the responsibilities of the wedding officiant
  • You also want the officiant to be someone comfortable speaking in front of an audience

Here is how to ask a friend to officiate your wedding for more tips. 


Step 3. Give friends and relatives ceremony and reception duties

  • Even if you won’t be having a bridal party, you can still include your closest friends and relatives in the wedding ceremony and reception
  • Before the ceremony or reception starts, you can assign some people to guide the other guests to their seats
  • At the reception, a friend or family member can also do the prayer, speech, toast, or even host the event itself
  • Friends and relatives who are fond of performing or are naturally charming can also be your MC or DJ

Are you unsure about who says grace at a wedding reception? Find out the people you can consider. 


Step 4. Make your close friends and relatives distinguishable even if there’s no wedding party

  • Despite not walking down the aisle and standing at the front with you, you can still treat your friends and family members as if they are part of the wedding party
  • This means that you can reserve the front row seats at the ceremony and tables at the reception for them
  • You can also have them follow a color scheme or outfit style, so they’re distinguishable from the other guests
  • Another option is to give them corsages and boutonnieres as if they are bridesmaids and groomsmen
  • The bride can also get ready with her girlfriends and the groom with his boyfriends


Step 5. Have a celebration with your closest friends and family

  • You can have a small wedding then have another celebration where more guests are invited
  • Some couples also do a simple ceremony with just them and a witness, then celebrate afterward with people who could’ve been part of the bridal party
  • It can be a lunch, dinner, or even a full-blown party with various activities for everyone to celebrate your binding

Get more ideas if you’re unsure of what to do instead of a wedding reception on our separate blog for it. 


Can You Do A Wedding Without A Bridal Party?

You can have a wedding without a bridal party. After all, some couples elope, which means they get married without anybody knowing. 

Furthermore, there are states in the US where a witness can be a stranger, and some even don’t require a witness for the couple to get legally married. The couple can include their closest relatives and friends in the wedding preparation or after-party instead. 


What Can I Do Instead Of A Bridal Party?

Instead of being a bridal party member, your close friends and family can be your attendants or even a part of the wedding council. They can help with the wedding preparations, assist you throughout the day, and then celebrate with you after the ceremony. 



And that’s it! We just learned how to have a wedding without bridesmaids and groomsmen by planning a shorter ceremony, having them take other roles in the ceremony and reception, making them distinguishable from other guests, and having a separate celebration with them. 

Overall, there’s nothing wrong with not having a bridal party. However, you can always make everyone feel appreciated with other activities.

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