Dear Thriving Bride,
It is 45 days until I get married, and in honor of reaching my halfway mark since I started this blog (hooray!), I asked all of you reading this to let me know which topics you’d like me to write about. So, this one is about the women in your wedding or “the issue of bridesmaids.”
I didn’t have an issue when it came to figuring out my bridesmaids.
We had a plan, and it was pretty simple. PJ and I decided to have two people stand next to each of us. I chose my “chosen sister” and another dear woman who has witnessed my relationship in the last year as it has evolved to this point. For me, it was about the experiences I had with each woman that made me want to have them in my wedding. I have so many incredible women in my life, and I am lucky to be able to say that I could have asked several different people. But, I didn’t. I keep talking about how you want to feel on your wedding day because remembering this helps you with almost every aspect of the planning process.
I wanted more depth and less pretense. I wanted simplicity and elegance. I wanted a wedding that would showcase our personalities: quirky, full of life and enduring. Most of all, I wanted two people to stand not just as bridesmaids (the term does not fully appreciate what these women mean to me), but as witnesses to our union. Everyone at your wedding will witness it, but who do you want to stand there with you and stand there for you as well? Who do you want to start witnessing this journey with you from the time you ask them to be in your wedding? Who do you want to call at 1am after you have been crying in bed and don’t want to wake up your partner? Who do you want to hold your hand on that day when your fiance is busy getting ready in another room and all you want is for someone to lightly touch you and tell you that things will be just fine? Who do you want to stand for you and not just with you?
Think about it, then make a plan. For me, that meant choosing two women who I felt were a big part of my journey as I grew and changed and finally was able to say yes to the love that PJ had to offer me. I think it’s great when I see weddings adorned with 8 or more bridesmaids and groomsmen, but that would personally drive me crazy.
I only think it is pretense if someone is in your wedding because you feel guilty or insecure. We all feel insecure sometimes, but it does not mean you have to surround yourself with a bunch of people dressed in the same color and picture ready for the photographer to say “cheese” on your wedding day. How do you want to feel? I did not want to feel crazy. I wanted to have my “chosen sister” because she had known me for so many years and understood the gravity of emotions that came with my circumstances, and I chose MW because she saw me grow and evolve. I will even admit that she saw me crawling on the floor and in tears when I thought I had missed my opportunity to build a relationship with PJ. Yes, I was snot nosed and crumpled on the floor! It does happen!
I also need to say that it is really important to choose people who you know are there to fully support you. Who has the capacity to be there for you? Maybe your really good friend who is a single mom to a toddler may not be the best choice? Who says you have to pick your blood relative? And who says you have to pick your mom’s best friend’s daughter because you played with her in the sandbox at some memorable park when you were 7? Maybe you want to choose someone you’ve known for a year and not your long time friend of 15 years. It really is okay. You have your reasons and so does every other bride. It is not my place to say, but yours.
If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know you have two very special things to help you on this journey: A Bridal Right to Choose and Agency. If you haven’t had a chance to look them up in The Thriving Bride Glossary, please do. Once you’ve got those in your pocket, you’ll know the next step. I hope you are learning to trust yourself more and more everyday Dear Bride. It is really up to you. No one else can decide for you. So, who do you want to stand for you on that day?
Stay tuned for Thriving Bride Tips for Rallying the Best Wedding Party!