by Lisa Beth Miller
Remember the movie 27 Dresses? As a wedding fanatic, I loved this movie (and still watch it every time I am channel surfing and come upon it unexpectedly). Anyhoo, the film tells the story of Jane, who has somehow ended up serving as a bridesmaid on twenty-seven different occasions. The final scene of the movie depicts Jane’s wedding, where all twenty-seven “friends” serve as her bridesmaids, each wearing the delightfully awful bridesmaid dress from her wedding.
While the movie fulfills all of the standard requirements for a fun chick flick, it also made me think. What exactly are we doing when we are deciding to have a huge bridal party at a wedding?
Is the fanfare of having a large gaggle of girls dressed in the same ensemble an asset to the wedding day events? Or is it a distraction that potentially creates a lot of unnecessary drama? Recent trends say that the latter may be true.
In countless blogs and articles, experts have proclaimed the death of large and extravagant wedding parties. This is happening for several reasons. For starters, couples are waiting a bit longer to get married. With age comes the wisdom to recognize true friends. Older (well…in their 30’s) couples are more apt to scale back and only get people involved in the wedding ceremony if they are appropriate choices.
Younger brides and grooms are often still in “people pleasing mode” and are terrified of hurting anyone’s feelings. This seems to be how over-sized wedding parties consisting of grade school friends, cousins, college friends, co-workers, pen pals, and gym buddies came into existence.
In many instances, collecting characters from different stages in one’s life results in total disaster. Bridesmaids compete to see who knows the bride best (kind of like in the movie Bridesmaids) and none of the characters truly bond with one another.
While having lots of different friends is undoubtedly a beautiful thing; they do not all need to be directly involved with one’s wedding ceremony. Some couples are even opting to have no bridesmaids or groomsmen to keep the focus on what is essential: the love that the bride and groom feel for each other.
My advice? Select a few bridesmaids and groomsmen. But select them with care. Be sure they are excited about the wedding and know both the bride and groom reasonably well. Don’t just select lots of friends to create colorful and dramatic wedding pictures, as those pictures may remind you of the drama involved in having an over-sized wedding party.