How to Plan a Wedding Without a Wedding Party


When it comes to planning your wedding, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. And while having bridesmaids and groomsmen may be an important tradition for some couples, it might not be a necessity for others!

These days, more and more couples are opting to forgo a formal wedding party in favor of a simpler, more intimate celebration. But if you’ve decided to take this route, you’ll need to consider how this will impact your wedding planning journey.

From sharing the news with friends and family to organizing your bachelorette party, read on for our guide to planning a wedding without a traditional wedding party below.

Photo via Mary Dougherty Photography

Do You Have to Have a Wedding Party?

Choosing to have a wedding party is entirely up to you and your partner, but it’s definitely not a mandatory requirement for your wedding.

Traditionally, bridesmaids and groomsmen have played a significant role in weddings – from planning pre-wedding events to standing by your side during the ceremony. However, in today’s modern world, many couples are choosing to break away from tradition to create a celebration that actually reflects their preferences.

Simply put, there’s no right or wrong way to plan a wedding. Deciding whether or not to have a wedding party is a decision only you and your partner can make, and you shouldn’t feel influenced or pressured by outside opinions.

Photo via Britt Rene Photo

What Are The Benefits of Not Having a Wedding Party?

There are several reasons why you might choose not to have a wedding party, whether it’s tied to your budget, circumstances or vision for the day.

Some of the benefits that come with not having a wedding party are:

  • It simplifies the planning process. Not having bridesmaids or groomsmen means you don’t have to coordinate attire, schedules and responsibilities for a group of people – helping you reduce stress and focus on other aspects of your wedding.
  • It keeps your ceremony intimate. You might prefer the idea of having a ceremony focused purely on you and your partner, making this part of the day feel more personal and meaningful.
  • It saves you money. Opting out of having a wedding party can be an easy way to keep your budget in check, as you don’t need to cover any bridal party costs (such as outfits and hair and makeup).
  • It can avoid potential conflict. Skipping the wedding party may also help to avoid unnecessary drama or tension amongst your loved ones, particularly if you have tricky family or friendship dynamics to navigate.
Photo via Rachel Paige

How to Tell Friends You’re Not Having a Wedding Party

If you’ve decided not to have a wedding party, it can be a good idea to communicate this decision thoughtfully to your friends and family. We’d suggest having an honest conversation with those who might have expected to be included, explaining your reasons. 

Simply emphasize that it’s nothing personal, but rather a logistical choice to make your wedding day more manageable, affordable and enjoyable. Assure them that their presence and support are still incredibly important to you, and consider some additional ways to make them feel included both before and during the day.

Photo via Brittany Boote

How to Include Your Friends Without Having a Wedding Party

Just because you’re not having a formal wedding party, that doesn’t mean your family and friends can’t be involved in your celebration in a meaningful way!

There are plenty of special ideas to include your closest loved ones at your wedding. For example: giving a reading at your ceremony, or being a witness to your ceremony signing. 

You can also assign other important roles to your friends and family on the day, such as being your ceremony usher or MC. 

Photo via Lindsey Taylor Photography

How to Plan Your Wedding Without a Wedding Party

Planning a wedding without a wedding party may require a few adjustments, but it can still be just as enjoyable. Here are some considerations to keep in mind along the way: 

  • Planning pre-wedding events. Even without a wedding party, you can still have a memorable bachelorette party and bridal shower! You may want to ask a close friend or family member to help organize these events, or take the lead in planning them yourself if that feels right for you.
  • Wedding dress shopping. When it comes to attending your wedding dress appointments, invite a few trusted friends or family members to join you. Their opinions and support will be just as valuable, regardless of whether you have an official bridal party or not.
  • Getting ready. The morning of your wedding can still be spent with your closest friends and family members! Pop the champagne, create the perfect wedding morning playlist and enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest.
  • Speeches and toasts. Typically, members of the wedding party would give speeches at your reception. Without a wedding party, you can simply ask other close friends or family members to step in. They’ll likely be honored to share a few words on the day.

While opting out of having a wedding party might not be the most traditional option, it doesn’t have to dampen your wedding planning experience. Keep the above tips in mind for a seamless wedding planning journey that will still make your loved ones feel special!