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Choosing bridesmaids dilemma: AIBU to ask how much preserving friendships was a factor in decision making?

(105 Posts)
littlefishywhyareyousleeping Sun 24-May-20 17:34:43

I first want to say how blessed I am to be in a position with so many friends, I do not take this for granted. I have had a very difficult time choosing bridesmaids because it means I have to pick favourites out of my friends, which I feel guilty that do have - is this normal too? I am not in a position where I have to make a quick decision and have time but it is so hard! Is choosing bridesmaids this hard for everyone?

My situation:

I don't object to having a large group of bridesmaids , but it gets expensive. I have split my options into three groups: group 1: 4 friends I love the most, group 2: 6 other friends who would pick me and will be surprised and upset if I don't pick them, and group 3: a further 5 I have to ask if I ask the 6 because we are equally friends, I am closer to some of group 3 than group 2, and it would be odd if I didn't .

From group 1: 3 of the top 4 friends I value the most, I expect they may not even have me as a bridesmaid at their wedding as they have lots of other friends, but I connect with them more and enjoy our conversations more. I will be the first to get married and I would feel very sad if they didn't pick me in return, because they are the ones I would pick first, but I do understand and am just grateful for their friendship. For this reason I understand how upset group 2 may be if I dont pick them.

The girls from group 2 to varying degrees, could all potentially choose me as a maid of honour, and if I didn't pick them to be at least bridesmaids I expect they would be very shocked and our friendship could grow apart. I think the reason they may pick me is because they don't have many other friends and put alot of value on our friendship, and I do love and care for them so much. We grew up together at school. One of these has actually told me they would be really upset if they weren't at least a bridesmaid because I will be their maid of honour, but there are 2 others I would say I have an equal level of friendship with as this girl so its a package deal. A couple have even hinted planning my hen party and they they would want to be maid of honour. I don't think they would be understanding or forgive if I didn't pick them and my priority is the friendship.The truth is I went to uni and made friends that I have more in common with, but group 2 will always be my girls and even though we have less in common, I would do anything for them.

From group 3: the final 5, there are some that I am closer to than those from group 2. 2 of these are my cousins and we had so much fun growing up together it would be lovely to have them by me. Another is a great friend who I have become really close to but only known a year, and we just clicked. we hang around with another girl who I really like but wouldn't necessarily pick but that other girl wouldn't understand if I picked my great friend over her as our friendship comes in a three and feels very equal- another package deal!

Its not as easy as invite who I want, because thats not as important to me as their feelings and maintaining friendships, so can you please advise with this in mind.

how would you pick?

OP’s posts: |
OwlinaTree Sun 24-May-20 17:38:23

Hummm. If you think group 2 would be most upset by not being asked I'd have them if the friendship is important.

Are there any little girls in the family you could have to avoid all this? You don't have to have anybody.

Teenytinyvoice Sun 24-May-20 17:39:29

Do you have a sister?

I had lots of friends at an “equal” level of friendship. I had my cousin, his sister and the friend I had lived with for 2 years.

chipsandpeas Sun 24-May-20 17:41:00

you dont have to have any bridesmaids, may be the best option if you cant pick

GallusAlice79 Sun 24-May-20 17:41:08

The two cousins, and explain to everyone else that you couldn't choose between them.

How old are you?

A lot of people I know who got married in their 20's are no longer close/speak to their bridesmaids by their 30's. Some of your relationships don't sound particularly life lasting, so I'd be wary. People change, drift apart, move away.

mrscampbellblackagain Sun 24-May-20 17:41:26

I would not have any bridesmaids!

KatnissK Sun 24-May-20 17:42:14

I'd pick the cousins and say it's family only in the bridal party. In fact, that's exactly what I did at my wedding!

Onekidnoclue Sun 24-May-20 17:42:53

Great point from @chipsandpeas. In your situation I’d pick nobody. X

StripeyDeckchair Sun 24-May-20 17:43:08

Dont have any bridesmaids.
No decision to make, no one offended, money saved.

MamaGee09 Sun 24-May-20 17:44:24

I couldn’t pick between friends. Even although they did! I chose my cousin who was closest in age as well as our 2 nieces. We kept the bridal party to just family,

TheCraicDealer Sun 24-May-20 17:45:57

Honestly in that scenario I'd have none, just have children as page boys or flower girls and avoid the politics entirely.

Alternatively you could say to all of them, "I'm not having traditional bridesmaids, but I would love it if you could all wear something from this sort of colour pallette so that you guys stand out and can get some cool photos together as a group," etc etc etc. You could also do what some of the girls I know in sports teams do and have a guard of honour of some sort outside the church, even if they all stand just throwing confetti.

The colour scheme might seem a bit wank to some, but I know a bride in a similar situation who did it to avoid having twenty bridesmaids and it looked amazing. Your friends seem enthusiastic about your wedding and so might be very happy to comply with a lose colour theme for outfits.

Nicolastuffedone Sun 24-May-20 17:48:49

I had my niece.

Jaxhog Sun 24-May-20 17:50:13

Don't pick friends. Whoever you chose, someone will get the sulks. Pick your sister and your 2 youngest relatives. Most little girls like dressing up, and your sister's job is to manage the kiddies. And little girls enhance the wedding photos while not taking attention away from you (or sulking because they didn't like the BM dress)

littlefishywhyareyousleeping Sun 24-May-20 17:50:56

Thanks for your no bridesmaids suggestion, I hadn't thought of that. I think if I didn't have any I would be very sad and feel something is missing. I think if I didn't have at least group 1 I would regret it, my sister is in this group. I hadn't even thought of not picking at least this group- I would have to think about it. I do have little kids in my family I can choose instead, but I am not close with them and wouldn't be fussed if they weren't there (never even met them).

OP’s posts: |
littlefishywhyareyousleeping Sun 24-May-20 17:52:36

I could just pick family as bridesmaids but I would feel something was missing (the other 3 girls from group 1).

Has anyone taken on a big group of bridesmaids for this reason?

OP’s posts: |
DPotter Sun 24-May-20 17:52:46

1.) Elope.
2.) Cousins

In that order of preference. If choosing bridesmaids is going to cause you this much angst, you need to re-define the question.

WoollyMammouth Sun 24-May-20 17:55:10

I chose 1, because it was that or 6.

Ellmau Sun 24-May-20 17:55:36

Well, you certainly can't have 15, or even 10, it would look ridiculous as well as being prohibitively expensive. (In terms of cost, American brides have flocks of bridesmaids because they expect them to pay for their own outfits, hair, etc.)

Either pick the first 4 (which is quite enough); OR your cousins; OR say you're not having bridesmaids at all because you can't pick between your amazing friends and family.

DPotter Sun 24-May-20 17:56:12

Cross post
so a revision

1.) Elope
2.) Sister & cousins - if you don't ask your sister there'll be hell to pay. Stick to family. The others may not like it, but there's little for them to argue with you about it. 3 bridesmaids is a good number as well. Remember the more bridesmaids you have the more possibilities for people falling out, cliques forming etc etc.

Shamoo Sun 24-May-20 17:58:37

Sister and cousins, no friends. Easy. Any more than 4 bridesmaids is too many. Any friends and others will be offended. So your choices are (1) pick group 1 and live with the consequences, or (2) pick your family only and there should be no issues as many many people do this.

GertiMJN Sun 24-May-20 17:59:01

Sister and 2 cousins

thesnoopdragon Sun 24-May-20 18:00:45

Thanks for your no bridesmaids suggestion, I hadn't thought of that.

Why? Why hadn't you thought of that?

It's not the law that you must have them and if it causing you lots of stress and worry and you think that grown adults are going to fall out because they weren't "picked" then having none is the best option.

ThisIsHappening Sun 24-May-20 18:03:56

I didn't have any bridesmaids. I had my 2 brothers as bridesmen instead. I'd stick to family to avoid the stress x

OptimisticSix Sun 24-May-20 18:04:18

I have a lot of neices so chose them because I knew they would be really pleased... I would have rather had some close friends, but it was important to me thaty neices felt included. I did find tje whole wedding thing a strangely political experience to plan, I can see why people elope!

kenandbarbie Sun 24-May-20 18:04:45

Just your sister and cousins then no one will be upset.

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