Should I Have a Bridal Party?

Wedding Guide

Bridal party line up at a wedding in Seattle

Weddings Without Bridesmaids and Groomsmen?

As my partner Kate and I were on planning our wedding, one thing that we contemplated was if we should have a bridal party. We were in our mid-thirties and as is true for most people, our circle of friends had gotten smaller but much closer. We wanted to feature and celebrate those relationships in some way that was heartfelt without the pageantry of a traditional bridal party. More of this later.

Drawing from this experience and more than a decade of capturing weddings as a Seattle Wedding Photographer, I’m sharing some wisdom to help you in this significant decision:

Related Posts: Check out my full wedding planning guide

Bridal party line up at a wedding in Seattle

Personal Bonds

In my observations, younger couples tend to opt for larger bridal parties, while older ones have smaller, more intimate groups. This underscores the notion that as we age, our relationships tend to deepen and become more select.

Prioritize those who truly matter. Your bridal party should be made up of trusted friends and cherished family members who have been there for you not just in the past, but whom you also believe will stand by you for the long haul.

Resist the Social and Traditional Pressures

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by social and traditional expectations when planning a wedding. This day is ultimately about you. Give yourself permission to let go of these pressures and do what feels right for you. Whether it’s bucking tradition by opting for a non-traditional bridal party or making choices that reflect your unique relationship, prioritize what will make you happiest on your wedding day.

Bride and bridesmaids with bouquets in garden wedding.


Think about their individual temperament and how they will contribute to your wedding day experience. Will they be supportive, reliable, and drama-free? Will they make the day about themselves or create a distraction? Consider whether they will be able to handle the responsibilities of being part of the bridal party; especially assisting you during the day without needing to be managed.

Line up of bridesmaids posing and smiling.

Additional Stress Factor

I’ve seen firsthand that the larger the wedding party, the higher logistical challenges and potential stress for couples. Managing a larger group of people can become overwhelming and could put pressure on you. Aim to strike a balance between including your nearest and dearest while also keeping the logistical aspects manageable. Prioritizing your peace of mind and enjoyment of your wedding day is what really matters.

Bridesmaid gathered around smiling and holding their flower bouquets.

Tony’s Thoughts

Our alternative for not having a bridal party

Kate and I made the decision to forgo having a traditional bridal party. Instead, we wanted to honor our closest friends in a meaningful way, so we assigned each of them a special role in our wedding celebration: We gave them a toast at the reception; had them do a reading during the ceremony; they joined us as we got ready; and they received a special acknowledgment during the ceremony to recognize their significance in our lives. They were all touched that we celebrated them in such a thoughtful way and nobody’s feeling were hurt.

Tony’s Recommendation

My ultimate recommendation is to follow your heart and choose what feels right for you. The most important thing is the love and support that your friends and family bring to your special day. If they truly embody those qualities, then the decision becomes clear and easy.

A final note: If you do decide to have a bridal party, for the sakes of your meticulous wedding photographer’s (who may have a touch of OCD like me) sanity, consider using an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen so the line-up in the photos is symmetrical.

Share this post:

Seattle Wedding Photographer

Hey There!

Being a wedding photographer in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest is truly a privilege. We are surrounded with natural beauty. Every wedding I photograph is a chance to celebrate love in a unique way. I feel so fortunate to be a part of these special moments and to witness the happiness and connection shared by couples and their loved ones. It fills my cup and brings me joy. I want to share that joy with you.

If you are planning your own wedding in Seattle or the Pacific Northwest, I would be honored to be your photographer. Together, we can create a beautiful visual story that reflects your love and captures the essence of your wedding day. Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m here to make sure those precious memories last forever.

If these images inspire you, let’s connect and chat about the magic you wish to create on your wedding day. My contact and pricing information is provided at the links below:

Contact me! →

Photo Galleries→

Pricing →

Follow tony on the gram


Follow me on Instagram

Book Your Date

Tony Asgari

Seattle Wedding Photographer