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Dear ESB: How can I involve my friends without asking them to be bridesmaids?

June 28, 2011
East Side Bride answers the question that lots of you might be asking too, even if you’re not in FMW’s exact situation. As always, we love her take.

Dear East Side Bride,

I really hope you can help me out. My fiance is deployed in Afghanistan, and we will get married a few months after he returns next year. Many of his closest friends will still be serving over there on our wedding day, leaving us with two groomsmen. I had hoped to have more bridesmaids, but have decided to stick to two for balance’s sake.

Is there a way for me to involve other girl friends in the wedding that isn’t something lame like standing by the guest book or reading a Bible verse? I am not tied to wedding tradition, so out-of-the-box ideas are welcome! I always imagined these girls taking a special part in my special day and thought you might be able to offer some suggestions.

Thank you!

– Future military wife


Dear FMW,

Please please please don’t cut anyone out of your bridal party just for the sake of symmetry. It’s going to mean so much to you to have your ladies standing up there with you, giggling and beaming at you and crying (which, I warn you, may set you off — but that’s part of the joy of getting married).

Putting four or five bridesmaids opposite your fiance’s two groomsmen might even serve as a positive reminder of the friends who can’t be there. Why not list them as “groomsmen (in absentia)” in the program?


Photo by Lillian and Leonard

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