OPINION: It's time we cancelled bridesmaids.

Spreadsheets, organised jewellery cases and meticulous schedules. This is what awaits my friend Neelam when it comes to planning her international, four-day, Hindu wedding.

As one of my closest friends, when she got engaged I was thrilled. And when she asked me to be a bridesmaid, I was ecstatic. I even cried, which is unusual for a cynic like me.

It was my first time being a bridesmaid and despite not being much of a romantic myself, I couldn't wait to immerse myself in all things weddings, bachelorette parties and dress fittings.

Mamamia Confessions: The worst request I received as a bridesmaid. Story continues below.

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Nine months in and three months out from the wedding and I can firmly say, I will not be having any bridesmaids at my own wedding.

Don't get me wrong, I'm having a lot of fun and I've got a great bride who makes it easy to be a bridesmaid.

But having watched her plan the wedding, it feels like bridesmaids are just another thing she's got to add to her list of things to organise.

And it’s made me question - is it really worth it to have a bridal party?

The wedding process could ruin your friendship with your bridesmaids.

To me, a bride and her bridesmaids is a similar structure to a manager and their staff - the bride decides what she wants her bridesmaids to do, assigns them their duties, ensures she isn't too harsh in her delivery and corrects any mistakes that may arise.


Thankfully, Neelam is a chill bride. As stressed as she is, she's done a great job not to impart that stress.

But Lord help all the bridesmaids who have to deal with a bridezilla who is barking orders down their throats or who is hell-bent on having things a specific way.

It's the fastest way for friendships to end.

And while I'm still some time off getting married (babe, if you're reading this please pick up the pace), I know myself well enough to know I am a huge control freak.

And the last thing I want to do is ruin any friendships with my friends because I've snapped at them.

Image: Supplied


The cost is ridiculous.

Weddings are expensive. This is not new or life-changing information.

And it seems like bridesmaids (and groomsmen) are just another cost.

I don't know wedding etiquette but from what I do know most brides contribute to some of their bridesmaids' expenses. Because (also not new information) being a bridesmaid is expensive.

Whether that means paying for their hair, makeup, shoes or even the dress, the bride usually contributes something to her bridesmaids' overall costs.

In my case, all I'm paying for are my flights and professional makeup. And while it's very generous of Neelam to take care of everything else, I'm conscious of the fact that this is a whole lot of money to spend on just one event.

There's a part of me that thinks maybe I'm being overly practical in trying to be cost-effective. And there's another part of me that thinks the money saved on not having bridesmaids could pay for a honeymoon.

The friendship dynamic within the bridesmaids can be uncomfortable.

Unless you, the bride and the rest of the bridesmaids are all part of the same friendship group, there's a good chance you won't know everyone in the bridal party that well.

I had met my fellow bridesmaids before but we weren't very close. Thankfully, they are such an easy group of people to get along with and the vibes within this bridal party are at an all-time high!

But there was definitely the chance of us not getting along, or even worse, arguing with each other.


And personally, the period between an engagement and the actual wedding is much too long for me to hang out with a bunch of people I don't even like.

But it could be even worse - bridesmaids from different friendship groups in one bridal party could disagree on politics, lifestyle, ethics, the list goes on. And the result could be a very tense few months between everyone before the big day.

As a bride, this is just another worry to add to the already long list of things to worry about before the big day.

Image: Supplied


Let your friends enjoy their night.

Being a bridesmaid is like a job.

No matter how much you love the bride, there's no way to sugarcoat it. You're there to do a job and to do it well.

And as a bridesmaid, dare I say it, you might not enjoy yourself as much as a regular wedding guest.

For most bridesmaids, it's a sacrifice we don't mind making because we love the bride and groom, and we would jump through hoops to make sure they have the best day, or in my case week.

But when it comes to my day, I think it would alleviate some of my own stress if my closest friends were just enjoying themselves as guests.

I don't want to speak too prematurely by saying I won't be having any bridesmaids in my future wedding party. There is a small part of me that wants to have all my best friends around to celebrate leading up to my wedding day. But do I think my life would be a lot easier without the traditional fanfare of bridesmaids? Yes, I do.

If you're a bride and you feel an obligation to have a bridal party, don't. You should be able to do what you want. Whether that's eloping, or wearing a pantsuit, or exchanging donut rings, or ditching your bridesmaids. It's your day and the world is your oyster.

Emma Ruben is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Perth. You can find her on Instagram.

Feature Image: Getty.

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