Once you’ve enjoyed the initial enthusiasm following a close friend’s engagement, an inevitable question bubbles up like the champagne you’ll be toasting with at the wedding: “Is she going to ask me to be in the bridal party?” The idea of being a bridesmaid may inspire excitement, but it might also incite fear. We’ve all heard the horror stories abouthow miserable bridal party duty can be — from the unfortunate dresses and crazy stress to wedding shower madness and toasts gone wrong — yet feeling snubbed if you don’t get asked can be just as rough.
Whether or not you stand up next to your friend at the end of the aisle on the big day, it’s special to be there to share in such a momentous event. In my experience, being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor, but actually doing the job is hard work. Don’t get me wrong: I’d do it for any of my friends — I’m even slated to add two more dresses to my collection this year — but I’ve also developed an appreciation for attending without having any responsibilities.
Here are 11 reasons why you should enjoy the freedom of being a plain old guest at a wedding rather than pulling bridesmaid’s duty.
1. You avoid bridal party politics
When a group of people who may have nothing in common except for friendship with the bride is thrown together in a high-stress situation, harmony is difficult to achieve. If you’re lucky, you’ll make new friends, but expect for there to be a few clashing personalities.
2. You can choose your own outfit
There’s no need to “shorten it so you can wear it again” when you can just pick out a dress that you love in the first place.
3. Life is cheaper
Between the showers, bachelorette party, dress, dress alterations, shoes, accessories, hair, makeup, and more, being part of the bridal party adds up fast. Going as a guest usually keeps your bank account a little happier.
4. The wedding isn’t a whole-day commitment
Want to sleep in and take your time getting ready for the event? That won’t happen if you’re part of the wedding party. The beautifying process, last-minute details, and the wedding itself will keep you busy from sunup to sundown… and beyond.
5. There’s no need to give a speech
Regular guests don’t have to worry about a.) whether they’re expected to give a speech, or b.) agonizing over what meaningful message to share. You can hit up the bar before the toasts begin without the fear of later letting an embarrassing story about the bride slip when you have a mic in your hand.
6. No one asks you to help wrestle with their dress while they go to the bathroomphoto;Semi Formal Dresses
As a guest, the only bathroom struggle you’ll likely have to worry about is whether or not you’ll have to give up your hair tie to the girl who drank too much and is resting her face on the toilet seat. Just try not to be that girl.
7. You don’t have to pose for innumerable pictures
If you want to take over the photo booth, that’s your prerogative, but be glad that it’s low-key and optional. Wedding party photo sessions take forever, and involve everything from trying to coordinate a midair jumping photo to flashing your panties to the camera (which is apparently a new trend).
8. You get to take advantage of the drinks
Since you’re not going to have to steal away from the reception to take more photos, or get on stage to make a speech, there’s no reason to stay sober(ish) if you don’t want to!
9. There are fewer matchmaking attempts
If you’re single and you’re paired with a single groomsmen, matchmaking attempts inevitably ensue. It’s much easier to avoid any unwanted awkwardness when you’re a guest.
10. You can skip out on clean-up
If you don’t feel like lending a hand afterward, you can leave without becoming known as the bridesmaid who ditched clean-up.
11. It’s all of the fun, minus the responsibilities
You’ll be able to enjoy the party without worrying about herding people from one place to the next, or worse, trying to keep the estranged mother- and father-of-the-bride from starting trouble. Phew.