After the initial excitement of becoming engaged, the reality of planning your wedding settles in. It’s easy to get intimidated with all of the details, and many brides rely on the help of their bridal party. However, choosing a bridal party has the potential to be another stressful part of the wedding planning process!

It is second nature to want to include everyone. There’s your sister, your childhood best friend who lives out of state, your current bestie, your fiance’s best friend’s girlfriend, your high school friends that you’re amazingly still in touch with and always will be, and so on. You want to celebrate and share the process with those nearest and dearest. Plus, if everyone is included there is no room for hurt feelings! Of course, it is unrealistic to include all of your close friends and costs can quickly add up for everyone involved. You have to consider clothing and shoes, and whether or not you’re contributing to the purchase of these things. Also, will your bridal party have to travel to attend the wedding and for all the wedding related events? It is also necessary to keep in mind the cost when it comes time to thank your bridal party for all of their hard work.

One way around this dilemma? The Bridal Brigade.

The Bridal Brigade is an all-inclusive, non-bridal party that easily takes on whatever role you need, while simultaneously honoring your friends. It’s a simple way to involve all of those special ladies and gentlemen in your life without the added cost of of a traditional bridal party, and it spawned from my own desire to include everyone!

After making a list of those I would have selected as bridesmaids, I was wary. The list was long, and many of the people on it lived across the country. It wasn’t feasible to have a bridal party of large proportion and spanning the continent, so my fiance and I decided to create a group of friends to take on specific roles: making the cake, videography, making boutonnieres, or just being general supporters and day-of helpers. We took into consideration our friends’ personal strengths, as well as offers of help that had already been thrown out there. The Bridal Brigade is definitely one of those things that is easy to mold into whatever your vision is!

By asking your friends to be part of a formal group, with a name, you immediately make them feel special and included. While it may seem daunting to be responsible for so many people and wedding logistics, it all comes down to delegation and communication. My fiance and I chose to have a best man and a maid of honor, and those key roles were pivotal when it came to organizing the Bridal Brigade. My maid of honor was a major point of contact for members of the Brigade when questions arose before and during the wedding.  It’s okay if project management isn’t your thing! Be open and honest with your friends about any fears or limitations, and trust that everyone has the same end goal. If you are comfortable with project management, take it one step further and create a newsletter. This can be sent out monthly, or weekly as your wedding day approaches and is a great way to introduce everyone – especially if you have a lot of folks coming from out of state.

It is easy to spotlight your crew and make them feel special day-of, as well. My Bridal Brigade wore either a corsage, or a boutineer. They also dressed in blue and collectively became my “something blue”! I made sure to include a special thank-you in our program, and gifted each person a bottle of wine with a personalized label.

The Bridal Brigade is a wonderful way to include everyone, and to make your wedding day a perfect reflection of not only you and your fiance, but your community of friends as well.

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