Introverts, unite – How to have a fun bridal experience with no friends

Guest post by Friendless
romashkovo_483
Thanks to Sveta Laskina for uploading this to our Flickr Pool.

Since my boyfriend asked me to marry him, our wedding date, theme, colors, style, and size have changed approximately 30 times. I've been working hard on focusing on how to balance offbeat with not freaking everyone out, coming to terms with some more traditional aspects of my wedding, while trying to stay true to ourselves. So far, it hasn't been a TOTAL disaster.

What I'm struggling the most with, though, is my lack of friends.

I'm alright with this most of the time — except for when I think about my wedding. I've (mostly) come to terms with the idea of giving up my cute wedding party photos and going dress shopping with “my girls.” But what really makes me feel bummed is thinking about a bridal shower and bachelorette party. I have no one to put these things together for me — and even if I did, I can only think of a vast array of acquaintances to invite, and no one that I feel particularly close to.

How can I manage to have the “bridal experience” that I'm craving so much, without any friends? I want to have fun with wedding planning with no friends…

Here are some great answers from Offbeat Brides who've been there, and done that:

Kasey says: Have fun with your fiance and extended crew

I have very few friends to begin with and when we got married, I didn't live in the same city as any of them nor did any of us actually live in the city (Wellington, NZ) we were getting married in! My best friend and I thought long and hard about how to make a hen's party work for me, and it ended up being WAY too hard (she has social anxiety issues and I am VERY hard to please) so we simply gave up.

There was actually no point in us both stressing over fitting this situation into a pretty, societally approved box. Instead, my fiance and I planned a week full of activities that I love doing (one activity a day, including cooking lessons, sailing, go karting, spa treatments, and more!), and pretty much anyone was welcome to join in, including my husband-to-be and my family. My best friend opted out of some of the activities (she had just broken up with her long term boyf and was struggling with some intense anxiety), I organised a lot of it because I'm fussy and I am so glad that I did it this way. I honestly do not feel like I missed out on anything.

Mahina says: No friends? Treat yo self!

There are pro's and con's to having a large group of friends, and pro's and con's to not having that kind of tribe and pressure! I got asked if I felt stink about not having enough friends to have a proper hen's night and I could honestly say no, I was stoked that I had the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do. No friends gave me the freedom to do exactly that!

How can you have the “bridal experience”? Treat yourself! What is it that makes YOU feel recharged, pampered and relaxed? Do THAT! Even if it's going out for a swanky dinner or something with your finance, or something that may initially seem really boring and un-weddingy. I mean, my wedding dress shopping was a night with my hubby-to-be, a bottle of red wine or two, a tape measure and an online store! And it was perfect for me! I hope you find some way to do this in your own way that sits well and feels special to you

Sara says: DIY your parties

Don't be afraid to organize your own bachelorette party if you want to! I've been to plenty of bachelorette parties where I was more of an acquaintance of the bride than her friend, and they were still a lot of fun–including a couple where the bride herself threw the party, either because she was new to the area (moving to be with her fiance, who most of the attendees knew better than they knew her) or because she just wanted to have control over how the evening played out. Because bachelorette parties aren't a gift-giving occasion, no one batted an eye at them planning their own nights out. You just may need to be the one to pick up the goofy banners and straws if they're part of your ideal bachelorette party.

If you're bummed by the idea of missing out on cute wedding party photos, consider having the same types of shots taken at the reception with different groups from your wedding (work acquaintances, people you know from the same social circle, etc). There won't be any matching dresses, but you can end up capturing most of your guest list with you in one photo or another.

 

Katie says: You don't have to do any of that BS!

There's become all these pre wedding planning things you're told you have to do, and these “traditions” can make you feel bad if you can't partake in them. It's all BS. I just wanted to put that out there first and foremost. Those things do not matter as much as wedding industrial complex would like you to think. In fact none of that stuff matters.

I don't have many friends, and threw my own bachelorette party, which was very small and last minute. It was just me and two friends (I'm not super close to them, but we do hangout from time to time). We went to a tiki bar I love and then a club for dancing. We ran into one of the friends hack club, so most of the night was spent hanging out with nerdy college boys that couldn't really dance, but danced with us anyways. It was great and fun because I didn't have any expectations of the night and no ideas of how it was supposed to go.

My mom said she'd throw a bridal shower, but that never actually happened. I was totally fine with that. I also would've been totally fine with staying in with my guy watching a movie. It's not always easy, but I've learned it's best to just go with the flow of what you have. And if you really want it, get it yourself. There is nothing wrong with throwing yourself a party, if that's what you really want and just isn't pressure of something you think you should have.

KathyRo says: Don't assume the grass is always greener

I think first you have to decide if your angst is part of a deeper problem or if it's simple envy. If you feel like you want to connect to more people, that you can't understand why you don't seem to have all the friends everybody else ( supposedly ) has, then you need to explore options outside of your wedding. Maybe talk to a therapist.

If, on the other hand, you love your social life the way it is and you're just wondering if the grass is greener, let me assure you it's not. I have been to my share of “hen parties” and I've been a traditional bridesmaid a number of times and went through the whole group shopping/bridal shower adventures as well. All them — all of them — came with drama. The more people involved, the more drama. If you're struggling with wedding planning details creating friction and generating worry for you, I promise you these events will more than double that.

Is it worth it? Well that depends. Some people really thrive on social instability. Others don't appreciate it but at the same time don't let it stand in their way of a good time. And still others can't tolerate it at all. Only you can answer that question.


I'm sure we have a lot of other readers who've have gotten married without a giant gaggle of girls, or a super-close crew. Whether it's because you eloped, had to move, or just never was one for close friends…

How did you enjoy the wedding planning with no friends?

Comments on Introverts, unite – How to have a fun bridal experience with no friends

  1. Maybe you’d like to treat yourself in some way on your own? Take yourself out for a spa day, or book a boudoir photo shoot, or tour a brewery where you might want wedding-beer from, or take a dance lesson, or check out a wedding show? I prefer to do a lot of these sorts of things on my own anyway.

  2. Perhaps you have some family you can tap into? Your mom, fiancé’s mom, aunts, cousins, grandmothers, godmothers, etc. These people are great for showers (old ladies especially love them). If you want a bachelorette that is laid back then these people are great for that too. Think spa day and/or a nice dinner, maybe a theatre performance or comedy show. You can also just plan something nice for just you or you and your mom if you’re that close, like a spa weekend or something else cool that you’d like to do or a weekend trip that’s close.

  3. There’s become all these pre-wedding things you’re told you have to do, and these “traditions” can make you feel bad if you can’t partake in them. It’s all BS. I just wanted to put that out there first and foremost. Those things do not matter as much as WIC would like you to think. In fact none of that stuff matters.

    I don’t have many friends, and threw my own bachelorette party, which was very small and last minute. It was just me and two friends (I’m not super close to them, but we do hangout from time to time). We went to a tiki bar I love and then a club for dancing. We ran into one of the friends hack club, so most of the night was spent hanging out with nerdy college boys that couldn’t really dance, but danced with us anyways. It was great and fun because I didn’t have any expectations of the night and no ideas of how it was supposed to go.

    My mom said she’d throw a bridal shower, but that never actually happened. I was totally fine with that. I also would’ve been totally fine with staying in with my guy watching a movie. It’s not always easy, but I’ve learned it’s best to just go with the flow of what you have. And if you really want it, get it yourself. There is nothing wrong with throwing yourself a party, if that’s what you really want and just isn’t pressure of something you think you should have.

  4. We so have the same problem. I have 1 friend that I still speak to frequently and my fiancé doesn’t have close friends anymore. My family is out of state and his include his mom and an 87 and 91 yr old grandparents. I’m good with focusing the pictures on us and family, I’m good with a combined bachelor party with a few friends, but I wish he had at least 1 person to bounce ideas off. Now a 1 person wedding party I’m going to have to get creative.

  5. I have two bridesmaids/best lady friends, so I’m lucky in that respect. But they live in New York City and London, while I’m in Florida. So the planning stuff (and dress shopping) I’ll be doing mostly alone. I’m okay with not having any showers or parties though haha, as long as they’re there for the wedding itself 🙂

  6. I had the same problem. I wasn’t close to any of my college friends or my work friends, most of my chidhood friends have moved out of town or even out of the country a long time ago and my good friend had just had a baby and couldn’t do a whole lot. Bachelorette party ended up being a spa day with my mom and sister, then movie night and sleepover (Pretty Woman!) at an inn. Lovely:) And a joint shower was really fun. My sister organised it and we played games and ate the best chocolate cake (she made it).

  7. I think first you have to decide if your angst is part of a deeper problem or if it’s simple envy. If you feel like you want to connect to more people, that you can’t understand why you don’t seem to have all the friends everybody else ( supposedly ) has, then you need to explore options outside of your wedding. Maybe talk to a therapist.

    If, on the other hand, you love your social life the way it is and you’re just wondering if the grass is greener, let me assure you it’s not. I have been to my share of “hen parties” and I’ve been a traditional bridesmaid a number of times and went through the whole group shopping/bridal shower adventures as well. All them — all of them — came with drama. The more people involved, the more drama. If you’re struggling with wedding details creating friction and generating worry for you, I promise you these events will more than double that.

    Is it worth it? Well that depends. Some people really thrive on social instability. Others don’t appreciate it but at the same time don’t let it stand in their way of a good time. And still others can’t tolerate it at all. Only you can answer that question.

    • This is a great response. If you look at the “why” you don’t have a large circle of female friends, that may help you work through some of these concerns. For me, the huge circle of friends always felt like a lot of work. I have my close circle, and I’m good. I never will have the eleventy bridesmaids, and I’m ok with that. It doesn’t fit some wedding magazine’s “perfect” wedding, and I’m more than just ok with THAT!

      If your bigger concern is that you feel like you don’t have a support system, those don’t appear overnight. That’s something you build slowly, perhaps with co-workers, your SO’s friends and family, etc. That’s when you need to decide if you need to put yourself “out there” more.

      There’s nothing wrong with a fun evening with one friend that goes exactly how you want it. In the long run, it may be better than the “traditionally desired” series of events that feel “required.”

      I guess what I’m saying is, it’s okay to be you. You are wonderful, and you are marrying someone who thinks you’re wonderful, too. Focus on that, and the peripherals will take care of themselves. Or they won’t. But you’ll still be wonderful.

      • “You are wonderful, and you are marrying someone who thinks you’re wonderful, too.”
        I cannot agree with this enough! There are so many different kinds of wonderful, even thought some want us to think there is only one kind of wonderful.

    • I agree totally with this. If you are mostly ok with not having friends in your life, what is it that makes this not ok for your wedding? Before going any further in wedding planning, maybe you should analyse whether it is the lack of friends in your life that is at the heart of this issue, or whether it is the thought of not having a picture-perfect wedding. As for hen parties – would you actually enjoy having a party thrown for you, attended by a bunch of acquaintances? Dress shopping – do you wish for girlfriends to shop with for everyday clothes in your everyday life, or is it just the wedding dress experience you want friends for? The best thing you can do is know yourself and know how you relate to other people (I did the Myers-Briggs thing). I still occasionally feel a pang of jealousy when I hear of acquaintances having a wonderful social life, but then I think and realise that I love myself the way I am. To have a wedding with all the social trimmings would be totally out of character for me, and leave me completely socially exhausted. My fiance and I are both solitary creatures (he more than me), we enjoy being social with a select few sometimes because we WANT to, but neither of us NEEDS to have friends for anything. On our wedding day we will vow to stand guard over each other’s solitude, because that is what both of us need most to function.

  8. I have no family, and no friends. My betrothed and I had to move out of state, and the few friends that I had basically vanished. His family can’t be bothered, they don’t even want to come to the wedding, despite being local. So for us, there are no fun wedding activities, no bachelor or -ette parties on the horizon, and most daunting for me, no mother or girlfriends to go with me to shop for wedding dresses. It’s really sad, and the idea of trying to throw together some type of wedding without all of these rituals and without anyone else makes us both unsure about even proceeding with getting married. The legality seems to be the only point, and that really only requires paperwork. This breaks my heart, I used to have a lot of friends and have always had the image in my head of a fairy tale wedding, especially since I never got to go to prom and never had any specific formal coming-of-age event. Neither of us is sure what to do to remedy it.
    I wish I could help you, but please know that you aren’t alone. Hugs.

    • This is just my opinion BUT if I were in your shoes, I’d throw a wedding adventure honeymoon instead of a wedding party. Seems like the wedding itself is mostly a party for everyone attending. Instead, why not make it a party for you and your fiance? Wear your wedding dress for a day or two on your honeymoon (if you’re ok with strangers asking you about it, and be prepared for a lot of congratulations!). Make your own celebration. Do what makes you feel pretty and acknowledged and proud, while having fun with your fiance- no guests necessary.

    • You’re not under any obligation to have the ceremony and reception on the same day you sign the legal paperwork. You can get legally married ( only the two of you have to know ) and then wait a while and see if any close friendships develop in your new locale before having the wedding of your dreams.

  9. Perhaps you should invite some of your acquaintances, or your fiancé’s female friends, or the girlfriends of your fiancé’s friends! It would be a great opportunity to get to know them better…and who knows, you may come out of it with some new friends. 🙂

  10. I’m in a similar situation. Neither me nor my fiance have close friends and the few friends we do have don’t know each other, so if we did have tiny wedding parties they’d be weird groups that wouldn’t talk to each other much. We’ve opted to not have wedding parties, and to make the events more about family. I’ll go dress shopping with my mom and sis-in-law and my fiance will probably have a bachelor party that consists of beers with his dad and brother. At first I was sad but I reminded myself that I’m OK with the way things are outside of the wedding context, and so I just decided to make the wedding more like real life, which is more family than friends. Maybe this is an option for you? I should point out that as an anxious person, I don’t like parties or being the center of attention that much anyway, so my situation may be different.

Read more comments

Comments are closed.