How can you have a fun bridal experience with no friends?

Updated Oct 23 2019
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?

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

Mahina:

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 we 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.

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. Not having many 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:

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:
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.

KathyRo:
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.


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 "bridal experience" without any friends?

  1. Due to work and other things I've been traveling for many years now and never settled down in a particular place. I've met many people along the way but of course it's hard to make long lasting or deep relationships when people disappear from your life every few months! It has been hard keeping in touch with them and so unfortunately I don't think any of them would like to come to my wedding (considering it would be a huge effort on their part, I understand them). I never thought this mattered as I always wanted an intimate wedding. My sister eloped and used all the money she would've spent on the wedding to have an amazing honeymoon, which I always thought was a fantastic idea. I'm very socially anxious and so the idea of a huge party really scares me. My fiancée on the other hand is really excited about the wedding and wants to have one of those Hollywood-movie type of parties. He wants the whole shebang with pre-parties, huge receptions, tons of guests and clever romantic speeches. For me such a thing has never been important and I would love to be able to just celebrate it with the ones I love most, but he's so excited about it that I feel bad making him give up his "dream wedding". However I really have absolutely no one to invite whereas he has so many friends and family who would be there for him. I would feel so pathetic literally brining my mum, dad and sister and that's it, when he would have so many guests there! I feel terrible and really not looking forward to the wedding AT ALL and that makes me really sad because it's supposed to be a happy occasion!!

  2. I could cry lol. I started googling "no wedding party" in hopes to find confirmation that I wasnt crazy for deciding today to no longer have one. i dont have friends and had asked 3 associates to be in my bridal party, no one showed for my dress appts, my bachelorette party is this weekend two didnt respond to the family member planning it and one deleted the text thread with all of the info and one who i was supposed to ride with opted out of the plans today. I have felt alone , not getting the "bonding" fun feeling I was hoping to get. I was in tears Friday not even wanting a bachelorette party lol. I felt the ppl I chose werent as interested and dependable and I didnt want it to eventually affect the relationships I have with them. So i decided I know a good group of girls between associates and fam are coming this weekend and to accept whoever shows and whoever doesnt. We decided our wedding guests are our wedding party honorees. My sister and his brother will stand with us as best man and maid of honor, we will have flower girls and a ringer bearer and thats it. I feel so relieved. Its bad enough family drama is already resurfacing from childhood and im dealing with emotions of that. Im glad I found this thread.

  3. I'm on the same boat. I am in my late 20s, since I got engaged, i don't think anyone got excited for me except for my parents. It kind of sucks. I traveled and moved a lot and I don't have close girlfriends in current country where I am. I do have friends from high school and uni but the friendship kind of faded away and they might not be able to travel all the way. The idea of choosing bridesmaids quite of scare me since I know I don't have any close girlfriends. I kind of get depressed because I know that no one will throw a bridal shower for me and I will probably have to go for dress fittings alone. Most of my relatives are also overseas so they might not be able to make it. I might only have 1 table for colleagues and table for closed relatives. Whereas my fiance will have about 15 tables, his mom is saying that he is the only son and she wants to invite all the relatives and family friends, whom I don't even know. The thought of this makes me stress.

    Because of this, I have asked my fiance if we can have an intimate wedding on an exotic island. Just with our parents and siblings. However his mom said we will still have a hold a big celebration here(mainly his family and friends). I never fancied being in the limelight and to have strangers at my wedding. I am still trying to figure out a way to get out of it without hurting her feelings.

  4. Hello, my name is Chelsey. I’ve always wanted a big wedding when I was growing up, ever since I can remember. But now things have changed a lot. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve talked to my dads side of the family, things happened. Such as when I’ve grown, I’ve grown to see true colours of my aunts, uncles and cousins, which wasn’t good. I also don’t have any close friends to be my bridesmaids which has been bothering me for a long time. I know I’m not gonna have that bachelorette party or bridal shower, I will have to go by myself to pick out my wedding dress. It really does and has been bothering me for a very long time. I’ve been depressed numerous times, I feel so alone when it comes to my wedding. I never knew how alone I was until I had to start thinking about it. Don’t get me wrong I love my fiancée to death and I don’t feel alone with him but it just sucks that I won’t have anyone by my side. We got engaged just in June and having trouble deciding if we want to have a big wedding or just elope. Can you even have a big wedding if you don’t even have bridesmaids or groomsmen? Is it even worth the stress in inviting my dads side of the family?… it’s been a week now and I can’t sleep through the whole night thinking about this and wondering what u should do. Is there any point in have a big wedding? Anyways sorry about the long comment and so many questions!

  5. Yay I'm not alone! I have one best friend, one cousin that im close with and his sister, so sorted for bridesmaids, but I moved halfway around the earth to be with him and even though it's been four years I haven't really found any friends because I'm so anti social lol. And idk about the wedding but at the moment we're planning an engagement party and I have one friend (my best friend) coming and he's got like 25 and that just seems weird. And I don't want all his friends to know I don't have any friends. So anyone that wants to come to NZ and pretend they're my friend, you're invited! 😀

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