Chana

When my second husband and I were planning our wedding party, we decided that we wanted to make it about family. We wanted to include everyone.

We had a much larger wedding party than I would have ever expected to have, but everyone was happy to be included.

We had 4 Bridesmaid, 4 Groomsmen, 1 Jr. Bridesmaid, 1 Jr. Groomsman, 2 flower girls, 2 ring bearers, and we had a kid walk down the aisle with a sign saying "here comes the bride."

We had about 80-90 people at our wedding. I'm and only child, but my husband has 4 sisters. One I've never met and another one I met about a month before the wedding, so they were not in the wedding party.

But his other two sisters that I had known for most of our relationship were two of my bridesmaids.

At first I think we all felt a little uncomfortable because we weren't close. They turned out to be a tremendous source of comfort and help form me. By the time my wedding rolled around I considered both of them as not only friends, but sisters as well. I am soooo glad that I did that. But that is just my personal experience.

My husband has a very close knit family. Ultimately, you know your friends and family and you have to make the best decision for your wedding.

We had a beautiful bridal shower as a couple, which I guess is called a wedding shower. His sister-in-law from his first marriage threw it for us and it was a blast. Who ever said that getting remarried was hard was crazy. We had a beautiful wedding shower which was a highlight in and of itself.

He and I had a mini discussion about getting her a gift and the popular opinion for gifts were:

  • Gift card to a spa (for a massage or facial, something like that)
  • Gift card to a nail salon (for mani/pedi or something similar)
  • Bottle of wine that the hostess likes
  • Gift certificate for a restaurant the hostess likes

I think there were one or two more suggestions but those are the ones I remember.

I think it kinda depends on who it is and even how elaborate/ big the event is. Something as simple as a nice candle and handwritten thank you can be enough.

Honestly I don't think that she would have let anyone else do it. She was so set on the bridal shower that it would have broken her heart to skip on her offer. She is such a beautiful woman. She is about ten years older than I am, but she is sto spunky and full of life I feel like we are sisters. Even though that is not the case.

She even gave him her grandmother's ring as my wedding ring. This was such a beautiful gesture. I mean they were technically no longer "family" in the sense that they had lost a wife/sister and it was heartbreaking for them both.

I really find the ring to be a one of a kind gift.

You can find them if you look. Have a look at vintage or antique rings. You can get loads of gorgeous 1950s/1960s rings that are stylish, won't break the bank and quite possibly won't have the bad juju you might be worried about.

Personally I love the idea of a ring that, even for a while, brought a couple a huge amount of happiness and joy and that I am part of something with history. If it's bad history then you're just giving the ring another shot at being a "forever ring".

Chana

My wedding was beautiful and it was an amazing event to share with my husband, but it was a sad spot to not have a big social group there. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not a terribly social person and prefer to have a couple of close friends only.

The wedding was literally the only time it bothered me, and that night was about us committing to each other. It's easy to get caught up in the party and having a row of lovely friends as bridesmaids, and tables of college friends reminiscing about your past, and photos of a big crowd celebrating.

You'll remember your wedding as being a really intimate event with people very close to you, and it will be awesome.

Basically, his family was just closer (both geographically and in tightness) and he grew up with 6 of his cousins in the city where we got married. My extended family was more spread out and in somewhat less favorable financial position. But I honestly was never that close to any of them.

And his cousins have always been wonderful to me.

Even now remarried.

Here is what I learned. Don't worry about it too much....I know you feel kind of left out, since you won't have any to invite, but look on the bright side:

  • Less guests = cheaper wedding! You still have your family to accommodate, and weddings by themselves are expensive enough. I don't have many friends myself and doubt I'll be inviting them to my wedding....my family is too huge, it would bankrupt me. I also want to eliminate all of the bridesmaids except the maid of honor, who would be my sister. With less guests, you'll save on EVERYTHING all around....less invitations to make, smaller reception costs, you won't have to deal with picking dresses for bridesmaids that look good on everyone, don't have to buy them flowers for the aisle, etc.
  • Less guests = less drama; especially if you are worried that inviting non-close friends would lead them to feel awkward or judge you. You don't need that at your wedding! Weddings are stressful enough without that shit. You'll be much happier with the more intimate affair of people whom you truly like having around.