Symmetry. Aesthetic balance. Yin and yang. When it comes to the wedding party, Mr. Puffer pictured the two of us with a uniform number of attendants so we didn’t look unbalanced. Then reality set in.
I’m an introvert, which means I’m just not interested in having dozens of friends. So I told Puff I wanted us to have one attendant each. He had seven groomsmen picked out. And he wasn’t too eager to budge. I had to up my bridesmaid count. In other words, I had to add some yin to his yang.
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The Obvious Picks
While I know plenty of women, I’m not swimming in close female friends. In fact, there are only two I’d want holding my dress as I pee on my wedding day. Because let’s face it: Whatever the original purpose of the bridal attendant, I think your bridesmaids are the handful of special people in your life who have seen you at your very worst and love you anyway.
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My two best friends, A and R, are both fulfilling the role of maid of honor. Yes, A is married and could be the matron of honor instead, but we both agreed that “matron” is a horrifically dowdy-sounding term. So I have two maids of honor. They’re not my props. They don’t get weekly emails for me or lists of wedding chores. I’m not dictating their lives because they’ve signed on to be in my wedding. Their only duty is to crack jokes the last two days before the wedding to help keep my stress levels down. That’s it.
The Less Obvious Picks
A and R were no-brainers. We’ve been friends for 16 years. But I’ve had two other friends for much longer—38 years, to be precise.
My two older brothers are serving as my bridesmaids—or “bridesbros,” as I’ve dubbed them. I’ve tortured them with photos of terrible ’80s bridesmaids’ dresses, saying they’ll look fantastic in hot pink taffeta. I gave them each the Bridesmaids DVD as a gag gift. But all jokes aside, my brothers are two of my closest friends. And that’s despite a pretty phenomenal age gap (they’re nine and seven years older than me). Even my ever-traditional mom nodded her head when I said I wanted the bros next to me. “That’s the way it should be,” she said.
And not to worry: I’m dressing them in tuxes.
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The Plan B
When I told Mr. Puffer I’d do a maximum of four attendants, he reluctantly agreed and chose his brother as best man plus three friends as groomsmen. We also signed on two adorable ring bearers and two stinkin’ cute flower girls, including my future niece, J.
J was diagnosed with Asperger’s when she was three years old. She is a wonderfully smart, talented little girl who loves to dance and tells some awesome jokes. But big crowds and other stimuli can overwhelm her quickly, and she was unable to walk down the aisle at another relative’s wedding a few years ago. We think she’ll be OK this time around—and I’ve said that she’s our flower girl if she walks the aisle or not—but her mom, my future sister-in-law S, said she’d buy a dress that matches the wedding colors and help J down the aisle, just in case.
I really appreciated the offer. I also really like S; she’s a smart woman who will do anything for her family, which now includes me. So when she offered to guide Flower Girl J down the aisle, I accepted—and took her offer one step further by asking her to be a bridesmaid. She’ll be attendant number five, and will herd all the kids down the aisle. I think it’s going to be adorable.
And the symmetry? Well, Mr. Puffer had absolutely no qualms about adding a fifth groomsmen. He even offered to add two or three more, but I wouldn’t budge on that.