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Welcome to the fourth episode of our series on the Un-Wedding Podcast, The Drama Dynasty – A group of personas and stereotypes that you may need to navigate in today’s wedding world.

In this episode, we introduce the Party Pirates, also known as the bridesmaid who is trying to live vicariously through the bride, the groomsman who believes the worse the groom feels on their wedding day with a hangover, the better job he’s done, or the attendant who can’t afford to be part of the wedding and never lets you forget it.

We are going to dig deep into wedding parties, why they’re a thing, how to pick the people who should be your attendants and strategies you can use to keep your wedding team operating as a team instead of working against you. That way you can come out on the other side of your wedding with your partner, friends, and family relationships intact.

Learn more about us and our movement: https://unweddingmovement.com

Transcript

Corina Waldie 0:11

Welcome to the Un-Wedding Podcast. I'm Corina.

Sydney Spidell 0:14

And I'm Sydney.

Corina Waldie 0:15

We're two neurodiverse wedding planners who are committed to empowering nearlyweds to throw the wedding rulebook, shrink their guest lists and create a meaningful, purposeful wedding experience. We're taking the wedding industry by storm and disrupting the status quo. We're the un-wedding planners and we invite you to join our movement.

Sydney Spidell 0:33

We record our podcast from Treaty Six Territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others, whose histories, languages and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community. Welcome to the fourth episode in our ongoing series here on the Un-Wedding Podcast, The Drama Dynasty - a group of personas and stereotypes that you may need to navigate in the wedding world. So today, let's introduce you to the Party Pirates.

Corina Waldie 1:13

You may have heard of these people described as the bridesmaid who was trying to live vicariously through the bride. The groomsman who believes the worst the groom feels on their wedding day with the hangover, the better job he's done, or the attendant who can't afford to be part of the wedding, and never lets you forget it.

Sydney Spidell 1:29

Today, we are going to dig deep into wedding parties, why they're a thing, how to pick the people who should be your attendants and strategies you can use to keep your wedding team operating as a team instead of working against you. That way you can come out on the other side of your wedding with your partner, friends, and family relationships intact.

Corina Waldie 1:50

All right. So I think you know when we think about wedding parties, they are this thing that some couples want them, some couples don't. Some people feel that you should or that there's a certain person in your life, you couldn't imagine not having them stand beside you. But you know, we have all of these different notions about wedding parties. But yet, they're oftentimes some of the most problematic relationships throughout your planning process. You know, I've done several weddings now where challenges that we've dealt with have been the direct result of the actions of a member of the wedding party.

Sydney Spidell 2:28

I mean, the more people as factors you add into something, the more issues you're going to have. It's a natural evolution. So is it any wonder that suddenly you give sometimes 15 people, they can be large, this sort of place of importance within your wedding? Is it any wonder that suddenly there's going to be a lot of different opinions to contend with?

Corina Waldie 3:01

Yeah, well, I think the bigger your wedding party, of course, it's the idea of too many cooks in the kitchen. The more opinions you open yourself up to, the more difficult your decisions become.

Sydney Spidell 3:09

And it's important to recognize that if you're asking somebody to put on an outfit, to be somewhere for a day to have specific responsibilities, etc, etc, etc, they are going to have opinions. And they're entitled to have opinions too.

Corina Waldie 3:25

Especially because I think, you know, anybody who has been part of a wedding party knows it ain't cheap, because you're not only talking about the expenses that guests would typically undergo, usually, you know, having those and then on top of that you're looking at attire, you're looking at needing to attend potentially multiple parties, multiple gifts...

Sydney Spidell 3:45

...plan parties too and the investment that goes into the decoration - well we talk about the expense of a wedding. You know, if you're putting a bridal shower or something on other people as a responsibility, there's going to be an investment in that.

Corina Waldie 4:00

Yeah, absolutely. Or, you know, if you're choosing not to pay for hair and makeup on the day of the wedding, there are all these sorts of different, you know, becoming a member of a wedding party means a significant increase in your financial commitment to somebody wedding.

Sydney Spidell 4:17

Yeah. So these ideas that we have in our mind of party pirates, the people that are going to come in and Swashbuckle and take over. Well, we talked a little bit about them in that intro, right. We talked about that bridesmaid who's essentially acting as though she is the bride, right? Have you experienced such?

Corina Waldie 4:41

Yes. I did have one wedding a couple of years ago, where it was one member in particular, of the party. She didn't think what I said mattered, and that this was her wedding and even though it was her best friend getting married, what she said was going to go and ended up causing so many problems. Without going into specific details from everything running late, because she was focused on just doing things her own way to making, honestly, quite the fool of herself during the ceremony and really stealing the spotlight from the couple, which was devastating. Shocking and devastating. And so, you know,

Sydney Spidell 5:26

That's only on the wedding day. And that was only the wedding. She caused other issues throughout the planning process.

Corina Waldie 5:33

Yeah, it was. I actually ended up not - this was back when I still did wedding management - So I didn't really get to know her because I was sort of arm's length from the wedding planning process but the bride was a good friend of mine and hired me - this was much earlier in my career. And so she had, I had heard different things over the planning process.

Sydney Spidell 5:55

That's rarely just going to be the one day

Corina Waldie 5:57

Yeah, because that's the thing like when you're asking somebody to participate in your wedding, you're hoping that your relationship is strong enough. Like we've talked about this with the insidious in-laws, but it's going to any sort of factors in your relationship that are maybe negative or not so great. It's going to get amplified. Weddings have a way of amplifying any existing drama that's already there.

Sydney Spidell 6:21

Yeah, I mean, it's such a momentous occasion in people's lives, and people feel as though, you know, you almost have to be in some perfect place to go through that momentous occasion. And that sort of falseness creates a lot of issues too, right? Or draws things to the forefront. And then what about that sort of, again, a lot of these examples, when we start each episode of these podcasts, starts rather gendered and aligning on that binary. And that's just because a lot of those preconceived notions that we come into this, a lot of the stereotypes that we see, are sort of based on a very gendered industry. But we never want to suggest that these things are just something that only one person of one gender identity could enact. Right?

Corina Waldie 7:12

Absolutely.

Sydney Spidell 7:13

But that sort of on the opposite end of the gender spectrum from that, we see the groomsman who's pumped to be a part of the wedding party because he gets to party -it has party in the name, right? So let's just, man, it's your last night being single. It's your last night of freedom, dude. So let's just throw caution to the wind. Let's get you fucked up! You know, rager rager.

Corina Waldie 7:42

Yeah, by the way, don't have any bachelor parties where you're planning to drink the night before your wedding, please and thank you from your wedding planners, as well as your partner, and all the other people involved in your wedding. Just putting that out there.

Sydney Spidell 7:52

Yeah, no matter how resilient at hangovers you think you are, or your love is going to carry you through the headache. Honey...

Corina Waldie 8:01

You want to - A - first off, be able to enjoy your wedding day without feeling like crap. Because you have over imbibed and are dealing with the headache and nausea and everything else that comes with that.

Sydney Spidell 8:14

If you're going to get the flu, that's another thing. Don't force that on yourself.

Corina Waldie 8:18

Yeah. Also, think about typically the financial investment you've made. And do you want to, you probably want to be able to enjoy that. So not a good call. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with having a bachelor party or partying. Just do so the weekend before.

Sydney Spidell 8:33

Yes. Give yourself some recovery time. Especially if you're in an older, nearlywed right? I think it's like 24 for hangovers. So if you're 20, maybe you'll be fine. And maybe you know, don't need to listen to this advice. And you know what, get your wedding done as soon as possible your little party animal because more power to you. We'd love to see it. But if you are an adult human, with those regular sorts of processing stuff, like

Corina Waldie 9:07

Know your body, don't be a hero, you know your body. And understand that. You know you want to be going into this day in your best state of mind.

Sydney Spidell 9:16

Yeah. And you know, if you have one of those party pirates, one of those people who's there to screech and hoot and holler and toss your great aunt over their shoulder and spin around during the dance. Oh my gosh, that is that's a thing, that happened. That's one of the wedding stories that I have is just like, I think it was a great party, and I'm sure they all had a wonderful time. But yeah, there was one moment when one of the groom's besties hoisted the groom's mother above his shoulders and like swung her around in the air. And, you know, although that may have made a funny scene, I gotta tell you, most people I know, especially women, don't love being picked up. Especially if they aren't prepared for it. Yeah, it's just weirdly freaking humiliating. Don't do that. Don't be drunk and belligerent, and toss someone's mom over your shoulder.

Corina Waldie:

Well, there's also this. Now I wasn't there personally to experience this because this was before my husband and I got together. But he has a story of his sister's wedding. And the best man at that wedding was really nervous about making his toast. And so a glass of wine turned into a bottle, or maybe two of wine. And then he got up and basically went to toast and immediately threw up. Well, between his nerves and the combination of the alcohol in his system, he basically, apparently, threw up into the glass and had to be kind of dragged out of the wedding.

Sydney Spidell:

Oh I was gonna say, from a tech man's daughter, I'm like, "Ew! he ruined a microphone? How dare he?"

Corina Waldie:

But that is a very memorable moment that my husband has not forgotten anytime soon.

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, if you're nervous, that's okay. Really be careful on relying on alcohol to soothe those nerves at a wedding because it's likely going to blowback on you. Okay, so a lot of this has to do with alcohol.

Corina Waldie:

Alcohol is definitely a big driver.

Sydney Spidell:

Just forgetting your place, forgetting your role. I think maybe - your role that you've been told by the marrying couple is to get the party started. And in which case, toss the mother you know.

Corina Waldie:

Do whatcha got to do.

Sydney Spidell:

But if that's not the purpose, if that's not what you've been asked to then remember your job.

Corina Waldie:

Absolutely. But I think more importantly, like, you know, outside of these jobs, or these roles, or these expectations, like why, did wedding parties really even become a thing?

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, it's important to recognize the history of it, we did talk about the history the last episode. We talked about the history of that parental involvement. Why are there these women in dresses that look like the bride's dress?

Corina Waldie:

Well, so I actually have done a little research on this. And this goes back to Roman times, and the belief that the gods were up to cause malarky or mischief on the day of the wedding. And so the bride would ask her best friends or these women in her life to dress very similarly to her, so that the gods would not know which one to pick, and that they will be able to marry happily and move on with their lives without.

Sydney Spidell:

You gotta confuse those meddling spirits.

Corina Waldie:

So that's where they kind of started. And if you look a little bit later, at medieval history and Victorian history, we start to see the more modern evolution of usually having somebody in your life like a sister, typically, at least in the case of the bride, or a brother, or somebody else, you're close to, having this role, potentially, of helping you plan things, or helping you execute things and having this little bit of special attention. Which, of course, carries us up to today where I think that still all very much applies - these ideas of having people in your lives who you honour and want them there enough that you want to elevate them, that they're not just a guest, that you're elevating them and actually getting to spend a lot of time with them on your wedding day. Because that's one of the things that especially if you're choosing to have a large wedding, and you don't get to spend a lot of time with your guests. By having somebody in your wedding party, you're gonna be able to get ready with them, you know, photos together, you'll actually get to spend that day with them.

Sydney Spidell:

So you’re choosing them as your companions.

Corina Waldie:

Exactly, exactly. And I think that's where wedding parties are going to, but to be honest, there's not really anything necessarily wrong with them. But the problem is, because of all these contributing factors of like, different personalities, and the money requirements, and all sorts of things, it really sets us up, that if things aren't handled carefully, or not handled intentionally, that you can end up having a lot of harm done to these relationships with these people who are hopefully the closest people to you in your lives.

Sydney Spidell:

Some of the reasons that I've heard for choosing bridal parties, I keep saying bridal parties, wedding parties, because it all over the place. That kind of made me stop and go, "I don't know if I appreciate that." It was so that it looks a certain way in the photos - like that is the reason. And if it's for a picture, if it's for that, well I think we're going to talk about this a little bit later too, but like they don't have to necessarily be in your wedding party to dress a certain way or to be styled a certain way so that you can get your photos. I think we really need to work away at detaching these conceptions of why we have a wedding party, in the greater world of weddings at this time, and why you have a wedding party at your wedding? Because maybe it is for you to confuse the spirits. Could be? Then the way that you choose those people is probably going to be based on similar heights, body shapes? That's pretty cool. I don't know. I think that'd be funny.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, well, I know, in our case, like we had, you know, we're gonna talk a little bit more about this. But in our case, we did have five on each side. And when we were initially planning, my husband could only come up with four. And he ended up inviting another one of his friends to be part of the wedding who ended up becoming closer as a result of it - so it sort of worked out. But we literally did that, because I had five on my side. And we got to even it out. So there's this idea of, you know, inviting somebody who you might not necessarily be close to just to sort of even it out or to create this perfect image. But I think it all goes back to is defining what your wedding party is in relation to your wedding. We've talked a lot about purpose. But we're talking about the role. Like do you even flippin' need a party in the first place?

Sydney Spidell:

How do those people support your wedding purpose, then if your wedding purpose is to have that massive party, then perhaps, the dude flipping mom is an important part of that. Perhaps the people that you're choosing to be in this are the friends that are high energy like to have a ball, who will get the party going because you've seen it - all of those are legit reasons to then choose a person that you're going to sort of put in this position of importance during your event. Because it's a job, it's a responsibility, it's a role. The things that are less legitimate is if that is your purpose if that's what you need and require of your wedding party, and you pick all of your friends who are closest to you and they all spend their time in the library where it's nice and quiet, and people shush people, there's a disconnect there if that's what you're doing. Right? So figuring out why do you have a wedding party? Is it better to not have a wedding party? Is it better to come up with completely new titles and roles for people that aren't going to be standing upfront with you, but are going to be there for the day? Because there's nothing saying that you can't have, you know, we'll use ushers, right? People will have ushers and then they'll have their groomsmen or whatever. And sometimes the ushers are included as part of the wedding party, but they're also the people that are standing at the back of the venue instead of the front.

Well, we're also now seeing flower grandmas. So rather than having a young child play the role

Oh my gosh...

Corina Waldie:

Oh, all the photos are amazing.

Sydney Spidell:

...I just about cried with joy there. And I really moved by it.

Corina Waldie:

By having your grandma's walk down and spread petals or whatever you're spreading. I've also seen videos to have like, what are they, like Flower Boys or beer boys where they're like going down and like throwing

Sydney Spidell:

Oh my gosh like the dude like chucking it out of his fanny pack. I saw that one I love that one.

Corina Waldie:

There are lots of different ways that people in your life can be involved without committing to this much larger idea of being part of the wedding. And you know, I think one of the most important roles though we see in terms of the wedding party, of course, is your honour attendants, with a maid of honour, matron of honour, Batman, whatever you want to call them. But as your Honour attendants typically, each of you picks one and those people will sign your register and sign your marriage license, and be the chief person

Sydney Spidell:

At a bare-bones wedding, you need your officiant, your marrying couple and your witnesses.

Corina Waldie:

Exactly. And so in that case, that's something in an argument where people might think, "Well, I gotta have somebody because somebody has to sign my license." But one of the things I've seen at a few weddings, which is awesome, especially when there's no attendant involved, where there's no wedding party involved, is having the mother's there biological, whoever is your closest mother figure, sign your license. It's another great way to involve your parents rather than having that. So there are definitely alternatives.

Sydney Spidell:

Especially, if there are moments where you really want to create that separation between yourself and a certain person, like parents, within the whole wedding process, giving them something like that. That is so very important to the actual process itself and can be a really nice gesture. And also I have friends whose parents eloped on a beach in Jamaica and their witnesses were as they were like walking past the pool bar they were like, "Hey, would you guys come? We're gonna.." Just some strangers, you know. You do not have to follow along with any set-out rules. And partially the reason that we want to say this is just because of all of the nonsense that can come up, avoid it if you can. There is no reason to jump two feet in to friend drama if it can be avoided completely.

Corina Waldie:

Absolutely. But I think there's also, like I said, assuming that you are still deciding to go forward with having a wedding party, there are a few decisions that you first have to make. First off being how many? Now, the rule of thumb, if you say is one person per 50, guests, I don't really care about this rule. If you have.

Unknown Speaker:

Do you know why that's a rule?

Corina Waldie:

I actually have no idea.

Sydney Spidell:

Because there's zero correlation in my brain as to why that would be something. I can imagine it from the perspective of them saying we don't want it to look unbalanced. So if you have 10 guests at your wedding, you don't want 15 attendants each, okay?

Corina Waldie:

But for the most part, like if you're having kind of that 100 person wedding, I think you could have three or four people comfortably, no problem, on each side without issue. But of course, is first establishing that number. And one of the things we see a lot with our smaller weddings is there's either no wedding party, or there's just like a sibling, or a best friend or somebody that they're super close to. Just that one person. And that's it. The other thing that, or we might see two, we might see three, but that's kind of really for us where that tends to cap off.

Sydney Spidell:

I think you also need to know too, what you're going to be asking of your people. What are your expectations of this? Is it a job? Or is it a fun title that they get? How much responsibility are you putting on this because we can typically say that bachelor/bachelorette stag and stagettes, showers, all of those things, are typically responsibilities of various members of the wedding party? If you're not told that when you agree to something, are you suddenly going to piss your friend off, because you've got a busy year, and you're not able to plan an event or that's just not something that you know how to do or whatever? Understanding again, going back to why you're having a wedding party? Are they doing something for you? Do they have a job a role or responsibility within the wedding? And if so, what is it? Clearly define it, lay it out and decide how many of those people you need.

Corina Waldie:

Well, there was this crazy story that flew around the internet, it got picked up by multiple major social or major media networks, where this bride had, I think it was something like 30 different rules. And that was a contract that she took around to the people that she wanted to be in her party and made them agree to it. And it was some crazy things like they had to maintain a certain weight, and they couldn't dye their hair, certain colours, and they couldn't, they had to go to the bachelorette party and it was going to be in another city so there was travel involved. It was this crazy long list. And you know, my eyes as I'm like, hearing about this and reading through the list are, like, ho'kay. But, you know, in that instance when we look at that, the average normal, reasonable person is going to be, like, that's ridiculous. These are people you love and care about. So let me draw your attention to that. Remember, always the people that you are choosing to be part of your wedding party, are the people that you should be loving and caring about. You know, you don't just go and ask Joe Blow off the street part of your wedding party, or, you know, these are people in your life and that you care about.

Sydney Spidell:

As a person who gets anxious. And really, really likes clear communication and really likes having direct expectations laid out and regardless of whether those change or not. I'm so not against coming up with a contract for your attendants. I'm really not. But because contracts are supposed to, I mean you're signing a contract at the wedding, these things are meant to protect people and their interests and their needs, right from the get-go. If you are doing things and stating things within this, that deny people their individual rights, such as your body isn't allowed to change. You cannot police that on someone. The only place where that's appropriate for a contract, is if you are an actor or a model, and it's part of something that you're displaying and you have a supportive employer who's healthily observing how you can do that. Outside of that with a budget for dietitians and trainers and whatever. Don't you ever, ever tell someone that they are not allowed to gain weight or their body isn't allowed to change or whatever, it's disgusting.

Well, it just goes back to the fact that these are people, they have lives, they have real shit they're dealing with and guaranteed, even if they are your bestest friend, they don't care about your wedding as much as you do.

Are you going to value this person less if they gained 20 pounds? And are heavier than your other attendants at your wedding? Are you going to? If so, I mean, I don't know. Are you beyond help?

Corina Waldie:

We see so many dramas and so many, like Reddit stories that come up about these crazy expectations that people put on their wedding party, but it's remembering, always, your wedding is never going to be as important to them. So it's keeping your expectations realistic and in check. Because I'm a firm believer, I encourage all of my couples if their budgets can support it if you are going to have somebody in your wedding party, and you would like to have their hair and makeup done professionally. That's something you pay for, you don't expect that of your attendant to pay for that, that that is something that you should be providing, at a bare minimum, because you're asking them to look a certain way. And it's also just really nice to, you know, go out there looking and feeling your best. So having that person there...

Sydney Spidell:

it's nice to feel like your friend wants you pampered for this experience that is pampering for everyone. So then when you have those expectations when you have an understanding of what and how many and what they're going to do, then it's a lot easier to go about choosing your people. And it makes sense to, first of all, think, okay, who are the important people in my life? Who do I have close relationships with? Who do I want to share this moment with? And who do I want holding my hand through the ups and downs of this beyond just my partner?

Corina Waldie:

Well, I think it's important to point out, because I know it was something that is kind of unsaid a lot of times, but usually, when you're thinking about choosing people, there's this idea that you should choose somebody whose family or somebody who you will potentially have a longer-term relationship with, like a sibling, or cousin or whatever. But, you know, I don't think we necessarily need to include siblings, especially if you're not close. If you don't have that bond with them, you don't really need to include them at all. Like there are other ways that you can incorporate them.

Sydney Spidell:

I'd like to think that I have a good healthy, close relationship with my brother sometimes. Like the close being sometimes, we've definitely got a good relationship, and I've worked on that. But at the same time, he's never been someone who shares things about relationships with me. So he may have a completely different perspective on this, maybe he does and imagine or assume that I'm going to be a part of his wedding party eventually. But to me, because that's never something that he's made a part of our relationship, I don't assume that or expect it. And because it's never been something that he's asked me about or wanted to know about my life, I don't assume that he would be part of it. But if he had a connection with my future spouse, if there was some sort of it, you know, however, things go, and he is an important part of our relationship. You know, maybe I would want him in there. But that is that dividing line of whether this means something, just because I have a close relationship with Him, doesn't mean it has anything to do with my relationship with my partner. And the wedding is about me and my partner.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah. And you know what, that's the ultimate thing though, is remembering that relationships are something that is going to change, they're going to evolve as you, as your friends evolve, so there's nothing wrong with picking people you're close to now even though there is a potential down the road that might change. Fortunately for me, my maid of honour Sarah, she's still my best friend 20 years this year, but you know, I recognize that that's not always the case.

Sydney Spidell:

Yo, I got you beat, eh?

Corina Waldie:

What?

Sydney Spidell:

I got 26 years with my BFF.

Corina Waldie:

Mine's high school.

Sydney Spidell:

Mine since we were two

Corina Waldie:

Right? As I said, there's something about those kinds of relationships, the sisters before misters or sister from another mister. Or brother from another mother, right? We say these things. These people in your life if they're, you know, kind of going back a little bit to another conversation we had in the last episode about blood being thicker than water, no, it's the blood of the covenant. These are potentially members of your chosen family that you would go to, that are part of your life, that actually freakin care that you're getting married and are like super excited to celebrate. They actually know who your partner is.

Sydney Spidell:

That concept that we talked about in the intro is like your team working as a team instead of working against you. They're really, I mean, looking at this objectively, there's no other way to look at your wedding party. They are a team of people that you are compiling around you for a central goal of this event. So be intentional about guiding that team and making sure that everybody feels like they actually have a role to play within it. And then, okay, so you go through those relationships, you assess those relationships, you pick a bunch of people, or you think of a bunch of people that are really important to you or mean a lot to you. But at that point, that's not enough. Because you also have to then go back to that list that you made of expectations of them and go, Okay, just because this person is my 20-year-old best friend, doesn't necessarily mean that all of these expectations I am asking of my bridal party fits them in any way. And it doesn't mean that I can't honour them in another way or make sure that they're important, but also make them not a member of the wedding party.

Corina Waldie:

Well, and I think it's having that important conversation of knowing what you would like them to do, but being flexible as well. Because, you know, what comes to mind, if you're somebody who wants to DIY every aspect of your wedding, fine, but...

Sydney Spidell:

You're going to be dragging your friends into that...

Corina Waldie:

But remember that, if you're going to take that on, that your friends might not necessarily have the skills to be able to do that. And if that matters to you...

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, like are you okay with 50 shitty centrepieces? Like if yes, because you drank 14 bottles of rose with your girls, then...

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, you can have fun.

Sydney Spidell:

"..like, look at how shitty this one is, you know, Corina, like, was in the middle of making it and then just like face planted into it, passed out." And that's why it's much fun.

Corina Waldie:

It's great memories. Actually, one of the things I DIY'd was pew bows. And Sarah came over, I remember, and she helped me and she was getting so frustrated trying to figure out how to tie them to the point that we like, almost 10 years later, she'll still make comments about those stupid fucking pew bows.

Sydney Spidell:

Is it worth creating a long-term tension, which this did not turn into, but could be a long-term tension, with your best people over pew bows?

Corina Waldie:

You're right, right.

Sydney Spidell:

But it's not only any guess what their skills are, but it's also the availability that they have for you. Are they going to give the same level of passion that you're desiring and expecting from these people and investment of time? Do they have the time? Do they have the finances?

Corina Waldie:

100%. Because if they are, I guess it comes down to that question. If they're important to you to have in the wedding party, are you willing to pay for their expenses to have them be a part of that? Right? I actually advise a lot of this of couples, when you're thinking, with destination weddings, when you're thinking about having a destination wedding. And if you're going to be devastated that your cousin who has been your best friend since childbirth can't afford it because she's in college and trying to, you know, build a life for herself. Are you willing to pay for her expenses to be able to join you? Yeah, right. It's not it's no different with a wedding party.

Sydney Spidell:

It's the same thing that we talked about too, like, feeding your guests and watering your guests. You provide that for them. So if you're expecting somebody to be there and do all of this, what are you providing to remove any barriers of entry to them? And understanding and acknowledging and refusing to hold those barriers of entry against your loved ones, too. I know. I mean, that best friend of 26 years, we're more like sisters than we are like friends in that we can piss each other off really easily. Yeah. And her wedding was supposed to be this year, coming up next year, postponed and everything. We were originally going to go to Newfoundland and visit her sister and, and go out there and you know, then I decided to not have any money. And one conversation that we had when she said you're coming to my bachelorette party, right? Which the wording was just so offhand on from her. But for me, I was like, this is an expectation now. And suddenly, even though we've talked repeatedly in the last few months, about financial struggles right now, I suddenly have to now say, No, I can't if we're doing that I can't be there. And it was so funny, because I was like, Wait, are you asking me this? You don't know that. You haven't figured out that this is going to be a no already? And she was sad and expressed it and angry. And by the end of her sentence had gotten over it. Because I know that's how she is. And I was like, Yeah, so we're cool. And she's like, Yeah, we're cool. Yeah. I'm okay. Like, I'm totally okay with her having her moment of hurt. Because in that moment, none of that was about me my time, our relationship, my skills, or my finances. None of that was about me. All of that in that moment was her being like, I want my best friend there. Yeah. And she just had to pout about it and have a moment.

Corina Waldie:

Absolutely. But I think it's always remembering that you can ask something of somebody, but if your relationship, if you value that relationship, is being willing to give them an out. And if it's not a good fit for them right now in their life, is not holding that against them. Most of the time, if they can't take on the added expenses or time requirements, or whatever it is, you're looking for of your wedding party. And they say no, you know what, I'm sorry, can I just be a guest? Can I just attend? I still love you, I still want to support you,

Sydney Spidell:

I'll come to your bridal shower, come to your bachelorette.

Corina Waldie:

But I just don't want this added responsibility in my life right now. Maybe they are a new parent. Because when we're planning our weddings, typically, people are going through all kinds of different stages, they're starting careers, they are starting families, they're planning their own weddings, etc, whatever that looks like. So you know, if that doesn't work for them, then.

Sydney Spidell:

And it comes back to that concept as well of being, it doesn't need to be this way, none of these tricks, you can pick and choose whatever. So just because there are all these traditions associated with a wedding party, doesn't mean you actually have to uphold any of them. You can say I will have an outfit waiting for you. Or you can say wear this colour, I don't care what you wear. You can say you will be standing up here with me, but you will do zero things other than show up in advance so that you know where to stand. Or you can say you will be involved from point A to point Z. Whatever works for you, for me, my brother, if I wanted to include him in my wedding, I don't think I'd follow the tradition of it being like boys on one side, girls on the other even though I am unfortunately heterosexual. It's a loss, and I would have that sort of like gendered difference between myself and my partner. It doesn't make sense unless they're best bros, that my brother would be standing up there for my partner. It makes sense that he would be standing up there for me, or we get rid of there being sides altogether. And the people that we choose are just the people that have had a driving influence in the creation of that relationship, which might not even be someone that I'm close to maybe I asked like the manager at the fast-food restaurant where I met my future husband, working as a fry cook, and they introduced us and we knocked heads over a spilled milkshake. And now suddenly, I want that manager in my wedding party because they are essential to who we are. All of that matters, right?

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, I think it's just like I said, ultimately, at the end of the day, it is just about being super intentional, it’s about having that purpose. And you know, what, if you're dealing with a complex personality, or you're dealing with a complex scenario, setting boundaries. I know we talk about this, I know we repeat this ad nauseum. But because it gets constantly sort of shoved aside in the industry, we just want to remind you that it's okay, for both of you, whether it's yourself as the person getting married, or whether it's somebody who is part of the wedding party, saying setting the boundaries and saying this is okay, this is okay, this is not okay. It's respect. It's just remembering again, that nobody's going to care about your wedding as much as you are.

Sydney Spidell:

And then as that marrying couple to also remembering these human beings that you incorporate into it, it's not going to be smooth sailing start to finish. Yeah, there are going to be things that come up, and you might see these behaviours. And rather than immediately assuming that you've got a whole slew of party pirates on your team, think of it as a pirated moment and recognize that all behaviours, all behaviours, are a sign of an unmet need. Care about that person, think about that person and be like, Yo, you're really like freaking out about this whole dress thing. What is the actual concern here? Is it is it that you're worried that you might feel self-conscious in this because I care about you, and I'm going to focus on that. Get to the person's need. Because you know, that is going to enable you to actually move past these things in a healthy way. Bring it back to those boundaries, bring it back to that purpose, and forgive them for being a freakin human.

Corina Waldie:

Absolutely. All right, well, that was the party pirates, the fourth member of the drama dynasty. Next time, we'll be meeting the fifth and final member of our drama dynasty, the peanut gallery. So we're gonna be talking about all of those people in your lives, who you know, co-workers, maybe extended family, other friends that you're not so close to, but those people who always seem to have an opinion about your wedding and how you can go about navigating those opinions so you can keep your sanity and enjoy both your wedding planning process and the day itself.

Sydney Spidell:

Mm-hmm. So you can join our conversation as always over on our Instagram and our TikTok and share with us your wedding party experiences, any tips that you might have to make that experience for everyone better. We look forward to connecting with you. So we'll talk next time cheers.

You can find us on the internet at unweddingmovement.com or on Instagram, TikTok Facebook, and Pinterest @unweddingmovement. Our podcast episodes are released weekly and available wherever you like to stream.