Be Our (VIP) Guest: An Alternative to the Traditional Wedding Party

The ring is sparkling on your finger and although it has been just minutes, you cannot wait to invite your tribe into your new journey by asking them to be in your wedding. However, if you are a New Age Bride, you are not asking them to be in your wedding, but instead honoring them by inviting them to have a VIP experience as a special guest at your wedding.

The VIP experience allows your tribe to feel extra special and appreciated for the support and friendship they have given you. Several brides and grooms have had the pleasure (and sometimes not so much pleasure) of being part of the bridal party, only to realize that sometimes it’s better just to be a guest.

But where does that leave the couple’s support team — the friends who have been by your side since grade school or the friend who was there when you first met your love, or the friend who taught you how to dance on the bar with class? In order to bring comfort to the decision of opting out of having a wedding party we must journey to where it all began.

There are several beginnings to where the concept of bridesmaids and groomsmen originated and their purpose. However, none of them reflect today’s responsibilities and/or obligations of the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

During ancient Roman times, it was law that 10 witnesses were present during a wedding. Bridesmaids and groomsmen dressed identical to the couple to ensure that jealous suitors or evil vengeful spirits would not bring harm to the newlyweds. The biblical reason relays to Jacob, Leah and Rachel; each bride brought her own maid — but their maids were servants, not maids in beautiful dresses. In one tradition, groomsmen were the bride’s knights. They had to protect her dowry and her virginity.

With a better understanding of the original duties and responsibilities of the wedding party, many couples are introducing the “VIP experience” to friends and family that better honors them for the roles they play in their lives.

Photography courtesy of Stefani Welsh Studios

The idea of honoring your entourage with a VIP experience is just part of the overall journey to your Big Day. Inviting each VIP to an intimate dinner [or lunch] is the perfect way to set the stage. You want to let that person know what s/he means to you. Then, you follow that up with a formal invitation to be your VIP. Include a calligraphed note explaining the next journey of your wedding and how they factor in. An example could be the following:

You are a Very Important Person to me, and I would love to extend to you a VIP experience at our wedding. We have reserved, in your honor, VIP seating at the ceremony and reception along with early entrance to the reception with special drinks awaiting at your table.

The Attire
It is important that as our VIP guest you are comfortable on our Big Day and invite you to select a formal Black (place any color restrictions of your choice) dress of your liking that complements your personality and the style of the wedding.

The Support
For many years, you have been a true supporter to me, and through this journey I am going to need you more than ever. Not to make DIY projects or wedding programs, but to assist me in remembering what is important and making me smile, laugh, sing and dance! The best way to assist me is coming together with other VIP guests and taking me out for one last amazing party with my friends. Just thinking about this makes me smile.

The Big Day
As my VIP guest, I would love to treat you to a morning of pampering as I prepare for my Big Day. I will have a hair and makeup team available to you in a special room where you can relax and enjoy being pampered. As I prepare myself for my dream wedding with my parents, I invite you to stop by my room for a toast before I go to meet my groom for our first look. Your presence and energy are an amazing way to support me as I enter the arms of the rest of my life.

I invite you to enjoy the rest of the day with your special guest and I will see you at the ceremony. As my VIP guest, you along with my other VIPs will enter the ceremony right before the wedding begins to ensure that people know that you are special. Awaiting at your reserved seat is your special guest so you can enjoy the journey of our promise with the one you love most.

No day would be complete without a special one-on-one picture with my VIP guests. After the ceremony, I invite you to share one picture with me and the groom. This will be one of our first pictures as husband and wife. What a joy it will be to have you part of our wedding collection honoring the new chapter in our lives.

Those closest to you now feel honored and you have less stress. But, wait! You still have the Honoree. This is the one person in your life who is your muse, your zen and your overall peace. This special person receives the ultimate VIP status. S/he is the one who does not leave your side. If your wedding was a concert, s/he would hold the backstage VIP Pass. This person is reserved to spend the entire day with you on your Big Day and assist you in every way. S/he is honored with speaking at your wedding and drying your eyes when you finally realize you are marrying the person of your dreams. This person receives VIP seating in the front row at the ceremony and is the last person to sit among all the VIPs.

The last of the VIPs are your parents, or the people in your life who made you the individual you are today. With the typical wedding party, parents are oftentimes overlooked and pushed aside. As VIPs, your parents are where they need to be — front and center.

We leave one of the most important honors to your parents: the holding of the rings. As you leave their arms and go into the arms of your partner, their love energy flows from their hearts to your rings and into your hands.

This VIP experience is not for every couple, but it is for the couple that truly wants to experience a drama-free day while honoring friendship and giving the ultimate “Thank You” to their parents.