The Bridal Brigade by Meg Keene One of the things I love best about the Internet is it gives us all such a diverse and exciting set of wedding role models. I’ll admit, I love me some Martha Stewart, but many of my wedding dilemmas are never going to be addressed in the pages of a wedding magazine, and I’m rarely going to flip through a wedding glossy and see people that look like our amazing friends. Which brings me to Christina & Patty’s amazing wedding on Snippet & Ink a few weeks back. (Which reminded me of every single thing I love about LA.) The whole wedding was stunning, and my kind of party, but the thing that blew me away was Christina’s bridal brigade. Instead of having a traditional bridal party, all of the woman in her life pitched in to helped make the wedding happen, and she honored the group by making them her bridal brigade. As you guys know, I’ve been struggling with the idea of traditional wedding party. For me it’s felt limiting and a bit uncomfortable. We have lots of important people in our lives, but somehow they didn’t fit into the bridal party model (not to mention my total lack of interest in picking matching dresses for them).* We do however have tons of people helping with the wedding, not to mention a pile of Jewish honors to be handed out (chuppah holding! readings! blessings! door guarding! chair lifting! More blessing!) So the idea of a bridal brigade made me very happy inside. I talked to Christina, and this is what she said about it: The Bridal Brigade was amazing as it really, truly felt like a community effort. And I honestly think my friends had a great time (I hope they did–they seemed like it!!). It was also fun to use people’s particular talents, for example, my friend Moore is a fantastic vegan baker, so she made our Vegan Chocolate Rose Cupcakes. My friend Kate (and her mom, honorary Bridal Brigade member!) does amazing work with flowers, so she put together my bouquet & all of the greens & flowers. Two of my friends are in graduate writing programs, so I asked Antonia & Melissa to write something to read at the ceremony. When we did DIY projects at my house, I usually bought lunch or snacks & really we just had a fun time crafting together! And Georgia, the “General,” was my right hand organizer, taking over all the details, especially day of, so I didn’t have to think about it! That, my friends, is what I’m looking for in a wedding. A day put on by my community, not by a planner. A day about not just about who we are as a couple, but who we are as a party of a greater family – a family of friends and loved ones. This weekend, I had lunch with the marvelous Emily of Emily Style, and she gave me many many wise words of advice on weddings, one of which was “Ask people to help. Ask everyone to help. Everyone loves helping at a wedding.” And so I shall! *Confession, if I’d gotten married a few years back, I think I would have picked out dresses for bridesmaids. But something about nearing 30 seems to make me less romantic, or fussy, or just, energetic like that… Meg Keene Founder & Editor-In-Chief Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.