How many bridesmaids will I have?

If you ask in Dutch how many "bruidsmeisjes" I'll have (bride = bruid maid +- = meisje) than the answer is 2. They will wear the same dresses and they will walk in front of me. I've known them all their lives. They are cheeky and good fun.

They are my two 4-year old nieces :).
And Stef, my 4-year old nephew will accompagny them. They will carry flowers and the rings.

So a row of adult bridesmaids as I know them from Anglo-Saxon movies does not exit in Belgium. No line of girls all dressed alike that need rehearsals to know when & how slowly to walk down the isle and where to lign up. Neither is there a series of groomsmen, best men , etc....stressing all day about speeches etc...

In traditional Belgian weddings the bride and groom are accompagnied by the "suite" which basically consists of their parents and siblings, their partners and the witnesses if they are no siblings. The women are never dressed alike though. They might at maximum arrange that all wear hats or not and that all have similar lengths of skirts.

The groom comes (in rented taxis) at the brides house to pick her up. He rings the door and the bride opens in her beautiful dress the door. The suite comes in and they all can have a drink and some pictures can already be taken by the photographer.
Then the entire suite then leaves for the wedding service where all the guests are waiting. So bride and groom arrive together :)...although when strictly following traditional etiquette the bride will be seated with her dad in the last taxi/car, preceded by the groom and his mother in a different taxi and the other members of the suite before that. The cars lign up and and all couples leave the taxi one by one and walk down to the entrance of the church/town hall to wait and welcome the bride. After the service all couples walk back out one after the other but now of course the bride and groom walk side by side.

However most weddings don't follow strict formal etiquette rules anymore: there can be only one taxi or or a big (oldtimer) bus for the entire family or no taxis at all so all people simply drive their own cars to the ceremony .... The bride and groom can have no official "suite" so family members arrive in church more unofficially among the other guests. I've seen a wedding where the groom was waiting inside the church ffor his bride to enter "like the movies".... Anything's possible but I've never seen a wedding in Belgium with a series of adult bridesmaids and groomsmen though.

We prefer a less formal day so don't expect all the traditional rules applied to our wedding!


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