The Sweet Christian Bride

The Spiritual Significance of a Bridal Party

by admin on September 20, 2012 in Bridal Party, Faith, Purpose with 2 Comments

The first bridal party I was ever in was a disaster.  Not the other people, me.  I was a disaster.  I didn’t even know that I would need a nice outfit for the rehearsal dinner.  Nor was I available in any capacity to help with the wedding planning or even to go to the bachelorette party.   I just showed up, put the dress on, and took it all in.

Why did that friend invite me to be one of her bridesmaids?  I don’t know, but I thank God that she did.  What she didn’t know was that God would use her wedding as the turning point in my faith.

It was the summer I graduated from college.  My life was a spiritual wreck, and I had no solidified plans for my immediate future.  I wasn’t even sure that I could go to her wedding because I was traveling around the world and wasn’t sure how all the flights and timing would work out.

Nonetheless, my friend had asked me to be her bridesmaid and had told me that she wouldn’t fill my spot even if I couldn’t say yes; I could figure out the scheduling even last minute.  I did decide to leave the world trip early to make it to the wedding, but then was unexpectedly caught flying back and forth between Los Angeles and Louisville for last minute job interviews.  I arrived at the wedding destination the night before (the rest of the bridal party had been there for a day or two already), utterly exhausted and lost in my life.

But I showed up, wore a dress, and held some flowers.

Somehow, God used that minimal time to show me what I was missing in my life.  Late in the evening before the wedding, the bridesmaids gathered around a table and a bowl of M&M’s.  We played a simple game where we grabbed a handful of M&M’s, and based on which colors we grabbed, we had to share different things about the bride, about marriage, or about God.

Hearing what these women offered to my friend as encouragement and wisdom proved their loyalty and love in Christ to her.  It shaped the way I saw marriage.  For the first time, it dawned on me that marriage was holy and that that concept should be guiding my standards in dating.  There was a peace and a joy that my friend had—that all of the women there had—that I wanted.  On that evening, through that simple game, God impressed deeply upon me that if I took the job in Los Angeles, according to His plan for me, I would find this kind of friendship and love in my life.  And I did.

Even though I knew nothing logistically about being a bridesmaid, I began to discover that it meant something spiritually to be one.  The fact that my friend chose me unconditionally to stand at her side that day and the fact that God used her wedding to change my life proved to me that something spiritual happens in the bridal party of a Christian wedding.

The next wedding that I was in unveiled another layer of the spiritual significance of a bridal party.  A couple of years later, my best friend and spiritual mentor at the time asked me to be her bridesmaid.  I said yes with a clearer picture of what that meant practically speaking, but I also was so full spiritually that praying for her and supporting her emotionally and spiritual was easy and very natural.  I found myself naturally checking in with how the wedding planning was going, how she was doing, and what she needed.  I was her biggest fan and I took her health, well-being, joy, and marriage very seriously.

A situation happened with her maid of honor that required my friend to find a new maid of honor.  She asked me to accept that responsibility.  In this conversation, it was apparent that the reason she chose me to step in was because of the strength of our relationship due to our mutual hunger for Christ.  She recognized that a maid of honor was not just a person to give a toast at the reception, but was someone significant to her spirit and her marriage.

So what does it mean spiritually to have a bridal party?  Think of Jonathan and David or Ruth and Naomi.  These relationships were built on mutual self-sacrifice that was rooted in the Lord.  If these are the women by your side, you will be protected, comforted, and advanced in your marriage by their company and by their intentional care for you.

Your bridesmaids are the people surrounding you on your wedding day.  Or, if you involve them heavily in your planning like I did, they are also your support through the wedding planning.  Whom you choose shapes your support system, and how you choose to involve them shapes their encounters with Christ.

Not all of my bridesmaids were Christians, but those who were prayed for me incessantly.  That was the number one most helpful thing they could have done for me and was also the number one most practical way they could live out the commitment to my marriage that they were making by saying yes to being in my bridal party.

It was very important for me to have a time of prayer with my best girl friends the night before my wedding and also the morning of.  The bridesmaids who weren’t Christian were totally fine with that, so my focus when I was with my bridal party was able to be on Jesus even with mixed faiths in the room.

Having non-Christians in your bridal party is great so long as you keep your focus on Christ and you have enough spiritual support in your planning, wedding, and marriage.  How awesome if God gathers women to your side who need to tangibly experience Christ’s love!

Your bridal party is an opportunity to receive and to share the love of our holy Christ in an intimate way.  In a nutshell, that is the spiritual significance of your bridal party.  Which layers of that concept God specifically reveals to you in your wedding will be unique to you and the women at your side.

Photo © by John Yao, SimplyTwo Photography, featuring Dorinda and Peseng’s wedding

Article originally published on December 13, 2010

By Lindsay
  • There are currently 2 Comments.

  • The Sweet Christian Bride
    • Sharae says:

      Thank you so much for your post! I am four months out from marry the man of my dreams and I thank the Lord for what you have written. I chose my bridesmaids about four months ago and have seen how they have supported and encouraged me through this whole process. None of us really knew the significance but are so thankful that the Lord shaping all of us to be more like Him through this wedding! Again, thank you.

    • Jamela says:

      Thank you for your post! I was considering taking one of my best friends out of my bridal party not only because she isn’t Christian but because she doesn’t seem to support me and involve her self as much as the others do. If my bridal party and wedding makes a difference on her life then it’s worth putting aside my selfishness to bring joy and light to her life by the spirit of Jesus Christ.

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