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Bride asks grandmothers to be bridesmaids when Covid shrinks guest list, and it’s giving us some ideas

Published Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 2021

Bride walks down the aisle with her two grandmothers, one on either side. They smile and link arms, posing for a happy photo
Image credit: Kristian Leven Photography (image has been cropped slightly to fit, original linked below)

Grandmothers as Bridesmaids? Well, why not!


When the pandemic forced an Irish bride and groom to cut their guest list down to a mere 15, the bride realized her large bridal party wasn’t possible anymore. But who could she leave out, and more importantly - how could she do so without hurting feelings? Thinking fast, she asked her grannies, previously set to attend as guests, to serve as bridesmaids instead. 


The two newly appointed bridesmaids, Gillian Holloway and Mary Kennedy, aged 80 and 90 years respectively, are one of the sweeter reminders of the wedding upset caused by Covid. 

The bride’s heartwarming choice made the news, reported by Belfast Telegraph and BBC


Soon, Megan Kennedy and Tom Cahoon’s wedding photos were delighting couples (and grannies) everywhere, and giving them some interesting ideas for their own guest list re-shuffling… 


As we all know, weddings have been upended not just in Northern Ireland but around the world. Here in the US, in every state, couples have also been asked to follow public health guidelines and shrink their wedding guest lists dramatically, in order to keep themselves and their loved ones safer. 




Couples can and are adapting their weddings in creative ways! 


Having your closest family and friends serve dual roles -- as lucky guests and part of the wedding party -- is a clever way to modify wedding plans. 


And if you don’t mind an informal day, you can have them help as photographers, DJs, and planners, too. Some family members are being promoted to virtual emcee, too, handling the tech side of things at couples’ hybrid weddings and livestreamed ceremonies.



Better still, ask a friend or family member to officiate. 


Having a friend officiate is meaningful, memorable, and it can help (safely) maximize the number of loved ones able to participate in a small, in-person wedding. If you’re considering this option, read:


“Should I officiate my granddaughter's wedding?” - What to ask yourself if you have been asked to officiate 


Asking a Friend or Family Member to Officiate Your Wedding? Read This First...


At AMM, we’re thrilled to help favorite grandmothers, sisters, brothers, and cousins get ordained to perform marriage! Because we’re invested in helping your ceremony be truly special -- even if it doesn’t make international news like Megan and Tom’s. 

Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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