Just say you’re a feminist. And your friends are in their thirties, maybe already married with kids. Just say one is an important civil servant, another a high flying career girl, another a life-saving highly qualified anaesthetist. Maybe being a frou-frou bridesmaid just seems a bit silly for them.
But how to show them you love them? How do you make them feel just a little special? The answer… Usherettes.
They’re like Bridesmaids Lite – so no matching dresses, no matching bouquets and no meetings to co-ordinate shoe colour. Just the honour of being Officially The Bride’s Top Few Friends.
So, all you ned to do is this – just as you mark out ushers with a buttonhole, give your usherettes corsages. To make your life even easier – give silk corsage flowers rather than fresh flowers. Modern day genius.
There’s also spiritual bridesmaids. These are like bridesmaids in disguise. The beauty of this is that only you and your selected ones know about it, which means no one can get offended and you can have as many as you like. Phew.
Another canny trick is to make would-be bridesmaids readers. That way, they get to have their 15 minutes of Corinthians-inspired fame.
Or, finally, just have a maid of honour. Which, to be a bit more Equal Opportunities you can call her your Best Woman and get her to do a hilarious gag-heavy speech and then perv over the ushers.