Choosing Your Wedding Party
1. Think twice before you ask. Once you’ve asked someone to be in your wedding party, you can’t go back. So while it may be tempting to ask all of your favorite friends to be in your wedding party the minute you get engaged, don’t. Take your time. And pose this question to yourself: Do you imagine you’ll be just as close to this person in five years as you are now?
2. Set honest expectations. What sort of role do you want your wedding party to play? Is it important that they help address wedding invites, dress shop with you, and attend all pre-wedding parties? Or will it be enough for them to wear what you chose and show up the day of? If it’s the former, think twice about asking friends or family who live far away or have extremely hectic schedules. The worst thing you could do is set yourself up for disappointment.
3. Include your brothers and sisters. Not to sound like a mom, but think about it: Even if you’re not particularly close to your sister or her brother, siblings are going to be around well past your 10th anniversary, and chances are, you’ll become closer over the years. If you come from a big family and you can’t possibly include everyone, draw the line at teenagers. Instead, make them a part of the ceremony by asking them to pass out programs or seat guests.
4. Consider the size of your wedding. You can have as many (or few) bridesmaids and groomsmen as you like. The average wedding party size is eight – four bridesmaids and four groomsmen. Use that as a guide when you decide. Depending on formality, go larger or smaller. For a smaller wedding with around 50 to 60 guests, have no more than four, but for a larger wedding of 150, you could go up to 12 if you really wanted to. Just keep this in mind: More isn’t always merrier.
5. Choose responsible honor attendants. Choosing your best man and maid of honor might not be an easy task. The best honor attendants are friends who are responsible (since you’re going to rely on them for some big wedding planning tasks and to hold on to your expensive rings) and friends who are good at providing emotional support because there might be a few pre-wedding meltdowns. (It also helps if they’re super-fun since they’ll be planning the bachelor and bachelorette parties!).
6. Don’t ask someone just because they asked you. Weddings are no time for quid pro quo. You don’t need to ask someone to be at your wedding because they asked you to be at their wedding.
7 “Others”. You might need ushers to lead the guests to their seats at the ceremony, plus a couple of candle lighters and program distributors. But there are a lot of other options as well than just bridesmaids and groomsmen. Maybe you have a musically inclined friend who would love to play something at the reception. Or what about that friend who is an amazing writer? Have them write up something to read at your ceremony.
8. Kids aren’t required. If there are no children you two feel particularly close to, you don’t need a flower girl and/or ring bearer. And if you have many children you want to include, feel free. Have three little flower girls instead of one, and give them each their own basket of flower petals. Or have your two little guy cousins walk down the aisle as pages. They can bear the ring, hold a keepsake or carry a “Here Comes the Bride” sign.
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