Choosing your wedding party can be one of the most fun tasks that you’ll get to do as part of the wedding planning process! What can be more fun than deciding on which of your besties will stand up for you as you marry your true love? Unfortunately, for some, this can be one of the most complicated, stressful undertakings. Not everyone’s relationships and family dynamics are clear cut. What is an easy task for some people, might be a daunting task for others!
Choosing your wedding party will be one of the most important decisions you’ll make! On your wedding day, you want to be surrounded by loving, supportive people. With great people around you, how can your wedding not be amazing? While we can’t guarantee all your decisions will be straight-forward and drama free, there are ways to help make the decision making easier.
Here are our Best 8 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Party
- Take time to enjoy your engagement before selecting your wedding party. There will be time enough to ask friends or family to be your attendants. Enjoy this time in your life. Don’t rush into any important decisions without time to think. Tell friends and family that you haven’t had a chance to give your wedding planning much thought yet. Let them know that you are currently focusing on enjoying your engagement. Don’t let yourself be pressured.
- Discuss Your wedding vision with your partner. One of the first things you should do when you’re engaged is discuss your wedding vision with your partner. One of you may be thinking about a large, lavish wedding, while the other person is envisioning a small wedding. It’s best to work out your shared vision before committing to a wedding party.
- Consider your budget. This is an exciting time and you may be tempted to rush into asking friends to be part of your wedding. Instead, take the time to consider not only your wedding vision but also your budget and other restrictions. While it might be nice to think “the more the merrier”, most people don’t realize that the more people you have in your wedding party, the more it can impact your overall budget. More attendants can mean more bouquets and boutonnieres, more wedding gifts to give, more people to feed at your rehearsal dinner etc. A large wedding party may also be challenging in terms of space. There may not be room at your venue for all your attendants to stand at the ceremony. If your wedding party is large and there are space restrictions at your venue, you may need to consider having a sweetheart table instead of a big head table.
- Discuss your expectations. What are you expecting from your wedding party? It’s best to think first about what you are wanting, and how much support you require. What role do you want your attendants to play? If you are counting on them being at every pre-wedding event and helping with all the wedding plans, you may not want to consider the friend who is living on another continent. On the other hand, if it’s more important to have them stand up for you on your big day, feel free to invite your long distant bestie. When everyone knows your expectations up front, they can make informed decisions.
- Give your friend time to consider the responsibilities and decline gracefully if need be. Is your bestie away at Law School and in the middle of exams? As much as they would like to say yes, he or she may need to say no. Is your sister expecting a baby and not able to be there for you? Or, is your friend experiencing financial difficulties, and will the added responsibilities be more than they can handle? Depending on their circumstances, they may have to decline. Don’t take it personally if someone says no. After all, you want the people who are willing and able to stand up for you, be part of your wedding party. Don’t however, automatically exclude someone based on your preconceptions about their situation. You might think they will say no and assume you shouldn’t ask them, but you never know! Maybe they can make it work? Even if they have to say no, they still may be thrilled that you considered them. It’s best to have an open and honest discussion, and then let your friend decide. Be sure to give them time to make their decision.
- Break the ‘rules’. Nowadays there are no rules. You’re planning a modern wedding, and you don’t have to stick to old traditions. You don’t have to have an equal number of attendants on both sides. You don’t have to have all female bridesmaids. You don’t have to have a child for your ring bearer. You may just want your adult brother to be the ring bearer! Your ‘best man’ just might happen to be the ‘best woman’. And, while it’s nice to have your sisters or brothers be in your wedding party, there are no rules saying you have to. Choose people who are important to you, and that you really want to have in your wedding.
- Be considerate. Now that we’ve suggested you break the rules, we still want you to be considerate. If you want to have your best friend as your maid of honor instead of your sister, you’ll want to sit down and have that conversation with your sister (preferably before you ask your friend). Though, in the end, it just might make sense to do things the traditional way. You may decide that it’s more important to keep the peace than to do something out of the ordinary. Your budding relationship with your partner’s sister might be more important than including an old school friend you haven’t seen in years. Whatever the situation, the decision is yours. Do yourself a favor and consider the relationships you have. Be mindful of possible hurt feelings and do what you think is best for your relationships. How you handle things can make all the difference. You may want to come up with more positions of honor for the other VIP’s that don’t make the cut (e.g. readings, ushers etc.).
- Choose a wedding party that meshes. Choose a group of people that you think will get along well. There’s nothing worse than having to referee the drama between a couple of friends who don’t get along. Where possible, save yourself the headaches, and opt for a fun, cohesive group. This, of course, relates back to our previous tips. Break rules if you need to, but be as considerate as possible.
After all, is said and done, it’s your day. Plan the wedding that you want to have, not the wedding that’s expected of you.
Tell me how you’re breaking the rules when choosing your wedding party? Any challenges you’re facing when it comes to making these decisions?
Photo Credit: T.LAW Photography.