The excitement is building. You’ve told your parents and best friend of your engagement and you’re now excited to let those know who will participate in and be witnesses to your wedding. Choosing those in your wedding party can be the easiest decision for some couples, yet the most frustrating, nerve wrecking experience for others. We’ve come up with a few tips in choosing your wedding party. We hope you find them helpful.
1. Make it a joint decision. The first thing to do is to sit down as a couple and write a list of people you are both considering for the honor.
2. Decide on your preferable number of attendants. Does your fiancé have more people he or she simply MUST have in the wedding party than you? Gone are the days of needing to have six groomsmen for six bridesmaids. Matchy match isn’t the key. The bride’s best friend might be named Richard or the groom might choose his sister to stand at his side. Your choice might not be typical but it’s all good.
3. Consider residence of attendants. Keep in mind that if your wedding will not be happening for a while circumstances might change and someone you are close to right now like a college roommate might be living afar by the wedding date. If you share an unbreakable bond that doesn’t need to be a barrier. With smart phones, Skype and FaceTime, anyone can take an active part in wedding planning. It just means an extra city to find shoes in! She might want to be a bridesmaid instead of the maid of honor though so she’ll have fewer responsibilities.
4. Consider relationships of attendants to you. Sometimes it is a given that all siblings will be asked to be in the wedding party and sometimes not. Are extended family and friends being considered? Did you always plan to have your BFF from kindergarden be in your wedding but you haven’t seen them for a few years and they really don’t know you anymore? Who do you feel closest to? Who do you both feel closest to? Who knows you the best for the person you are today? What will be the reaction of those not chosen? You might need to open a bottle of wine for this one.
5. Consider relationships between attendants. Being aware of relationships between the people in your wedding party is smart practice. Knowing that there will be times where all will need to work together (like pre-wedding parties etc.); it is nice to know that those chosen will be able to do so effectively. Read our blog on encouraging bridesmaid bonding.
6. Decide if you are considering having children involved. Little ring bearers and flower girls are real crowd pleasers. Be prepared to be upstaged a little. You can control what they wear but not what they do or say! That’s what makes them fun…maybe. Consider what age they will be at the time of your wedding and if it will be the look and feel you’re after.
7. Consider special talents of attendants you’re considering. Make a list of what you will need and expect from your bridal party. Most maids of honor plan a shower and a staggette. In Canada, it is quite common for the wedding party to host a “Stag ‘N Doe” which is a pre-wedding party with food, dancing and ticketing where the money is collected and donated to the couple for their future together. Hopefully some of your attendants will have great organization skills but even if they don’t the cool thing is that you can let them use your Eventastic website to help plan the events!
8. Are you considering having a pet involved? Always dreamed of having your dog take part in your wedding? Why not? Some people have even included their fish or horse in a unification ceremony!
9. How to deal with conflict. Chances are you will be urged to include a person in your wedding party that you are not close to. It’s your day and it’s your right to take a stand but first ask yourself if making this concession will lead to a more peaceful life in the long run. Be up front about it. “I’m a little worried about how we will get along during this process” and “Do you think we can work together to make this wedding fun?” are questions for discussion.
10. Be fair. Reserve the right to have the Maid or Matron of Honor be your first choice. When it comes right down to it, who do you want standing beside you handing you tissues during the ceremony? (and possibly holding your hair later in the evening? :)) Likewise, Best Man might be best chosen by the groom. Keep an open mind, open heart and be conscious of your fiancee’s feelings.
Choose people that are loving, supportive and reliable. A wedding can go off without a hitch with just a Maid of Honor and a Best Man. That might be the solution if it’s simply impossible to narrow down your list. As a general rule though, a larger wedding can use a larger wedding party to spread the work around… and the fun of course, don’t forget the fun!