Congratulations! You just got engaged! Take some time to celebrate this momentous occasion and think about the beginning of your exciting new journey.
After taking that moment to reflect and celebrate, it’s time to start planning the wedding. Wedding planning can seem overwhelming, as there are excruciating numbers of details that must be addressed.
After finding the perfect wedding ring, one of the most important parts is selecting the wedding party. Picking the most important people in your life to celebrate the most important day of your life can seem daunting, and you certainly don’t want to leave anybody excluded.
This could create some drama and tension down the road. Fortunately, picking a wedding party does not have to be stressful. Read below to learn more!
Members of a Wedding Party
Wedding parties have many different members that each serve an important function to make your special day go swimmingly. The best man and maid of honor are the “right hand” people of the groom and bride, and there are also groomsmen and maids of honor.
Other roles include ushers, the ring bearer, the flower girl, and readers. The parents of the bride and groom will also likely be involved in a large capacity.
Picking the Best Man and Maid of Honor
Most wedding parties consist of friends and family members, so you likely have a lot of choices to make when it comes to delegating roles and titles. The best man needs to be a lifelong friend or relative (usually a sibling) of the groom.
It should be someone you have experienced life’s trials and tribulations with, who has been there throughout the highs and lows. They also need to be trustworthy and dependable, as they have very important responsibilities to perform before, during, and after the wedding.
The same should be said about the maid of honor. They do not have to be the same gender as the bride, as this has become socially acceptable and more widely practiced.
When picking the best man and maid of honor, consult with your significant other as well. They may be able to offer suggestions if you are struggling with the decision—and it is their wedding too, after all.
Picking the Groomsmen and Bridesmaids
Next, it is time to select the groomsmen and bridesmaids. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are usually lifelong friends, colleagues, or relatives of the bride and groom.
One of the most stressful parts of wedding planning is “thinning the herd” of potential bridesmaids and groomsmen. There will be some easy selections, but there have likely been a lot of influential people who deserve the nod.
The reality is that some people will not make the cut, and it is up to you to decide who gets the honor. This is not an easy decision, and it often helps to consult your significant other, best man/maid of honor, or parents. The opinions of others may help simplify the decision-making process.
Similar to the best man and maid of honor, they must be reliable, dependable, and trustworthy. They must be ready for anything and provide moral support throughout the entire wedding process.
If siblings are not the best man or maid of honor and are of appropriate age, they should be included as groomsmen or bridesmaids. There is no specific age where one can or cannot be in a wedding party, so it is entirely up to your discretion.
You must also consider financial implications when picking groomsmen and bridesmaids. The expenses of being in a wedding add up quickly. For example, the tuxedo or dress rental is costly.
They must also be able to afford any gifts, travel, and lodging accommodations for the bachelor/bachelorette party and the wedding itself.
For those who did not make the cut or cannot afford to be bridesmaids or groomsmen, there are still ways to have them in the wedding. Ushers and readers are always needed during the ceremony, and this will make them feel included without hurting anybody’s feelings.
When picking your wedding party, you must also consider the size of your wedding. Smaller weddings typically have smaller wedding parties, and vice versa. It is crucial to have an adequate ratio, as this makes the wedding feel balanced.
Weddings of 200 people often have six to ten bridesmaids and groomsmen, but this is not a concrete guideline. Many also stress about having an equal number of groomsmen and bridesmaids so nobody is left walking down the aisle or dancing alone.
However, this is also not set in stone, as more and more people are opting for uneven wedding parties. Imbalanced wedding parties do not impact the ceremony itself, and many of the immediate concerns are easily addressed.
For example, many are concerned that the pictures will look uneven and awkward. However, the professional photographer will arrange everybody properly and it will look great!
Don’t Feel Pressured to Reciprocate
It’s an important honor to be included in a wedding party, as it shows that you have a lifelong connection to those getting married. Many feel the need to reciprocate wedding party invitations, but this is not necessary.
Someone asking you to be in their wedding party does not give them an automatic spot in yours. While this may create tension and bruised egos, it is ultimately your wedding and you can include the people you want in your party.
Do You Want Children in Your Wedding Party?
Many are faced with the difficult choice of including children in their wedding party. While this is by no means required, it is a great way to involve the children of those friends or family in attendance or the wedding party itself. Many have younger participants as the ring bearer and flower girls, and some parties also have junior bridesmaids and groomsmen in their wedding.
Your favorite niece or nephew would love the inclusion, and the adorable image of them walking down the aisle and presenting you with those sparkling wedding rings is sure to “awww” the crowd.
At the end of the day, there are no concrete rules for selecting your wedding party. You can consult with others, but each decision ultimately comes down to you and your significant other. With this helpful guide, picking your wedding party becomes a stress-free process!