Choosing your wedding party:
How to choose your wedding party
When it comes down to it, the wedding day should be a joint reflection of you and your groom.It is a celebration of two lives joining together. This celebration looks different across the globe varying from culture to culture and that is okay. Some weddings are more traditional, others more casual, and still others very artistic.
When it comes down to choosing who and how many to include in your wedding party, it may be helpful to review some of the advice listed below.
Those who stand by your side on your wedding day as attendants are representing your close relationship with them and their support of your marital decision. It is not uncommon for a minister to address the wedding party charging them to help the bride and groom succeed in their marriage. This may have you thinking twice about some of the attendants you were originally thinking of asking. Some questions to ask yourself,
v Ten years down the road, will they still play a significant role in my life?
v Do they support my marital decision?
v Do they support me?
v Will they be a help or a hindrance in my wedding planning?
Weddings can bring about some powerful strong opinions and emotions in people- especially family members. Be very careful when choosing an attendant that you do not choose them out of guilt or familial pressure. Remember it is more important that you look at the shinning happy smiles of your wedding party knowing that they believe in you and feeling satisfied with your decision than years later looking at old pictures with regret.
The maid of honor or best man can at times make or break the wedding feel of the day. If they are truly your “bestest” friend, they will be more than supportive and do their best to not disappoint while giving you helpful, truthful advice.
Number of attendants
The number of bridesmaids and groomsmen at your wedding is largely a personal decision and depends on whom you want to stand by your side on one of the biggest days of your life.
Some things to keep in mind for larger wedding parties (more than 12 attendants):
more expensive and less personal. Some sanguine people enjoy having all their close buddies and cousins around them to celebrate their big day but they might not stop to think about the impact having ten bridesmaids/groomsmen might have on their wedding day.
Here are some tips:
v Match your number to your wedding style
- If you are going traditional you want everything to say traditional- try to not veer from your chosen style
- If you are going for something unique try some tips below for mixing up the bridal crowd
v Keep in mind location
- How large is the place you are getting married? About.com suggests that larger wedding parties will do well for a large cathedral but not for anything smaller
v Keep in mind cost
- There will be gifts, food, possible lodging and travel expenses that may need to be covered.
v Keep in mind more time
- Specifically for the girls, getting a handful of women to get ready for a wedding may take anywhere between three to five hours. Getting more than that to get ready will take anywhere between five to eight hours!
v Keep in mind the day of the wedding
- There is definitely a party feel to having so many people surrounding you on your big day but there are other ways to maintain this atmosphere without having them all be attendants. The day of your wedding will be busy regardless of how smoothly it is planned and you may want to cut down on less mishaps (a groom forgot to bring his tux and the maid of honor just left to buy new panty hose while the photographer showed up to photograph the bridal party!) by choosing a smaller party. Remember that the smaller the size, the more intimate it will be and it will cut down on some of the stress.
Ideas for improvising:
v Consider inviting all the friends you would have wanted in your party to the bachelorette party
v Plan something special with the people you had to exclude- such as a special breakfast the morning before the ceremony or the day before if time does not permit.
v Ask some of these friends to do something other than be an attendant such as,
- Guest book attendant
- Be creative- I had two guest book attendants. I asked one of my friends who I knew enjoyed taking pictures to take photos of guests as they signed the guest book. I enjoy writing (can you tell?) so I have been asked to journal a bride’s wedding day. There is no limit to creative suggestions to make a friend feel important and very much a part of your day.
- Make it a point- and make it clear to your Photographer -that you plan on having a group shot of you and your friends. This can be taken either before the ceremony or during the reception. This picture could be a nice gift framed and will speak volumes as to how important they are in your life.
Some tips for mixing up the bridal party:
The traditional wedding party goes something like this,
The groomsmen walk out with groom in lead to stand at the front of the church. The bridesmaids, one by one, carefully walk the length of the aisle to stand off to the side directly besides the bride.
*If you are not going for traditional, try some of these ideas!
Some brides regret having their girls behind them because they cannot see their friend’s faces during the ceremony. If you are one of these, consider switching sides! Have the bridesmaids stand behind the groomsmen and the groomsmen stand behind you. You will have to work out who will adjust your train (if necessary) and sometimes the photographer is more than willing to do this!
Some couples have groomsmen escorting the bridesmaid down the aisle and pairing off to their predestined sides.
Others escourt down the aisle (or come in from the sides of the sanctuary) and stand in their coupled pairs on either side of bride and groom.
Some are staggered on the stage and in more casual weddings even have large stools to sit on. *This will especially help with uneven numbers in the wedding party.
*Be as creative as you feel like- remember, its your day and the more unique it is, the more it will stand out in your guest’s minds.