The dilemma of choosing your wedding party can be a delicate situation. Selecting a few people, out of the many you know, to play an active and participatory role in your wedding. You don’t want to upset anyone or choose your groomsmen or bridesmaids out of guilt, so tact and diplomacy are very important.
Who you choose for your wedding party will depend on a few things, including your budget – how many people can you afford to be in your wedding? Whether this is a first or second marriage will also be a factor, as second marriages tend to be done on a smaller scale and with the closest of friends.
Write down a complete list of people who come to mind when you are considering who to ask to be in your wedding party. Choosing your best man may not be as easy as you think, especially if you’ve ever filled the role of best man for a friend. You may feel obligated to ask that friend in return, but you may have a different friend, sibling, or relative in mind that you’d like to ask instead.
If there is someone who may feel hurt if they’re not asked, have a conversation with him before asking your intended best man. Explain why you are choosing to ask someone else and give them a chance to let the news settle instead of hearing it from someone else.
Key Points to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Party
Choose Who You Want, Not Who You Think You Should
When choosing your wedding party, choose those who are closest to you at present. For example, don’t feel obliged to ask your friends and family to do the job just because you were a bridesmaid at their wedding.
Think practically about the job in hand. You need a wedding party who you can depend on and who can logistically and practically help out. Geography is a factor. You will need support, time and face to face help with dress fittings, seating plan conundrums, DIY favour making and more.
Best Man or Men?
It can sometimes make sense to have two or three best men and break down the duties to the most appropriate man for the job. Have one book the stag do and deliver the best man speech, and the other for the more ceremonial duties such as keeping the wedding rings and standing with you during the ceremony.
A Helping Hand
You will need help on the day. Some brides feel they are too old for bridesmaids or don’t want to insist their wedding party dress in matching outfits. It’s certainly not essential to have bridesmaids, but it is very important to have at least one close friend help you get ready on the morning of the wedding.
Make Sure Everyone Knows Each Other and Their Roles
Try to ensure that your wedding party have all met beforehand, if possible, so they have a chance to bond. Also, provide them with a short, written itinerary and explanation of their duties in detail. A lot of younger wedding party members have absolutely no clue about what the traditional responsibilities are, so don’t assume.
Shopping – Less is More
When shopping for your bridesmaid dresses, don’t bring too many people to the first appointment. I’d recommend just one or two for your first shopping experience. Then, once you have slimmed down the choices, you can call in the others.
Remember Your Budget
Consider your wedding budget before choosing your wedding party. The more bridesmaids you have the more it will cost you when you factor in their outfits, hair and make-up, thank you gifts and, perhaps, accommodation.
Don’t Have Too Many Wedding Party Members
Think about your wedding size; if you only have 60 guests it can be somewhat ‘overkill’ to have eight bridesmaids. As a rule of thumb, a wedding party of about four ushers and four bridesmaids works beautifully for a wedding of around 100 guests.
Pageboys and Flower Girls
Pageboys and flower girls are very cute, and it’s a wonderful way of including the little ones of close family or friends. My top advice is, if you can, involve the child/children’s mother in any clothing choices. Also keep it simple and don’t feel the need to overspend in this area.
Image from Tom Biddle Design and Photography