For many couples, envisioning their big day includes thinking about who will be standing next to them. Selecting a wedding party at first may seem like obvious choices, but actually finalizing this line up can be a complicated process.
Here are seven tips for thinking through assembling your wedding party.
- Think before you speak – I know of a sweet bride who had told a close friend that the friend would definitely be her maid of honor before her boyfriend even proposed. Once the engagement happened, the friend fully anticipated being asked to be the MOH. When she wasn’t, and a different friend was asked, the friend was hurt, angry, and still hasn’t processed it. Before you start talking to friends about who will be asked to do what, be sure you and your partner have thought it through and made a real decision.
- Double check your budget and your vision – more wedding party members means an increase in your budget. At the minimum, you’ll need to cover bouquets. You should also get each attendant a gift – a topic we’ll discuss later – that’s traditionally presented at the rehearsal dinner. You should be sure that your budget is ready for this. You should also think over your vision for your day. If you’re planning a small, intimate wedding of 50 guests, a wedding party with 12 bridesmaids may be extreme.
- Recognize the ask – the bridesmaid proposal has become so common place these days that, at times, what you’re actually asking of your friends is pushed to the side. You’re asking them for their unconditional support, patience, energy, time, and money. It’s also important to realize that an ask is an ask, and the answer may end up being no (although obvs your BFF will be so excited!).
- Just because you were in theirs, they don’t have to be in yours – another bride I know added two or three maids to her party because she had been in their weddings. They had grown apart, were on different pages, and it ended up with one of the maids backing out and not attending the wedding. Be conscious about why you’re asking someone to be part of your day – and be sure that it’s not just returning “the favor.”
- Consider a balance – you may want to have an equal number of attendance for you and for your significant other. With that said, many couples don’t balance perfectly – in any area, but in this sense, I mean with the number in the wedding party. It probably wouldn’t work well to have ten bridesmaids and one groomsman, but in this day and age, the possibilities are endless.
- It’s okay to consider skills – bridesmaids actually have a long to do list for many weddings. Unless a family member is totally in control, bridesmaids may be tasked with planning an engagement party, a bridal shower, and a bachelorette. That’s a lot of coordinating. It will probably make your experience more stressful if you stack your bridal party with your boozy besties who are always late and normally hungover. Do you have a cousin who you’re close with and is great at DIY stuff? Might be worth swapping out your college roommate you’ve drifted apart from.
- Enjoy the selection process – although it can certainly be stressful, you’re getting married! And you’ll have your closest family and friends by your side. Picking your wedding party is a sweet time to reflect on who has been by your side and who you can’t imagine your day without. And if you get stressed, remember to pause for prosecco!