Choosing your bridal party can be one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, but it can also be one of the most stressful. If you choose pink flowers instead of purple, the purple flowers will get over it. However, if you pick one of your best friends to be a bridesmaid, but not the other, it can lead to hurt feelings. The group you choose should represent your closest friends, family members or loved ones who will be there for support, guidance and help plan for the big day. Here are some helpful tips to consider when selecting your bridal party:
Heavily weigh the importance of the people who have been in your life for a long time. It’s probably best not to pick somebody you like to gossip with at the gym or your favorite barista unless you see your relationship evolving into something more meaningful. It’s important to select people who have played an important role in your life leading up to your wedding and that will remain just as important in the future. Who will you choose to be your baby’s godmother or will you invite to celebrate your 50th birthday? Facebook allows you to classify your contacts into groups. Do you consider the person to be a ‘close friend’ or just an ‘acquaintance’? Play it safe and choose from the ‘close friends’ list. Keep in mind that the people you choose will forever remain in the photos from your wedding day. Don’t let yourself open your wedding album in twenty years and ask…”what was her name again?”
Leave out the drama
With women involved in a wedding it’s likely that drama will arise at one point or another. As a bride, the best way to avoid unnecessary drama is to exclude those that create it! You may want to re-think including those who can’t hold their liquor, are on bad terms with their ex-boyfriend (the best man) or refuse to wear the lovely shade of pink you selected for their bridal gowns. The biggest blunder would be to choose somebody who disapproves of the upcoming marriage. The bride and groom’s love for one another is the entire reason the wedding is happening. A saboteur has no place in your bridal party.
All or nothing
If you are a bride with a large family and group of friends, you may be feeling pressured to squeeze everyone into your bridal party. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to ensure that your loved ones can be involved in your wedding day. For example, if you have a large group of friends and cannot have them all in your bridal party, why not find another role for them such as giving a reading or handing out booklets at the ceremony? If anyone is musically inclined you can even invite them to sing during the celebration. Regardless of how you decide to incorporate friends into the planning, remember that ultimately it is your day and you should be able to choose who and how they will be involved. There are plenty of other opportunities to make others feel included in the details of your big day such as holding an engagement party, inviting them to your bachelorette party or even just having a dinner date with a few friends to celebrate your engagement.
Since family is forever (both your own and your new family to be!) it is likely that their presence will be most important to you on your wedding day. When two families are joined, it can often result in a bridal party comprised mainly of brothers and sisters (depending on how large the immediate families are). If you have a large group of siblings, you can either include some or all of them, but avoid singling out one person (this is where feelings get hurt and issues arise). While a bride and groom may make independent decisions about whom they choose for their bridesmaids and groomsmen, if they are including family members in the wedding party, those decisions should be made together.
Since it is common to choose a sibling to be your maid/matron of honor or best man, it should be noted that there’s no rule against having more than one. If you are a bride with two sisters, why not have two maids of honor? Additionally, if you are a bride and have no sisters, rather only a brother or a close male friend, it is perfectly acceptable to make them your “man” of honor. Hey, Patrick Dempsey did it (or at least tried to)! The same works for the groom. Regardless of the situation, gender should not be a deciding factor.
What about kids? As with other members of the bridal party, deciding on whether children should be included in a wedding should be something that the bride and groom discuss together. As a couple you may have nieces and nephews or children of close family friends of age to serve as ring bearers and flower girls. However, do not feel obligated to include kids in your wedding if it does not meet your plans. Children who are an important part of your life can still be invited to celebrate your wedding.