When you get married you know you want to surround yourself with those who mean the most to you. But there is more to choosing your wedding party than giving your friends a title and moving on. There are several things to consider when deciding who will be in your party.
Before selecting your party, think about what role you want your bridesmaids and groomsmen to play. Will they help you stuff and address invitations, shop for attire with you and attend all pre-wedding parties? Or are you OK with them simply showing up on the day of the wedding?
Also remember that once you ask, you can’t go back. We recommend giving yourself about a month to think about your wedding party choices before you ask someone to be your bridesmaid or groomsman.
We’ve put together tips for choosing your wedding party to make sure you are surrounded by people who will support you on your big day.
Ask Siblings First
Asking your sister, brother, or even future sibling in-laws to be in your wedding party is a great place to start. These are people who have been with you most of or all of your life and will continue to be part of your life in the future. Feel free to not stick to traditional roles. A bride can make her brother a brides man or a groom can make his sister a grooms lady.
Focus on Reliability and Personalities
While they may not have a hand in helping you plan your wedding, there will be times when you need to rely on members of your wedding party. If you have a friend who isn’t the best at calling you back or is famously late to every event, they might not be the best choice. Look toward friends who you know will answer emails, show up when you need them, and are always prepared. Also, think about how your wedding party will get along. While not everyone will be best friends, be mindful if there is one person who has a strong or abrasive personality that might rub others the wrong way. Think about any potential drama before selecting your wedding party.
Be Mindful of Budget and Schedule
Being a bridesmaid or groomsman can be expensive. With flights, attire, gifts, and parties, the cost can add up quickly. On average a wedding attendant spends about $1,200. If you know your friend is in a tough spot financially, call them to talk it over before officially asking.
Also, keep in mind your friends’ schedules and their ability to commit to events and tasks. It may be unrealistic to expect a busy friend who lives two states away to be with you for every pre-wedding event and dress fitting.
If you have a friend you really want to include, but it’s just not feasible for them, consider finding other ways they can be involved. They could do a reading at the ceremony, toast at the rehearsal dinner, or hand out programs.
Consider Your Wedding Size
On average, a wedding party consists of five attendants on each side. For a micro wedding of 50 to 60 guests, you can get away with four or fewer. If your wedding guest size is closer to the average of 150, you could go for as many as 12 attendants. But just remember, sometimes more isn’t merrier. More people in your wedding party also means more to juggle and organize, especially when it comes to attire and pre-wedding parties. If you’re worried about hurt feelings when it comes to deciding who you will ask consider keeping your wedding party small, no matter your guest count. You may opt to only ask a sibling and childhood friend in lieu of selecting from a larger group of friends. Or, if you want to include everyone you can do that as well.