The Indecisive Bride’s Guide to Selecting your Bridal Party
Choosing your wedding party is kind of a big deal. This weighty decision is a declaration to your community, stating “These are my people. My tribe, my squad, my support and my Number Ones.” And with that hefty weight comes my favourite emotion – indecision! For most of you, there are a lot of outstanding “candidates” in your lives. How can you possibly choose just a handful?
Before you do anything, ask yourself these two diagnostic questions about each candidate:
“Will he or she be in my life in the next ten years?”
“Does this person support our marriage?”
If they don’t pass these two preliminary questions, count them out. Then, consider the following:
Do it for the right reasons
Be thoughtful about your wedding day, and ruminate about your relationship to each candidate. Ask yourself – is this just a circumstantial, potentially short-term relationship? Are they taking the place of a family member? Are you choosing this person for superficial reasons, or because you truly cherish them? Will this person enjoy the experience? Take a moment and be completely honest with yourself.
Be clear about your expectations
Some wedding parties involve substantial commitment and expense. Be honest about the responsibilities, and give participants time to think about it, as well as the option to decline graciously. Don’t assume it’s everyone’s dream to take part in bridal showers, extravagant bachelorette parties and dress shopping bonanzas.
Can I eliminate someone from my list after asking them?
Yes. But see #1 and #2! Giving a bridesmaid or groomsman “the boot” happens more than you’d think. Weddings can unfortunately be a catalyst for drama and fall-outs. The key is being candid about your expectations and asking the right people for the right reasons.
At the risk of sounding like your mother, consider your siblings. They are with you forever and as the saying goes, blood is thicker than water. Ditto that for your partner’s siblings – as time marches on, you’ll become closer, and like it or not, you’ll be with them for every holiday, birthday and anniversary!
Choose a reasonable number for your roster
When the lineup at the altar resembles a small sports team more than a bridal party, things feel a little muddled and messy. Further, there are endless details to work out with that many participants – tuxes and dresses, gifts, scheduling, etc. While there is no rule stating you can’t have a twenty person bridal party, the average number is eight (four on each side). Consider the size of your wedding. If you’re having a small, intimate celebration, we suggest a smaller bridal party. For weddings with 150+ guests, feel free to expand the squad!
Relish the experience
Feeling the love and strength of your crew is extraordinary. You’ll notice how each participant naturally finds their role throughout the process. Maybe they’re the rowdy one, the responsible one, the flake or the planner – either way, they’re there for you. Have a blast. Keep things simple and soak up this rare and focused time with your best people.