Fiancée? Check. Engagement ring? Check. Wedding date? Check. Bridal party? Uh…
Choosing a bridal party can be an unexpected challenge once a couple gets engaged. For some, they have known for a while who will be standing by their side during their wedding day. However there are others- like my husband and I – who are very indecisive. We knew for sure who we wanted to be the maid of honor and best man, and we knew we wanted our siblings involved. At first, we decided to leave it at that! Five people total, sounded nice enough. But in the end, we had…(*takes in a huge breath*)… seven bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, a flower girl, a ring bearer, 2 ‘ring security’, 2 guest book attendants, and one singer. Whew! In the end we are so happy with everyone we included and would not change a thing. Here are some things to consider while choosing a party.
- Don’t be afraid to have a large party. Even though we initially wanted a small party, Ryan and I don’t regret having a bigger one. We started to consider adding more people once we began to look for a photographer. There were so many pictures of big groups laughing, smiling, enjoying the day with all their friends. That’s when we decided to not leave ANYONE out. Even though there were family members who questioned our decision (‘How are you going to fit that many at the front of the church!’ … ‘The procession will last an eternity!’), I am glad we stuck to our gut. We got to enjoy the day with all of our closest friends.
- Consider the personalities you are inviting. If you are thinking about including people that may make your wedding process a little more difficult, think about whether they NEED to be in your wedding. Wedding planning is hard, and the wedding day can be very stressful. Adding personalities that are selfish, dramatic, or bridesmaidzilla-esque may only bring you sorrows. If it’s not a close friend or a family member, maybe just make them the guest book attendant or an usher. If you chose to include them, try having a conversation early on about your expectations so they can be set up for success, rather than causing problems along the way.
- Think about your expenses. It is important to keep your budget in mind while picking the number of people to involve. Remember that is it customary to buy gifts for the bridal party. If you are dead set on getting a nice gift for each member, think about how much gifts will cost. Also if you NEED to have everyone to ride together, a party bus vs. a stretch limo can be a big difference in money. You may need to expand your budget or make cuts in certain areas to accomate the bridal party.
- Think about THEIR expenses! The truth is, it’s expensive to be in a wedding. There are tuxes, dresses, shoes, accessories, money for gifts, bachelor party, bachelorette party… It can all add up quickly. If you want someone to be in your wedding, but you know they are tight on money, it’s important to realize that they may not be able to participate. Be sure you aren’t putting them in a tough spot, and understand their situation before guilting them into anything outside of their financial means.
- Location, location, location. While there are friends you always pictured being in your wedding, real life can happen and put distance in the way. It’s also difficult (but still possible) to have a long distance friend be a part of your wedding. It is also much more expensive for them, because there may be a lot more traveling involved. They also may miss a lot of pre wedding events due to the distance. While it’s entirely possible for a long distance friend to be in your wedding, keep in mind the extra struggles that may occur along the way.
Remember, if someone truly cares about you, they won’t complain about what job you did or didn’t give them for your wedding day. It’s YOUR DAY, so be kind but stick to your guns. And if someone complains about not being included, but they didn’t ever ask you to have a part in THEIR wedding…walk away. The less negativity during the wedding process, the better. You do you!