Your wedding party is an extremely important element of your big day. Having those closest to you to help you celebrate, get ready, and all together encourage you is vital. But how do you decide the size of your bridal party? Should you keep it small? Have all your friends involved? Include all your siblings and your fiancé’s siblings? There are a series of points to take into consideration when it comes to deciding on your bridal party size.
Let’s take a look at eight do’s and don’ts of selecting your bridal party:
DO think about yourself first.
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but it can’t replace your actual best friends. It’s your big day and it’s important that you are surrounded by people who make you feel relaxed, comfortable, and special. Everyone is going to have a suggestion or three when it comes to the details of your wedding planning. You’re going to hear a lot of strong opinions that could easily stress you out. Therefore, having a posse that will back you up is not only comforting but vital for your sanity. Think about who you truly want to be up there with you from the beginning all the way to when you say ‘I do’.
DON’T worry about equalizing both parties
Not everyone has the same amount of friends, and needing both sides of the bridal party to be equal is an unnecessary stressor. When this does become a priority, one side tends to end up searching for someone to fill the spot. It’s much easier to simply have both sides ask their closest friends and allow the photographer to come up with some cool creative ideas when there is an unequal number. And don’t feel obligated to only ask women or only ask men. If someone is close to you, they should be able to be in your party. Down the road, you want to be able to look back at pictures and have a special connection with each person involved.
DO think about the long-term
The people you want up there with you are the friends who are going to stick with you through life. Don’t overthink it because someone had you as one of their bridesmaids, so you feel obligated to return the favor. It’s one of the few occasions that it’s especially okay to be selfish in making your decision. Make sure that your bridal party consists of people who have been there for you and will continue to be, through thick and thin.
DON’T feel required to include all your family
Having siblings in your wedding party can be extremely fun, but it can also feel like an obligation. If you want to include a few sisters or brothers but not the whole group (or say, your second cousin who is expecting an invitation for some reason), it can get a bit tricky. Make sure you sit down with everyone who you aren’t inviting and kindly explain the reason for the selection. Most people will totally understand as long as you make sure to take the time and talk to them about it. And even with the brothers or sisters you do choose to include, don’t feel obligated to make one of them your maid-of-honor.
DO take the size of your wedding party into account
If you’re having a small and intimate wedding, having a large bridal party can be a bit awkward. Balancing the size of your wedding with your bridal party can be a great way of deciding how many bridesmaids you’ll be wanting. If you are having a huge wedding party, you have leeway in deciding how big or small you want your bridal party to be.
DON’T be offended when people decline
People have their own lives to live and sometimes that will get in their way. Even those who truly do want to be a part of your wedding party may not be able to do so. Don’t take it personally if they have to decline. It doesn’t reflect how much they care about you. If they are unable to be an official part of the wedding, you can find ways to incorporate them into the big day without requiring their presence for multiple events leading up to it.
DO talk to your finance, and make this decision together
Most wedding details tend to be decided by the one half of the happy couple, and that tends to be just fine for everyone involved. But it’s a special day for the both of you, and making a decision on something like the size of your bridal party needs to be a two-person effort. It’s important that both you and your fiancé are happy with the plan. Don’t assume you know what they’ll say or what they want. Make sure to have an honest conversation about it so you avoid any and all miscommunication that could happen.
DON’T ask before your date is set
This is an important decision and it’s a good idea to take your time. This is key because if you have excited friends who give you a resounding yes, and then they receive the date, only to have a conflict, that could create some tension. If you’re engaged for a couple of years, it’s okay to wait to ask your friends until you have some of the bigger pieces, such as the date and location, set. This will also be beneficial in case there are any changes that occur to your inner circle of friends. It’s always easier to promote someone to bridesmaid than to demote them!
When it comes to your wedding, these tips should help you figure out how to make your bridal party selection. Don’t let it stress you out too much. Make a decision based on what you truly want and what will make you extremely happy. At the end of the day, it’s not the size of the diamond on your hand that will bring you joy, it’s being surrounded by people you love, and who love you.