You’ve got the venue, the date, and started compiling the guest list. Now, it’s time to make one of those really hard choices. The kind that can affect your entire wedding day, without you even realizing it. It’s the kind of choice you might stress over, have a lot of people give you opinions on, and confuse the heck out of you. It’s time to choose your bridal party.
DUH DUH DUHHHHH.
Just kidding. It can be all of those things, but it doesn’t have to be. For me, it was the easiest decision of my life. I knew that I couldn’t imagine saying “I do” without my best friend by my side. I knew she was all I needed for my wedding day to feel complete. For many people, this isn’t the case. They have sisters, best friends, sorority sisters and family members, all who expect a spot next to the bride on her big day. This is what causes those wedding parties that are so massive, it takes 20 minutes just to get them all down the isle. So how do you avoid this, avoid hurting feelings, but still make sure your wedding party feels whole, and complete?
Start by deciding how big you want your wedding party to be. It should kind of correspond to the size of our wedding. If you are having a small wedding, of 100 people, it seems kind of silly to have 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen. The bigger your wedding, traditionally, the bigger the bridal party. Does this mean you have to follow this rule? Of course not. It’s your big day, you do you, boo boo. Ask yourself these 3 questions to help you decide the size of your wedding party.
- How many people do you absolutely HAVE to have in your bridal party. Do you and your groom have a lot of brothers and sisters and want them all included? Is your mom insisting your brother’s kids need to be a part of the wedding? Is the only way you will say “I Do” if your 5 closest friends are by your side? Make a quick list in your head, so you can get a ball park number.
- What kind of space do you have at your ceremony? If you are getting married in a small space, like I did, chances are, you won’t be able to fit 10 girls and 10 guys next to you. It really helps to consider your space, before you choose your final number.
- Do you want children in your wedding party? Flower girls, ring bearers and junior ‘maids can accidentally get overlooked when doing the head count for your party. Don’t forget to include them if you want children a part of your big day!
Now that you’ve got a number, make your wish list. This sounds SO FUNNY to think of your friends and family as a wish list. But it seriously works! If you could have anyone there next to you for your big day, who would it be? Add their names to the list. See if you and your groom have a similar number. You’ll want to have a pretty even number of guys and girls, if you are planning to have them walk down the aisle together.
Next, look over your wish list, and think about the people on it. Being in a wedding party is a HUGE commitment. It costs not only a lot of time, but a lot of money too. Be sure that the people you are asking are financially able to be a part of your big day. I know, that I would feel horrible knowing I couldn’t afford to be in a wedding and then have to say no to someone I cared about when they asked me. ALWAYS be considerate of the lifestyles of the people you are thinking of asking before you actually ask them. If you aren’t sure about their lifestyle, you can always let them know that they are one of your top choices, but if they can’t make that commitment right now, you completely understand, and will still love them all the same. Also, think about your relationships with these people. Do you still want them in your life in 20 years? Do you have a history or fighting with a certain someone on your list that results in an on again, off again friendship? Choose the people that are always there for you, always have your back, and know how to keep you calm and collected.
Now, decide what duties will need to be filled at your wedding. Best Man, Maid of Honor, Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, Ushers, Flower Girl, Ring Barer, Host and Hostess. You know the drill. There are so many different people that can be a part of your wedding day. Figure out what works best for your wedding, and then start thinking of who you want to fill those positions. For example, I needed a Best Man, Maid of Honor, 2 Ushers, Flower Girl, Ring Bearer and I wanted a few garland girls. (I had a certain number of little cousins and didn’t want to leave any of them out!)
And BOOM. You’ve got your wedding party. I know, you’re probably reading this saying, OMG SAVANNAH IT’S NOT THAT EASY. I’m not going to sugar coat it. When you’re in the middle of trying to decide, it’s not that easy. You will have SO MANY people with opinions in this matter. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “But won’t having just a maid of honor and best man next to you look weird? You should really have more people.” You have it in your head how you want your wedding party to look, don’t let other people change your mind. You won’t be happy in the end if you do.
Once you’ve made your choices… the hard part is over. You can breathe! It’s time for the fun stuff now. How are you going to ask your bridal party to stand next to you on your special day?!
I’m sure you’ve seen SO many ideas on Pinterest and Etsy. I always thought going all out to ask someone to be in your wedding seemed a little silly, until it was time for me to actually ask! For my Maid of Honor, I didn’t do anything special. I had it all planned out, I was going to get her one of those super cute boxes and set it on her porch and ring the door bell, and run away. Well, if you know me at all, you know I get WAY TOO EXCITED about stuff and I ended up blurting out “WILL YOU BE MY MAID OF HONOR?!?!?!?!?!” as soon as we booked our venue. However, she didn’t mind, because she totally knew this is just how I am.
I did make something super cute for all the kids in my wedding though! [A little back story… one Memorial Day weekend bbq, my second cousin asked if when Trev and I got married she could be our flower girl. Little did she know, Trev was proposing later that summer. So of course, I had to ask her to be apart of my wedding. I couldn’t ask her without asking her sister, and my two other little cousins. And if I was asking them, I wanted Trev’s only girl cousin to be a part of it too. One thing lead to another, and we ended up with a flower girl, a ring bearer (Trev’s cousin) and four garland girls.] I’m sure you’ve seen these adorable Balloon Pop Kit Proposals all over the internet. I simply did not have time to order them and wait for them to come in (I was heading back to the city and wanted to be sure I delivered the proposals to the kids) so I decided to make them. And they turned out SO CUTE. It was really, really simple and the kids all loved them.
Choosing your wedding party might be hard, but I promise, it’s totally worth it. On your big day, it’s so important that you are surrounded by those that love and support you both. As long as you choose people that you and your groom love, you will end up with the picture perfect wedding party.