You just got engaged and you’re ready to get planning! You’ve picked a date (praise!) and now you get to pick your wedding party! In theory, this should be a breeze — but the further you fall into the wedding party rabbit hole, the more clueless you feel!
How many attendants should I have? Kaitlyn chose me as a bridesmaid in college, but even though we haven’t spoken in 7 years, I need to repay the favor, right? My best friend is super fun, but she is a definite (but lovable) hot mess. Would she be able to actually HELP me or would it become more stressful to help HER navigate being a bridesmaid? The groom’s best friend is a female, which side would she stand on?
Navigating the quid pro quos of wedding party planning and avoiding family drama can definitely put some stress on you as you attempt to plan something that should be fun. Here are 6 tips to help you choose the best wedding party EVER so you can have the BEST DAY EVER.
Take Your Time
While it is SUPER tempting to call your besties before the ring is even set on your finger and ask them all to be included in your big day, take a minute to think about each person you would consider to be part of your wedding party. Reeeeeeally consider your relationships with those you feel may be a good fit for your wedding party. Will you still be close with them 5-10 years from now? Are they someone you see not only holding the flabongo for you on your wedding day, but cheering on your marriage for years to come? You want someone there who will be there for you in good times and bad, someone you can count on to root for your marriage, not just your party.
Tell Emily Post To Kick Rocks
Okay, not really, but avoid choosing anyone to stand up for you based on who you feel you are obligated to choose. Siblings aside (family drama is probs better off avoided in most cases), choosing that old sorority sister or college drinking buddy just because they had you in their wedding party in the past doesn’t mean you need to return the favor.
It really is a good idea to include your siblings. They are the only people that have known you your entire life and will be there for you after the wedding day and throughout your marriage — and chances are, you’ll only get closer as time goes on.
Consider Your Guest List
While not a hard and fast rule (See tip #4. Spoiler alert: there are no rules!), it is generally accepted that the more guests you invite, the bigger your wedding party can be. A small elopement should include 0-1 attendants per side, an intimate ceremony of 30-90 guests should accommodate 0-5 attendants per side, and a large wedding can accommodate however many attendants you’d like. Keep in mind, however, that you have some costs associated with each attendant, so sticking to a budget may limit the number of wedding party peeps as well. On top of wedding attendant gifts, you’ll need to think about their schedules as you plan your bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties, etc.. As you add more people to the group, the more personalities and schedules you’ll need to work with and around.
No Kiddos Required
Don’t feel like your wedding party will be lacking if you don’t have a flower girl or a ring bearer. While they’re super cute and great to include, it definitely isn’t a must if you don’t have little ones you would like to have as part of your party. Also, don’t feel like you can’t add little attendants if you’re having an adults-only reception. You can have a room with a sitter set up ahead of time for the flower girl/ring bearer and leave the party to the grown ups.
Save The Drama Fo Yo Mama
Sometimes, avoiding simple drama will help you narrow it down or build it up. To put it simply, sometimes it’s easier to have a small wedding party of just siblings or best friends to avoid having to explain why one friend or one sibling was left out. On the opposite end, it might also just be less dramatic to add one more so you keep hurt feelings to a minimum.
And speaking of drama, witholding a bridesmaid position from your sister who got you a crappy gift last Christmas? In the words of Elsa, let it goooooo. Keeping those most important to you regardless of petty drama will be more important than standing your ground on something silly 15 years after your big day.
You Do You Boo
Do the groom and his sister have an unbreakable bond? Would she rather stand on the “guys” side? GO FOR IT. Mix it up, make it your own. Although there are a ton of things to consider when choosing your wedding party, don’t forget to do what is right for you and your wedding day! It’s YOUR day. Do what feels right for you and you’re sure to make the right decision. Don’t get so caught up in the rules and tips that you forget to simply go with your gut and your heart — chances are it won’t steer you in the wrong direction.
Put It All Together Now
Now that you’ve got the tips and tricks to building the best wedding party ever, get to it! While not a perfect science nor a perfect formula (let’s be honest, science, math, and I don’t hang together much), these 6 tips will definitely help to navigate some of the more sensitive parts of wedding planning. My suggestion? Pop a bottle of champagne and give it some time. Enjoy your engagement, take it all in, and let your wedding party come together as your other plans do!