On your wedding day, your bridal party should be your biggest cheerleaders, supporters, and problem solvers. But how do you choose the ideal gang?
For some, deciding who to include in their bridal party is a piece of cake. Because it's been set up since junior school! There's that first best friend, the sister, the university flatmate from heaven, and that sweet guy from some summer job. It's a dream group. And there's no way anyone else will be added to the squad. Others, however, face a more difficult selection process.
Choosing who to include and exclude from a bridal party can be a stressful and a daunting task. Because no one wants their feelings hurt, and as the marrying couple, you want to have the best wedding day experience possible. Meaning, no drama, please!
So, how do you strike a balance?
How to Choose Your Bridal Party
So, how do you strike a balance between responsibility, budget, and the emotions of your loved ones? Today, we'll look at how, as well as why having the perfect bridal party is so important.
A bridal party typically consists of 3-5 people. And the size of that group is often determined by the size of the wedding. For example, if you're throwing a party for 50 to 60 people and have more than 5 people in your bridal party, it'll feel off. Especially if your partner has an equal amount on their side, as your wedding party will end up accounting for one-fifth of all guests! On the other hand, if you're having a larger wedding with 150+ guests, you can have as large a bridal party as you want!
The only caveat is that size isn't always better. It may seem to be rather cool to have ten bridesmaids and ten groomsmen, for example. But imagine trying to organise all of those guys! Not to mention the cost of purchasing all of their outfits and gifts. Also, are all ten of those people your favourite people on the planet? Most likely not. If you have a smaller bridal party, you will only have the best of the best in your squad.
Family Comes First
When it comes to selecting the members of your bridal party, a good place to start is with family. Those close relatives who know you better than anyone else and will always have your back. It could be a sister, cousin, or even a brother. We'll get into it later, but having your bro' as a 'bridesman' is such a sweet gesture if you're a bride. This is also true for our grooms who are close to their sisters and want a groomslady on their wedding day. Family should always come first, regardless of gender.
In a crisis, who do you call besides your partner? When you're feeling emotional, who always knows what to say? Who is always on time? After asking yourself those questions, you should have at least one person in mind. And, ideally, you can choose three or four people in your life who you know will always be there for you when things get tough.
The bridal party members you select may not need to directly assist you in planning your wedding. They will, however, be involved in the process and will play a significant role in your wedding day.
Do You All Get Along?
It would be unfair to expect the guys you choose for your bridal party to be best friends. Because that is not always the case. They do, however, need to get along. The last thing you want to think about as you walk down the aisle is why Susan is staring at Caroline with that mean face… Or if Robert is going to tell Lisa how he feels about her after one too many champagne toasts! No, you need a wedding party that is friendly, reliable, and free of anyone who could cause offence.
Will You Be My Bridesman?
Not every girl has only female friends. And not every man has only male friends. It's natural, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be reflected in the people you have in your wedding entourage. Particularly if you believe your male friends check a lot more of the above boxes than your female friends. Why wouldn't you go with them? A mixture of bridesmen and bridesmaids could result in a very harmonious group dynamic.
Ditching gender-specific rules can also open up many other possibilities for your big day and the journey leading up to it. For example, perhaps a 'typical' bridal shower isn't really your thing, and you'd prefer something a little less pink and a lot more inclusive.
Returning the Favour
There should be no tit-for-tat when it comes to selecting a bridal party. Sarah doesn't get an automatic invite to your squad just because you were one of her bridesmaids last year. They should also not expect it. If someone complains about not being included, be honest with them. Explain that you want the people you are most emotionally connected to right now to be by your side on your wedding day. And that they are not the only ones who have been omitted.
Feelings are difficult to manage, and they are frequently the reason someone chooses 10 or more bridesmaids, for example. Because they think it's better not to leave anyone out and risk upsetting anyone. That is fine, and understandable. But keep in mind that this is your big day. So go ahead and do things and make decisions that make you happy. Otherwise, you'll look back 1, 2, 10 years later and regret your spur-of-the-moment decisions.