Choosing your wedding party is one of the most exciting parts of getting married—but it can also be one of the most stressful. How do you decide among your closest friends and family who will stand up with you on your big day? It’s a tough call. After all, whomever you choose to be a part of your wedding party will be with you through every step, every tear, every laugh along the way before you take the plunge into the biggest adventure of your lifetime. In other words, you want to choose wisely. Below are some foolproof tips for creating your wedding party.
1. Consider the size of your wedding
Knowing how big or small your wedding is going to be will help determine the size of your wedding party. While the size of your wedding party is of course entirely up to you, traditionally, smaller weddings with fewer than 50 people typically only have no more than four wedding party members. Larger weddings, with a guest list of 150 people or more, tend to have larger wedding parties consisting of eight to 12 members. Ultimately, choosing the number of attendants really depends on your budget and bandwidth. Remember, the more people you have, the more details will have to be worked out.
2. Don’t rush the decision
We know you’re probably super excited to tell your BFF from college that she’s going to be in your wedding party, but there’s beauty in taking a second to breathe and take a moment to consider all of your options with a clear head. Choosing your wedding party takes some logistics as well as some honesty with yourself and your relationships. You want your wedding planning process to be as smooth as can be and your special day to be drama-free. So, if your college BFF has a tendency to bring the drama wherever she goes or you know your sister isn’t the most organized person in the world, then you might want to hold back with giving them the huge responsibility of being in your wedding party. This day is about you. What, and who, makes you feel most at ease? Who can you really rely on?
3. Don’t feel pressured
If your former roommate made you the best man at his wedding or a friend asked you to be in her bridal party, don’t feel obligated to return the favor. Same goes for family. Don’t feel pressured to include any relatives in your wedding party just because they’re family. There is no real code to follow when it comes to selecting your wedding party except for the fact that the decision needs to sit right with you and your fiancé. It’s perfectly OK to keep a small wedding party and invite your former roommate and cousin to the wedding as guests. If they have a problem with you not returning the favor, simply explain that, while it’s a tough decision, you needed to choose those you know best right now.
4. Include friends and family in other meaningful ways
If you’re having a small wedding party or maybe no wedding party at all (hey, it happens!) but you would still like to honor the connection you share with your inner circle, you could give friends or family members who are not in the wedding party a special job to make them feel a part of your special day. Maybe it’s having one of them recite a meaningful passage at your wedding, lighting candles at the ceremony, or showing guests to their seats. Side note: don’t just create a job for the sake of one. If you can’t find a special role for someone, perhaps seating them in a VIP area will help make them feel a part of your big day just as much.
When it comes to choosing your wedding party, it’s important to choose those who help you feel supported and those you can count on. Take a breath before deciding and remember—this day is about you and who you want to surround yourself with.