The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing Your Wedding Party

A group of bridesmaids holding up bouquets.

You just got engaged—congrats! One of the biggest tasks that lies ahead of you involves selecting the A-team that will help get you to the altar. (That’s right: your wedding party!) Your wedding party aren’t just the people who will stand up for you at the wedding or look really fancy in your wedding photos; these are the people who you need to be able to rely on when it comes to getting things done for the big day—which is why selecting your wedding party is pretty important. But there’s no need to get stressed—we’ve got you covered when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of choosing your wedding day front line.

Do Take Your Time

This is an important decision. While it’s normal to feel excited about your impending nuptials (and you’re probably envisioning all the fun details and events you’re about to embark upon) planning a wedding is a big deal. You want to make sure that the people who surround you during this time are responsible, reliable, and genuinely excited for you. So don’t feel pressured to name your wedding party as soon as you get engaged. In fact, waiting a good four to six weeks as you talk it over with your trusted inner circle is best.

Don’t Think You Need Even Numbers

A bride and groom laughing with their bridal party.

Sometimes you have more close friends or family than your spouse-to-be, or vice versa. If you really have to scratch your head to find an extra wedding party member or two to “even things out,” then you’re best to leave things as they are. No one should feel forced to add or subtract their wedding party, especially based on a silly tradition. Remember: this is your day, which means you can have three bridesmaids and five groomsmen in your bridal party. And another thing—your bridesmaids don’t necessarily need to be female, and your groomsmen don’t have to be male, either. This is 2019: women have male friends and family with whom they are close, and men have female friends and family whom they might want to include on their special day. Don’t be afraid to mix it up, and remain true to you.

Do Consider Siblings

While you want to be picky with whom you ask to be part of your wedding party, you also don’t want to make waves with your new family. Think about it: would you like your new brother or sister-in-law to not include you on their special day, especially if the family is small? You by no means need to include your betrothed’s siblings, but you should consider it. At the very least, even if they aren’t part of your wedding party, they will appreciate the gesture of being asked.

Don’t Ask a Friend Just Because You Were Part of Their Wedding

This is your wedding. It’s OK to be selfish at this time. You shouldn’t feel obligated to include anyone for any reason. While the natural people-pleasers might have a problem with this one, you need to be honest with yourself: would this friend be a beneficial addition your special day? Evaluate your friendship and ask yourself if you think this person will be a part of your life, including your married life, for many years to come. If so, then ask them. If not, then skip it.

Do Choose Responsible People

A trio of bridesmaids wearing blue dresses and holding white floral bouquets.

Not to stress you out even further, but wedding party members need to be responsible friends and family who are willing to help out with various tasks to help your day run smoother, provide emotional support, and show up from bridal showers to bachelor or bachelorette parties to the big day. If your BFF is known to be flaky and self-centered, then you might want to reconsider asking them to be a part of your special day. Be smart, not sentimental.

Don’t Make Decisions Without Your Fiancé

A aerial view of a man and woman holding coffee cups and talking about who their bridal party is going to be.

Your wedding is an occasion special to both of you. While one partner might be more involved with the actual planning of the wedding, it’s important to include each other on details and decisions, especially something as major as your wedding party. Take the time to go over your suggestions and ideas for your wedding party with your sweetheart. They might have insight into some of your friends and family that you missed. Plus, you want your wedding party to all get along with one another, so discussing potential members will help you see the bigger picture of who mixes with everyone, and who doesn’t.

There’s no doubt about it: selecting a wedding party can be tricky. Is there a chance of you might insult a friend or family member? Yes. But remember that this is your big day, and you want to ensure that the people you surround yourself with are the best of the best—because you deserve nothing less!

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