Choosing who will stand up with you on one of the most important days of your life could seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry—we’re here to walk you through all the steps. Take a deep breath, hold, and exhale slowly. We promise it's not as tough of a decision as it seems.
Think Before You Ask:
Once you've asked someone to be in your wedding party, you can't go back. So while it may be tempting to ask all of your favorite friends to be in your wedding party the minute you get engaged, you might want to hold off. Take a little bit of time. Give yourself about a month, if possible, to think over your options. Then ask yourself this question: Will I be just as close to this person in ten years as I am now?
Set Honest Expectations:
What sort of a role do you want your wedding party to play? Is it important to you that they help you address wedding invites, shop for your day-of attire with you, and attend all of the pre-wedding parties? Or will it be enough for them to wear what you choose and show up on your wedding day? If you want a very involved wedding party, it may not be the greatest idea to ask friends or family who live far away, or have extremely hectic schedules. You may be setting yourself up for some disappointment.
Hot Tip: For friends who can't commit for whatever reason (they live out of town or are busy at work), let them in on just a few wedding prep activities, like an invitation stuffing party complete with wine and your favorite takeout!
Include Your Brothers And Sisters:
Not to sound like your mom, but think about it: Even if you're not particularly close to his sister or her brother, siblings are going to be around well past your 10-year anniversary, and chances are you'll become closer over the years. If you come from a big family and you can't possibly include everyone, draw the line at teenagers. Instead, make them a part of the ceremony by asking them to pass out programs or seat guests.
Consider The Size Of Your Wedding:
You can have as many (or few) bridesmaids and groomsmen as you like. The average wedding party size is four on either side. Use that as a guide when making this decision. Depending on formality you could go larger or smaller. For a smaller wedding with around 50 to 60 guests, have around four, but for a larger wedding of, say, 150, you could go up to 12 if you really wanted to. There's no wrong or right number. So if you have 30 guests and 18 people in your wedding party, then rock on! Just keep this in mind that more isn't always merrier. The more attendants you have, the more details to organize —flattering tuxes or dresses, a bachelor or bachelorette party with 12 attendants who have busy schedules, wedding party gifts and so much more.
Call Him The Man Of Honor, Her The Best Man, or Them the Person of Honor:
Guys can stand with the bride and women can stand with the groom! It's 2019 and honestly most of the rules can easily be thrown out the window without anyone batting an eye. It's really up to you—what's most important is that you include your favorite people, women, men, and non-binary!
Choose Responsible Honor Attendants:
The best honor attendants are friends who are responsible (since you're going to rely on them for some big wedding planning tasks, and to hold on to your expensive rings) and good at providing emotional support, because there just might be a few pre-wedding meltdowns.
Tip for the taking: It also helps if they're super-fun, since they'll be planning the bachelor and bachelorette parties!
Don't Ask Someone Just Because They Asked You:
Weddings are really no time for quid pro quo. You don't need to ask someone to be in your wedding because they asked you to be in their wedding. Don't ask the college roommate, or ex-coworker, you haven't spoken to in five years just to return the favor.
Look Into Other Roles:
You might need ushers to lead the guests to their seats at the ceremony, plus a few people to light candles and distribute programs. But there are a lot of other options as well. Maybe you have a musically inclined friend who would love to play something at the reception. Or what about that friend who is an amazing writer? Have them pen a poem or meaningful essay to share at your ceremony.
You Don't Have To Include Children:
If there are no children you two feel particularly close to, you don't need a flower girl and/or ring bearer. And if you have many children you want to include, feel free. Have six little flower girls instead of one and give them each their own basket of flower petals (boys might enjoy throwing flower petals too!). Or have your two little ones walk down the aisle as pages. They can bear the ring, hold a keepsake or carry a "Here Comes the Bride" sign. But if you don't really want to have kids in your wedding then don't! Childfree weddings are becoming more and more popular, making it more common and socially acceptable to enjoy a wedding sans children.
Did you find these tips helpful? That's great! Head on over to 'Should I have a first look at my wedding?' for more helpful tips and advice!