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Your wedding is not just a celebration recognizing the love between you and your partner; it’s also the perfect time to celebrate the people you love that have always been there for you.
Your new ride-or-die relationship is taking center stage, but what about all the other people who have never left your side?
One way these people get their moment in the spotlight is by being a part of your wedding party. And many couples spend countless hours choosing the right people to be part of their wedding.
There are many factors that go into making these choices.
So, in the spirit of your maid of honor helping you with your train during restroom trips, we’re here to assist you with choosing the right people to be part of your wedding by offering different things to consider.
Family Is Forever
Your brothers and sisters have known you longer than anyone else and are most likely to be the ones who will remain in your life long-term.
As Dominic Toretto and family always say, “What is real, is family.” We can laugh about the Fast and the Furious supercut, but there’s some real science behind keeping your sibling relationships healthy.
If you’ve got a lot of siblings, don’t feel like every one of them has to be in the wedding party. The dynamics of your group are sure to influence your choice, but it may be best to choose those closest in age to you. They’re likely the ones you feel most connected with.
Another reason family members might be a good choice for you could be that you just don’t have any great friends to choose.
If none of your friends feel like the right person to be in your wedding party, then don’t pick them just because they’re your only friend, or your best excuse for a friend — choose a family member instead. Family is family.
Imagine your life 5 or 10 years from now: will the person you’re considering having in your wedding party still be part of your life?
As we grow older, we sometimes drift away from people for various reasons, and that’s ok. But short term connections don’t need to be part of your wedding party.
Will the person you’re waffling about including come to your birthday party five years from now? Would you want to bail them out of jail? Would you go on a cruise with them next summer?
Use imaginative measuring sticks like these to gauge whether or not you’re choosing the right people to be part of your wedding. If you’re kinda “meh” on them, then clearly they shouldn’t make the cut.
Choose people whom you have meaningful connections with that will last a lifetime or two. You don’t want to look back at your wedding album and wonder, “What ever happened to so-and-so?”
Be sure to consider the overall number of people when choosing the right people to be part of your wedding.
It’s kind of like inviting people to your fantasy football league. There are just not enough good quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, so you won’t want to have 20 people in your fantasy league. It’s the same with wedding parties.
Keep things in perspective and don’t ask everyone you know. Be selective and keep the numbers within reason.
Four is the most common number of people to have in a bridal party or groom’s group. Don’t feel like you have to stop at four, though. Have as many as you like.
Just keep in mind the size of the party in comparison to the number of overall wedding guests and keep a good ratio.
For smaller weddings with fewer than 50 guests, you may not want a wedding party that makes up a quarter of the total attendants.
If it’s a large wedding and you’re inviting more than 100 people, then having 8 or 12 bridesmaids and a dozen groomsmen isn’t so crazy.
Can They Handle the Responsibility?
Being part of a wedding party can carry a lot of responsibility. Arranging and planning multiple events like bachelor parties, pre-wedding showers, golf outings, dress shopping…
It all adds up and can become a big financial commitment and time-suck. Are the people you’re choosing to be part of your wedding party up to the challenge?
On the best day of your life, you need someone that will be there in a pinch to take care of you. They’ll be able to give you emotional support if you need a pep talk, and will be at the ready to help you solve logistical problems.
Can they be relied on for these sorts of things? If not, then maybe they aren’t a good choice.
Reciprocating Isn’t a Thing
“I was in their wedding party,”is not a good reason. Just because you acted as their maid of honor doesn’t mean they are automatically yours.
Your wedding is your wedding. You get to make the choices, and you don’t have to be bound by what happened in the past on someone else’s special day.
Forcing yourself to choose them to be in your wedding party because you were in theirs is just wrong. Only include people you feel are closest to you.
You don’t have to feel like you’re close enough to them to have them in your wedding party just because they felt you were close enough to them to choose you.
Choosing the right people to be part of your wedding is not a “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” situation.
Fight for Your Right to Avoid Fights
Ideally when you’re choosing the right people to be part of your wedding party, everyone should get along. You don’t want rivalries or feuds ruining your special day in any way, shape or form.
Consider the different personalities of the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. Will they get along with each other?
You’ll all be spending a fair amount of time together, so make sure there’s no drama by choosing people that you know will get along with each other.
Not everyone has to be best friends with everyone else — just be sure not to choose someone for your wedding party that’s particularly abrasive or critical of others, or that presents a high risk of drama.
It’s your wedding day, not WrestleMania. You don’t want a cage match breaking out during the reception!
Don’t Feel Stuck By Gender Norms
In this day and age, traditional ways of thinking are dropping by the wayside left and right.
That goes for gender norms when building out your wedding party too.
You don’t have to split the wedding party evenly down gender lines, and you can cross over wherever you want to.
A bride can have a best male friend be her man of honor. A groom can choose his sister as the best person. No one will bat an eye.
Do whatever you want and choose the right people to be a part of YOUR wedding party — not your great grandmother’s.
There’s actually a case to be made to not even have a wedding party. Many couples are forgoing the tradition of adding a wedding party to their special day for some very practical reasons, like the expense and the stress.
If you’ve been reading our blogs or perusing our website and social media feeds, then you know we’re all about eliminating stress.
Check out our stress-free rebel elopement packages to see what we make possible for couples who are ready to give traditions the ring finger!
For couples with personality wanting an offbeat, boundary-pushing wedding, McKenzi Taylor is fast-becoming America’s go-to elopement and micro-wedding expert. Electric Sugar Elopements barged onto the scene in 2021, with the company drawing on McKenzi’s 15+ years as a wedding photographer, 5+ years as a successful wedding coordinator, and standing as a board member for the LV chapter of WIPA. Her ‘let’s do this differently’ attitude to weddings has helped over 700 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills, and has led to her being featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times.