photo: Becca Yager Photography
For some people, choosing the wedding party is easy: there is a core group of friends and it’s a no-brainer asking them. However, for others this can be a difficult task; there are feelings you don’t want to hurt, questions like, “How many is too many or not enough?” or “Should I have a bridal party at all?” and questions about having the same amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen, or “Can you have a groomswoman or bridesman?”
These are all valid things to ask and we are going to delve in. The first rule is, this is your wedding. It isn’t your best friend’s or your cousin’s or anyone else who will give you a guilt trip or throw in their two cents. Have the amount of bridesmaids/groomsmen that you want and feel comfortable with. If that means you have 12 girls and you can’t cut anyone out, so be it. Remember, you will be buying gifts for your friends and family in the bridal party and your photographer will be photographing them with you. If you have an army, there is an expense, but it might be one you are more than willing to incur.
There will be pressure and you will probably feel like you might hurt someone’s feelings. For instance, what if you were in your cousin’s wedding four years ago, but you really haven’t been that close to her since? Is she a bridesmaid by association? There is no real cut-and-dried solution here, but remember that your maids (or men) are adults and they are hopefully rational. I would suggest speaking to said cousin, friend or whomever the person may be about the situation honestly but kindly. Explain to them that you don’t want a large bridal party or that you are trying to keep costs down. If you feel like you really don’t want a bridal party, don’t have one, or have only one attendant each. This can also eliminate the possibility of leaving someone out. Aunt Flo may be upset that you didn’t have her 14-year-old daughter that you see once a year in the wedding, but cousin Jane will be appreciative when she doesn’t feel like she has to have you in her wedding in 15 years.
What if you and your fiancé have a different number of attendants? If you have 17 and he has two, this might be an issue and you may have to cut out your first-grade best friend. That being said, if the number is not that much different, you don’t have an attendant catastrophe. You can double up on walking down the aisle together or send the bridesmaids and groomsmen separately.
If your fiancé’s best friend is a girl, or yours is a guy, you can have them in your wedding. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be all My Best Friend’s Wedding, no dramatic toasts or confessions of love.) A guy can stand right alongside your girls in a similarly colored suit or a girl could hang right in with the guys in a coordinating dress.
If tradition is what you want, go traditional! Have your bridal party stand next to you in all their glory. The biggest thing is to be true to you and your fiancé and talk about it. Agree on what works for both of you and be willing to bend when it comes to each other’s wants over the extended-family-and-friend guilt.
Your bridal party will stand next to you though the planning process and on one of the biggest days of your life. No matter who you choose, enjoy them and have fun!
Becca George is one half of Modern Vintage Events, a unique event-planning company in Middle Tennessee. Modern Vintage specializes in shindigs such as weddings, parties, showers and other special events. Because your wedding is not your cousin Jane’s wedding . . .
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