Once you’re engaged there are plenty of things that couples want to check off of their list. The venue, bridal gown, and attendants top the list. But before you choose who stands by your side, there are a few things to consider when selecting your wedding party.
This is an updated republish of a post by Amanda Zack.
Bridal Party vs. Wedding Party
Many of us have heard of the term bridal party, but the wedding party is more of a newcomer on the scene. Here’s how to spot the difference.
Bridal Party Definition
Defining the bridal party is fairly simple. It’s the bride and her bridesmaids, including the maid or matron of honor. These ladies are normally part of the bride’s inner circle and can include friends and relatives.
Wedding Party Definition
The term wedding party is meant to be a bit more inclusive. In essence, it counts the guys that are there for the groom on his big day—the groomsmen and the best man.
Also, as a broader definition, the wedding party can also include nontraditional, yet other fun wedding party roles. The full wedding party meaning also includes when the bride has a bridesman or man of honor or the groom has a groomswoman.
Choosing bridesmaids and groomsmen is a big part of your wedding day plans.
3 Tips for Picking Your Wedding Party
When you’re in the throes of wedding planning, think about who you want next to you all the way to your big day (other than your fiancé, of course!).
Your wedding party will act as your support system in the upcoming months, so it’s important to put a lot of consideration into who you choose to fill your crew.
Picking your ‘maids and ‘men can understandably feel like a sticky situation. Fortunately, there are many ways to navigate the selection process without hurting anyone’s feelings.
When considering how many groomsmen in a wedding (bridesmaids, too!), consider the cost.
1. Consider the personalities of your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
As much as you love your college roommate, do you really think you can deal with her complaints for over a year? Would you trust your brother-in-law who hasn’t shown up on time for an event since you’ve known him? If so, great!
If not, however, don’t feel obligated to ask someone simply because you feel etiquette calls for it. Your happiness (and sanity!) are what matters and you need to surround yourself with people who will make the planning process relaxing and enjoyable.
Just because you don’t choose someone to be in your immediate wedding party doesn’t mean there isn’t a role for him or her to play on your special day – consider asking them to be greeters, ushers, or readers so they don’t feel left out.
There are plenty of wedding roles for friends and family who may not fit into the place of a wedding attendant.
When thinking of wedding roles for friends, consider their personalities.
2. Know the budget to take part in the wedding party.
It’s no secret that being bridesmaids and groomsmen can cost a pretty penny. From attire to bachelor and bachelorette parties to travel expenses, be thoughtful about budgetary restrictions when choosing members for your wedding party.
If your younger sister has been touting her ramen-only diet, consider asking her to help out without the expectations of a bridesmaid. Being a part of your wedding party should be a privilege, not a burden!
Alternately, you could always ask her to be in the bridal party and offer to pay for a part of her expenditures. Do this only if you’re in the place to do so.
There are other wedding party roles beyond serving as bridesmaids and groomsmen.
3. Choose who you want to have in your wedding party.
It can be difficult to pick and choose from your friends and family members. However, now is the time to follow your heart and select only those you want at your side.
Remember—your wedding is your day. In the months leading up to it, you’ll need people who are level-headed (for when you’re about to lose it), fun to be around (for all those DIY project nights), and all-around happy for you (just because).
If you think it’ll ruin a friendship because you didn’t invite someone into your wedding party, imagine how it would be if you did and they made a mess of things.
Those who truly love you will understand and accept your decision. They will be cheering you on at your wedding regardless.
Bridesmaid etiquette includes only asking those you want to stand by your side on your wedding day.
Final Thoughts on Wedding Party Roles
With the above tips in mind, think carefully about who you see standing at your side when you’re saying ‘I do.’ Once you’ve narrowed down your squad, get ready for the journey of a lifetime!