Ask Susan: How Do I Choose My Wedding Party?

choosing your wedding partyWhen it comes to wedding parties, there are many different schools of thought. There are those couples who want every single important person in their lives to stand up at their wedding. There are those who feel obligated to invite anyone for whom they’ve stood up in their wedding party. And then there are those who think wedding parties are just plain ridiculous.

Most people, though, fall somewhere in the midst of these opinions. The average bridal party size is eight (four on each side), but that doesn’t mean you have to fit the “norm.” Here are my tips on how to choose your wedding party:

    1. Think about your overall event size. If you’re having a 25-person or less wedding, having a large wedding party would just be awkward. Scale down your party in accordance with your event size.
    2. Are you having a formal or casual wedding? For the most part, casual weddings are more suited to smaller wedding parties, where formal weddings can support a larger one.
    3. Try to keep it balanced. While it’s perfectly fine to have more women than men (or vice versa) in your wedding party, do your best to keep it close to balanced so it doesn’t look odd in photos. If you find yourself with a large difference, consider narrowing down your wedding party to just one or two on each side to keep it under control.
    4. Start with siblings. Especially if you’re having a small wedding party, invite siblings before you invite friends. Your family has always and will always be a part of your lives, so they should come first.
    5. Consider their circumstances. Being in a wedding party requires a significant investment of time and money. Make sure that your invitation to serve as a wedding attendant won’t be a hardship on anyone.
    6. Remember there are other ways to honor people. If you have a lot of people you want to stand up for you at your wedding but there isn’t room in the wedding party, consider inviting people to serve as ushers, guest book attendants, gift collectors, emcees, speakers, singers, or other important roles on your special day instead.
    7. Pick people you can rely on. Your wedding party is meant to include people who do more than just stand beside you and smile for pictures. You’ll need to rely on them for any number of things before and during the wedding. Choose your party accordingly.
    8. Consider how long you’ve known them. Once you’ve asked your family, it’s time to consider which friends you’d like to ask to stand up for you. I recommend beginning with the friends you’ve known the longest, the ones who have been there with you through thick or thin. Those are the friends who are most likely to help you out when you need it, and who will remain a part of your life after the wedding.

These are my quick tips on choosing your wedding party, but the fact is, there aren’t any hard and fast rules. Do what works best for you and your wedding.

If you have any questions about this or other wedding items, please reach out to me in the comments.

Photo Credit: Party Affairs