May 15, 2020
Getting to choose who will stand beside you on the most important day of your life is one of the many exciting prospects of being a bride or groom (aside from the fantabulous reality of marrying the person you love!). It ought to be enjoyable and emotional. It does however, have the potential to be one of the most stressful elements too!
I feel it is important to reiterate that when you are making decisions around who should play what role in your wedding, there are no rules. There might be traditions but no regulations! Although you might feel smothered with other people’s views and opinions, it is absolutely your choice to make. If you focus too closely on what everyone else thinks and wants, then you risk your day being about them and not the two of you from the outset. That isn’t good for any bride and groom!
The easiest way to get started is to consider your budget and the size of your wedding. For example, if you are trying to keep costs down, having a small and intimate ceremony, then choosing eight bridesmaids and seven groomsmen could certainly seem disproportionate. Another factor to consider is whether you wish to pay for dresses and suits.
If you are hoping to, then it might make sense to have a smaller bridal party. Otherwise the majority of your budget could disappear in one go. That said, if you are working with “the bigger, the better” mentality then you could potentially choose as many people as you want! Just be mindful that it might be a challenge to find dresses and suits that a bigger group will mutually agree on.
Image © Gavin Jacob Power
Once you have decided on a number, it’s time for what seems like the daunting part: confirming who you will ask. You can opt for a family based bridal party, a friend based one or a completely mixed one. As said previously, there are no rules. You might decide to mirror your choices. For example, the bride’s sisters along with the groom’s brothers or two friends on each side. It might suit you to go for a completely different combination – like one friend from each of your social circles or one person from what you consider to be each significant stage within your life so far. Play with your own thoughts and ideas, but think very carefully before it comes to actually asking. There are a lot of things to consider.
If you have any doubts, just don’t ask. Remember there are other roles for people to play too. If you have a friend that means a lot to you but you know they’d give a highly inappropriate best man’s speech, then it might be a good idea to ask them to be an usher instead. Could they do a reading during the ceremony or sing a song during the reception? There are plenty of other ideas you can run with.
As for children, they don’t have to be involved. Flower girls and page boys are not mandatory. Again, it’s your choice. You might prefer to have little ones holding signs up or showing people to their seats, rather than actually walking down the aisle. Go with whatever works for you.
Image © Gavin Jacob Power
The best part of course is getting to ask your bridal party to play a part in your day. There are many ways in which you can do this. You could ask them briefly and informally whilst taking a ‘no pressure’ approach. You could go through a really thought-out process, by giving them a meaningful card or a personalised gift. It is a good idea to think about what feels right for you and what suits their personality too. Remember as well that, people might well decline.
Try not to take it personally. It is a major deal being a part of a wedding and the pressure can be too overwhelming for some. If that does happen, you can always propose some other ideas. For example if you have a really shy but creative friend that isn’t confident enough to be a bridesmaid, perhaps they would like to make a guest book for your big day.
Just as there are no rules, there is no need for you to justify the choices you have made. So don’t feel bad or guilty for any decisions if they are the right ones for you and your other half. If someone does ask why you have made your choices, then you can explain to them in a polite and honest way. Don’t feel as though you owe that to anyone. Remember that your wedding day is for you as a couple and so the decisions are rightly all yours.