Today's Bride

Real Bride Blogger: Choosing your Wedding Party

Hello again, fellow brides and grooms! Today I’ll be sharing how my fiance and I narrowed down our list and chose our bridesmaids and groomsmen! But keep this between you and me…I haven’t asked my girls, yet!

I hope you all have had an excellent month, full of stress-free planning (I’m an optimist!). So now that you’ve found the right person to say “I Do” to, it’s important to choose the friends and family that will stand next to you while you do it. To me, this sounded like a very simple concept. “I’ll just choose my best friends,” I breezily thought. I grabbed a pen and paper and began to jot a few names down. Before I knew it, I had 14 bridesmaids and a dog-of-honor. After all, aren’t you supposed to have your childhood best friend, your college friends, and man’s best friend all by your side on the biggest day of your life? This is when I realized this process may be just a BIT harder than I had originally anticipated. Choosing your bridesmaids or groomsmen is a big deal that shouldn’t be rushed into. Below, I’ve outlined some ways I narrowed my list down. I hope you will find them helpful, too!

Talk to your partner about the wedding party size:

Communication is the key to any relationship/wedding planning endeavor. Everyone has different ideas on the correct size of their wedding party. My fiancé an I, it turned out, had dramatically different ideas of how big our party should be. I was all for having 7-8 people per side (I am the extrovert in this relationship.) My fiancé, however, only has a few close friends, and was happier with 2-3 people per side. As we are both sticklers for even wedding party numbers (something we agreed on! Yay!), we compromised and went with five per side. This gave us both boundaries to work with.

Don’t ask out of obligation:

Easier said than done, right? But it’s true. Asking out of obligation sets you up for regret. This is your DAY! It’s meant to be spent with the people who mean the most to you. It’s not meant to be spent pleasing other people. It’s okay to be a little selfish. Contrary to popular belief, there is no pact made between the bridesmaids and the brides that you have to be in each other’s weddings. This is cliché, but if they are TRULY your friend, they won’t be mad at you if they aren’t in your wedding party.

Make a list, make another list, give that list a list…. You get the idea:

I can’t say I’m the most organized person in the world. I have to buy cute, glittery binders and page dividers with puppies on them to even CONSIDER using them. However, when it comes to planning a wedding, I’ve quickly learned that organization will add an extra layer of sanity (a very necessary one) to the planning process. So, I went back to my original list, crossed off the dog (begrudgingly), and got down to business. I’m not asking you to write the March Madness bracket of bridesmaids, but I would suggest putting your thoughts on a physical document that you can refer back to when you need to make a decision.

Take a quiz:

You want an unbiased opinion? Take a quiz that doesn’t care if you choose your second cousin or your sorority sister! I used the Today’s Bride magazine as a guide to help me narrow down my list. They have a short quiz inside that helped me get my mind on track. At the end of the day, EVERYONE has an opinion on who should be in your wedding. It’s nice to have a totally unbiased resource at your fingertips.

Wedding party is NOT the limit:

If you have a few friends who you are not as close to, but would still like in your wedding, give them responsibilities! They can facilitate the guest book signing, or help your great aunt find a seat at the ceremony. There are SO MANY things to do the day of the wedding – don’t underestimate how important it is to have friends you trust fulfilling those needs. For example, when I crossed my dog off the list, I made him ring bearer instead. You think I’m kidding.

Bridesmaids | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Look at this baby….how could I not?!

Ask your spouse:

Having trouble coming up with the last bridal party member? Talk it over with your S/O. They know you better than anyone else and may be able to offer up a few suggestions. He or she can also help you narrow down your list if you’re still struggling. Whereas you may be too close to the situation and emotionally attached to think clearly, they’ll offer reasonable arguments for or against certain candidates.

Bridesmaids | Windsor Printing and Graphics | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Windsor Printing and Graphics

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to ask!

You chose your bridal party. YAY! That’s one checkmark you can proudly swish across your to-do list. Now, you just have to ask them. The “proposal” fad has made this process harder than it used to be. Personally, I don’t have the money to surprise my bridesmaids with an all-expenses paid trip to Fiji. I could probably splurge for a few bottles of Fiji Water, but that’s about all I’m working with. Robby and I still wanted to do something special for our wedding party, so we thought of cheap, creative ways to ask our friends to stand by our side on our big day.

My fiancé chose to ask his groomsmen with “Suit Up” cards he found online (“How I Met Your Mother” is a favorite show of ours). I would tell you what I chose, but some of my bridesmaids are still waiting on the official ask. I promise, I will tell you soon, and will include pictures! While I haven’t officially asked my bridesmaids yet, I have tested the waters with them. Being a bridesmaid is FUN. However, it’s also a financial responsibility. Asking your friend to be in your wedding with a fancy gift can put them on the spot. Asking them in front of your mutual friends will do the same thing. I simply pulled my gals aside and asked them “hypothetically” (I winked a lot as I said “hypothetically”) if they would be okay with the fiscal and time commitment. Asking them privately gives them time to think about it, and saves them the embarrassment if they know it’s not a commitment they can make.

 

Well, that’s all for this month! I hope that this article helped you make some progress on your wedding party choices. Until next month, you fabulous brides and grooms!

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