How to Choose the Wedding Party for Your Big Day

By Erin Ollila

Choosing the wedding party for your big day is one of the most important decisions you'll make while planning your wedding. These are the people who will not only help you implement your big day and fun activities such as the bridal shower and the bachelorette party, but they'll also support you when you get stressed or anxious about your upcoming nuptials.

However, deciding who will fill these important roles is often quite difficult. There are many people you love in your life, and you want to honor them all. However, you also don't want your entire guest list to be standing up with you at the altar. So, how do you choose?

Size Matters

First, before even imagining the faces of your closest friends or family members, think about what size group you'd like. Don't freak out about it being too big or too small. While tradition suggests a bride should choose the amount of people based on the formality or number of guests attending, there's really no one-size-fits-all rule.

A small wedding party is special and intimate. However, if you have a huge guest list, it might be overwhelming for one maid of honor to tackle all the responsibilities. Similarly, a huge wedding party might seem over the top at first and lead to many people battling for control, but it also cuts down costs for everyone involved, and many hands make for less work. Most wedding parties range from two to 20 attendants, so embrace wherever you fall in that average.

One more consideration about size is whether it's important that the bridal party matches the groom's in size. If you have three bridesmaids and one maid of honor, should he have three groomsmen and one best man? Would you both be comfortable with an odd number of attendants? Finally, does a severe size difference bother you? For example, would you be okay with only having one bridesmaid while he has seven groomsmen? Once you've determined the answers to these questions, you'll be able to choose who will fill the roles.

Choosing Your Wedding Party

Some couples may immediately know which people they'll ask to be in the wedding party, but others may take longer to choose—and that's just fine. There are probably many people you love and have shaped the course of your life, but are they the right people to stand up for you on one of your most special days?

Here are some important things to consider and discuss with your fiancé when deciding on the wedding party:

  • Will immediate family members be in the wedding party?
  • Will your friends be in the wedding party?
  • Does the length of the friendship affect whether someone is asked?
  • Does the closeness of the relationship dictate whether a person is asked to join?
  • Has this person been there for you through tough times?
  • Has this person played a vital role in your relationship?
  • Will this individual's personality match well with those of the rest of the attendants?
  • Does this person's current lifestyle allow him or her to be part of the party?
  • Will it be a financial hardship for the person to be an attendant?
  • Does this person have a stifled relationship with anyone else you'd like to add to your wedding party?
  • Have you been an attendant in someone else's wedding? If so, does that require they be included in yours?
  • Do you see yourself being friends with this person in 10 or 20 years?

It can be difficult to cull through your list of loved ones, so think about the people whose faces will make you feel the happiest and most comforted as you walk down the aisle. When you're nervous and everyone's staring at you, those are the faces you'll want to look at!