One of the next steps in your wedding planning process should be choosing your wedding party. This is definitely challenging for several reasons:
Challenge #1: Too Many Friends
Don’t we all wish we had this problem? You may be coming out of college with a house full of sorority sisters or a bunch of girls you played sports with. They are your crew, your besties, your squad. Let me tell you a little secret…THEY DO NOT ALL HAVE TO BE IN YOUR WEDDING PARTY! Something we will discuss in another email is your wedding budget, but you need to be aware of your budget while deciding how many people will be in your party. Here is a great blog post about expenses you will be expected to cover on your wedding day and some things you may not be aware of: https://www.theknot.com/content/what-bridesmaids-pay-for .
So before you decide to have 14 bridesmaids in your party because “you just can’t decide”, think about your cost per bridesmaid. Just because you don’t choose them to stand up with you does not mean they are not your friend or haven’t been there for you. You can still take a big group photo at your wedding. If they truly love you and support you, they will be there for you whether they are chosen for the wedding party or not.
You also need to be aware of your venue and how many girls/guys will actually fit in the bridal/groom’s suite comfortably with you getting ready and also how much room is up at the altar area. If the bridal suite is only a 10×10 room, it’s going to be difficult for a ton of people to get ready in there. It also gets HOT the more bodies you add to a room.
PRO TIP: From a photographer’s point of view…it becomes increasingly difficult to pose groups of people together the more people you have involved. It’s hard to get those close intimate photos when you have to incorporate 10-12 people in the shot. And when you have that large number on both sides of the bridal party, it gets a little daunting. 6-8 is a good number if you are looking at having a large number of people. I would also recommend an even number of bridal party members so that your photos have an even amount of people on either side of you :).
Challenge #2: Not Enough Girl Friends / Guy Friends
I definitely had this problem. Most of the girls I went to high school with and was friends with through school I hardly talk to anymore. It’s sad and I wish it was different, but the truth is you grow apart when you get older. I had a very small group of girls that I still talked to. I ended up choosing some of my husbands’ friends’ wives/girlfriends because I didn’t really know any other girls well enough to have them stand up with me! And there is also no rule that you absolutely have to have girl “bridesmaids”. One of my recent brides had a “brides-man” or I guess you could say “Man of Honor” because her best friend was a guy. And you know what, the pictures were still awesome!
Challenge #3: Siblings
I have seen two sides to this issue. The first is that you have siblings that want to be involved in the wedding. However, you are not and have never been close with those siblings. Do you or do you not include them in your wedding party? My first instinct would be to tell you no they do not need to be in your wedding party. Your wedding party should be filled with your closest people who love and support you no matter what. I’m a firm believer that some family we are born with and some family we choose. Those that you are born with are not necessarily going to be the ones that support you to the fullest. There could be issues of them making everything about themselves or causing drama that will ruin your wedding day. Do yourself a favor and invite them as a guest, let them be in family photos, but do not include them in your wedding party.
On the other hand, you may have siblings that you just absolutely adore! If you have too many, you can always have the closest ones be in your wedding party and give the rest other roles in your wedding. For example, brothers can be ushers, sisters can help organize and be coordinators, hand out programs, the list goes on and on. If you have several siblings that need “wedding jobs”, there are plenty of ways that they can get involved :).
Challenge #4: Too Much Drama
There is also no rule that you have to have a wedding party at all. If there is too much drama in the family or your friends are going to fight over it to the point where it is going to absolutely ruin your day to deal with the stress of everyone getting along….JUST DON’T DO IT! It is your wedding day and you and your fiance are the most important people there. It is about you and your love, not satisfying other people and their egos. Real talk from your girl here, I give you permission to do what you want to do on your wedding day! I got your back 😉
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