Nearly to Newlywed: How to Choose Your Wedding Party

It’s Hump Day, friends!  We’ve made it to another Wednesday which means another post for Wedding Wednesday!  I hope you had a chance to stop by last week to check out the part 1 of choosing your wedding vendors and that you found it enlightening and helpful.  I had some other wedding-related posts planned, but I’ll be back in the next couple of weeks with the remaining vendors so be sure you follow along for more advice.

Slide1this is a photo of my huge wedding party from my wedding day.  aren’t we cute?

Today’s topic is an important one: choosing your wedding party.  A lot of people I have talked to have found this to be one of the hardest decisions they have to make when planning their big day. Below are some common questions I’ve heard when talking with friends and family members who have planned or are planning their weddings:

1. How many people do I ask?
2. Do I have to have equal numbers for the bride and grooms’ side?
3. Do I have to ask my significant other’s siblings?
4. Do I have to ask a friend to be in my wedding if she asked me to be in hers?
5.  Can I have more than one maid of honor or best man?
6.  Do I need to have a flower girl or ring bearer?
7.  What am I in charge of paying for when it comes to my wedding party?
8.  What exactly are the expectations of my wedding party?

The answer to most of these questions is pretty easy: it’s simply up to you and your fiance.   There is no standard on wedding parties, that’s the best part of planning your wedding: you’re the driver behind the choices [at least I hope you are].  But here is some solid advice I can provide for choosing your wedding party:

1. Don’t ask your friends to be in your wedding before you have set a date or if your wedding is a ways out.  I say this because life happens and friendships can fade.  If you’re not planning to get married for a couple of years, there is a chance that your friendships may fizzle and, as sad as is sounds, you no longer want that person to stand up for you.  It’s also important to have a date in mind so that your family/friends who will stand up for you know not to make plans.  It’s kind of like an exciting way to ask them to save the date [before you let anyone else know], and if no date is set other obligations may prevent them from being in your wedding party.

2.  Keep budget in mind when you’re deciding on who to ask.  While it would be lovely to have your 12 girlfriends stand up for you on the day of your wedding, it gets expensive.  Each bridesmaid or groomsmen means you have extra flowers to pay for, more gifts to purchase, a bigger mode of transportation to rent, more mouths to feed at the rehearsal dinner, etc.  It’s also a lot of extra work and stress to keep track of everything with that size of a wedding party.

3.  Set expectations with them as you ask them.  You should be well aware of your budget prior to asking your family and friends to be part of your wedding party.  This means you should have an idea of what you’re asking them to spend to be part of your wedding day.  If you expect them to pay for their own dress, hair and make-up, let them know that ahead of time so they can save prior to the wedding.  Have an idea of what each of these items are going to cost when you go into it so it’s not a shock when they have to pay for it.

4.  Know that you can’t have everyone stand up for you, and be OK with it.  If it’s not feasible for you have to all of your friends stand up for you, that’s OK, there’s other ways they can be a part of your day that will still show them they’re important to you and your fiance.  Ask them to be a greeter, reader, honorary host[ess] or vocalist.  Find other unique ways for them to be a part of your day and make sure they’re recognized for it!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So now that we have talked about what to think about before asking your family and friends to be a part of your wedding, let’s talk about the fun and exciting ways to ask them.  As I mentioned in point 3 above, make your family and friends feel special throughout the wedding planning process – and this can start with the way you ask them to be there for you throughout the whole process.  Since this seems to be a trend that mainly brides do [because let’s be honest, brides are usually way more excited about planning than grooms are], I’m going to focus on asking maids of honor and bridesmaids… but guys can certainly get crafty with the way they ask, too!

A cute gift box like this one from The Peak of Tres Chic

A bottle of their favorite wine with a custom label


A cute little card with a little gift that signifies your relationship together [a favorite past time, an inside joke, etc.]


Some items to use for your wedding festivities [I actually used this idea as inspiration for little gift boxes for each of my bridesmaids when I asked them to be in my wedding]


How about with a ring of her own?!  I love this ring pop idea!


Whatever you do, make it special and make it memorable.  This gift can really set the tone of your appreciation to your family and friends; they’re going to be there for you through some stressful times so make sure you always show them how much their help means to you.

I hope this provides you some advice and insight on choosing your wedding party… and I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite ways to ask your girls to be a part of your special day.




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