So, you’re engaged… YAY! Once the initial shock and excitement wears off, it’s time to start planning. One of the first things that couples start thinking about is usually, who is going to be in our bridal party? Choosing your bridal party can sometimes be tricky to figure out!

You have to think about who you consider close enough friends to ask, what family members you should include, and how many people you want to have. Plus, if having even sides for the bridesmaids and groomsmen is important to you, then you have to make sure that you’re coordinating with each other on who you ask! It can be challenging, but we’re here to help.

Overall Tips for Choosing Your Bridal Party Members

Here are our overall tips for choosing your bridal party! Keep in mind that these are general guidelines — everyone’s relationships and weddings are different, so take all of this with a grain of salt and do what makes the most sense for you and your spouse-to-be.

When to ask

We recommend asking people to be in your bridal party about a year or less out from your wedding. We know, a lot of people want to start asking as soon as they’re engaged! While that can be fine in some cases, you just never know what could happen.

Once you ask someone to be in your bridal party, it gets really tricky to try and remove someone. Maybe they just aren’t living up to your expectations for how involved you want your bridal party to be, or maybe they’re causing drama.

Plus, people & friendships change! When deciding who to include, think, “Will this person still be in my life in 5 years? 10 years?” If the answer is yes, then they are probably a good choice to include in your bridal party.

What are your expectations?

When trying to decide who to ask to be in your bridal party, think about what your expectations are for them. Do you want them to be super involved? Maybe you picture them attending vendor meetings with you, helping to stuff envelopes, and attend multiple pre-wedding parties.

It’s crucial to make sure that the people you’re asking are reliable! If you want to ask someone who is always late to everything and rarely answers your texts, you might want to re-think that choice.

If your expectations for your bridal party are simply for them to buy a dress/suit and show up on time for your wedding day, then you’ll have a little more flexibility with who you choose. However, remember that you will always have the memory (and pictures!) of them standing next to you on the biggest day of your life! Choose wisely.

Consider the size of your wedding

Especially in today’s world of micro and mini weddings, it’s important to consider the size of your wedding before you start asking people to be a part of your bridal party.

If you have a guest count of say, 50 or less, then it might be a little awkward to have a large bridal party. Think about whether or not you want the majority of your guests standing next to you as you say your vows!

Now, if you’re having a large wedding, then the more, the merrier!

When it comes down to it, the choice is really completely yours. You can have a large bridal party for a small wedding, and vice versa. This is your day — make it how you want it to be & include the people that you are closest to!

Be mindful of budgets

Saying “yes” to being in a bridal party typically comes with a price tag, so keep this in mind before you ask people!

Being in a bridal party usually means that the person will be (potentially) be paying for their attire (dress or suit), hair & makeup, bridal shower expenses, a bachelorette party trip, etc.

If you know that someone’s finances are tight, take some time to consider whether or not they’ll be able to be in the wedding. Think about all of the expenses that you’re expecting them to be able to pay for. You might even consider having a conversation about it with them before you officially ask them to be in your wedding!

When it comes down to it, if it’s incredibly important for you to have someone in your wedding, you will usually find a way to make it work.

When to include family members

It is typical wedding etiquette to always include siblings in the bridal party. That might mean the groom’s sisters being bridesmaids or the bride’s brothers being groomsmen, even if you aren’t super close. Think about it this way… siblings are (likely) going to be in your lives throughout your entire marriage. And it’s very likely that you’ll be spending a lot of time together and/or will get closer as the years go on!

Something a lot more common nowadays is having coed wedding parties. If the bride is super close to her brother, why not make him a “bridesman” or a “man of honor”? And if the groom is super close to his sister, she could be a “groomswoman” or “best woman.” The possibilities are really endless, and there are no rules as to who you can include on either side!

When it comes down to it, everyone has a different family dynamic. For instance, there may be issues within your family where it just wouldn’t make sense to have your sibling in the wedding party. Or, maybe one of you comes from a huge family and it is impossible to include everyone. Whatever the case may be, do what makes the most sense for your family!

Keep communication open

Finally, be sure to always keep communication open between you and your bridal party. This starts the moment that you ask them to be a part of it — don’t automatically expect them to say yes! Give them the option to say no. You never know what someone has going on in their life!

Be sure to keep communication open all throughout wedding planning, too. Make sure that everyone knows any deadlines, such as when they need to be measured by and when they need to order their dress or tux.

When it comes to the wedding day, make sure that the are aware of the entire timeline so that they know when and where they need to be!

Remember, being in a bridal party should be a fun and memorable experience, for both you and the bridal party! If you have any additional questions about choosing your bridal party, feel free to contact us here! We would love to help you.

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