You might already have a good idea about who you will be asked to fulfil the different Bridal Party Roles but as with anything related to your wedding don’t make any snap decisions. Choosing the wrong person can cause quite a lot of grief. We all have heard stories of the unhelpful groomsman and self-centred bridesmaid. You want a good mix of fun and responsibility from them.
You will have to keep in mind your budget (yes, the budget again). The more attendants you have the more it is going to cost you for flowers, boutonnieres, their attire (if you will be paying for that), accessories and gifts for them.
The number of attendants you have might be one of your most difficult decisions if you have a large circle of friends and family. The general rule for the size of a bridal party is 1 pair per every 40-50 guests. So if you are having 200 at your wedding, 4 or 5 each Bridesmaid and Groomsmen is about right but this does not have to be an even number. It’s really no big deal if you have 6 and your Fi has 4.
Try for a mix of family and friends; People who have played a significant role in your life and what you expect will continue to do so in the future. Just because you were at their wedding doesn’t mean they have to be in yours. Delicate negotiations may need to be had in some cases but there are other ways to include people who may not ‘make the cut’. If you are not close to your fi’s sister and he wants her in the wedding, maybe you can give her a reading during the ceremony or your brother can help seat guests before the ceremony, you will need someone to hand out ceremony programmes too. Often times including other’s children can take the place of the parent actually being in the Bridal party.
The honour attendants, your Maid of Honor and the Best Man need to be responsible!! She needs to be supportive, a good listener, available to go with you to appointments and want to be actively involved. He needs to be trusted (with the rings, final payments, the speech and the groom!), able to get himself and your fi to the church on time and be supportive to the groom.
If the people you really, really want as honour attendants are not as described above, rethink them or make sure there are others in your Bridal Party that are. These friends and family will be your support group through the planning process, helping you with the little details and responsible that your pre-wedding parties are fun and run smoothly.
Children are optional. A flower girl and ring bearer can be so sweet, charming and fun if a bit unpredictable. It is lovely to have children at your wedding but be ready for anything! If I remember correctly, mine wouldn’t walk down the aisle at all but were still great fun and I would still have them. If you can’t bear the thought of a child not doing what he is told then don’t have them!
I hope the above is enough to get you thinking and I’ll go into the specific duties of the bridal party in another post next week.