Selecting your bridal party
This blog is the last in a two-part topic on selecting your people with purpose. Part one, focused on choosing your guests with purpose, was published last week.
Choosing your bridal party people can be one of the most fun parts of your wedding planning experience. Your bridal party peeps will be with you throughout your entire wedding planning process, encouraging you and helping you enjoy it all, so being purposeful and confident in choosing your bridal party members is important.
Before you make any final decisions on who you want standing up with you on your wedding day as you make the most important decision of your life, let’s clear up a few misconceptions and remind you of the main thing when it comes to your bridal party.
More than gender and numbers Traditionally, the number of bridesmaids on the bride’s side reflected the same number of groomsmen standing on the groom’s side. Set that standard aside, especially if you are stressing about having even numbers on both sides or that you want to include a very close friend or family member of the opposite gender. Keeping the main thing the main thing about your bridal party is surrounding yourselves with the family and friends who have been there for you and who you see as still being there with you decades into your marriage. Being part of your bridal party is a place of honor for you to give, not for others to assume to take.
Family isn’t assumed Family dynamics can be complicated and are different for everyone. Don’t feel obligated to include family members solely because they’ve shared a last name or bloodline with you. Including family who are estranged or have not positively impacted your life or relationships would likely add stress or unreasonable expectations to your bridal party experience.
Remind yourself “why” Just like we did with your guest list, reaffirming your “why” for your bridal party members is equally, if not more, important. For new friends, do you envision them as an integral part of your life for the long haul? For old friends, what reasons aside from “being friends since kindergarten” make them a must-have part of your wedding day? Considering your “why” can give you confidence in making the final selections on your bridal party members.
Have the “money conversation” I’ve seen this from online wedding forums, the bridesmaid who is stressing about the plane ticket, time off and expenses of participating in the destination bachelorette party to Nashville, Tenn. Setting the expectations for your bridal party at the get-go can help everyone have a positive experience and avoid resentment or uncomfortable conversations later. To communicate what you value about your wedding and related experiences, write it in a list. Whether it’s designer bridesmaids dresses or expensing and planning the bridal shower, let your potential bridesmaids know in advance of making the commitment, especially as responsibilities may have a price tag attached. Ask your bridal party members about concerns they may have about travel or budget that is included in the responsibility of being part of the bridal party. They probably won’t volunteer this information, but if you asked, they may offer an honest response.
Consider alternative wedding day roles Reflect on special people in your life who may not have a role in the bridal party. You can consider still honoring those special relationships by including them in other wedding festivities, offering them a special role in the ceremony or reception, special flowers or seating, or inviting them to the bridal suite!
When you finalize your bridal party list, celebrate! Pop a bottle of wine and treat yoself! Wedding planning can be an emotionally and mentally tough process, so be sure to celebrate all your accomplishments along the way-- big or small!