Making the Cut: Who Should be in Your Bridal Party?


Congratulations! You’re getting married! Right now, you’re planning for one of the biggest days of your life. It’s going to be an unforgettable celebration that you’ll get to share with your closest family and friends, and it’s a day you’ll always cherish. Of course, planning a wedding can certainly be stressful. There are a lot of details to manage and a lot of hard decisions that have to be made. Perhaps none is more difficult than the decision of whom to include (and exclude) in your wedding party.



When it comes to choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen, you’ll probably have a lot of people you want to include — siblings, friends, cousins, you name it. But the fact is that you can’t include everybody. You’re going to have to make some tough cuts. The general rule of thumb is to have one groomsman and corresponding bridesmaid for every 50 guests. So for example, if you invited 250 people to your wedding, five groomsmen and five bridesmaids would be a good size for your wedding party.

With that in mind, here are some tips that can help you decide who should be in your bridal party:

Choose your maid of honor & best man responsibly

The maid of honor and best man are the two most coveted positions in the wedding party. In general, blood is thicker than water. So, ladies, if you’re trying to decide between a dear sister and a close friend, you should probably choose your sister. Guys, a brother or even your father could be a good choice. Of course, picking a best friend is quite acceptable for both positions, but remember, there’s a lot of responsibility for each of these attendants, so you need to choose someone who is reliable, organized, and that you can depend on to carry out their duties.

Don’t worry about family and friend politics

When choosing your wedding party, it can become very easy to get trapped into choosing people out of obligation. You don’t have to ask someone to be in your wedding party just because you were a member of their wedding party. And you don’t have to include some family member just because your mom is worried about family politics. As Rachel Hollis, founder of Chic Events says, “I think the key is to choose a bridal party based on who you’re closest to, not on who you feel etiquette requires you to ask.”

Don’t add stress to someone’s life

There are many responsibilities that come with being in a wedding party, especially for bridesmaids. It’s important to keep that in mind when making your selections. Is it really wise to ask your pregnant friend who is due around the time of your wedding to be a bridesmaid? Maybe not; she has a lot going on right now. As Liz Coopersmith of Silver Charm Events put it, “Don’t ask the person you’re not sure can swing it, whether they’re pregnant, taking the bar around the time of your wedding, just went through a bankruptcy/foreclosure, living in Outer Mongolia, whatever the reason. If you think your wedding is going to be a heavy pull for them, don’t add to the pressure, or to your own uncertainty.”

Less is often better

While it’s natural to want to include everyone in your wedding party, the truth is that the more people you include, the more complicated things can get. Getting everyone to agree to a specific bachelor or bachelorette party date, making sure everyone gets their suit or dress ordered, and other tasks can become enormous challenges with large wedding parties.

Find other assignments for those who miss the cut

Inevitably, someone you love isn’t going to make the cut for your wedding party, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be involved. There are many other positions you can give them. For example, you could appoint some to be ushers or to do readings in your ceremony.

Remember, the choice is always yours. This is all about you and your soon-to-be spouse celebrating the biggest moment of your lives. Don’t let these decisions stress you out. There is no right or wrong answer!


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