So you’re engaged, you’re excited and you may have even started wedding planning. But who is going to support you in the lead-up to your special day, not to mention on the big day itself? Who is going to be your wedding tribe?
Well now is probably a good time to think about choosing your bridal party…
So what exactly is a bridal party?
Well for a bride, it’s your bridesmaids and/or maid of honour and for a groom, it’s your best man and your ushers. Basically the people that stand either side of you, during your ceremony.
But of course anything goes these days – I’ve planned weddings where the bride has chosen a brides-man (a male bridesmaid) and the groom has had a best-woman…so don’t get bogged down in tradition.
What do the bridal party do?
Well the quick answer is, anything you want them to really. They can help with the wedding planning, of course they should plan your hen/stag dos, they can give a reading at the ceremony and of course the speeches. They can also help you set-up on the big day, get ready and even tidy-up once things are done. Whatever you need, your bridal party are your wedding tribe! The ones you can rely on.
There are some things to think about when choosing your bridal party…
- Choose people that know you well – you are going to want people who know you, know how to calm you down, keep you smiling and make you laugh if and when moments get tense or emotional.
- Choose people you can trust – although a really good excuse to get dressed-up and feel like VIPs, your bridal party are also there to do a job! They need to make sure you’re both happy and assist in any wedding jobs you wish to delegate (table settings, the rings, looking after Uncle Jack…whatever it might be!). So choose at least someone who is reliable to be in your bridal party!
- Consider family – not just your own, but your partner’s. Perhaps your future sister-in-law would appreciate being asked to be a bridesmaid if you’re close? Or would it mean the world to your bro if he were to be your best man? Your bridal party should be family and/or friends. But equally, it’s your wedding, so choose who ultimately will make you happy.
- Will you know these people in 5, 10, 15 years time? – Don’t just choose your boss because he’s flavour of the month. You’re going to be talking about your wedding and looking at those photos for the rest of your life…you don’t want people asking who that bloke was that gave a speech.
- Consider how big your wedding is going to be – might look strange having 12 bridesmaids if you’re only inviting 40 people to your wedding?
- Are they confident? – Ok this doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, but it helps if your best man is happy giving a speech in front of all your wedding guests and that at least one of your bridesmaids doesn’t mind getting involved and gathering all your family around for that group photo.
Don’t forget, other than the two of you, your bridal party are going to be the most recognisable people at your wedding. Everyone loves to talk to a bridesmaid or a best man. So pick well and pick people you’re both happy with – it really will shape part of the experience for you.
And of course, if you want help every step of the way, download my Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide.
Title photo by Emma Case Photography.