Selecting the Wedding Bridal Party
Before you can make any decisions on style of dresses, flowers and suits you need to select your bridal party, that is how many bridesmaids and grooms-men and who will fill these important roles. Not forgetting all the other members of the bridal party such as flower girls and page boys, ushers and the ring bearer.
You also need to select one bridesmaid to be your maid/matron of honour and one grooms-men to be the best-man. It is a very special honour to be selected as part of the bridal party and therefore when you announce your engagement friends and family will await the selection of the bridal party. You can’t select everyone, which means you have to make some big decisions while still avoiding hurting any ones feelings.
Who will you Select for Your Wedding’s Bridal Party?
In most cases the bridal party is selected from close family and friends of both the bride and groom. They are the people that are an important part of your lives and you want to share in your big day. They play a special part of your wedding and should be considered carefully. The most obvious choices are brother and sisters of the bride and groom, best friends that you have had a long relationship with or other relatives you are close to such as a cousin.
Do not feel obligated to pick an old school friend if you haven’t seen them in years, even if you always said that you would be a part of each others weddings. Friendships change over time and keep this in mind when selecting the bridal party attendants. Obviously I can’t tell you who to pick, every family situation is different. I’m an only child so the brother or sister option clearly wasn’t available to me. Likewise you may have a broken family or even a step family, whatever your situation might be make the best decision for you and your fiancée.
Cost and Time involved for the Bridal Party
As part of being an attendant there is a cost for both them and you, so take this into consideration when deciding how many attendants you will have. There will be the occasional case where someone you ask to be a part of the bridal party has to refuse your offer as they can not afford the costs involved with being an attendant. There is the cost of the wedding attire, shoes & accessories, hair & make-up that in most cases the attendant will be expected to cover themselves.
If they are not in a position to do so then they may have no other option than to say no. If you know that someone is not in the best financial position, do not make the decision for them, still ask as they may be insulted if you didn’t even consider them for the role. However, when asking anyone to participate in the bridal party of your wedding be completely upfront with them. Inform them of all costs and what is expected when accepting the offer.
It may not even be the money that means they can not commit to the role, it could be time. Being part of a bridal party means committing time and money for the bride and groom.
There are also costs for the bride and groom when deciding how many attendants to have for the bridal party. You will have to present your attendants with gifts for accepting this important role and also pay for the bouquets for your bridesmaids. Other accessories may also be required for your bridal party so keep this in mind.
How Many in the Bridal Party and What Wedding Roles?
How big or small you want your bridal party is completely up to you and your fiancée. Again, keep the cost in mind when deciding and who is important to you both. A bridal party can be simply a maid/matron of honour and best-man only or a massive bridal party of 12 or more bridesmaids and grooms-men with flower girls, page boys and ring bearers.
Determining how many bridesmaids or grooms-men you have can be something as simple as the bride has 4 sisters, therefore in most cases these 4 sisters would be asked to be bridesmaids or the grooms best-friend for 15 years.
As I said you do not have to have a large bridal party with all the extra roles such as flower girls and page boys. I had my maid of honour carry the wedding rings and then hand them over to the best man at the top of the aisle to be responsible until they were needed. If there are however stand out people in your lives that would fit the roles, then the decisions should be easy. There are no right and wrong ways of doing things, do what suits you best.
Maid/Matron of Honour – the maid of honour is usually your closest friend or sister from the selected bridesmaids, if they are married they have the title of matron of honour. Some brides choose to have both where applicable or even not have one at all as they may find it too hard to pick.
Best man – the best man is the male equivalent to the maid of honour, the closest friend or brother from the selected grooms-men. Again it is not necessary to have a best man if it is too difficult to decide.
Flower Girl – the flower girl is an optional role and is really only necessary if you have an appropriate special little person for the job. The flower girl walks down the aisle ahead of the maid of honour and scatters petals, blows bubbles or just looks adorable carrying a pomander. Having more than one flower girl is also possible and can work well to have them walk together.
Page Boy, Train Bearer & Ring Bearer – the page boy like flower girls are optional and again is only best if you have an appropriate little boy for the role. The page boy will either walk with the flower girl or ahead of the maid of honour.
They are generally given the role of either train bearer or ring bearer. A train bearer page boy will follow the bride and carry the train of the brides dress. A ring bearer page boy will carry the wedding rings, and as said before walk with the flower girl or ahead of the MOH.
Usher – the usher/s are responsible for greeting guests, directing them to their seats and handing out the order of service, boutonniers, etc ensuring everything runs smoothly. A general guide is for every 50 guests you have one usher. Grooms-men can also double as ushers, where necessary, up until the ceremony.