8 Do’s and Don’t’s for Choosing Your Wedding Party

wedding party - mint photography
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Hi! It’s Riane from BrideBox again. I told you I’d be back with some wedding planning tips! Sorry for the delay, wedding planning is a lot of work – but you know that just as much as I do!

Today, we’re going to cover how to choose your wedding party. For me, this wasn’t the easiest thing. Both my fiancé and I are only children, so the mandatory sister role that’s played out in most weddings didn’t apply to mine. I wish that when I was going through this, I had a place to turn to for unbiased advice. I kept running into the problem of “if I ask Mary, I’ll have to ask Ashley, Nicole, and Jane also.” If you’re anything like me or hoping for some clarification on who to choose, here’s my do’s and don’t’s that will save the day!:

DO think of yourself first.

There’s a reason I’m putting this first – it is by far the most important. Everyone has an opinion when it comes to wedding planning, and this is the one time (at least) that you need to put everyone’s opinions aside and follow your gut. It’s okay to choose one person over another. That doesn’t mean that they mean any less to you, and even though it might not feel like it in the moment, they will understand. Not to mention, you can still include them in your bridal festivities, such as the bachelorette party and bridal shower.

wedding party - almond leaf studios

Photo Credit: Almond Leaf Studios

DON’T ask a friend just because you were in their wedding.

This is the one I struggled with the most. I am inherently a people pleaser. Unfortunately, I found myself in a situation where I had been in a friend’s wedding and was on the fence on if I wanted to include them or not in mine. I really had to take a step back and evaluate the status of our friendship and how I see her being a part of my marriage and family in the future. The answer? I did end up asking her. But not because I felt obligated, because I couldn’t imagine her not being there for me in all of life’s ups and downs, and that is the true question you need to ask yourself.

wedding party - clayton austin

Photo Credit: Clayton Austin

DO include family.

The phrase “blood is thicker than water” definitely holds true for most situations. Like I said in the beginning, I do not have any brother’s or sister’s and neither does my fiancé, so I didn’t have the opportunity to have a set in stone bridesmaid or groomsmen. Instead, I chose my cousin who has become my pseudo-sister over the years. Ultimately, you need to think of who is going to be standing next to your side and supporting your marriage for the rest of your life.

wedding party - ether & smith

Photo Credit: Ether & Smith


DON’T get stressed on an equal amount of groomsmen vs bridesmaids.

Ok, I fully admit this is something that I did not succeed on. I’m far too type A to have something that’s not equal. So much so that I ended up choosing an even amount of bridesmaids so the girl’s pictures would have equal on each side and me in the middle. Do NOT follow in my steps. If you asked my fiancé how many he would’ve chosen, he would’ve had a solid 4 and I would’ve had a solid 5, no questions about it. Instead, we pushed for 6 for aesthetics. Luckily, we wouldn’t trade a single one in, but that’s not always the case.

wedding party - winsome and wright

Photo Credit: Winsome and Wright

DO think of the future.

Will they be around in 10 years? Best friends in 20? Drinking cocktails beside you in your wheelchairs at 80? These women or men are most likely going to be the godparents to your children, your confidants when things get rocky, your lifetime best friends. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

wedding party - jessica gold photography

Photo Credit: Jessica Gold Photography

DON’T expect everyone to say yes.

Being in a wedding party is an expensive feat. If you’re a groomsman, you have to pay for a wedding gift, suit/tux, and bachelor party. If you’re a bridesmaid, you have to pay for bridesmaids dresses, hair and makeup (potentially), bachelorette party & gifts, bridal shower gifts, wedding day gifts – gosh, I’m getting broke just thinking about all of the things! Prepare yourself for some of your potential wedding party members to turn you down. It is ok. It does not take away from your friendship at all.

wedding party - hello blue photo

Photo Credit: Hello Blue Photo

DO consider the size of your wedding party.

If you’re having a 50 person wedding, having 16 people in your wedding party may not make the most sense. Try and match how many people are standing up front to the amount of people attending your wedding. The last thing you want is to make your guests feel overwhelmed or not a part of the “VIP” crowd.

wedding party - mint photography

Photo Credit: Mint Photography

DON’T make this decision without talking to your fiancé first.

Marriage is all about co-decision making. Choosing the key people who are standing next to you on your big day fall into this decision-making category. Hey, your fiancé may surprise you with some insight that you hadn’t thought of before. Chances are, they know you just as well, if not better than you know yourself.

wedding party - rachel solomon photography

Photo Credit: Rachel Solomon

Are you having trouble picking your wedding party? Did I miss any helpful tips?

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