Just as each wedding is unique, so is each wedding party. They come in all shapes and sizes, which is wonderful in my opinion! When I got married I had a Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor and no bridesmaids. A wedding that I recently coordinated had a mixed gender party with bridesmaids and bridesmen in the bridal party, as well as a male “Mate of Honor” to fit in with their nautical theme. The mixture of friends and family you select to form your wedding party can be as traditional or untraditional as you see fit (stay tuned for a post on traditional wedding party tasks and roles!).
After you have decided who you would like to be a part of your special entourage on the big day, here are a few pieces of advice:
- Ask, don’t tell. Oftentimes bridesmaids and groomsmen are told that they will be in the wedding, rather than asked. It’s important to ask each individual if they are willing to be part of your party and give them the opportunity to gracefully decline if need be. Being part of wedding is a big commitment of time and money, from the pre-wedding events to the wedding day wear. Even if you can’t imagine why your dear friend or sister would say no, be curtous and give them the opportunity to think it over before commiting. Chances are, they will be delighted to be part of your big day!
- Communicate!!! Did I include enough exclamation points? I cannot stress this sentiment enough. Believe it or not, the #1 complaint I’ve heard from wedding parties is NOT that the bride is being a bridezilla. It’s that the bride and groom didn’t tell them what was going on or what was expected of them. Be sure to check important pre-wedding event dates and plans with your group. Give them all the details they need such as where to be, what time, and the dress code. If there are any you would like them to take care of planning such as a bachelor or bachelorette outing, make sure that they are all aware of your wishes in advance. If there is anything special on the wedding day that they need to supervise or take care of, be sure to let them know and explain what you need from them. And try to be understanding if some of your wedding party aren’t able to make it to every single pre-wedding event. Remember they have other things going on in their lives too!
- Remember to say thank you. Your wedding party is investing a good portion of their time, money, and energy to celebrate with you and make sure your big day is perfect. Remember to do something nice for them in return like a gift and heartfelt note. The rehearsal dinner is often an opportune time to express your thanks and take a moment to honor your party. The wedding day can be a whirlwind and sometimes you forget to stop and thank the ones who made your day possible. Post-wedding thank you notes are a great idea too!