Once the glow of your engagement has passed, you will no doubt be inundated with demands on who the wedding party will be. For some this is not always an easy decision.
Use Your Head Not Just Your Heart
You need to ensure you don’t use just your heart when selecting who to stand with you, take your time and don’t make decisions on a whim. Remember once you’ve asked someone to be an usher or bridesmaid, you cant change your mind or sack them! Select those that are supportive of your marriage and have been there for you, choose those you can imagine still be close to in 5, 10, 15 years from now.
What Will Their Duties Be?
How will you want your bridesmaids, ushers and best man to support you? Do you want the bridesmaids to come dress shopping with you and be available for dress fittings? Are they there mainly to support you the bride, or do you envisage them helping with DIY aspects of the wedding? Think seriously about whether they have the time to do this. Explain your expectations to them before they agree, it would be unfair to spring lots of additional bridesmaid duties onto them without warning. What if they have a job with very little free time, will they want that to be taken up with wedding DIY? Do you need them to organise the hen do or will this be your maid of honour?
As a guide allow 1 usher per 50 guests, ideally this should include men from both the grooms and brides family, as well as friends of the groom. Their main duties would be on the day, assisting with parking, escorting single ladies down the aisle, handing out order of services. You should choose those that are sensible but jovial as well. If however you want them available for pre wedding set up (especially if in a marquee or barn), you need to check they’d be available for this.
Will you have 1 or 2 best men? This should be someone that is a strong support for the groom, someone that has been through thick and thin with him. They would normally arrange the stag do so someone with an element of organizational skills is essential. Someone that is authoritative but friendly to get the most out of people on the wedding day. And of course a person that is trust worthy to have the rings and confident in public speaking. At times some grooms choose 2 best men who perhaps have different skills thus are utilized efficiently on the day!
No Need To Be Sexist
If you’re a bride with a male best friend there is no reason he cannot be involved in the wedding party, assuming he doesn’t want to wear a dress 😉 he can be your
man of honor dressed in a snazzy suit but different to the ushers, perhaps the tie can be the same shade as the bridesmaid dresses?
Think Of The Cost
Ok I know this may not sound nice, but I do like to be practical! Here in the UK it is normal for the couple to pay for the bridesmaid dresses, shoes and hair/make up. So before you decide on 8 bridesmaids, can you afford it?!
You might want to confirm with your bridesmaids what you are/are not paying for. For example you might pay for the hair & makeup but not manicures or beauty treatments prior to the day.
Again you would normally pay for the hire of the suits, but in some cases you might ask them to buy their own white shirts.
Other Ways To Help
If someone doesn’t have the time to support you as a bridesmaid or usher, is there another way they can help? Perhaps doing a reading on the day or being a witness? Or if they have a skill utlilise it, baking some cookies or singing on the day?
Saying Thank You
Don’t forget to thank all your wedding party during the speeches and if budget allows buy them a small token of appreciation. This could be jewelry for the bridesmaids to wear on the day or cufflinks for the men. Or go fun with BBQ’s and spa days.
If you need any wedding planning help or advice please contact me to discuss how I can assist.