Wedding Party 101: A Guide to Choosing Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Men and women in a bridal party; bridesmaids and groomsmen

From how many to choose to how to ask, this article could provide guidance on selecting your wedding party and making sure everyone is on the same page.


Is it a Bridal Party or Wedding Party?

Women enjoying a bridal toast; bridal party; maid of honor and bridesmaids

A bridal party is a group of close family members and friends that are chosen to support the bride on her wedding day. This group typically includes the Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, Flower Girl and any other junior bridesmaids. It is customary for the bride to choose these special people to stand up with her as she takes her vows.

However, bridal parties are getting fairly dated because of gender-specific roles. Consider doing away with gender stereotypes and hello to the inclusive 'wedding party' instead. No longer limited to just female attendants, this new term embraces diversity and welcomes all gender roles on both sides of the aisle. Whether you're a bride with male attendants, a groom with two maids of honor, a same-sex couple, and everything in between - the ‘wedding party' has got you covered.

Your Wedding Party

Choosing your wedding party is a joint decision that requires both of your input and agreement. After all, these folks will be by your side through all the wedding planning and on the big day itself. So, make sure you all get along before committing to the squad.

When it comes to assembling your wedding squad, don't just pick anyone haphazardly. Take a moment to consider the chemistry between your leading ladies (or gents). After all, you want to avoid any potential diva dramas and ensure that your ride-or-die crew is 100% committed to making your big day a success. So, choose wisely and opt for those who have stood the test of friendship-time and always have your back, no matter what.

How to Choose Your Wedding Party

Choosing your wedding party can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips for selecting the perfect wedding party:

  1. Picking your bridesmaids and groomsmen is a big deal, so before you jump in, let's talk significance. Different religions and cultures have different meanings for these roles, so let's get creative and understand the symbolism before you make your selections! Think about who has been there for you: When selecting members of your wedding party, consider those who have supported you throughout your relationship. These could be close friends, family members, or people who have been a part of your relationship in some way.
  2. Your wedding party will need to attend pre-wedding events, help with planning and preparations, and participate in the ceremony itself! It's a big commitment, so you'll need to choose wisely. Ask those who you know will go above and beyond to make your special day unforgettable.
  3. When choosing members for your wedding party, it's important to consider the number of people you want standing with you on your big day. Make sure the size of your wedding party is feasible within your financial and location limitations.
  4. When choosing your wedding party, it is important to consider that they will be representing significant individuals in your life. Choose carefully and ensure that each person is someone you would like to recognize by assigning them a distinct role on your wedding day.

When selecting your wedding party, it is important to carefully consider who should be given this significant role in order to ensure a group of individuals who will stand by you on your wedding day.

FAQ When Deciding On Your Wedding Party

What is the maximum size of a wedding party that can be accommodated within my wedding budget?

The number of bridesmaids and groomsmen you choose for your wedding party will definitely affect your budget. Bridesmaids traditionally pay for their attire, accessories, and the bachelorette party. The couple will cover the cost of bouquets, transportation, a thank-you gift, and hair and make-up if required. The cost for each bridesmaid's bouquet is around $100, plus another $100+ for a gift. Couples may choose to pay for outfits instead of a gift, but costs will add up. Financial contribution to the big day shouldn't be significant when choosing wedding party members.

Is it necessary to select an equal number of individuals for each side of the wedding party?

The tradition of having an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen is not necessary. Some say it is strange that the number of close friends standing next to the couple on their wedding day must be the same. 

When choosing your wedding party, it's important to prioritize the people who you want to share your big day with and who you see being a part of your lives in the future. Focusing on having an even number of people may result in including individuals who you wouldn't have otherwise chosen. Additionally, having both genders represented on both sides is becoming more common.

What factors should be considered when selecting members for a wedding party?

Avoid asking someone just for the sake of politeness, like a friend from school who asked you before. We're adults now, so there's no need for reciprocation as everyone has different circumstances and friends. Avoid offending anyone, but do ask the people you really want to be there on your special day. We also caution you to be aware of the cost and time commitment, and avoid asking someone who can't afford it or may decline.

Your Maid of Honor

Bride and her maid of honor

The maid of honor is responsible for organizing the bridal party and delegating tasks. She helps the bride choose her wedding and bridesmaids' dresses, informs guests where the couple is registered for gifts, and hosts pre-wedding events. On the wedding day, she assists with the bride's attire and signs the marriage certificate as a witness. During the reception, she may join the newlyweds for their first dance and gives a toast.

Picking Your Bridesmaids

5 women in a bridal party; bridesmaids in a wedding

Who should be chosen as bridesmaids? Well, aside from family and friends, the groom's sister can also be part of the group. Junior bridesmaids are also welcome, so don't be afraid to include young ones. But who should you choose? The best way is to pick people from different stages of your life — childhood, college, work and your family. But let's not forget that those you choose should jive together and focus on making YOU feel taken care of and special.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Bridesmaid?

Bridesmaids are the unsung heroes of a wedding. They help plan the best bachelorette parties and showers, sometimes even cohosting them. For more inspiration on hosting a bridal shower, check out 5 Fantastic and Unusual Places to Hold a Bridal Shower. They're always up for attending prenuptial festivities and taking charge of tasks like gift logs and hotel room bookings. And let's not forget the dress - they purchase the one you've chosen and make sure it fits perfectly. But if they're wearing their own dresses, they make sure to follow your style and color specifications. Come the ceremony, they'll be walking down the aisle ahead of the maid of honor and also making sure that you're taking care of too. 

Your Best Man 

A groom and his best man on his wedding day

The groom's wingman, the best man, is the ultimate wedding superhero. He helps the groom choose the perfect tuxedos and ensures all the groomsmen are fitted to perfection. The bachelor party is his domain, and he plans it with style. On the big day, he's the groom's personal timekeeper and chief nerve-calmer. During the ceremony, he stands by the groom's side, holds the bride's ring, and signs the papers. Post-wedding, he handles the payments, delivers a killer toast, and keeps the gift envelopes safe. When the party ends, he orchestrates the perfect exit for the newlyweds. The job of the best man is saving grooms from wedding disasters since the beginning of time.

Picking Your Groomsmen

 Groomsmen on a wedding day

Picking your groomsmen is an important part of the wedding planning process and can feel overwhelming at times. While there are no hard and fast rules, there are a few tips to help make the selection process easier.

  1. Firstly, it’s important to decide on how many groomsmen you would like in your party. The traditional number of groomsmen is typically between three and five. However, this is completely up to you.
  2. Once you have decided on the number of groomsmen, it is time to start selecting who they will be. Consider your closest friends and family members that you want to honor with this special role. If two friends are very close, consider including them both as groomsmen and giving them joint tasks like handing out programs or being in charge of collecting gifts.
  3. When you are making your selections, try to avoid making assumptions or expecting people to fill certain roles just because of their relationship with you. Instead, talk with each individual and ask if they would like to participate. This will show that you value the potential groomsman's opinion and will make them feel appreciated.

Choosing a Flower Girl and Ring Bearer

Want to add some cuteness to your wedding? Consider including some little ones in your wedding party! But don't forget that children aren't mini-adults. Make sure your flower girls and ring bearers are at least four years old and capable of handling their big moment. Don't pick a shy or fidgety kiddo who might crumble under the pressure. Ask their parents for their honest opinion on whether their little one is ready for the limelight. Let the adorableness commence!

What is the Job of the Flower Girl?

A flower girl playing her role in a wedding

Ah, the flower girl! A crucial piece of any wedding puzzle. This little lady struts her stuff down the aisle, scattering petals of love, luck, and prosperity in the bride's path. Typically, flower girls are aged between four and seven, and have a special bond with the bride or groom. Think nieces, goddaughters, cousins, or the children of close friends. These little girls add a touch of cuteness to any ceremony and steal the hearts of everyone in attendance.

 What is the Job of the Ring Bearer?

Ring bearer playing his part in a wedding

As the bride glides down the aisle, all eyes are on the little guy leading the way - the ring bearer. This pint-sized superstar carries the precious wedding rings (or maybe some decoys if he's not quite ready for the real deal) on a small pillow. Once he hands over the goods to the best man, he's free to go back to his seat and enjoy the rest of the show.

In summary, choosing the people to be part of your wedding party is a very important decision and you should take in all the considerations we've outlined in this article. Remember, the wedding party should consist only of special people who you want to share in the emotions and memories of your wedding day.

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