What You Need to Know About Choosing Your Bridal Party (part 1)
One of the first things most couples do once they plan their date and let the engaged life settle in for a bit is to chose who they want to have in their bridal party. This, in itself, can create a lot of stress for some people. Couples may think they know who they want standing next to them, but then, the “what if’s” come in.
Have you ever said any of these things..?
• What if I don’t ask someone, will their feelings be hurt?
• What if my sides don’t match in number?
• What if my bridal party is too small or too large?
• What if I ask someone who really doesn’t want to be in my wedding?
• What if someone in my bridal party can’t afford to be in it?
• What if I ask someone who’s married? Does their spouse have to be in the bridal party too?
If you’ve ever asked any of these questions, then this is the place you want to be. Over the next few months, we’re going to be covering all these topics and more, so don’t worry…we have your back.
Now, I know we always talk to experts in the Hudson Valley, but sometimes, the experts we need to give you the best advice are outside of our market, as in this case. We reached out to two bridesmaid experts to give you advice on how to choose and handle your bridal party.
Angela Napoletano and Beth Palmisano, are friends and co-owners of Dear Bridesmaid. Based in Virginia, this online resource offers bridesmaids tips, products, and advice, to make their time in that role as easy and stress-free as possible. Jen Glatz is a professional bridesmaid, based in New York City, and is the founder of the website Bridesmaid for Hire & Author of “Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire)”. Together, they share their expertise in helping you choose your bridal party and navigating your bridal party questions.
How do I choose my bridal party?
This can be a heavy decision for many couples. I know in other posts I’ve talked about the unromantic side of weddings as a way to help you de-stress and not go crazy over details that might keep you up at night. Mainly, that all you really need are two witnesses and don’t even need a bridal party at all if you don’t want one.
HOWEVER, I don’t like to focus too much on the unromantic side of things, because, we all know, a wedding is the most romantic event you’ll ever be a part of. The problems creep in because brides and grooms overcomplicate this process.
Glantz says, “Keep your bridal party simple. Use the elevator trick. Who would you want to be stuck in an elevator with? Sounds funny, but it’s true. Being stuck in an elevator is a lot like being at a wedding. It can be emotional, overheated, scary, and people might even get hungry or hangry. Those are the people you want to have as your bridesmaids – the ones who will be calming you down not adding to the drama.”
The elevator trick is a great tool to help you decide. No bride or groom wants extra drama. If you are not inviting a particular person to be in your bridal party because of the drama they create and are worried about how they will react to not being invited, think of it this way. it’s better to have that drama be done and over with outside of your wedding than during your wedding.
Palmisano says she sees two themes play out most when the bride (or groom) choose their party. First, she says that you need to remember that being asked to be in a bridal party is an honor and should be reserved for the most important people. “These are the sisters, oldest friends, even mothers who are given the badge as a thank you and symbolic gesture of love.” Second, she says some brides go beyond that and invite newer friends. “…Typically friends present in the bride’s life at the time of wedding prep. The ones she sees daily and counts on for a quick favor or to accompany her on errands.” She says having a mix of old and new friends/family members is great because it gives you a nice mix of people you can turn to throughout the planning process.
How many people do I choose and do my sides need to be even?
Ok, so here’s my two sense on this…the smaller the better. I know there are traditional “rules” that say the size of your bridal party should match the size of your wedding, but honestly, the bigger the party, the more stress it means for you. That’s more people you have to organize, more opinions you have to deal with, more of everything, and who want to deal with all that stress?
Your bridal party is NOT a position to take lightly and is not for anyone who has ever meant anything to you. You’ve all heard stories about couples who had enormous amounts of people in their bridal party? Why? Use the K.I.S.S Method (Keep It Simple Silly)
However, if you really want a big bridal party or if you really want a small bridal party, know that there is no right or wrong answer as to what you should do. Nor, is there a right or wrong decision to having the sides match in number. Palmisano says, “There is no right or wrong and count is really based on the bride’s preference. Bridesmaids and groomsmen don’t need to be even but some couples prefer that.”
Does the brides’ side need to be all women and does the groom’s side need to be all men?
Of course not! The one thing to remember about weddings is that while there are traditional “rules” like I mentioned before, it’s still your wedding day. Couples today want their day to be different and personalized, so really there are no “rules”, it’s whatever you like. “The bride should choose ‘her person’ to stand beside her on the special day. If it’s a guy he should be up there,” says Palmisano
Featured Photo Credit: Kristina Walter