Your engagement is set and your venue is booked! It’s time to start selecting the members of your wedding party. You might already have an idea of who you want to stand beside you on your special day. Or, if you’re like most of us, you’re feeling a bit conflicted about who to ask because of familial obligations, expectations, roles, communication, and so much more! If you’ve ever been asked to be part of a wedding party, then you know what an honor it is. But you also know all the laundry list responsibilities that can come along with the role. So how do you sort through all of that when selecting your wedding party? It’s tough! But, we’ve got your back! We’ll go over the 6 major considerations to make before selecting your wedding party. Including the honest conversations that need to happen, in the blog below!
This might be somewhat of an uncomfortable consideration to make. But, budget has to be at the top of the list before selecting the members of your wedding party. Your wedding day, along with many of the events leading up to the big day, are not only time-consuming, but they can get pretty costly pretty quickly. There’s hair, makeup, and attire for the day of your wedding. Then the wedding shower and any bachelor/bachelorette parties. Not to mention gifts and travel expenses. And that’s just a bare-bones list.
This is definitely an instance of participation equaling expenditure. And it would be unfair and stressful to ask a beloved friend to be part of your wedding party when you know that they are unable to carry their portion of any financial expenditures. If said friend or family member already has an expectation of being asked to join your wedding party, you may need to sit down with them and have a heart-to-heart. Just because they were not asked to be part of the wedding party, does not mean that you don’t want them by your side in a loving supportive way through every step of the process. It just means that you are alleviating them of carrying the stress of additional finances they may not be able to bear.
Yes, the members of your wedding party not only need to be financially up to the task but also reliable enough as well. Friends and family with overflowing calendars full of so many responsibilities that they can’t remember what day it is may find it hard to participate in a way that you hoped they would. However, that may very well be ok with you. You have to ask yourself the question of whether or not your expectation is that the members of your wedding party be involved in every event, or just the “big stuff”. However, that friend you love who goes all the way back to your days at uni but never seems to be able to reply to texts or show up anywhere on time? Probably not a good choice for a member of your wedding party!
Ability to be Flexible with Your Choices
Hair, attire, and floral choices for your wedding party on the actual day of your wedding are going to be planned by you and your spouse. However, it’s also an area where some friends may not be afraid to share their very vocal very strong opinions about their unwillingness to participate in your attire choices. Which can cause some serious friction! If you’ve ever watched a single episode of “Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids”, you know how personal it can get and how easily a group can come to blows over attire decisions.
This is a topic where a great amount of clear communication beforehand will be your greatest ally. Your goal will be to make sure that the attire selections you make for your wedding party are clearly outlined. Additionally, you’ll need to have a chat with your wedding party about their ability to be flexible with your choices and their willingness to step out of their own comfort zone. You should let them know that if there is anything they are 100%, not comfortable wearing, or participating in that you invite their feedback on ways to make small adjustments. Or, conversely, if there is a deeper issue at hand, their participation is not required for that particular event or outfit.
Excitement & Support for You and Your Spouse
Your friends and family members love and trust you deeply. But, sometimes, their love doesn’t always extend to your spouse. Some may have no issues vocalizing their opinions of your partner with little quips like “you can do better”. And, in the worst of cases, some friends and family may choose not to come around unless they know for certain that your plans together do not include your partner. Suffice it to say that if their love and support hasn’t yet extended over into some form of admiration for your partner, inviting them to be a member of your wedding party is not going to automatically flip a switch for them.
And to be clear, no your friends and family may not yet love your spouse the same way that they love you. But, honestly, have they made a concerted effort to welcome your partner into your family or circle of friends? You are embarking on a lifelong commitment with a person that you love and this is a big moment of celebration for both of you. Additionally, your partner’s friends and family will be in attendance on your wedding day. How terrible would it be to enter into a marriage with a member of your wedding party by your side that is less than thrilled about your match-up but still wants to be “there for you”? It’s a hard pass. If they haven’t shown their love, support, and excitement up to this point, we highly doubt it’s hiding just below the surface.
You and the members of your wedding party are going to be spending heaps of time together in the days leading up to your wedding! They’ll be group chats, message board convos, pre-wedding events, shopping trips, planning parties and so much more. An important thing to consider when selecting the members of your wedding party is how different personalities handle these different scenarios.
More importantly, how well those personalities will work together, and pitch in to make everything a fun, stress-free experience! Not everyone handles stress well. But there are some, who, without incident, step up to the plate every single time, without fail. Then there are others who work best together as a team. Filling your wedding party with friends and family that are willing to work together while making it a fun experience is the key to success!
That Viral Tik Tok List
Did you catch the bride who went viral on TikTok for proposing to her bridal party with a list? In the list, she clearly outlined her expectations. Including expected costs. She listed the total each bridesmaid could expect to spend for the dress she had already picked out. As well as items that she deemed mandatory in the participation department. Sound pushy? It actually wasn’t! Her goal was to destigmatize the discussion around costs for her bridal party. While also clearly communicating the upcoming plans in a way that was transparent and invited their feedback.
Here’s the kicker, after proposing to her bridal party and clearly listing out the items she had already decided on, she included a sort of “get-out-of-jail-free” clause. If for any reason, at all, they were unable to participate, she wanted to give them the opportunity to say no. The bride herself had been a bridesmaid in another wedding before and went into it not knowing total costs or expectations. She had watched friendships deteriorate because these important discussions did not happen prior to the bridal party committing. So while her approach may seem blunt, we appreciate how refreshing her honesty and communication were!