Choosing Your Bridal Party

There are so many things that go into to planning a wedding, and one of those things is choosing your bridal party. It is is such a personal thing, and can depend on many factors, from the size of the wedding to the amount of siblings you have. I do my best here to help unpack the confusions and stresses of bridal parties!

Do I need to have a bridal party?

The simple answer is no. You absolutely do not have to have a bridal party, especially if it’s something you’re feeling more obligated than excited to have. Including bridesmaids in my wedding was always a no-brainer for me. I always envisioned my best friends by my side through every step of the way, so much so that finding their dresses was almost as important as finding my own! But if having a bridal party feels more like an added task or chore for you, go ahead and nix it.

How many bridesmaids should I have?

I ended up having ten bridesmaids, and every time it came up, I got the same shell shocked reaction, “Wow that’s SO many!” I know. But it made me happy, and that’s all that mattered. A large bridal party worked for me, it may or may not work for you. There is really no rule on how many bridesmaids you choose to have, again, it is so personal! Some brides choose to have a maid of honor, and nothing more.

I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings…

While fun and exciting, choosing your bridal party can be stressful: there’s worrying about hurting people’s feelings, or feeling obligated to include family members. My one piece of advice on this topic is don’t worry about it. Having a bridal party should reduce stress, not induce it. There are ways to include friends and family members that you are not able to include in your bridal party! Invite them to the bachelorette party and bridal shower, ask them to help you make a playlist for your wedding events, or even ask their opinion on colors you have in mind. But the bottom line, as I will always say, is that this is your day, and you should never change or include something in your plans due to a feeling of guilt.

BM backs

I was in a friend’s wedding last year, do I have to have her in mine?

You may feel that you need to include someone in your bridal party if you were in theirs, and while that’s a logical thing to think, it’s not necessarily true. Of course, this is incredibly personal, and varies case by case. As someone who went through their own wedding, and is now watching some of my bridesmaids go through their own wedding planning experiences, I do not place the expectation upon them to also be included as a bridesmaid in their wedding. Their wedding may not be as large as mine, they may not have a bridal party, they may choose to only include family members…whatever the reason, that’s their decision and I respect that. If you find yourself in this situation, remember that good friends will understand, and you still experience anxiety around not including a friend that included you as one of their bridesmaids, offer to take them to coffee or out for a drink to explain where you’re coming from, and that they are still a great friend that you’re excited to share the wedding planning experience with.

Can I Include My Best Guy Friend in My Bridal Party?

Absolutely! Bridal parties do not have to be traditional!  Having a bridal party should come down to one thing: including your closest friends in the best day of your life. If those friends happen to be of the opposite sex, by all means put them in your bridal party! There’s a term for that: bridesman! You will find in wedding planning that there are a lot of traditional “rules”, and I firmly believe those rules are to be broken, if it means making your wedding feel more like you.

Okay, I’ve decided on my bridesmaids! How do I ask them?

I love the trend of “proposing” to bridesmaids that I have been seeing over the last few years. There are so many fun and creative ways to do this. I have seen brides customize gift boxes with each of their bridesmaids names, filled with goodies like candles, champagne, and wedding themed hair ties. Because I had such a large group, I wanted to keep the cost down, but still do a fun little gift. I gifted each of my girls with a small gift bag that included a mini pink champagne, a small candle, a mini party hat, and a bottle open in shaped into the word “love”. Check out my Pinterest board here for inspiration!

Have you already “proposed” to your bridal party? I wanna know how! Tell me in the comments, and as always thank you so much for reading!

Xoxo,

Juliana

Photography by Rachel Walker Photography

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