Choosing the loved ones you’d like to include in your wedding party is one of the first exciting things you can start brainstorming about once you’re engaged. But what might come as an easy decision to some may prove tricky to others, and that’s okay. Being involved in a wedding party is a great honour, but one that comes with real responsibility. Therefore, it’s crucial that you give significant thought before rushing into any hasty decisions.
With so many things to consider, you might be asking yourself “where do I even begin?” Rest assured, I’m here to give you a helping hand! Keep reading below for a further breakdown of all things to consider when choosing your wedding party.
First things first, sit down and have a discussion with your partner.
A “wedding party” refers to the entire wedding group as a whole, therefore, it’s important to discuss your thoughts and feelings with your partner. By having an open and honest conversation/s, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of where each other stand and their opinions on who you should and potentially shouldn’t consider, and most importantly, why. I’ve always found that tackling a potentially difficult situation such as this as a team has always proved easier than doing it alone.
If you’re stuck for ideas or questions to ask your partner, consider these together and jot down your ideas:
- Are there any immediate inclusions? If yes, who are they, and why?
- Would you like to consider siblings to be in your wedding party?
- What are your expectations of the wedding party members? What will they help with? What will they be expected to pay for?
- What can you afford realistically within your budget? Will this impact how many people you can include in your wedding party?
- Will children be invited to your wedding? If so, who do you have in mind for a flower girl and/or page boy?
Make a list of all potential possibilities.
During these conversations, you’ll start to develop an idea of who may be suitable for your wedding party. It’s important you keep a list of everyone you have in mind to refer back to when needed. As I’ve said, these decisions can take some time. By having a list handy, you can take a step back and reevaluate when you’re ready! It’s also important to be realistic when having these conversations and making these decisions. For example, if your friend lives overseas and will only be able to fly in the day before the wedding, give crucial consideration as to whether they are a realistic option for your wedding party. They most likely won’t be able to attend dress/suit fittings. What if their flights are delayed? Will it be too great of a commitment for someone in another country? It’s all about weighing the risk and being 100% comfortable with your decision and the potential outcomes.
I also cannot stress this point enough, but please take your time when making these decisions! It might feel like you need to get it sorted and out of the way, but these are the people that you will be spending a lot of time with during exciting, but also stressful and nerve-wracking times. Don’t feel pressured or obliged to include anybody. This is your special day, and the decision is completely yours!
Bonus Tip: Just because somebody isn’t directly included in the wedding party, doesn’t mean there aren’t other special ways to include them in your day. For example, they could give a toast at the wedding reception, or do a reading of a poem during your ceremony. There are so many beautiful ways to incorporate those we cherish into the wedding without having to be in the wedding party.
Is there a magic number, and if so, what is it?
I think one of the most common questions I’m asked when people are considering their wedding parties is the group number. How many people are suitable, or how many are too many? And the answer is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Some couples will have smaller weddings but will include a large wedding party. Similarly, couples that have a bigger wedding might only have a smaller wedding party. Those that elope might not have a wedding party at all! The important thing to consider is what will bring you the most joy and happiness on your wedding day.
Instead of focusing on an ideal number first, remember to reflect on your budget and the important relationships in your life and see what the best outcome is that suits all of your needs.
Consider 5 years from now, and then consider 10 years.
The reason I ask you to do this might seem ridiculous, but it can actually be really eye-opening. Will you see yourself being involved with these people and their lives 5 years from now, and then 10 years from now? There will be people that you will immediately answer yes to without hesitation, but for some, there might be some lingering doubt. It’s important to consider this because ultimately your wedding party will play a significant role in the planning, preparation and support of your wedding day. Your wedding party will be in almost all of your photographs, videos and memories too.
This is why I really emphasize not feeling pressured or obliged to include anybody that might not necessarily be your first, second, or even fourth choice. You simply don’t want to look back and feel any regret or resentment for not having made a decision that was 100% your choice. This is your magical day! You should be surrounded by people who not only love and support you but will hype you up and be a responsible individual to rely upon. There can already be so much stress involved in the planning process, you don’t need any additional drama stemming from your wedding party!
Be as open and transparent as possible.
The ideal wedding party will consist of those nearest and dearest to you. Those who you can trust completely and are reliable and responsible sources of support. Therefore, I think it’s incredibly important, to be honest with each member of your wedding party and what your expectations are of them and any given tasks. Have open discussions and be transparent with any costs that they are required to cover. And most importantly, and is something that I think often gets forgotten, is offering them an “out” in the very early stages of planning before anything is set in stone.
The reason I suggest this is simply because not everyone might be in the financial, mental or physical position to take on the responsibilities of a wedding party, regardless of how close of a relationship you have. It’s a hard reality to face, but trust me when I say that you would rather know in the early days than later down the track when it might be too late and/or you’re forced to make last-minute changes. Again, this is why I’m a huge advocate for open and honest discussions! It ensures everyone has all the information possible and is 100% comfortable in making their decisions.
Deciding on your wedding party can definitely be a daunting process! It’s hard not to get caught up in other people’s thoughts and feelings, you don’t want to disappoint anyone and you certainly don’t want anyone to miss out. However, it’s also incredibly important to remember that this is your special day and that it belongs solely to you and your partner. All decisions made by the two of you will ultimately be respected and understood by those who love and respect you. It’s a celebration of your union and the next chapter in your lives! Therefore, only you know who the right people are to stand with you and support you on your wedding day.