We have the privilege of working with couples during one of the most exciting times in their lives but along with the excitement can come stress. Of course, hiring a competent, professional and FUN wedding planner goes along way for relieving a lot of that anxiety but there are some things that we can’t do. There are some things we can only guide you through and one of those things is the Wedding Party.
The Wedding Party is there to stand by you and support you and your fiance as you make this lifetime commitment to one another. Remember this when selecting the people who will be standing next to you at the alter!
Today, I thought we could answer some of the questions that we get asked most often when it comes to the attendants and the overall wedding party. I wanted to give you a little etiquette (Emily Post and Martha Stewart) along with some insight from the modern day wedding world.
How many people should I have in my bridal party?
According to Emily or Martha, concrete numbers should be one groomsman to usher each 50 guests. More often that not, couples will pair one bridesmaid with each groomsman; modernly, a groomsman can escort two bridesmaids or vice versa. In today’s world, more couples are throwing tradition to the wind and, simply, going with the number of attendants that they feel comfortable with. Some couples even choose to go without attendants or only honor attendants; whereas, other couples have as many as a dozen close family and friends they choose to include in their bridal party.
How do I determine who should be my honor attendant?
Traditionally, the position of maid or matron of honor is assumed by the sister closest in age to the bride. If the bride has more than one sister, she can have both or all of them be honor attendants; or, alternatively, if the bride doesn’t have a sister, she would ask a close friend, cousin or aunt. In the modern world, brides entitle their closest friend whether that be a sister, other family member or someone who is not related at all. There have even been brides who have gone off the beaten path and had their male best friend stand by their side on their big day – literally. Just make sure all male attendants’ attire coordinates. Whether the honor attendant be related or not, male or female – remember one thing: it should be someone who can understand and give you the support you need at this very special time in your life.
I have too many friends and family – how do I choose?
You should not choose an attendant to meet a certain number. They should be standing at your side that day because you can’t imagine not sharing every step of your special day with that person. They should be a team of support to the bride and the groom, made up of individuals who won’t worry about assisting with little tasks as well as bigger ones. If after carefully evaluating, you still have more people in mind than you would like in your party, consider one cousin from each branch of family or the friend you spend most of your time with as opposed to the one you see once or twice a year. You may even consider keeping it to family only. You can always include family or friends you cannot include in other ways, such as a reading or ushering a family member in the processional.
Bridal party member and I had a falling out – what do I do?
If you don’t have anyone in mind that you would like to include, there is no need to fill the spot. You don’t need to have a 1:1 bridesmaid-groomsman ratio. If there is someone that you would like to have included now that this member has dropped out and it’s not too late (aka, dresses haven’t been ordered yet), a little white lie won’t hurt anyone. Just explain that you had a really hard time narrowing down your list and that you have finally finalized it. Or, if you feel you need to be completely honest and that they won’t be offended being on your “B”-list, go ahead and sit down with them and explain.
I dislike one of my fiancé’s choices for groomsmen. Can I battle this?
In this case, this is your husband’s decision to make. Try to appreciate that this is a friend or family member of he holds near and dear – and that may never change. For the sake of your marriage, you might want to make every effort to accept that. If you just can’t live with this person being one of your attendants, explore other ways of honoring this friend of his in your wedding.
Should my wedding party be allowed a “plus one”?
“And guest” suffixes are only mandated by etiquette in the case that they are spouses, fiancés, or live-in partners. If you would like to have a member of your party invite a person they have been in a long term relationship with, you have to keep it consistent and do the same for the entire bridal party.
I would like all of my bridesmaids to have a specific hairstyle and/or make-up done in a specific style. Is this too much to ask?
It is fair to ask your bridesmaids to wear their hair a certain way; however, if you require a professional to get the job done, you should really offer to pick up this tab, unless they offer to do so.
They’re near and dear to our hearts, but we have friends that get rowdy or emotional once they’ve have had too much to drink. Should we request that they limit the amount of alcohol they consume before a certain time of day?
Talk to your friends on your own – you speak with yours and your fiancé can speak with his. Share with them what you want out of your day, rather than what you don’t. For example, share with your college friend who tends to get emotional when she drinks too much that you are looking forward to having a great time at your wedding and don’t want to drink too much as you would like to cherish your special day. Hint, hint.
Once you’ve done that, you should also forewarn your wedding planner or caterer that alcohol can be a problem with a select few. They may have solutions for you as to inconspicuously limiting alcohol.
We hope this gives a little insight when determining and working with your wedding party.
Liz Beck Events