So, you’re engaged! What an awesome milestone in your relationship! *Insert, dancing and celebrating!* I am sure that you’ve already been imagining this day a million different ways, and one question that may have popped up is “How in the world do I narrow down my friends and family to select my Bride Tribe or Groom Gang?” I’ve worked with tons of brides who have way too many close friends or family, and they don’t even know where to start with picking their Top for their Bride Tribe. Let’s be honest, the grooms I’ve worked with aren’t nearly as obsessed with finding the perfect gang. They’re usually just about the food and, well...marrying their best friend! With that being said, we have compiled 5 things to consider when picking your wedding party!
The first thing we want to say is that this is all your choice. It’s your day, and in 2018, there truly aren’t any “rules” anymore that you have to follow - this is not the Middle Ages, and no one is trading you for cows, so this day is completely about you and your fiancé doing whatever will make you happiest.
1. Siblings If you have a younger or older sibling (or many!) you likely want to include them! This goes for your biological siblings and your fiancé's siblings; after the wedding you’re all going to be family! If there is a big age difference, that is completely okay! When you are planning things, just make sure you’re including activities for younger gals & guys too.
2. Friends This can be a tough one! So, as a gal in the wedding industry, I see a lot of bridal parties! Bride tribes typically include BFFs, college friends, and even some of those people you met recently. My thought is if you’ve been through thick and thin with your friend, they should have a spot in the bride tribe. If you’ve known each other since pre-k and have kept in touch in real life (not just Facebook), they also belong in the bride tribe. Now for the ones that are a little more questionable. Say you’ve just started a new job and the gal who trained you is super sweet, do you think she would be offended if you didn't include her in your bride tribe? No, she should most definitely understand! That doesn’t mean you can’t invite her to the showers or even the Bachelorette Party, she just doesn’t need to stand up next to you when you marry your best friend. This goes for the groom gang too!
3. Gender This is something that is becoming increasingly irrelevant, and I love that! In the past, if a bride had a male friend or brother, they would likely go in the Groom’s party instead of her own (and vice versa for females). However, these days it’s not uncommon at all to see Groomsmaids and Bridesmen, or even a Man of Honor or Best Woman! Especially if you are a same-sex couple, obviously gender doesn’t matter for whose side of the party you’ll be on. In the same vein, if you would prefer your brother to be a Groomsman to signify the joining of two families - go for it! Just don’t feel like you have to only because he’s a boy!
4. How Many There are rumors that if you have a wedding that is 50-60 guests, you should have 4 attendants on each side. And if you have 150+ guests, then you could have 10 or more on each. A little tip from someone who hangs out with bridal tribes almost every weekend - more isn’t always merrier! You know when you’re in school and your mom says, “Now, sweetie, it is better to have a close knit group of friends rather than a hundred friends who you don’t talk to everyday?” That rule also applies for picking your Bridal Gang. Now, if you’re looking at these tips and thinking, “What if I have 4 sisters, 4 brothers, & 4 best friends but I am only inviting 50 people to my wedding?” Well, don’t think they have to be in the bridal party! You can always ask them to play a role by being an usher or a special ceremony speaker. One more tip on quantity - the two sides don’t have to match! I worked a wedding once where there were 11 Groomsmen + 9 Ushers, and only 2 Bridesmaids! They mixed things up in their photos and everything came out beautifully! So don’t force yourself or your fiancé to either cut or add people they don’t want to just to achieve symmetry.
5. And lastly, consider your budget! Over the past few years, I definitely have noticed wedding budgets being a huge concern for most brides. And sometimes, you don’t think about the bridal party being a part of this budget because they are “supposed” to pay for certain things. However, this doesn’t always end up being the case, and what you may not take into account are the extra budget for bouquets, boutonnieres, head table rentals, and of course their gifts!
If reading this is absolutely stressing you out, then maybe a smaller bridal party is the way to go! Some couples don’t even have a bridal party anymore. But if you (like me) have been drafting and re-drafting your bridal party every day for 10 years, then just make sure you stay true to yourself and do what’s going to make you and your fiancé happy when you look back on it in 10 years!