Monday, March 4, 2013

Choosing your Bridesmaids

Deciding who will stand beside you on your big day is an important decision. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by not selecting them to be one of your bridesmaids, but you don't want to follow 20 people down the aisle either. If you're having a longer engagement and choose your bridesmaids too early, by the time the wedding roles around you may be closer to one of your friends that you didn't select. Choosing your maid of honor is also an important decision. You want someone who you can rely on to not reveal anything too embarrassing during the toast, tell you if you look fat while you're trying on wedding dresses and hold your dress while you pee!
I chose my sister Erin to be my maid of honor.

Choosing a maid of honor was an easy decision for me. I have one sister, Erin, and she has known me all 23 years of my life, so there is no one who knows me better. (It may be more difficult for brides with more than one sister to decide who gets the top job.) When I was little, I wanted to be just like her. As we have both grown up, she has been the one who has been brutally honest about the guys I have dated, and she was the one who I cried to when those relationships didn't work out. I knew I could rely on her to help me make all the important decisions, to take me down a notch when I'm turning into a bridezilla and to ensure that the day will run as smoothly as possible.

Picking the rest of my bridal party was a little bit more difficult, but not because I didn't have plenty of great friends; it was the complete opposite. I have so many great friends and as much as I wanted them all to be part of my big day, it seemed completely ridiculous to have more people in the wedding party than guests at the wedding! The average number of bridesmaids in a wedding party is five, but I've been to weddings where there were eight bridesmaids. Your number of bridesmaids honestly just depends on what you want.

Allison and I have been friends since kindergarten, so
it was an easy decision making her one of my bridesmaids.
I decided to have four bridesmaids (including my sister) in the hopes that the smaller number would deter my other friends from being upset that I didn't select them. I chose my best friend since kindergarten, a close family friend (who was like another sister), and Matt's sister. Even though I selected my bridesmaids early, I knew these people well enough and for long enough to know that I wouldn't change my mind about choosing them.

Matt faced the same dilemmas when choosing his groomsmen. (I'm pretty sure at no other point in life will having so many friends be an issue!) We (I) decided that we wanted the same number of groomsmen as bridesmaids. However, it's completely acceptable to have a different number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.

He chose one of his friends that he's known since elementary school to be his best man, two other friends from home to be his groomsmen, and is waiting a little big longer to decide his fourth groomsmen. He's choosing between several people and wants to see who he is closer with at the time of the wedding.

We've gone back and forth about having ushers. It would be nice for him to be able to include more of his friends, but that inclusion also comes at a price. We don't want to make two of his friends rent a tux to pass out programs and seat people, and then not have them standing beside him. We're having two of his groomsmen takeover the role of the ushers.

Many people choose to include flower girls and ring bearers in their ceremonies. I have a young cousin who will be the flower girl, but other than that, Matt and I aren't close to any young children so we're not having a ring bearer. My best friend invited small children to her wedding, but didn't want to include them in the ceremony since they can be unpredictable. Once again, it really just depends on the couple and who they want to include.

Once you have made your final decisions, don't allow yourself to be guilted into straying from your vision. The friends who you don't include will understand that you're working on a budget and can't include everyone. Just because you don't include them in your wedding party doesn't mean that you can't invite them to your bachelorette party or involve them in the planning process.

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