When it comes to choosing who will stand by your side on your wedding day, it can be super easy or sometimes totally overwhelming. How many do you have in the wedding party? What do they wear? Do you have to have even numbers or is odd okay? Can guys stand with the bride and women with the groom? Do you have to have any at all? Who pays for what? Can we just have our dog?
I say it all the time - it's your day, so do it your way. Here's a few tips to help you.
(Photo by Symmetry Weddings, Perth, Western Australia)
TAKE YOUR TIME
You're engaged and can't wait to start planning your wedding. STOP! Now isn't the time to start asking friends to be in your wedding party. Give it lots of thought. Think about your relationship with them. Ask yourself some questions. Who is going to be in your life long after the wedding? Who will jump in and get something done without being asked?
Whether you choose a mate you've known since Kindy but hasn't been around over the last few years, your partner's sister because they want you too, a workmate who has just recently become your bestie and who you feel closest to right now, or your pop because he's totally your best mate, surround yourself with your favourite people who you know will make your wedding day amazing!
DON'T GET PRESSURED INTO ASKING SOMEONE - TAKE YOUR TIME
You will probably hurt someone's feelings, so be kind to yourself - you can't make everyone happy - and be prepared.
* Plan what you're going to say and stick to your decision.
* Let them know how much you value their friendship. Avoid saying that someone you chose is closer to you or more important.
* Have another option ready and make it authentic. For example reading a poem during the ceremony, welcoming guests at the ceremony because they have such a warm and friendly personality, or being MC for the reception.
HOW MANY IS ENOUGH?
For this question the answer is, there is no answer. It doesn't matter if you're having a small wedding and want 5 either side, or a larger wedding and only want one each side. But, yes here's the but, if you intend to pay for some of your wedding party's costs like hair and make-up, or their outfit, or shoes, or stay overnight...the more you have the more expensive it becomes.
(Chantelle and Luis's fun and fabulous wedding party by Trish Woodford Photography, Perth, Western Australia)
BE UPFRONT AND HONEST
The best wedding party is made up of friends who are reliable and responsible. You're going to be relying on them to help you with lots of wedding tasks, not just to look fabulous on the day. So it's really important to be upfront and honest, and tell your wedding party the role you expect them to play, when you will need them to be around such as attending the rehearsal.
Let them know what costs you will and won't cover, as this might influence their decision to say 'yes'. Also let them know that you want them to feel comfortable with what they are wearing on the day but you will choose.