The people in your bridal party are the people who you will be spending time with on one of the most precious days of you lives, so choose wisely.
Usually the bridal party consists of two to six attendants, a flower girl and an usher (or two), but it is up to you how many you include. Most couples like to keep their bridal party even - i.e. if you have 3 bridesmaids, then the groom has 3 groomsmen. This way there none of your bridesmaids will end up as wall flowers with no dancing partner. Also for aesthetic reasons - your photos will benefit from having a nice and even number of attendants.
Here are a few tips to choosing the perfect bridal party:
- How close are they? Were they around to lend you support in everyday matters before you announced your engagement?
- There are no people that should be included in the bridal party, so choose people because you are close to them, not because you are obliged to.
- You don't need to reciprocate an honour - you don't need to ask a friend to be your bridesmaid simply because you were hers. She will understand eventually if she is a true friend.
- Choose friends or family who you still see yourself being friends with 10 years down the track.
- Who does your fiancé want to ask? Discuss your choices and come up with a short-list together. You don't want to choose a couple who have recently broken up - it may create a tense atmosphere on the day and in the days leading up to it. You will have enough to stress about!
- Think about the roles they will be asked to perform - are your friends up to it? Will they be able to commit to these responsibilities? How will they handle the heat?
- Ring bearers and flower girls are traditionally aged between four and nine. If you choose a younger child for one of these jobs expect the unexpected and don't be too precious about their performance.
Image at top right: David Griffiths