How to Select Your Wedding Party

The dos and don'ts for deciding who should stand by your side.

Once you get engaged, all the times you may have daydreamed about your wedding can come rushing back to you. In some cases, what you’ve imagined ends up being close to life, but in other instances, lots of adjustments have to be made. For example, that tight group of friends you had in school may no longer be the best choice to serve as your bridesmaids. Picking people for the bridal party can be awkward – those who remember MySpace may be reminded of the drama involved in making your “Top Eight.” While some people do end up focusing too much on who they think is the best planner when choosing a maid of honor, best man, or other honor attendant, there are still several considerations to keep in mind when selecting the wedding party, aside from simply following your heart. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you along your way.

large bridal party with bridesmaids in champagne dresses on one side, groomsmen in tuxedos on the other side
Photo by Laurie Bailey Photography

- Do consider family. Keeping the wedding party to just siblings (and future siblings-in-law) can make things simple and prevent hurt feelings among your friends. 

- Don’t force it. If you don’t have a good relationship with your sister or future sister-in-law, don’t feel obligated to include them for tradition’s sake. Similarly, if your childhood best friend is no longer someone you communicate with often, don’t feel like the longevity of the relationship is all that matters. 

- Do what feels right. No longer feel connected to your college roommate? Do you have a close friend you’ve only known for a year or so? Focus on who you feel like you really want by your side, not on who other people will assume you’ll choose. 

-Don’t base it on reciprocation. Just because you were in your coworker’s wedding three years ago doesn’t mean you are obligated to include her in yours. 

- Do pick people you trust. While you shouldn’t pick someone just because you think they’ll throw a great bridal shower, you do want to feel like you can count on your bridal party when it comes to showing up on time or ordering the dress. 

- Don’t rush things. You may want to ask your besties to be your bridesmaids as soon as you share your engagement news, but don’t give in to the temptation. Wait at least until you have secured your venue and date. This will help make sure your proposed attendants are available, as well as give you time to better evaluate the relationship and see if your engagement changes anything. 

For more advice, find out what to do when you and your friend are engaged at the same time and learn what to keep after the wedding

Authored by: Emily Lasnier