How to Choose Your Wedding Party Without Offending Anyone

March 18 2021 – Mike Yarbrough

Wedding party having fun before the wedding
Wedding party having fun before the wedding

Choosing your wedding party can be one of the most challenging parts of planning a wedding. There are endless logistical and budgetary concerns that come into play. Perhaps the most complicated part is there are emotions involved and a chance to hurt the feelings of friends and family that you love.

It's not easy to decide who your very best friends are, let alone rank them for specific wedding roles. Luckily, there's a path through this difficult ordeal -- ways around some of the potential emotional landmines along the way. 

Consider the Size of Your Wedding

One of the first big decisions you have to make is how many bridesmaids and groomsmen you would like to have in your wedding. A big factor that will help determine the answer is the overall size of your wedding. 

For a relatively small wedding (let's say 50 people or less), it makes sense to have no more than four bridesmaids and four groomsmen. If you're having a tiny micro-wedding of just a couple dozen people or less, you might want to stick to just a maid of honor and a best man.

Choose the Maid of Honor and Best Man

If you have a clear number-one, ride-or-die best friend, then deciding who you want to be your maid of honor or best man will be easy. If you have many close friends and are having a hard time deciding on a single person, don't worry. To make things easier, some couples eliminate the maid of honor and best man roles altogether and simply choose a group of equal bridesmaids and groomsmen. 

Know Your Budget

It's always worth factoring costs into the equation. The more people you have in your wedding party, the more it will cost. Although bridesmaids and groomsmen in the US traditionally pay for their own wedding attire and accommodations, other expenses, such as food and drink at the rehearsal dinner, often fall to the bride and groom. 

Make a List of Who to Ask

Who do you ask first? Should family members be part of the wedding party? How do you handle it if you have a friend who wants to be in the wedding party but you're not so sure you want them to be? Start by making a list of candidates and following a few basic guidelines:

Family Comes First

A good way to begin choosing bridesmaids and groomsmen is to start with family members, especially siblings. If you have a brother or sister you're particularly close to, you might be able check off "Maid of Honor" and "Best Man" from your list quite easily. 

Consider Reliability

Maybe you have a good friend who you really love... but he/she has never showed up on time for anything in their life. While this is (hopefully) an exaggeration, the point is to emphasize reliability when putting together your wedding party. Choose friends you know you can count on!

groomsmen putting wrist corsages on bridesmaids

Factor in Personalities

Some people just do not work and play well together. All of the individuals in your wedding party don't need to be best friends, but they do need to get along, even if on a superficial level. If you have a friend whose personality can be abrasive, it might be better to avoid the drama and not include them in the wedding party. But just because they’re not a good fit for the wedding party doesn’t mean you don’t have to exclude them from helping out at all. You still may need a personal attendant the day of the wedding, or perhaps they would be great at reading a passage or even performing music at the wedding. Maybe they would be the just right person to organize everyone at the end for your sparkler or bubble send off.

A small word of advice: before you ask someone to be a part of your wedding party, make absolutely certain you want them to be in your wedding party. It's not easy to take back an invitation once it's out there.

Bridesmen and Groomsmaids?

Plenty of women have close male friends, and vice versa. That's no reason to exclude anybody. Feel free to mix things up! It's okay for the groom to have a best woman and the bride to have a man of honor. And, by extension, there's nothing wrong with having bridesmen and groomsmaids. 

Avoid Hurt Feelings by Finding Other Roles

There's always a chance that someone's feelings will get hurt if they aren't asked to be part of your wedding party. Try to be conscious of that while still remembering that your wedding is ultimately about you and your soon-to-be spouse. There are a variety of other jobs for people who weren’t asked to be bridesmaids and groomsmen. Ask someone to be the ring bearer or the flower girl, to serve as an usher, read a poem, play a song at the ceremony, or any number of other meaningful activities.

By following the tips above, you’re sure to have a meaningful wedding where all of your best friends and family get along. Another great way to ensure a meaningful wedding experience is by having wedding rings that represent the unique love story shared between you and your future spouse. Our team at Rustic & Main always wants your wedding and wedding rings to be special, which is why we put so much time and attention into each wedding ring we create. Take our ring style quiz and start designing your own custom, one-of-a-kind wedding bands today!