How to Choose Your Wedding Party

Wedding Hacks
Last updated: 8th Apr 2022

We won’t lie to you – choosing your wedding party can be a daunting task. How do you pick the right people – the people you actually want to pick – without offending others who thought they’d make the cut? You don’t want to end up with twenty bridesmaids, half of whom you don’t even know or like… But you also don’t want to insult your guests. We’re in tricky terrain – and navigating it requires the utmost tact and consideration. So let’s make it a little simpler for you. Here’s our guide to how to choose your wedding party – and how to let others down gently.

Put Yourself First!

The first thing to do is remember that your wedding day is about you and your fiancé – not your wedding party! Of course, you should want to keep your guests happy – but ultimately, who’s in your wedding party is up to you. Your wedding day only happens once, so you don’t want to regret having not chosen the people you really wanted. Make sure you and your partner are both happy with your choices as your wedding day is a memory you’ll cherish forever.

So our first piece of advice is to never choose someone for your wedding party purely out of obligation. At the same time, don’t be too harsh. Ruthlessly cutting people out is a sure way to lose friends, so give your decision the care and attention they deserve.

Family or Friends?

The next big decision is choosing between your family and your friends. It’s entirely possible that you’re closer to many of your friends than to your siblings – so you might find yourself wanting to fill your wedding party with friends rather than family. That’s absolutely fine! There’s no “right answer” to this question and the choice is completely up to you.

Our advice would be to do what feels right. It’s totally acceptable to only ask your friends – and many people do! But even if you’re not super close to your family, involving them can make your wedding day even more special. It also prevents you regretting not having asked them later down the line – especially if you’re not asking your sister right now because you had a minor tiff last Tuesday! For many people, their wedding is a celebration of two families coming together and of a new family being formed, so keeping the focus on family may well feel very natural.

Who Has Your Best Interests at Heart?

It’s super important to choose people who will truly be sharing your happiness on your wedding day. They should be happy you’re getting married, with no objections to your choice of fiancé. They also shouldn’t be jealous of you or have any negativity towards your big day in any way.

Now, it’s unfortunate but true that there are some people out there who might have these negative thoughts about your wedding. In some cases, you might still feel it’s important to have them in your wedding party. That’s okay! Just ask them with your best intentions and be led by what feels right to you throughout. Our advice here is just that – advice, not hard-and-fast instructions! When it comes to choosing your wedding party, the most important thing of all is this: follow your heart.

Even if you’re unable to choose the “perfect” wedding party, don’t worry about it too much or let it stress you out. We promise your wedding party isn’t what makes your wedding day the best day of your life – it’s just another ingredient in the recipe! Remember, no one bakes because they love the ingredients… They bake because they love the cake! You’re getting married to the love of your life – that’s what’s really important.

How to Let People Down Gently

Inevitably, there will be some people who expected to be part of your wedding party that won’t make the cut – and that means some potentially awkward conversations. Telling someone they didn’t make it into the final line up is never fun. If you do need to have those conversations, here’s a few tips on how to let them down gently:

  • Remind them that you could only choose a small number of people. That meant making difficult decisions.
  • Have your reasons ready for why you chose somebody else before them. You might have known them longer, gone through something important together, and so on. That said, while this can be appropriate or even necessary, our advice is to avoid giving reasons if at all possible.
  • The easiest way to soften the blow is to invite them to be involved in your wedding in another way. They might not be at the top table with you and your new spouse but you can still make them feel appreciated. Consider seating them at table one or inviting them to your dress fitting with you.
  • Be nice! This a situation that demands care and consideration – and a little kindness goes a long way.

At the end of the day, the number one thing to remember is that your wedding day is about you. At the same time, your wedding party isn’t the be-all and end-all of the day so the people in it don’t necessarily need to be your first choices. It’s about finding a balance between making yourself happy and not offending your friends and family. So the best advice we can give? Go with your heart.

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