Most wedding experts agree that you should choose the members of your wedding party based on who you actually want to be around you on your Big Day—not based on "obligations" and what other people think you should do. Below is our list of tips to choosing the best dream team for your Big Day.
Don't rule attendants out based on their gender.
Traditionally, the bride selects her best female friends/relatives to stand by her side, and the groom follows suit by asking the same number of male friends/relatives to serve as his groomsmen. At some point, someone, somewhere, decided that when it comes to the composition of the wedding party, you absolutely needed to make sure that both bride and groom had the same number of attendants and that those attendants could easily be "coupled up" for the purposes of photography, reception introductions, etc.
However, according to Emily Post, wedding etiquette holds that "in the past, women were most likely to choose female attendants, and likewise for the groom and males, but 'friendship should be the chief factor, not gender in selecting attendants. Each member of the bridal party should stand with the person to whom he or she is closest. Terms such as 'man of honor,' 'brides-men,' 'groomswomen, and 'best woman' are used when appropriate." Your Gran might raise an eyebrow for a minute, but she'll get over it when she sees how happy you are.
Don't worry about the number of attendants each of you plan to ask.
A bridal party is not, in Judith Martin's words, a "chorus line," and therefore the bridal party needn't consist of either equal numbers on each side, nor equal numbers of men and women. You also shouldn't feel obligated to choose someone just to "even out" the number of attendants for the photographs. You have five bridesmaids in mind, but he really only wants three groomsmen—that is perfectly acceptable.
Do consult with the parents before asking the little ones.
Children really cannot be asked directly because it is not going to be up to a 4-year-old to make that decision, so approaching the parents first is a must. Once you do have an affirmative answer from them, it is a nice gesture to ask the child in the same cute and thoughtful way you are asking the rest of the bridal party.
Don't forget to take work and financial obligations into consideration.
Often if a person is having an issue with money or vacations days allowed from their job, they may not feel comfortable telling you. If you suspect this is the case though, assure them that costs can be kept to a minimum and also consider letting them know if there are any wedding-related parties they can skip or be relieved of so they can streamline their resources into preparing for the Big Day.
Do try to understand if someone needs to decline.
Ideally they will spell that reason out for you, but if someone still feels that they need to decline your offer, try to avoid any hard feelings as there are generally a lot of financial and time-consuming obligations that your friend may feel they cannot meet. If you are having a destination wedding, or any out-of-town wedding-related party, they are obligated to attend,the expense and time they will have to take off work for your wedding can add up significantly.
Do consider offering to help.
If this is a person you truly cannot imagine getting married without them by your side, then you may want to discuss the possibility of covering this person's costs with your fiancé. Even if you have to swap out that mystical ice sculpture you have dreamed of displaying at your reception to make the extra costs fit your budget, it may be well worth ensuring that the most important people to you are also a part of your Big Day. Try also to make it a point to discreetly talk to your friend when you offer to help them with the wedding party expenses.
Don't forget to make it special.
The best way to ask someone to stand in your wedding is in person, however a handwritten note and/or a phone call is perfectly acceptable as well. If the majority of your wedding party lives in the same area, consider asking them together at the same time. If you can't ask in person, consider sending a handwritten note or face-timing your friend at the same time you ask the rest of your soon-to-be wedding party. Following the big ask, and as a kind gesture, send a thank-you card or call to say thank you to each member of your wedding party and let them know how excited you are to know that will be a part of your wedding.
Do get inspired.
Looking for some really great inspirations for popping the question to your wedding party? You need to look no further than Pinterest as there are literally hundreds of creative ideas to help you find the perfect way to ask.