One of the most wonderful aspects of planning your wedding day is the ability to select some of your friends and family to make up your wedding party. There’s nothing quite like the reaction you get from your best girl when you pop the big question; ‘will you be my maid of honour?’! There will be smiles, there will be giggling, and there may even be a few tears when you request that your loved ones join the ranks of the most important people at your wedding. Of course you don’t need to appoint any attendants if you don’t want to! It you’re happy to meet you groom at the alter without the assistance of bridesmaids or groomsmen then it’s completely your decision. However my advice to brides and grooms is always to appoint the bare minimum of a maid of honour, a best man and an usher in order for you to get the help you need on the run up to the big day, and on the day itself.
The number of attendance appointed by the bride and groom generally reflects the size of the wedding. If it’s a small affair you and your groom may have one or two attendants each, however large weddings usually host a string of bridesmaids and groomsmen alongside a maid of honour, a best man, page boys and flower girls. Again, it’s completely your decision to make, but remember to keep your budget in the back of your mind when making these decisions.
While I urge you to really enjoy this process, I must add a note of caution as well. Choosing who will accompany you down the aisle also needs to be done with an element of care and tact. If you are blessed with a large group of ladies and sisters who you consider to be your best friends it can be difficult to choose just one of them to be your maid or matron of honour. Equally your fiancé may find it very difficult to pick one best man from his group of mates and brothers. Just remember that when you read about the roles of each member of the wedding party you are mostly likely reading about the traditional roles. If you decide to make changes then that’s completely fine, in fact I encourage you to! If you want three best men, then that’s great! If you want a couple of maids of honour and no bridesmaids, then go for it!
Personally I love the idea of formally requesting in writing that your loved ones be part of your wedding party whether it’s your fiancé’s groomsmen, or your maid of honour, bridesmaids, flowers girls or page boys. I recently saw a photo of a groomsmen request which had a small request card accompanied by a bow tie which the groom wanted his attendant to wear on the day! You could do the same thing with the hair accessory or necklace which you’ve purchased for your maid of honour and bridesmaids. I think this is a lovely thing to do as it increases the excitement felt by your attendants on the run up to your wedding day!
Oh, and one final piece of advice; if you’re having a long engagement I strongly advise you not to appoint your attendants until a little further down the line. This is because relationships with your friends and family will change over time, and the people who are with you on your wedding day need to be the closest people to you at that time in your lives.