You know that old saying, measure twice and cut once...well, believe it or not, selecting your bridal party is very similar. Once you ask them to be a part of your special day, you can't take it back.
Here are a few tips to think about when selecting your party:
1. How big is your wedding?
If the number of guests is 50 or less, you definitely don't want ten of them to be standing on the alter. Think about having just a maid/matron of honor and a best man or maybe two attendants each. If you are having a wedding with several hundred guests, then a bridal party of ten or twelve people is not out of line.
2. Do you have brothers and sisters?
I know that some of you may not want to include your immediate family in your wedding party, but you need to be realistic and remember that those family members will be sitting across the table from you for all the family holidays. Be sure to remember his sister when planning your bridesmaids, just like he should remember your brother.
3. What are you expecting?
Your bridal party is a group of girls/guys that will act as your support through the planning stages of your wedding and your big day. How involved do you want them to be? Do you want someone to go with you to try on your dress, help you pick out your flowers and address your wedding envelopes? If so, you may want to rethink anyone that doesn't live within a 45-minute radius to you. Also, consider their work and social demands and whether or not they have time to help you with your planning. If all you want is someone to plan your shower and be there on the weekend of your special day, then the sky is the limit with where they live.
4. Do I need to ask my college roommate?
When picking your party, ask yourself when the last time you saw your friend was and how often you have seen her/him in the last six months. The girls that you thought for sure would be standing up for you at your wedding when you were in high school or college, might not be the same girls when you are in your late 20's or early 30's. Think about who those people are that you call now when you want to go to dinner or catch a movie. Will those same people be in your life in 10 to 15 more years? If so, they are the ones to ask.
5. Do I have to ask them if I was in their wedding?
Just because you were in their wedding, doesn't mean they have to be in yours. If you haven't seen them since you were in their wedding, chances are you are not still in the same social circles. Invite them to the wedding and send a nice note saying you hope they can come but leave them out of the bridal party. If they ask why they aren't included, simply explain that you are having a smaller wedding party but you would love for them to be there for your special day.
My biggest suggestion to you is to make up your list and then step back from it for a week or so. Think about how close you really are to the people on the list. Do they have the time to dedicate to your wedding? Do they get along with others? Remember that your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life and you only want to surround yourself with people that will make the day memorable.
Finally, have you asked Will You Be My Bridesmaid/Groomsman yet? If so, we would love to hear how you asked them.