Wedding VIPs: How to Choose Your Attendants

Brides and grooms have a tough task at hand when it comes to choosing attendants for the wedding party. Your childhood friends, college buddies, relatives and the like are all vying for a chance to stand with you on your big day. Here, we show you how to narrow the wedding essentials list and select the best group of friends and loved ones to serve as your wedding VIPs.

Number of attendants to choose:
You’ve been to weddings where the wedding party is a never-ending introduction of everyone the bride and groom have known since grade school. The truth is this: you can have as many or as few people as you want in your wedding. And contrary to popular belief, the ratio of bridesmaids to groomsmen (and vice versa) doesn’t have to be equal. But as a general rule of thumb, it might be a good idea to have more guests in the congregation than people standing at the altar.

Friends vs. relatives:
Your first cousin or your college roommate? Your future sister-in-law or your best friend? Deciding between friends and family when choosing your wedding essentials attendants can put couples in an awkward situation. But the decision should be made according to the relationship you have with that person. If you’re closer to your school chum than your cousin, by all means, you should ask your friend to serve as an attendant.

Remember, the wedding party isn’t the only place where family can participate in wedding essentials festivities. You could always ask a cousin or another relative to recite a special poem or scripture reading, usher during the ceremony, or serve as a hostess at the reception.

(Last but not least) The best man and the maid of honor:

This could be quite possibly the mother of all decisions to make when it comes to choosing your attendants (especially for couples with lots of close friends or a number of siblings). While the friends vs. relatives rule above should apply to making this wedding essentials decision, here are four additional questions to ask yourself when choosing the lucky two to serve as your right hand (wo)man on the big day:

    Would he/she be a gracious host when it comes to planning and implementing pre-wedding activities like the shower and bachelor(ette) party?

    Could he/she deliver a kind and sincere toast at the wedding reception?

    Could you count on him/her to keep you cool and calm when tensions are high and wedding-planning gets too overwhelming?

    Is he/she dependable? Could you count on him/her to keep up with important items like the rings for the ceremony or your emergency beauty kit at the reception?

Traditionally, the best man and maid of honor is a wedding essentials singular role. But some couples can find it hard to choose between their closest confidants. If you have two great friends that you'd like to ask to stand beside you, it's OK to have both friends serve as the best men or maids of honor.

When choosing your attendants, you should never feel obligated to select someone because of familial ties or stick to a certain number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Your wedding planning will be one of the biggest events in your life and you’ll want to be surrounded by those you trust and who know you and your fiance well. Pick friends and loved ones whom you share a close relationship with. Plus, having good friends by your side will help keep nerves at bay as you make your way to the altar to exchange I Dos.

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