Deciding who is in your wedding party is a big decision, because these are the people that you will see in your wedding pictures for years to come. Not only that, but they’ll be by your side through the ups and downs of wedding planning, organizing, and execution. You want to make sure that your wedding party consists of people who you love, trust, and want to spend crucial moments of the big day with. While this is a big decision, there is something very exciting about thinking through the timeline of your life and selecting who be with you when you step into the next chapter of your life.

Where to begin when making this decision? We recommend starting with your family. Think through siblings, cousins, and anyone in between. Which family members do you want in the wedding party? Perhaps you’d love for your sister to be your maid or matron of honor. FYI, according to D Weddings, the only difference between a matron and maid of honor is that a matron of honor is married. A groom may want his brother to be his best man, or perhaps his sister to be his “best woman.” These roles do not have to be gender-defined, as many brides have close male friends who they want in their wedding party, and the same goes for grooms and female friends.

However, it’s ultimately up to you who you want in your wedding party. If you aren’t as close with your family as you are with some friends, or you’ve always envisioned a beloved best friend right next to you while you’re at the altar, that is your call. Plenty of couples opt to have friends as their best man/ maid of honor. Many wedding parties consist of a mix of college, high school, and lifelong friends. Consider what means the most to you: longevity of friendship, support when you needed it, loyalty, convenience/ location, etc. All of these factors can play a role in deciding who is in your wedding party.

Remember that the number of people in your wedding party should not matter- quality over quantity. Most wedding parties consist of anywhere from 3-10 members, and usually average around 5. It can add up to increase your wedding party just for the sake of larger numbers, but if you really are interested in including all of your close friends, that’s great. It’s about whatever number you and your fiancé feel comfortable with. Many couples opt to have the same number of groomsmen as bridesmaids, but this is not totally necessary; as long as a few are okay with doing a solo walk down the aisle.

After you choose your wedding party, the excitement for wedding activities will begin. Planning bridesmaids dresses/ tuxes, bachelorette/ bachelor parties, and much more will be something that everyone in your wedding will look forward to. Not to mention how excited each friend will be to learn that you want them as a crucial part of your special day.

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