Image by Martin Price Photography
It can be such a minefield choosing your wedding party (whether that’s bridesmaids, groomsmen, bridesminions, bridesmen, or whatever term you prefer to describe them!). There can be a lot of external pressure within friendship or family groups around who you’re going to choose, whether you were involved in x’s wedding party, whether y will be offended if you don’t ask z. If you want to have a big wedding party and you’ve got the budget to include everyone, that’s great, but it’s not the case for most people. If you’re having difficulty deciding, here are some important questions to ask yourself first…
How well do I know them?
Even small weddings can be crazy stressful, and you may find yourself on the verge of destroying downtown Tokyo at some point in the proceedings. Choose someone who’s seen you at your green and scaly worst, and who still loves you regardless.
Are they reliable when it comes to keeping promises and appointments?
Everyone has at least one friend who, however lovely they might be, is absolutely terrible when it comes to timekeeping and organisational stuff. They’re always at least 40 minutes late for everything, and they are forever cancelling on you at the last minute or getting the date wrong for that mani-pedi you booked together. (FYI – if you don’t think you have one of those friends, it’s probably you). Being part of Team Wedding means having to show up for dress/suit fittings, hair appointments, hen/stag party business, and (most important!) the wedding itself. The occasional lapse is OK, but choose someone you know is going to show up when you really need them to.
How much of a drama llama are they?
This friend attracts drama to them like bees to honey. They seem to lurch from crisis to crisis, many of which are of their own making. Although you love them dearly, you constantly worry about them and are exasperated by them in equal measure. The worst offenders also hate not being the centre of attention at all times, and will contrive a way to make any situation all about them. Do you really want that kind of drama on your big day? Thought not.
Are there any other practical/logistical issues to consider?
This is a tricky one, but there are some things that can make it really hard for people to do all the Team Wedding stuff you’re asking them to do. For example, do they live really far away from you? That could make it really difficult for them to get to things like dress fittings. Have they just got pregnant? Do they have a really demanding job/small children/a sick relative/an ageing pet? They may not be able to prioritise Team Wedding stuff right now. Have they just lost their job? They may not have the money to spare for a new outfit or a hen weekend in Amsterdam.
None of these things would necessarily prevent you from asking them to join Team Wedding, but you should definitely talk to them about it first, and make it clear that you’re happy to work around these issues and/or won’t be offended if they decide they can’t do it after all.
Being on Team Wedding is a great honour, but it’s also a lot of responsibility, so remember not to take them for granted! I recommend reading this Bridesmaid Bill of Rights from A Practical Wedding (the basic principles apply to wedding party members of all genders). If you have each others’ backs, you’ll all have a fantastic day.