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Planning Your Wedding - How To Choose Your Wedding Party

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Author: E. A. Edwards

Article source: Used with author's permission.

Getting ready for your wedding, one of the biggest events of your life, is a huge task which can be easy or hard depending upon your preparation. Your wedding day should be a day of fun and celebration, not one filled with worry and stress about things going wrong. When choosing your wedding party, always keep in mind that these are the people whom you will need to help and support you the most throughout the time before your wedding. To make sure that you understand the ins and outs of picking your wedding attendants, here are some tips and hints.

For your bridal party, select dependable attendants and give each one a copy of the tentative timeline for the day. Make sure they understand and will be able to accept the responsibility of being a member of the wedding party. Avoid asking children under three years old to participate in the wedding. If you must, let one of the attendants walk with the child or pair them with an older child.

The number of ushers and bridesmaid depends on how big and formal the wedding is. Generally speaking, the more formal the wedding, the more ushers and bridesmaids you have to include. Although there is no formal rule, you will probably need to have at least one usher for every fifty guests, and also same number of bridesmaids. However, you can always have as many ushers and bridesmaids as you wish.

In today's weddings, you may find as many as a dozen ushers and sometimes even more bridesmaids. It is not necessary to have an equal number of ushers and bridesmaids. If you are concerned about keeping the numbers even in the processional or recessional, you can have two ushers escort one bridesmaid or you can have one bridesmaid walk alone. For the dances that are scheduled at the reception, you can have a guest dance with the extra usher or the extra bridesmaid.

Your bridesmaids are your attendants and they stand by your side during the ceremony. Your future husband's ushers are his attendants and therefore will stand by his side. If your best friend happens to be male, he can still be your attendant and should stand on your side. If he is going to take the place of the maid of honor, he will be referred to as the honor attendant. During the processional and recessional, he may escort one of the bridesmaids if there are more bridesmaids than ushers, or he can walk alone before the rest of the bridesmaids.

Similarly, your 'husband to be' can have a female attendant who can stand on his side during the ceremony. She is also referred to as an usher but should not escort guests, especially female ones, to their seats.

You and your fiancÚ should choose your bridesmaids and ushers among the people that are closest to you. It is not required or even necessary to include your family member as an attendant especially if he or she is not close to you.

That being said, it may go a long way to make future family relationships more congenial if you consider the feelings of family members as you make your wedding plans. Utilizing the skills and special abilities of friends and family can add a special touch to your wedding and reception. If there is a family member that, for whatever reason, you would prefer not to be in the actual wedding party, there are other ways he or she may be able to participate in the wedding.

He or she could:

  • Do a reading during the ceremony.
  • Sing a solo or play an instrument during the wedding ceremony.
  • Be the coordinator for decorations.
  • Be a personal attendant. (This person helps the bride on the day of her wedding)
  • Be the person in charge of helping out of town guests find places they need (stores, restaurants, etc). This will take the stress off of the maid of honor and the bridesmaids.
  • Be in charge of the guest book or gift table during the reception.

Your wedding will be one of the most memorable occasions of your life. Your family and friends want to be there with you to celebrate so be sure to enjoy and be grateful for their participation in your big day.

E. A. Edwards is a free-lance writer with a variety of professional and personal interests. You will find more information about wedding ideas and planning a wedding on

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