Congratulations! It’s your turn to get married and you find yourself newly engaged and begin to imagine who you would like to be standing next to you on the big day. One way to make your experience as enjoyable as possible is to surround yourself with a great wedding party – but how do you choose who will to be a part of the big day?
If you want to still be friends with your wedding party throughout the planning process and long after your wedding day, there are a few considerations you might want to take into account. Here are some helpful tips:
Those you choose to be a bridesmaid or groomsmen should be people who are in your life in more than one way. These are the people who know you well, have seen you through multiple situations and challenges, and will be able to unconditionally support you through your tough wedding planning days. These are people that would be included in an autobiography detailing the last 5 years of your life.
Be Aware of Group Dynamics
You should think about the way you interact with your different friends and think about how they might interact as a group. The individuals chosen to be part of your wedding party need to be as much a team player as someone who stands out to you as a significant friend. While you may get on splendidly with one person, if this person is unable to compromise or communicate effectively with others in a group setting, this dynamic will make it difficult for the group to make decisions. As the bride or groom, you should also be ready to intervene as a proactive ringleader, should the need arise. You want to be able to sort out any issues between your wedding party members before the big day.
One thing that needs to be established with your wedding party are your expectations: what is expected of them on the wedding day and in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the day? It seems standard these days to assume that bridesmaids are responsible for helping the bride through various steps of the wedding planning process. Depending on the bride, the involvement of her bridesmaids may range from minimal or involved in every step of the way; but beware for one to perceive their involvement as minimal compared to another could cause confusion amongst the group. The same can be said for the groom and his groomsmen.
Be Open and Communicate Clearly
As the bride or groom, it is important to be open and communicate effectively with your core group of friends. If you are experiencing challenges, being open to your wedding party may help you get the support you need to resolve and overcome those challenges. Communicating effectively, whether in person, over email, or by telephone will help you to stave off all kinds of misunderstandings.
As your day nears, you and your wedding party will get busy. Within this age of technology, it becomes increasingly easy to stay in contact with people over various mediums; however, because your bridal party are important people in your lives, you don’t want to lose touch – make sure to stay connected! Continue to see your bridal party together or individually – this will ensure that your ties stay strong even as you become progressively busy in your wedding prep.
Don’t Be Jealous
You find yourself being asked to be part of your close friend’s wedding – what an honour! – only to find that you have to share this honour with other people. It’s no wonder feelings of jealousy may arise – perhaps you thought you were your friend’s (bride or groom’s) closest confidante and the realization that there are other people in your friend’s life may be a challenging realization to swallow. Rather than to focus on the other relationships, focus on how you can best work together with everyone to make your close friend’s wedding day the best it can be!
Voice Opinions Early and Be an Active Member
As the planning of wedding activities begins, make sure that you voice your opinions early on in the process or as soon as you have concerns to share. You don’t want to wait until just before the bridal shower, bachelorette, or bachelor parties to provide your suggestions or feedback to the rest of the group. You agreed to be a member of the wedding party, and so with your membership comes certain responsibilities – one of which is to be an active and engaged party member!
Focus on the Positive: On the Bride and Groom
As the plans for pre-wedding and wedding activities begin to take form, you may find yourself disliking suggestions from other wedding party members. Rather than to try and steer the planning process in the direction that you see fit, try and come to a compromise and try to focus on the positive: your friend is getting married! It is their day to shine, and while you may not get along or agree with the others, you have the opportunity to play nice and show what a team player you are wanting nothing less than to help your friend have the most amazing wedding experience ever!
Whether you decide to have a small or large party it is valuable to seriously consider those important people that will make up your wedding party. At the end of the day, these are the people (along with your wedding planner of course!) who will help you on your most exceptional day!