He’s popped the question, and you’ve said “Yes”. Congratulations!

For that matter, as it’s the 21st century, there’s no reason to assume that you didn’t pop the question and he said ‘Yes”. Again, congratulations!

But now, it’s time to start planning that wedding, and that means making a mountain of decisions. While every decision the two of you are about to make carries some weight, none is more important than deciding on who you will include in the wedding party.

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It can be a thorny subject. Certainly, you want to include as many of your closest friends and relatives as possible. But to be fair, there are only so many positions open in your wedding party, and not everyone is going to land a part in the ceremony.

So, how do you go about choosing the members of your wedding party, while ensuring that no one’s feelings get hurt, and that the two of you remain sane in the process? Take a deep breath, it can be done, and it’s not as difficult as you may think.

The Size of Your Wedding Party

While there aren’t really any hard and fast rules concerning the size of your wedding party, there are a few general rules of thumb. The first is, don’t feel that you have to include everyone. Often, a smaller wedding party is better.

As a general rule, you want to have one groomsmen and one bridesmaid for every fifty wedding guests. More than that, and the wedding party can get too large to manage effectively.

The Maid of Honor and the Best Man

The positions of best man and maid of honor are the two most coveted roles in the wedding party. Both carry a great deal of responsibility, and should not be chosen lightly. It is not unusual for the bride or groom to pick their best friends for these positions.

However, it is also important to include your family in the wedding party, and both of these positions are perfectly tailored for a brother or sister. While choosing your best friend is perfectly acceptable, if it comes down to a choice between friends or family blood should always win out.

Don’t Feel Obligated

Call it politics or human dynamics, when it comes to choosing who will be have a role in your wedding party it is all too easy to feel obligated to include certain people.

Perhaps you were best man at a friend’s wedding, or you were a bridesmaid at your sister’s. This does not mean that you necessarily have to return the favor. Your wedding party should include the people to whom you feel closest, not necessarily the people that etiquette dictates.

Choose Those Who are Up To the Task

Being in the wedding party carries a great deal of responsibility, and not every one is in a position to dedicate their time and energy to your wedding. They may love you dearly, and you them, but they may have other things going on in their lives that would make being part of your wedding party a burden.

Use this to help limit your choices. For example, if one of your choices for maid of honor is seven months pregnant, being in the wedding party might be too much to ask.

Likewise, if one of the contenders for best man is working overseas, it may be too much to ask for him to set aside his personal responsibilities to take a major role in your wedding.

What To Do About Those Who Don’t Make the Cut

Ultimately, your wedding will be an opportunity to bring together as many of your friends and relatives as possible. Those who can not be included in the wedding party itself, can still play a big role in the proceedings.

Whether it’s handling the transportation, managing the décor and flower arrangements, or simply acting as ushers and escorts during the ceremony, there are plenty of roles for friends and family on the big day.

Choosing your wedding party does not have to be a stressful experience. Take your time, and use these tips as a guideline to help make the process easier.

Remember, this is your big day and it is important to follow your own instincts. Set aside family politics and friendship dynamics, and make the choices that feel right to you both.

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