Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wedding Wednesday - Picking Your Bridal Party

I’m gonna be quite clear. And in doing so I’m going to swear. Because this is how I honestly feel about picking a bridal party.
Picking a bridal party, was fucking hard. 
The whole process is super weird. “Hey! Let’s sit down and rank our friends and make our FAVOURITES spend extra time, money, and energy on our behalf out of obligation” 
...Okay, that’s not really what it is, but it can feel that way at first.
The Bridal Party question was one of the first things Kris and I tackled when we sat down to talk wedding. That and what our colours would be (because bridal party = bridesmaid dresses, and if he'd had it his way they'd all be wearing orange). 
It was a confusing conversation... do we have EVERYONE who would consider asking and have 12 on each side? Would we have none? Maybe one each? Family only? Even on each side, or are we good with uneven bridesmaid to groomsmen ratios? What social politics can we safely maneuver here?
Seriously, this decision took a WHILE. We intentionally waited a month to ask anyone because we wanted to be sure (and full disclosure, Kris STILL ISNT DONE, because men.) 
In the end, we set down a few guidelines that helped us narrow down who would be up there with us on the day which had us feeling confident in our decisions.
1) Pick family - much like your graduation is about your parents, so too is your wedding about your families. NOW some families are complicated and choosing them can be a hassle, but if you're pretty good with your sibs (and partner's sibs!) then make the easy choice.
2) Mismatch the sides - Gone are the days when you need to have perfect symmetry on either side of the aisle. Also gone? The days where you can only have girls on one side and boys on the other! 
While Kris and I ended up with traditional genders on each side, we agreed uneven numbers (within 2 people) was fine. We're good with uneven, but we also didn't want it to be a 3:1 ratio.
A note on picking a brides-man who stands with the ladies: The last wedding I was in had one and He. Was. A. ROCKSTAR! Wow, the day was so much easier for having him around running errands, cracking jokes and filling up mimosas. He even brought all of us to tears when he got his first look at the bride all done up. perfection.
3) Pick either 0 or 2+, but less than 8 attendants a side - Kris and I briefly considered one on each side (Kris' brother and my BFF, who is also Kris' cousin). We ultimately decided that while that would be EASIEST, some of the fun of the day would be missing. Getting married at 30 inevitably means that the bridal party sleepover the night before, or the week long trip for a bachelorette are unreasonable (half of my maids have babies...) but it’s a bridal PARTY. Two people aren’t a party. 
On the flip side though, try to keep the numbers down, and more in line with the number of guests you're having. If you're having a small wedding, a few attendants is fine, but 10 on each side might be a tad ridiculous. On the other hand, if you're having a 600+ wedding, go to town!
4) Remember that your attendants are not a planning committee - Having been a bridesmaid, and now a bride, and also a close friend of many a bride, here is what I know: Everyone wants to help... until they don't. I sometimes feel guilty about NOT having things for my maids to do, but the truth is that I don't really WANT them to do a whole lot. I picked them to stand up with me, not spend hours and hours running errands on my behalf.
That said, it's nice to know that if I needed them, they would be there. Whether it meant wine and a hot glue gun, a last minute appointment, or licking 200 envelopes. But don't pick attendants based on the quality of labour you're hoping to receive.

In the end, I have 6 beautiful women who will stand up with me:
  • My BFF (aka, future cousin in law #takinghermaidenname)
  • My oldest friend (going on 26 years of friendship!)
  • My surrogate little sister (and #1 brunch companion, travel companion, and virtual shopping companion)
  • My ACTUAL little sister (who will tell me I'm ugly all day, but won't mean it... that's how we are)
  • My Sister-in-Law (10 years with my family and she STILL married in, she's a saint)
  • My closest friend from Uni and literal Soul Sister (seriously... we found out after 2 years of being friends that her parents bought their house from MY parents... she grew up in the house I lived in until I was 4... the universe man!)
While I couldn't have all of my friends (though I seriously considered it) I can't wait to dance the night away with every last one of the wonderful women in my life... and my husband of course!
How lucky can one girl get?
if you’re gearing up to be a bride, I’d love to hear how you’re handling your bridal party in the comments!
if you’re a maid, check out THIS POST on how to rock it, from me, the 5x professional (with more on the way!)
xxox... Laura