wikiHow to Choose Your Wedding Party

Three Methods:Choosing Your Wedding PartyChoosing a Maid of Honor and a Best ManConsidering Other Aspects of the Wedding Party

Choosing your wedding party can seem challenging and overwhelming at first, but you will end up with a supportive group of people who are excited to see you tie the knot on your big day. To ensure that you have the best experience possible with choosing your wedding party, you should pick a wedding party full of positive, loving people who are your family or close friends.

Method 1
Choosing Your Wedding Party

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    Make a list of all possible options. Sit down with your partner and make a list of all people possible to be in your wedding party. Include whom you want, whom your partner wants, whom you feel obligated to invite, and whom you want to invite. Think about options from family to high school friends to newer friends you’ve made in the professional world.
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    Consider immediate family. Your siblings will be your siblings forever. Even if you might be closer with your best work buddy than your brother right now, your brother will always be your brother. Weddings are mainly about family; you should seriously consider choosing your siblings for your wedding party. Leaving your siblings out could cause some unpleasant and unnecessary family drama, too.[1]
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    Don’t forget about your partner’s family. Even if you’re the one doing most of the wedding planning, remember that your partner’s family probably has just as much drama as yours. Your partner has just as many obligations to siblings and friends as you do. If your fiance asks you to invite his younger sister to be a bridesmaid, do it. The wedding party is a mixture of people that is supposed to love and support both of you.[2]
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    Choose approximately one bridesmaid and groomsman for every 50 guests. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it is a general guideline given to most people planning weddings. It might seem uneven to have a 300 person wedding with 1 bridesmaid or a 75 person wedding with 10 groomsmen. Use this rule as a guideline to narrowing down your list of potential wedding partiers.[3]
    • However, don’t feel limited to sticking to the traditional gender balance (having an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsman). You can have more of one than the other, and you can also put them on different sides of the altar.
    • Don’t forget about the size of your altar! If you’re getting married somewhere with limited space, make sure that you can fit your wedding party there comfortably.
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    Give your wedding party a heads up before they’re invited. Before you send out official invitations or post on social media about your wedding, ask your potential wedding partiers if they want to be in the wedding. They might have other commitments, have a fear of standing up in public, or just don’t want to be in your wedding. This is okay. Give them a chance to say “no” and don’t ask them to give you an answer as soon as you ask. Let them think about it. Being in a wedding party can be a decision that is financially challenging and demands a lot of time.[4]
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    Give expectations for your wedding party’s responsibilities. Do you need your bridesmaids there every second of the way to reassure and help you, or are you the kind of person who needs his groomsmen there just for the day of the wedding? No matter what, your wedding party should know their responsibilities for before, during, and after the wedding. Being in a wedding party is a commitment, and your members should know all of their responsibilities before they agree to be in the wedding.
    • Think about where your wedding party lives and what’s going on in their lives. Your friend from across the country might not be able to help you assemble flower arrangements, but maybe she can make one weekend trip to go dress shopping with you.[5]
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    Choose drama-free, supportive people who want to be in the wedding. In your wedding party, you want to include people who are positive, supportive, and loving of both you and your partner. You should not choose anyone you suspect will be dramatic or demanding--this is your day.[6] Your entire wedding party should also be filled with people who are excited about your marriage; it might not be the place for your cousin who thinks your fiance is annoying or your friend who is visibly jealous and resentful of you.[7]

Method 2
Choosing a Maid of Honor and a Best Man

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    Consider your close friends and family members. When you love all of the people in your wedding party, it can be hard to choose just one maid of honor and best man. Of all of these people, your maid of honor and best man should be the people to whom you and your partner feel the closest.
    • However, no one can blame you for choosing a family member. If you can’t choose between two of your best friends, you can pick your sister to diffuse potential tension.
    • Even if you were one of your bridesmaids’ maid of honor, do not feel like you need to choose her to be your maid of honor. It’s your wedding, and ultimately the choice is yours.[8]
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    Choose responsible people to be your maid of honor and best man. The maid of honor and best man are typically responsible for planning events like bridal showers and bachelor parties. They also have the responsibility of planning and organizing for you and making sure that you have everything you need on the day of the wedding. [9]
    • If you want your sister to be your maid of honor but she’s really busy or disorganized, you could ask someone else in the bridal party to plan your bridal shower or your bachelorette party. The bridesmaid will probably be honored by the extra duty and will want to help in any way she can.
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    Outline the responsibilities for your maid of honor and best man. Make sure that, before your maid of honor or best man agrees to the task, they know what they’re responsible for. Many people would be excited to plan your bachelorette party for you, but siblings in graduate school or friends across the country might not have the logistical time or ability to do these things for you.
    • Have a conversation with your potential maid of honor or best man where you outline the responsibilities for the position. Make sure that the person is enthusiastic about whatever the responsibilities are.

Method 3
Considering Other Aspects of the Wedding Party

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    Consider having a small wedding party. Think about potential conflicts and drama beforehand. Factor in your and your fiance’s family dynamics into the decision. Make no mistake that this decision is about you and your partner--if you want to have a small wedding party, have a small wedding party. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone who expects to be invited or invite everyone your parents want you to invite. Keep in mind that this is your day. There is no right or wrong way to have a bridal party.[10]
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    Don’t feel limited by tradition. If you’re a bride, your “maid of honor” can be a man, and vice versa. You can have two maids of honor. You can have a maid and a matron of honor. You can have no best man. There’s no wrong way to do your wedding, so you should go with whatever feels right for your particular situation and wedding.
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    Think about budget. Budget is an important part of any wedding and wedding party. Will your bridesmaids pay for their own dresses? Are groomsmen responsible for renting their own tuxes? Will you be able to help out with any part of the finances? Who will pay for the bachelorette party? Think about these issues with your partner, and communicate them clearly to your wedding party. They should know exactly what they will have to pay for before they sign on to be members of the wedding party.
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    Think about the other roles. Do you want ushers? People to hand out programs? A ring bearer? A flower girl? Someone to do a reading at the ceremony? All of these other roles must be decided and determined by you and your partner. Think twice before you give people jobs like being an usher or someone who hands out programs--it could be seen as a favor instead of an honor.[11]
    • Don’t feel like you need to have a ring bearer or a flower girl. Have these positions only if you know of any children who would like this job.


  • A bridesmaid doesn't have to be a woman nor does a groomsman need to be a man. If the bride's best friend is a man, she should think about asking him to be her bridesman. Same with a woman being a groomswoman.
  • Just because someone asked you to stand up in his or her wedding does not mean you need to return the favor. Only ask if you sincerely want them to be in your wedding.


  • If you choose to have ring bearers or flower girls, keep in mind that they may not cooperate entirely during the wedding. Younger children may need to sit with their parents or family members once they walk down the aisle.

Article Info

Categories: Wedding Planning | Weddings