Wedding Etiquette Forum

Bridesmaid & Groomsman Question

Hello all. I recently proposed to my fiance, and we've entered the wedding planning stage. (Aiming for Fall 2022.) She has 8 bridesmaids, and I've been putting together a list of 8 groomsmen to match. I've hit a bit of a snag when making it, and I was hoping to get some opinions.

I was considering asking my uncle to be one of my groomsmen, but my aunt isn't one of the bridesmaids. (Which is absolutely fine: my fiance doesn't really have a relationship with my aunt/uncle, and I want her party to be people who matter the most to her.)

I'm just worried that including one of the pair when the other isn't included might upset my aunt/make her feel bad, which I don't want to happen.

Both are going to be invited to the wedding, but I want to make sure I wouldn't be making a faux pass by asking my uncle to be a groomsman in this scenario. I would ask my aunt to be a groomsman/groomswoman as well, but I'm 95% certain she wouldn't accept for personal reasons I don't have the right to explain to strangers. (Her story, not mine.)

Does anyone have any experience with/advice for this? Would it be best to not ask my uncle, so I don't offend anyone?

Re: Bridesmaid & Groomsman Question

  • Congrats on your engagement!

    It's not unusual at all for one person of a couple to be in a WP and the other person isn't.  Unless you're aunt is maybe extra sensitive, you should ask your uncle without having any qualms about it.  If you want your aunt to stand up with you also, ask her.  You could even phrase it after you ask like, "Don't feel pressured if you aren't comfortable.  I totally understand.  But want you to know how special you are to me."  Let her decline, if that is what she wants to do.  But don't make that assumption for her.

    Also keep in mind that sides don't have to be even.  Both you and your FI should each choose people for your WP that you are close to and want standing up with you.  In other words, don't ask someone you wouldn't normally just to "match" your FI's 8 bridesmaids.  Or if you have 9 or 10 people you want in your WP, ask all of them. 
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Congratulations!

    You and your fiancee don't have to ask the same number of people to be in your respective sides of the wedding party. It's also okay not to ask both members of a couple to be in your wedding party, as long as they're both invited to the wedding itself and wedding-related events where couples must be invited together, like rehearsal dinners or engagement parties.

    So it's okay for you to ask your uncle to be in your wedding party. The important criterion is that the people you do ask are the people who are closest to you.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hello all. I recently proposed to my fiance, and we've entered the wedding planning stage. (Aiming for Fall 2022.) She has 8 bridesmaids, and I've been putting together a list of 8 groomsmen to match. I've hit a bit of a snag when making it, and I was hoping to get some opinions.

    I was considering asking my uncle to be one of my groomsmen, but my aunt isn't one of the bridesmaids. (Which is absolutely fine: my fiance doesn't really have a relationship with my aunt/uncle, and I want her party to be people who matter the most to her.)

    I'm just worried that including one of the pair when the other isn't included might upset my aunt/make her feel bad, which I don't want to happen.

    Both are going to be invited to the wedding, but I want to make sure I wouldn't be making a faux pass by asking my uncle to be a groomsman in this scenario. I would ask my aunt to be a groomsman/groomswoman as well, but I'm 95% certain she wouldn't accept for personal reasons I don't have the right to explain to strangers. (Her story, not mine.)

    Does anyone have any experience with/advice for this? Would it be best to not ask my uncle, so I don't offend anyone?
    There's no expectation that both members of a couple need to be included in a WP. If you're close to your uncle, it's fine to ask him regardless of your aunt.

    Matching sides are not necessary. You shouldn't "round up" 8 people just because that's the number your FI has on her side. You should choose the people you are closest to, regardless of numbers.

    As a general rule, it's a bad idea to ask people to be in a wedding party so far in advance. Relationships change and new people come into your life. Once you ask someone, you can't un-ask them without putting the whole relationship at risk. Especially with such a large party, you'll be better off if you wait until you're closer to 6-9 months before the wedding to start asking people. If you end up with the same people you would have asked now, great, but if you drift apart from someone or get closer with someone else, you'll be glad that you aren't stuck. 
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  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You shouldn't be asking people to be in your WP 2 years out. That's a long time away, and relationships can change in that time. Usually it's recommended to ask 9-10 months out. 

    You don't need matching sides/matching numbers of WP members. And  you don't need to have your aunt included if your uncle stands up on your side. My brother married last year, and I was part of the bridal party, yet the bride's own brother wasn't. It's really just based on how close you are to people. 
  • Congratulations!

    If you already asked people then that's done but if you haven't yet, I would just make a list and consider asking in a year.    

    And it's more than OK to not ask your aunt to be in the WP.  
    short+sassy
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