Wedding Party
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Bridal party choices

Hi everyone. I have only been to 3 weddings in my life and I'm a child of two different cultures so I'm not really familiar with the wedding traditions of either one. Basically I don't know what I'm doing at all, so please don't be too harsh if I'm really clueless or off the mark here.

Our wedding is going to have about 150-175 people. My fiance said that 5 was an appropriate wedding party number for a wedding this size. For my wedding party, my future SIL as well as my 18 y/o cousin are a given. The other three spots I had a very difficult time deciding between four friends. I'm not closer to any particular one, but I'm close to each in different ways. My fiance and I went back and forth about adding a sixth member to our parties but he says that will be too much.

I then thought about my other cousin, who will be 14 years old at the time of the wedding. She and I are both only children, and she is close to my family, but she also lives on the other side of the world so although we are close, we see each other maybe once or twice each year. She's very sweet and she might feel left out if I don't include her somehow. But, I'm already pushing the size of the wedding party and I'm not really sure where I could fit her in. She might also not be able to make the wedding -- she and her mom are relocating to an even further away location this year and her mom might not allow her to come (my uncle, her dad, is divorced). Some people say 14 is too young to be a bridesmaid, but she is taller than I am already and looks much older than her age. She is obviously too old to be a flower girl or ring bearer, and too young for bachelorette festivities.

I don't really expect much from my wedding party. All except for one are long-distance, so all I'm really looking for are people to wear the dress, stand beside me in pictures that I will cherish for a long time, and be close to me on my important day. How would you approach this situation? Would you make the wedding party 6 and include the friend or the cousin, or would you make the wedding party 7 and include everyone? Or, would you make the cousin a junior bridesmaid (how is that different from a regular bridesmaid I don't really understand)??

I'm also totally clueless on how to pick my maid of honor. The only potential bridesmaid who lives nearby is really enthusiastic and has already offered to help in many ways, so I thought she would be good for a MOH, but I'm not sure she is the one who should stand next to me because I've known her the shortest amount of time compared to everyone else.

Any advice is much appreciated, thank you in advance!

Re: Bridal party choices

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    Don't let some silly arbitrary number dictate who you choose. Pick the people you want up there with you when you say your vows, don't fill an arbitrary number of spots.  You'll regret leaving people out who should be up there; you won't regret an uneven number or having a WP that's "too large" for the number of guests.

    Knee-jerk reaction: Who do you want standing up with you, regardless of numbers?  That is your WP.
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    We had six on my side, four on his, 40 guests total.

    It's 3am.  You have to bury a body.  Who do you call?  Those are your bridesmaids.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    Choose based on your closest friends, not numbers or even sides.  If that means the two shoo-ins, then stick with them.  If that also includes your 4 close friends, have 6 BMs.
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    Or, would you make the cousin a junior bridesmaid (how is that different from a regular bridesmaid I don't really understand)??

    There's no difference. They both do the same thing - get the dress and show up to the ceremony.

    I'm also totally clueless on how to pick my maid of honor. The only potential bridesmaid who lives nearby is really enthusiastic and has already offered to help in many ways, so I thought she would be good for a MOH, but I'm not sure she is the one who should stand next to me because I've known her the shortest amount of time compared to everyone else.

    The MOH should be your closest friend. Not the person who will potentially do the most stuff for you or be the most excited.

    If you can't pick your closest friend from amongst your bridesmaids, then don't have a MOH. You don't need one. Just have them all be bridesmaids.

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    Wedding parties do not have to be even.  Pick those that you can't imagine getting married without.  This means having all 7 or only having a couple.  Your FI can still have 5 if that is what he wants.  Also, don't add people just to make them a warm body to fill a spot.

    14 is definitely old enough to be a bridesmaid and your MOH is the person who is closest to you.

    Your 14 year old cousin can also do a reading, that is also an honor.
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    Repeat this to your self: My Wedding Party is made of my family and friends and I should treat them as such.
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    edited June 2010
    ditto pp, the tradition of even sides, 1 MOH and  1 Best Man is long gone. and guest list doesnt have anything to do with who or how many closest friends you have therefor it doesnt dictate how large a wp you have.

    dont take in to consideration if you cousin can come or not as a bm role. if you want her, ask her, tell her that you love her and if she cannot be there, thats ok, you will still know she supports you from afar.  if she can come, great, if not, she is still a close friend, list her on the program and send her a thank you gift for all of her love and support.

    eta: i was an "honorary bm" in my moms wedding and i thought it was lame that i wasnt just called a bridesmaid, i was 16, i helped more than anyone else with the planning (althouth thats not what bms are for) i wore a matching outfit, but i chose a wrist corsage rather than a bouquet (since i wasnt standing with the others, i didnt want a bouquet i would have to hang on to all day), and i walked up the aisle with my brother and we both sat during the ceremony.
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I think it makes the most sense to ask her to be a bridesmaid. It will make her happy and I can't really imagine her not being part of the wedding party after all.

    As for the other friend, I will definitely bring it up with the fiance!
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    Stop thinking numbers.  Start thinking people.  Now you've got your WP.

    It's not a theatrical production with roles that need to be filled.  It's about having those you care most about stand with you as you're getting married.  Don't make it harder than it needs to be.

    good luck
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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