Selecting a bridal party can be an awesome experience or a dreadful one depending on your situation. Whether selecting your bridal party will be as easy asking your best friends from childhood or as hard as choosing between 8 siblings for the maid of honor, setting honest, realistic expectations for your bridal party roles ahead of time are a must.
Taking time to determine what you will need from your bridal party will help you clearly define the roles you need to fill. Will you need the maid of honor to be a part-time wedding coordinator or just an emotional support for times of fun and fretting?
Looking at the people you love through lenses of their strengths and weaknesses will help you set realistic roles that are actually attainable and allow you to be pleased with the results of your big day. After all, the ultimate expectation is that your wedding will be a success, but that starts with you setting up your crew to succeed! Who knows, after thinking it through, you may even create new, less traditional roles that are a better fit for your crew’s personalities.
We love our families, because thick and thin and all that. But in all honesty, its these thick and thin ties that can be the trickiest of all when it comes to weddings. Those ties often manifest as ownership, meaning family often feel more inclined to make their opinions known, and more comfortable expressing frustration when their opinion is disregarded. So, what does this mean? It means you can be absolutely certain that your final wedding day decisions will not please everyone.
With this in mind, we want to empower you to sit down as a couple and spend some intentional time discussing the topic of family and the roles they will and will not play in your big day. After all, you and your partner are starting a life together and the decisions you make for your wedding are the first fruits of your joint efforts at determining the kind of life you will lead. The act of planning a wedding will definitely bring you face to face with decision making, so if you haven’t determined your boundaries as a couple ahead of time and decided where you will draw a few lines in the sand, these decisions will challenge your idea of what it means to be a team.
You may scoff at the fact that we’ve made this such a heavy topic, but we have seen it time and time again. High pressure from families and tradition can easily create tiny stress fractures in a couple, and without proper planning and attentiveness, that usually results in giving in to get the day over with, but not without long term, negative effects on a relationship. We cannot stress enough that you and your partner decide what you want your day to look like together and then hold the line! This will do wonders for your future, as the same process will be needed to determine which families you will visit for which holidays, etc.. etc... etc...
Don’t have any nieces and nephews or best friends with children?- it’s okay! There is no Think outside the box, there are some pretty adorable furry friends carrying signs down the aisle these days.
Find yourself having the opposite problem, too many kids you adore to choose just one or two? Have a group lead you down the aisle, two can toss petals, one can hold a sign, and the other the rings. Having an adult’s only reception, you can still have children participate in the ceremony and then exit stage left.
Traditional crowd and older relatives
This subject is often taboo, but couples actually discuss this concern with wedding planners a lot. I absolutely want my great grandmother at the wedding, but I also want to have a lit dance party with a DJ at the reception. Absolutely understandable!
Give your guests a clean exit. Let them know ahead of time that you want to dance the night away, so you will be happy to say your formal goodbyes after cutting the cake or after the toast. You can have the DJ make this announcement as well as make a note on your wedding website. This takes the pressure off and lets guests know that you will not be disappointed if they slip out. Your immediate family and hardcore besties will stick around for your exit and any great photographer can make a 30-person tunnel with sparklers feel like 60 people.
Go ahead, book the DJ, breathe a sigh of relief, and plan to dance the night away!