Wedding planning is stressful (and fun!) But one aspect that can too often cause unnecessary anxiety is determining the size of one’s wedding party. Part of the reason the party selection is so fraught is that tradition can play a pretty big role in the process. On top of that, the traditions seem to change depending on what part of the country in which you are getting married. For instance, southern brides are expected to include their future sister(s)-in-law and it’s not uncommon to include former teachers and neighbors on top friends and family members, which makes for one massive bridal party!
At the Park Savoy, we often see a lot of our clients choosing to forego tradition in favor of creating their own unique wedding party or having none at all. But if you’re looking to have a full-sized wedding party, we can help you make better sense of how to approach selecting your wedding parties, exploring some of the traditional approaches while giving our own non-traditional input.
Understanding the Wedding Party Basics
Speaking of tradition, a standard formal wedding can feature as many as twelve attendants plus a ring bearer and a flower girl, not to mention one usher for every fifty guests. And when we say the wedding party is a time-honored tradition, we mean it. The wedding party itself dates back to Roman times when the law required that ten people be present to witness a couple’s nuptials. Today, a wedding party tends to consists of the following roles:
- Maid of Honor
- Best Man
- Bride’s Parents
- Groom’s Parents
- Flower Girl
- Ring Bearers
- Train Bearer
That’s a whole lot of people! And if you are aiming for a big and elegant wedding, you’ll likely find yourself with a sizable wedding party. While the ratio of attendants varies depending on the size and how formal of a wedding it will, the standard rule of thumb tends to be two attendants for every fifty guests. But is this really necessary?
Taking Control of Your Wedding Party
As we so often mention in this space, the best weddings are the ones that feel naturally elegant and a reflection of a couple’s love and decision to spend the rest of their lives together. Your wedding party should consist of people who are truly supportive and active members in your life.
We get that there can often be obligations that are impossible to get around, but just remember, once you ask someone to be in your wedding party, there are no take-backs. And considering that your bridesmaids and groomsmen will be instrumental in helping you plan and get ready for your big day, elegant venues like The Park Savoy feature bridal and grooms suites. But don’t forget to decide who in your wedding party will be joining you in those rooms and how many people you’ll be able to have in these rooms.
For bridesmaids and groomsmen, we feature suites for each group to help cut down on the confusion while letting those members of the wedding party kick back, do their makeup, and whatever else they want.
And, while siblings might not be always part of a wedding party, do consider including them. Not everyone gets along with their brothers and/or sisters all the time, but they are and will remain an important part of your life.
At the end of the day, don’t follow any rules or traditions that you don’t fit you or your significant other’s personality. And don’t fill a position just to fill it. Smaller wedding parties can be just as special as massive ones, it’s just a matter of surrounding yourself with quality people! Finally, if a wedding party does not feel like the right move for you, listen to your gut and forge your own traditions!