A lot goes into planning and hosting a wedding. So, it’s important to keep the right people around you to help you deal with the many ups and downs along the way. Choosing the members of your wedding party is an easy way to do just that. No two wedding parties look alike—they can be made up of friends, family, or a mix of both—but no matter what your party should include people who add positivity and guidance as you plan your wedding. Here’s how to build your perfect wedding party that fits you and your fiance’s needs.
At its simplest, a wedding party is a group of people chosen by an engaged couple to support and celebrate them from engagement to the big day. Typically a wedding party is made up of friends and family and is responsible for certain wedding planning duties along the way. Think pre-wedding showers and parties, participating in the actual ceremony, and even acting as witnesses to the marriage.
A wedding party can be large or small—it’s entirely up to the couple. Traditionally, the wedding party includes bridesmaids and groomsmen, but technically it also includes other members, as well.
Note: This a standard list of traditional wedding party members. A wedding party doesn’t have to follow this outline at all. Choose the members of your wedding party based on your relationships and personal preferences.
Along with the traditional roles of a wedding party, we’ve included some roles a religious wedding may include in the ceremony processions.
As we said, while a wedding party consists of traditional roles, who you choose to include is entirely up to you. There’s no set way or rules to follow when selecting who should be part of your special day. Mix it up—have men and women support both partners. Ask your mother to walk you down the aisle. Train your dog to be your ring bearer. How your ceremony plays out and the people that you include should be unique to you and your relationships.
Just like it’s good to have some yin and yang when it comes to selecting the person you want to marry, the same goes for selecting the individuals who make up your wedding party. For example, ideally, your maid or man of honor is someone responsible and ready to tackle the many tasks that come with the role. Choose someone ‘hands-on’ who’s comfortable taking the reigns.
That said, a full wedding party of the “hands-on” type isn’t necessarily the best idea. Be sure to mix things up and try to build a group of various personalities. Some key traits we love to see in wedding party members:
Here are some common questions couples may consider about building a wedding party.
No. There is no wedding party quota! Typically, couples prefer to have the same number of members in their respective parties, but oftentimes that’s for no other reason than procession’s sake. Don’t feel pressured to add additional people to your party just so the photos are even on both sides. Choose each member of your wedding party with intention—you should want each person (even if it’s only a few) to be there with you on your day.
Sometimes choosing this important role feels impossible. Fortunately, it’s totally fine to have more than one maid of honor/best man. This is common in the case of multiple siblings or close best friend groups. Just be sure that the people you choose know that they’ll be splitting up those major responsibilities and are ready to help out.
On the other hand, if it seems like too much hassle to choose a maid of honor or best man, forgo the title completely. This way, you don’t have to stress about making a sometimes tough decision—and no one feels left out. That said, we still recommend designating someone to speak on your behalf at the reception (if speeches are your thing). Also, make sure your wedding party is ready to work together to take on those usual maid of honor/best man additional responsibilities.
The simple answer is no, you don’t. While it’s common to include your own siblings in your wedding party, depending on your relationship with your partner’s siblings, it’s up to you. Obviously, we want you and your partner to avoid any unnecessary drama or hurt feelings so be sure to be upfront with their siblings if you don’t want to include them. We also recommend assigning them another role if they’re interested (they might not be!), such as reading at the ceremony.
This, again, is totally up to you and dependant on your relationship with your sibling. It’s possible that you have a friend or cousin who you would prefer to act in this role for you. We, as always, recommend being upfront with your sibling to avoid any hurt feelings or drama. It also could be true that your sibling doesn’t want to take on the responsibility of the role. You won’t know until you talk about it with them.
Absolutely. Your wedding party can be as mixed up as you prefer. Why exclude your best guy friend from your party just because he’s a guy? Please don’t do that. Invite any and all of those nearest and dearest to you, regardless of gender (or any other similar limitation), to stand proudly next to you on your big day.
Building a perfect wedding party may not be the easiest task, but it’s a rewarding one. Incorporating friends and family into your wedding day is a great way to build memories and get the support you need.