Pop the Question: "How Do I Get My Wedding Party to Help Out More?"

In this month's Ask Us Anything, our Team-Z experts share tips for asking your wedding party to be more involved and maintaining key relationships while getting the help you need.

By Emily Forrest

Pop the Question: How Do I Get My Wedding Party to Help Out More?
Photo by Hope Hoggard Photo

Have a burning wedding planning question on your mind? Pop the question to our Zola advisors on Team-Z!

Dear Team-Z, It’s safe to say that my partner and I are thrilled about our upcoming wedding! Planning keeps us busy, yet we could use help from those closest to us — especially our wedding party. Sometimes we feel bad as we know everyone’s schedules are full, so how do we go about asking them to chip in and get involved without seeming so needy? The last thing we want to do is make them feel as though we’re burdening them, but we also want them to share in the excitement leading up to the big day. So, what’s appropriate, and how do we get them pumped up for planning?

~ Helplessly Helpless!

So, How Do You Get Your Wedding Party to Help More?

Dear Helplessly Helpless, thanks for asking Team-Z to weigh in with advice, and let us first tell you that your concerns are valid. Asking those closest to you to stand by your side on your big day is an easy, relationship-building task. However, you don’t want to hinder friendships or cause trouble by asking them to help. Today folks are excessively busy, and it can seem like even your smallest request is asking too much. Team-Z understands!

Even though you’re steadily crossing things off your to-do list as your big day approaches, the number of tasks can increase. That’s where people participating in the wedding can pick up some of the pieces, and knowing who can help and how to ask properly is essential. Once you pose the question, you may be pleasantly surprised! Some may be anxious to get involved and were simply waiting for you to tell them how.

From who to ask and how to know when is too much, here’s Team-Z’s take on maintaining key relationships while getting the help you need.

How to Get Your Wedding Party Involved

The first question you may wonder is, “Who is involved in a wedding ceremony?” Of course, the happy couple comes to mind first, and you may also picture wedding attendants lined up on either side of them. However, don’t forget about other vital participants, such as readers, parents, and ushers, who may or may not serve as groomsmen. Although some of these people may be hired, such as musicians and the officiant, feel free to ask friends and family that are involved to help out. From expectations to appreciation, here are six things to remember when asking folks to take some responsibilities off your plate.

1. Clearly define wedding roles and expectations.

Everyone wants to be informed, so brief your wedding party on what you expect of them. Not only will they appreciate knowing what they’ll be doing, but it will give them a chance to weigh in or bow out of a particular duty if they aren’t able to help out. Also, don’t limit this to the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Include those with more minor roles, such as the flower girl, in your plans. Even if an expectation is a tradition or common sense, it’s always kind — and will go over better — if you ask the person instead of demanding they do something.

2. Engage the wedding party early in the planning process.

“What are the roles of the entourage in a wedding?” is a widespread question you should answer as soon as possible. It’s always a thrill to ask your BFFs to participate in your big day. You may even have plans to invite friends to be in the brides party in a creative way. However, please don’t feel that you must include a list of duties tucked into their bridesmaid proposal box. It is good etiquette to let wedding attendants know what you expect early on, especially if dates are tied to those activities, such as a groom party or bridal tea.

3. Consider time and budget constraints.

Many factors can determine availability, such as work schedules and finances, especially for those who live far away. Your partner’s college roommate may want to help as much as possible, yet distance may prevent them from fully participating in pre-wedding events. Although a bachelorette party in the Caribbean may be on your mind, traveling and paying for such a trip may not be feasible for some wedding attendants. Of course, you can still plan a getaway, but try to make mandatory events affordable and respectful of everyone’s time.

4. Host team-building activities.

Speaking of time and budget, some of the best gatherings are casual and inexpensive. Host a backyard barbecue with games, or schedule everyone for a summer story-telling bonfire. Roles in weddings shouldn’t be overly burdensome, and planning a few fun activities simply for the purpose of getting together will help everyone bond. Plus, your wedding party will feel appreciated as they unwind and have a great time.

5. Utilize technology and group chats.

There are bound to be questions, and having a group chat or text thread is a simple way to keep everyone on track. If any surprises are involved, your maid of honor or best man may want to have a separate chat that doesn’t include the couple. Someone may be bound to ask, “What parties do you throw for a bride?” in the discussion, which could quickly become awkward if you’re the bride-to-be. One point to note is not to communicate via group messaging too much, so try to resist the urge. While others may share in the excitement of your big day, receiving too many texts can be disruptive.

6. Recognize and celebrate their contribution.

Even the best roles in weddings can seem burdensome if a person doesn’t feel appreciated. While giving your wedding party gifts at the rehearsal dinner is traditional, show them you value them before the big day. Something as simple as a $5 coffee gift card or a scented candle can go a long way. However, your appreciation doesn’t have to be monetary. A handwritten note or a well-thought-out text telling them their participation is meaningful will be unexpected and bring a smile to their face.

Thank you, Helplessly Helpless! Team-Z hopes that you have the day of your dreams — with the help of your friends. Enjoy!

Pop the Question with our Team-Z

You’ve got questions. The wedding planning experts of Zola’s Team-Z have answers! You’ve finally found the one and know the next steps, but how do you plan the perfect wedding day? From proposal etiquette and wedding websites to registry items, your head is probably spinning as your to-do list gets longer. That’s where Zola’s smart, savvy team — Team Z — can help! You ask, we answer. It’s as simple as that!

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