This question has popped up a few times during my client meetings and I think this is the perfect place to address it. In my childhood and teenage years I actually attended and participated in quite a few weddings. It was always pretty much the same song and dance at every wedding, a host of bridesmaids including the maid or matron of honour, groomsmen and best man, flower girl, ring bearer followed by the father of the bride escorting the bride. Sometimes the bridesmaids weren’t always close friends or family, it was some poor girl you barely knew that you forced into a hideous dress (insert my name). I guess, the objective at that time was to see how large of a bridal party you could have, sort of a popularity contest if you will.
Today’s couples are different. No need for everyone and their brother and sister, not forgetting second cousins to be a part of your day.
Getting back to the title of this post…who really belongs in the bridal party? The answer is simple, only people you want.
Do you need a maid of honour? No, not if your best friend over the years is a male and is willing to stand up for you. This is actually gaining popularity.
What about bridesmaids? Not unless you want to. There are no rules or etiquette to consider if you are not having any.
Does the groom need a best man? No, not if his bff over the years is a female. A woman in a well tailored tux can be quite stunning. That said the bride would have to be a super confident woman to agree to this.
What about groomsmen? Again, not unless you want to.
Who should walk the bride down the isle? Usually the father of the bride, however this isn’t always possible. The mother of the bride would be fantastic. A brother would be an excellent choice. I would strongly suggest you do not choose an older male simply because he looks fatherly. You should only surround yourself with those closest to you.
Are ring bearers and flower girls necessary? Not at all. However there is nothing cuter than children all dressed up! No children available, but your pet is? Go ahead and get the pooch dressed up. A word of caution is planner does not like to pooch sit 🙂 If you do choose this route, your beloved pet should only be present at the ceremony and always get permission from the venue before deciding to include sparky.
If you would like to have your friends and family participate in your wedding, just not in the bridal party, there are several ways to do so:
> scripture reading
> even though I like the professionals to emcee, a family member as the emcee adds a special dose of humour
So there you have it, who really belongs in the bridal party. Your wedding day is a celebration of love and as long as you remember to show the people in your life love they will happily join in the celebration. I love weddings with large or small bridal parties as long as everyone is there to support the bride and groom!
For many more ideas on all things wedding related, please email or give us a call, we are more than happy to help!