Must-Knows for Having a Large Bridal Party
I once photographed a wedding that had a 24-person bridal party, not including the bride and groom. And believe it or not, we had an even larger one the next year! With a total of 30 people. The reason I bring up the 24-person bridal party though, is because I wish I could’ve shared with them what I will be sharing in this blog post.
The bigger the bridal party, the more fun, more energy, and more keeping track of other people. I am all for a big bridal party – if you have over ten friends or family members that you have that close to you, that you want there on your big day, do it! That’s great.
Just remember – more people does not always mean more fun. It can sometimes cause added stress, unprecedented disruptions in the day’s schedule, and other issues. So, when choosing who plays what role in your bridal party, and who is actually standing up, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Your Maid of Honor and Best Man Do Not Have to be a Sibling, or Anyone Specific for That Matter
I have so many brides choose their sister as their maid-of-honor (MOH). That’s fine and dandy, but don’t do so because you think you have to. Just because you are related, does not automatically mean that person is: (a) close to you, (b) organized and ready to help in planning and wrangling up others if needed.
When it comes to a large bridal party, of say 8 or more on each side, you want your MOH or Best Man (whether it’s one of each or multiple!) to be able to help keep everyone organized, on time, and has the personality people will listen to if something goes “wrong”.
3. It’s Expensive
If you’re like me, then you looooove to give people gifts. Whether handmade presents or store bought goodies, these things are not free. If you want to spoil your friends, keep in mind that each extra person is an additional gift. Not only presents, but most bridal parties are fed throughout the day of the wedding. And ladies – remember bouquets. This tends to be a shocker to the wedding budget. Each bridesmaid is another bouquet.
So – make a realistic budget to the size of your party.
2. Hand Out Your Day-of-Timeline to Each Bridal Party Member
Okay so I think everyone should do this no matter how big or small the wedding and party is, but please – if you have a large bridal party, DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS!
This is yourwedding, whether you are a bride or groom reading this. You do not want to be asked tons of questions that truly could have been answered by someone else. You want to relax, hang with the love of your life, I don’t know…get married? And have the best day of your life. SO – avoid the hassle of (what will seem like) stupid little questions, people being late, and people showing up at incorrect locations and just send out that day-of-timeline. Oh, and do this a week or so in advance, not the day of ;)
4. Drama, drama, drama
Okay, maybe your friends aren’t full of drama. Fair enough. But what they are full of is opinions – I don’t care who it is. Keep in mind if your friends are ones to voice their opinions or not. Twenty men and women throwing out ideas for photos, where to stop for party-bus-drinks, and of course…the dress…can become overwhelming, fast.
5. Set Realistic Expectations from the Start
If you expect your groomsmen to throw you a relaxed, nonchalant bachelor party, then remind that one cousin you asked to stand up that you are not one to party all night. If you expect the bridesmaids to pitch in with vendor searching, brunches to talk details, and whatever else – tell them that when you ask them to stand up.
6. Multiple Schedules
Last but not least, multiple adult human beings have varying schedules. If you are one to get together with your bridal party throughout the planning process, remember that the more people there are, the more schedules there are to line up.
One tip for this is to plan crazy in advance. Your MOH or Best Man can take lead in this. You want every bridesmaid and other friends at the bachelorette party? Ask your MOH to contact everyone six to nine months in advance. Most people should be able to take off work and plan (and save their money) to be in town for this.
The most important thing about your wedding day to keep in mind – it’s your wedding. You’re getting married! The other details are simply not as important.