bridal party photos selfie with groomsmen

Wednesday Wedding Tips: How to Choose Your Wedding Party

I’ve been photographing weddings for over 8 years now, so I’ve seen lots of different things. Many of the things I talk about on these Wednesday Wedding Tips come directly from issues my brides have had. Today’s topic actually comes from a conversation I had with a bride on Tuesday. When we talked previously, she had mentioned they would be having 3 people on each side of the wedding party. This time, though, she said there were more. Apparently, someone got upset they weren’t included, so she was nice enough to add them. Picking a wedding party can be more complicated than most people think, so today, I’m sharing some tips on how to choose your wedding party. 

How to Choose Your Wedding Party

Make a List

The first thing I would suggest you do is to make a list of all the people you’re close to that you’d consider for the wedding party. Make a list for the bride and for the groom. This way, you have something to look at and compare and to always go back to.

Wedding Film Bridal party on steps

Compare Numbers

Now that you have a list for both the bride and groom, mark the people that are closest to each of you. Then, compare the numbers. Most weddings have an equal amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen. It’s not always that way, but most people like to have it equal.

wedding party with cowboy hats

This could cause some problems. The bride might have a ton of people she’s considering and the groom might only have a few. Do you find more guys or do you cut off some of the girls? That’s a tough choice. One thing I will say is that lately, I’ve been seeing girls on the groom’s side and guys being on the bride’s side. I wouldn’t force someone over there just to even things up, but if the groom is close to one of the girls, you might consider putting her on his side.

A Large or Small Wedding Party

Another thing to consider is how big you want the wedding party to be. It all works, but there are some issues with two extremes. If you have a small wedding party, 1 or 2 on each side, you’re very limited on what you can do for pictures. There are only so many groupings and poses you can do. If your wedding party is too large, 6 or more, you will have issues with space. Can you fit them all on the stage? How can you get 20 people into a photo and it not be chaotic? Also, I feel that there won’t be enough personal time with each person in the party. Can you really make memories with every single one of them?

wedding party crossing the street in ft. Smith

Money!!!

We all know weddings involve money, and so does picking your wedding party. One thing to consider is how much you are wanting to spend yourself. It’s traditional to buy gifts for your wedding party. If you have a lot of people or pick people that expect a lot, you will be spending maybe $1000 or more.

bridal party photos groom showing off ring

You also have to consider how much money the people in the wedding party are capable of or willing to spend. Asking someone to be in your wedding party can be a big financial commitment. They usually have to rent a tux or buy a dress. They might have to get a plane ticket or pay for a hotel room. It can add up. If you know someone is struggling, you might not put them in the wedding party to spare them the burden of paying for it or come up with a way to ease that burden.

Options

I hope I haven’t scared you or ruined your plans. I do have some suggestions to deal with or fix this. First, be open and honest with everyone. I think if you talk with everyone, get their opinion, and explain the situation, people will deal with it better. Second, find other ways to get people involved. If you don’t have room for them as a bridesmaid or groomsmen, give them a different job like an usher, greeter, or maybe even part of the entertainment. Your friends and family just want to feel special and involved. Give them something to do.

bridal party photos selfie with groomsmen

Conclusion

I know I didn’t give you an exact plan to follow, but honestly, that’s not possible. Each wedding is different and everyone has their own unique friend and family dynamic. I think if you follow some of the tips, though, you’ll have a better idea of how to make it all work and make everyone happy. Let me know how this works for choosing your wedding party or if you have any other tips.

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