Wedding Party or Bridal Party: What’s the Difference?
There actually is a difference. A bridal party consists of those standing with and attending the bride. A wedding party includes everyone from the best man to the junior bridesmaids. It doesn’t really matter what name you call this amazing group of people, what matters is making sure they are up to the challenge. A couple needs to be very careful before they begin asking just anyone to take on this responsibility.
How to choose your wedding party: tips and suggestions
Maid of Honor
Who do you choose? Your MOH should be someone who is organized and driven. This person will be the one who throws your bridal shower and your bachelorette party, so you will want this person to know you and to be someone you trust. More importantly, the MOH is the one person who stays on top, not only of all of your appointments, but those of your bridesmaids as well. A maid of honor is your right hand, giving you help whenever you need it, from helping you address invitations to counting the meal choices on those pesky RSVP cards. Therefore, picking a friend, or even your sister, who lives out of state may not be such a good choice unless you are willing to do more yourself.
Who says you can’t have a man of honor? Very frequently brides do not have a sister, or do not have a close female friend. If that’s the case, then ask your best guy friend or your brother to be your Man of Honor. What is most important is that you choose someone you’re close to and comfortable with, who is responsible and who will tell you the truth and not just what you want to hear.
Who do you choose? Just as important as the MOH, your best man will have some important tasks so this person needs to be just as responsible as the Maid of Honor. Not only will the Best Man have to plan the bachelor party, but he will be the one, in most cases, who will be in charge of your wedding rings. You should also remind yourself that it is customary to have the Best Man lead the toasts, so your best friend who will be drinking even before the ceremony starts may not be such a good idea. More and more, many grooms are choosing their fathers or other older family members to stand by their side as they say their vows; the people supporting you don’t have to be younger or friends.
Choose a Best Woman if that makes more sense. Again, this person needs to be someone you trust. That could be your sister, your best friend who happens to be a girl or a cousin you’re close with. Another important consideration: choose a person who gets along with your partner.
While your sister or your fiancé’s sister are always a fantastic choice to fill up team bride, there is something to be said for choosing bridesmaids who generally aren’t too negative, who are supportive and who are fun. Even if that leaves out someone close to you. This is your day and there will be a certain amount of stress leading up to it, and on the day of. Surround yourself with people who will not stress you out.
More importantly, make sure the person you ask is up to the financial responsibility. Consider that they have to pay for a dress that you pick out, hair, makeup, shoes and any travel. Think about what is going on in your friends lives before you ask them. Of course, it is perfectly fine to have a bridesmaid who lives out of town. Just because she can’t be there to help you address the invitations maybe she can take a weekend trip to help you with other things.
Also, this is not a time for payback or for hurt feelings. You do not have to ask someone just because you were in their wedding party. You also do not have to ask someone just because you are afraid they will be hurt if you don’t ask them. There are plenty of other roles you can ask them to fill: ushers, programs or doing a reading during your ceremony.
Your wedding party is a personal decision. Remember it is your day, no one else’s. If you want to have 10 bridesmaids go for it. You do not have to have even sides. Stay with the traditional one bridesmaid/groomsmen per 50 guest rule or buck tradition all together and have “non-bridesmaids”. These are close friends who support and love you and your relationship, but may not fit in the bridal party. For example, you can have a group of your closest friends wear a certain shade of blue and become your “something blue” group. You can also give them all something special to wear so they feel honored. Whatever you decide do not let choosing your wedding party become a stressful event; this is a magical time, and your only wedding, so enjoy it.
At the Basin
Here at Wild Basin Lodge, our in-house event planner and day-of coordinators will help you to plan and execute your wedding in order to further help you on your special day. Take a look at our wedding package for more details on what we have to offer.
Photographer credit: True Photography