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The big question has been asked and answered and now you are officially engaged.  You’ve let your families know and now it’s time to call all your friends.  As you do, there will be likely some who say, “I better be in your wedding” and there will be some who you will likely say, “You have to be in my wedding”!  Before you commit to agreeing or asking anyone, think for a bit on what will be required of your wedding party and whether the people you’re considering are truly up for the job – yes, it is a temporary job and it is a highly charitable one at that.

The bridesmaids, Maid of Honor, groomsmen and Best Man that you choose will also have to be made aware of not only what is traditionally expected of them, but how and what you will be expecting of them.  Time and money are huge consideration.

Some of the duties of your wedding party are as follows:

Throw a bridal shower (bridesmaids/Maid of Honor)
Throw the bachelor/bachlorette party
Buy their own apparel, shoes, accessories
Make a reasonable amount of time available to you for going dress/tuxedo shopping, decor shopping, etc.
Helping to put together favors, invitations (incl. licking of stamps and possibly even hand addressing each envelope), or other decor items
Helping to keep you in a zen mood on your wedding day
Perhaps helping to set-up and take down decor on your wedding day

There is a lot of time and often money required of the wedding party.  Be sure that whomever you ask to be a part of your day is the type of person who not only has the time, but you know is responsible enough to follow through on the many items that will be required of them.  The last thing you want is one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen to have gotten so drunk at your wedding that she or he had to skip out early, miss a final picture with everyone and not be there to help clean up.  This type of behavior could cause you and your groom to be cleaning up in your tux and gown when you should be celebrating the beginning of your marriage in your own hotel room.

Be clear on your expectations of your wedding party when you ask them to be a part of your day.  If will be expecting them to buy their own dress/rent their own tuxedo, don’t assume that they will know that this is normal procedure.  Also, take into consideration the formality of your wedding and the financial position of your wedding party.  If you will be choosing a Vera Wang bridesmaid dress, you can’t expect your friend who is still in college and working part-time at a coffee shop to be able to afford such an expense.  Explain to them what you expect they will be paying for and how much you think it may be.  If you are dead set on a certain set of people, then you will need to have an open conversation with them and allow them to express their opinion and how much they think is fair and reasonable.

As with all things weddings, communication is the key.  Good luck and have fun!

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