5 Things to Consider Before Choosing Your Bridal Party

The Broke-Ass Bride's Wedding Guide empowers couples with the simple philosophy that it's not about how much you spend but how you spend it. As author Dana LaRue says, "You're only planning a party, so have fun with it." You don't need to give up your savings, the possibility of a downpayment on a house, or your sanity to plan a celebration that is meaningful and inspired. Here, Dana shares her advice on sticky subjects to consider before asking someone to be in your bridal party.

Despite the fact that there is no right or wrong, there are some possible pitfalls to be on the watch for when you’re selecting your wedding party. It can’t be sunshine and unicorns all the time, friends.

colorful mismatched bridesmaid dresses
Photo by: Erich McVey on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

1. Politics
Depending on your family or circle of closest friends, there’s likely to be one or two who immediately assume they’ll be ordained with the highest title. Or any title. And they may either cause a stink or be secretly hurt if they aren’t awarded such. Can you trust them to put that aside and proudly wear the mantle of whatever title you give them? Perhaps you can find a special duty for your friend, such as usher or reader (or, as mentioned before, "shepherds of the rings" to assist with the ring-bowl passing from row to row through your audience). But if that’s not possible, being there for your big day should be enough for them.

2. Personality
Consider whether anyone you’re choosing to include might have an existing conflict with another member of the party, or if someone is likely to create drama where there is none, simply because that’s a pattern of his or her personality. If personality conflicts exist, or may arise, do you trust these people to rise above the static to sup- port you without involving you in their dramas? Can they put the past aside and bond together for this one special event? This is another risk vs. reward situation that you must weigh carefully to ensure that your wedding party is as nurturing, supportive, and low maintenance as possible. We’ve all seen the movie Bridesmaids by now, haven’t we?

3. Responsibility
This is somewhat of an extension of number 2, but goes beyond petty arguments and status wars. Can you count on these people to be there for you? To show up on time? To maintain a presentable demeanor (i.e., not puking during the ceremony because they pre-partied with too much Champagne)? To represent you well in the face of everyone you know and love?

4. Financial wellness
As I mentioned before, standing up in a wedding can potentially add up to several thousands of dollars’ worth of additional commitment, depending on the circumstance. Can you reasonably expect these people to come up with whatever scratch they’ll need to be able to fulfill their duties, or are you willing to either cut corners to help them or contribute to their attendance? This one is super-important, as it’s possible that some members of your party are involved in other weddings that year as well. We’ve all seen 27 Dresses, haven’t we?

5. Yourself
Do you thrive in a larger group, or do you feel most comfortable with just one or two super-close people? Or would you rather stand alone? What shape and size wedding party will make you most happy and at ease? Take care not to fall prey to the pressures of inviting more people than you want, or people you don’t want, to be in your wedding party.

Plus, check out Bridesmaid Confessions: The Good, The Bad and the Fugly ►

Tell us: How many people are in your bridal party? How did you decide who to include?

—Dana LaRue, as seen in The Broke-Ass Bride's Wedding Guide. Published with permission from Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York. ©2013 Broke-Ass Media, Inc.

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The Broke-Ass Bride's Wedding Guide approaches wedding budgeting challenges as opportunities to be creative, and teaches engaged couples how to get more for less. In her signature sassy, chatty voice, author Dana LaRue gives hardworking and helpful tips, such as how to negotiate with vendors like a pro, and ideas for inventive (and affordable) engagement parties, DIY recipes, decorations, and more.


Featured: David Tutera on How to Keep Your Reception Fun. See more Q&As with David