Bridal Party Q&As

Guidelines about the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved, from maid of honor on down.


Q: My fiance's sister-in-law wants to be one of my bridesmaids and his mother told him it's proper etiquette to include her. Is this true? I really don't know her well and I'm not sure what to do.

A: Don't feel pressured to ask anyone you're not close to, to be in your bridal party. There are no etiquette rules stating that a future sister-in-law, cousin, etc., must be an attendant. She probably wants to be included because her husband will be a groomsmen. If there are other friends and relatives you'd rather have, then by all means ask them instead, and make sure your fiance supports your decision. You can still include your future sister-in-law by asking her to do the honor of giving a special reading at the ceremony.

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Wedding etiquette is a popular subject because they are so many horror stories. It's expensive to be in a bridal party, and it's expensive and stressful to have a large one. One budget line item that often gets overlooked by the future Mr. and Mrs. is the THANK YOU gift for each bridal party member. You should plan to spend at least half the amount of the cost of the bridesmaid dress/suit rental for each person. So if the dress they bought is $300, then be prepared to thank each one with ~$150 worth of gratitude. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, flights/hotels, hair/shoes/makeup/hair styling -- all these things add up, and some bridesmaids spend over $1000 just to be in your wedding party. These are your most important witnesses to your wedding. And chances are they supported you before, during, and after the big day. Thank you gifts are not the area to skimp. Good luck! Lisa |

I've selected my matron of honor (and asked her) who is engaged and was supposed to get married before me but then had to postpone her wedding. Can she still be my matron of honor??