Bridal Party Q&As

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

Q: Our wedding party consists of four bridesmaids and seven groomsmen. What’s the best way to pair them up for the ceremony? Do all of the groomsmen have to walk down the aisle during the processional?

A: Wedding parties like yours, with an uneven number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, are quite common. The good news is you do have several options to consider for both the processional and recessional. For the processional, your groomsmen could enter the church first and walk down the aisle in single file, followed by your bridesmaids. Or, the groomsmen could already be in the church, either at their seats or standing in front of the congregation with the groom, before your bridesmaids start their processional. For the recessional, pair the first bridesmaid with one groomsman and the next three bridesmaids with two groomsmen each, one on either side.

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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??