Bridal Party Q&As

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

Q: My fiancé would like his three-year-old nephew to be our ring bearer, but I'm worried that he's too young. What's the proper age range for a ring bearer?

A: Traditionally, the age range for both the ring bearer and the flower girl is between four and eight. However, rules are meant to be broken, and in this case you should consider having your fiancé's nephew as your ring bearer. At my brother's wedding, my two-and-a-half-year-old nephew was the ring bearer. We were all a bit concerned that he might not be able to handle the task. After all, two-year-olds can decide on a whim that they are just not in the mood - they are too tired or hungry and cannot be bothered taking a walk down the aisle. But my sister and brother-in-law conducted many "practice sessions" at home with a throw pillow, and by the time the big day came my nephew was eager to show off his newly acquired skill. The result: An adorable little boy (naturally, I am biased) walked proudly down the aisle and charmed a churchful of guests. Even if he had messed up, he still would have been cute, as I am sure your fiancé's nephew would be. So do consider having the little guy in your wedding party - it will not only thrill his parents but will also make your fiancé very proud.

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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??