Monday, November 9, 2009

The Wedding Party

Over the past 17 years, I've seen wedding parties as small as zero and as large as 60 ( read correctly - I didn't stutter!). The honor of being asked to participate as an attendant in someone's nuptials is a big deal and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who really don't "get" what an awesome responsibility this is, both emotionally and financially.

Weddings cost money. To participate in one as a member of the bridal party costs money also - there's no way around that. To buy bouquets and boutonierres, host a rehearsal dinner, purchase gifts, provide transportation AND feed these folks...costs money too. So no matter what side of the fence you are on - soon to be wed or potential attendant, expect to reach into your wallet more than once.

With all of that being said, as the bride or groom - how do you choose? Who do you ask? Why do you ask? If you understand that the "reasoning" for a wedding party is basically steeped in superstition, then the modern day reality of it is more want than need. Do you need 20 bridesmaids, 20 groomsmen, 4 junior bridesmaids, 4 junior groomsmen, 3 maids of honor, 3 matrons of honor, 6 best men, 3 ringbearers, 8 flower girls (and a partridge in a pear tree? sorry - couldn't resist!) ? The answer will depend on where your sensibilities (and emotions) lie.....

My view as an insider is this: Select those persons for whom it is totally necessary that they be at your side during this moment. Look at your proverbial "posse" - who do you hang with, travel with, share with, trust? Those are the folks that would serve you best as attendants. They "get" you, they support your relationship, they are HAPPY for your joy and truly wish to see you married. For most people - when you look at it that way, the list shortens dramatically.

I know - there are some of you that think you absolutely must have everyone as a member of the wedding party. But at the end of your day, think about the intimate connections you should have with each person standing up there with you. If you can't fathom one single, deep, concrete "tie" that binds you - let them be a guest and sit in the audience.

Those are my "musings" - what do you think? I'd love to hear your comments - so please share!!

photo credit (groom & attendants) - Michael Clark
photo credit (bride & attendants) - personal archive of Linnyette Richardson-Hall