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 (yes....you 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

8 comments:

DaniColoredGlasses said...

Perfectly stated.....I couldn't agree with you more!

{Ms. P} said...

nail->head!

karrin Drake said...

Personally from someone who is dreaming of my wedding day and has already started my ideas. I have a list for my wedding party, and through the couple years of having it a few people have changed, then there are the few that haven't. After reading your post, I am going to take off the people that I just added. You are making me think of why I added them in the first place. GREAT POST DIVA!!!!!!! You truly said it best. I will never forget this and you have changed my way of thinking about the wedding party and invites to the wedding.

What do you think about an open wedding and invite only reception?

Linnyette Richardson-Hall said...

Karrin: My feelings are simple - invite people to your wedding that you want at your reception. I don't like to see that "division"..a wedding is a time for total celebration, not separation.

If you cannot afford to have a zillion guests, consolidate that guest list so it's manageable on your checkbook and your relationships with others. People get offended easily and I've found through experience that when guests are invited to only one sector of your celebration but not others, they feel slighted and as if you only want them for a gift.
That's definitely NOT a good way to start off a new chapter in your life....

karrin Drake said...

I understand. I will go through the list to make sure that all who are at the wedding will be at the reception.. I know this is premature, however I feel that it is never to early to start and get insight. Thanks so much.

MzBrittany! said...

I agree..the wedding party participants should be those who you truly trust and have a personal relationship with. Many engaged couples do not realize the amount of money they will have to spend when wanting a large wedding party until its time to spend the money for all the details. I honestly feel like you should have 5 or less per side. I don't know why 5, however I think that 5 should be the max! Either way I only want those who are closest to me to stand next to me when I get married...the view from the seat is just as special, because it means I want you to experience this great day with me and you dont have to stand next to me to do it!

Brittany
~flowingfreely~

Anonymous said...

Diva! Well said and so true! While planning my cousins wedding, this was a slight issue. The groom (my cousin) was sure of his "boys", but my new cousin "the bride" had some back and forth. It all worked out well, but the wedding party must reflect you as a couple, in my opinion. Having someone you barely know or, frankly, don't know or like is not going to support you in the long run. Great post and good comment on the open wedding question!

LaLeeta said...

Great Post. This is what I've been telling my clients in the past. I myself had two attendants in my wedding, while my husband only had one, my son. My best friend since the age of 5 read a scripture while my attendants and I walked down the aisle. It was great.

Thanks DIVA.