How to Plan a Wedding: The Wedding Party


Uneven numbers in your wedding party? Who cares!

For the lucky ones amongst you, choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen will be a walk in the park. You ask your siblings and best friends, he’ll asks his and voilà! But for others there may be some drama surrounding who to have standing up there with you.

While the short answer to all the questions you might have is “choose who you damn well please”, as with everything in weddings there are often other people’s feelings to consider.

How many attendants should we have?

While there is no strict rule as to how many people you should have in your wedding party, tradition states that you should have one bridesmaid/ groomsman for every 50 guests. Goodness knows who came up with that number, but there you go.

However, remember, the more bridesmaids you have, the more likely it is that there could be disagreements on dress choices!  If you’re on a limited budget, think less is more. Although your bridesmaids may be wearing their own dresses and doing their own make up, you’ll still need to get everyone a bouquet and those things can really add up!

Do you have to have the same numbers of bridesmaids and groomsmen?

Of course not! I had three bridesmaids and Gareth only had a best man when we got married and it made not one ounce of difference. With must less importance being put on the classic line up photos these days anyway, who’s honestly going to care if you’re not evenly matched?



What’s the deal with flowergirls and ring bearers?

Other than being cute and adorable, throwing petals as they walk down the aisle and handing you the rings, honestly not much. If you have young children, siblings or relatives it’s nice to have them involved in the wedding, but if you don’t then you don’t have to bother.

Should all my bridesmaids wear the same dress?

Not if you don’t want them too! I personally love it when bridesmaids wear mismatched but complimentary dresses, I think it looks so great in the photos. 

There is no one dress that looks good on every body type and shape so it’s often a lot kinder to let your bridesmaids pick a style that suits them. As long as you have something that ties them all together – style, colour, shape or accessories – they’ll look great together!

Do we have to pay for our attendants outfits?

If possible, yes, especially if you are choosing them. However these days it’s becoming more and more common for budget conscious couples to give their attendants complete freedom when picking what they wear (maybe something that they already own) and not paying for it. I would say that if at all feasible it should be you that picks up the bill though, not them.



Can I have a male bridesmaid?

Hell yes! Your wedding party should be made up of the people that mean the most to you, regardless of gender. If you have a boy in your wedding party (or if your groom has a girl) then make sure they visually fit in with your side of the party, you don’t want him getting mistaken for an usher.

Have something in their outfit that ties in with the others. Maybe your brides-man could wear a tie or shirt in the same pattern as the female bridesmaid’s dresses or the best girl could wear a dress made of suit fabric?

Do I have to have a maid of honour?

Traditionally the maid of honour is the chief ringleader of all the bridesmaids and your go-to gal when it comes to organising things for the big day. Of course there is no law saying you have to have one, but doing so can help alleviate any ‘too many cooks’ dramas and means you’ll have that one person that you can rely on to help you with anything you might need.

Your maid of honour will be the one who’s in charge of the bridal shower and hen do, and is responsible for keeping the bridesmaid-machine running smoothly. Pick your best, and most responsible babe for the job, you’ll appreciate her in the run up I promise!

What are the groomsmen’s roles?

Groomsmen, or ushers, are basically in charge of making sure the wedding keeps moving. They’ll be handing out order’s of service at the ceremony, making sure everyone is where they need to be at certain points during the day, helping the photographer rally people for the formal photos and getting the groom very drunk at his stag do!



Do we have to buy our attendants gifts?

Well, you don’t have to, but it’s nice to give someone a gift when they’ve helped you out isn’t it?

Can we include our dog, cat, rabbit or fish in our wedding party?

If you have a good tempered pet then god yes! I love seeing animals in wedding line up photos, it’s the cutest thing ever! Just make sure that you check with your venue that it’s OK to have them there first. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone put a bow-tie on a goldfish before though…

This is part five of a ten part series on how to plan a weddingIf you missed the previous articles, be sure to check those out now too.

Next week we’ll be chatting about the biggie – finding your wedding dress.



  1. Claire

    I have asked my sister, my best friend from school and my best friend from uni to be my bridesmaids and they will be utterly amazing and have been wonderful re wedmin since the second I asked them…however, it was only last week when I met up with my best male friend and couldn’t think for the life of me WHY I hadn’t asked him to be on Team Claire! He is constantly referred to as my husband, (which is rather confusing for my older relatives but something the husband to be has embraced!) and we have been so close for so long that it didn’t make sense NOT to ask him…so over a gin and tonic last week I asked him to be my best man, assured him he wouldn’t have to wear a bridesmaid’s dress and we both had a little emotional welling up session followed by more gin and tonics. My husband to be is having four best men as he can’t choose between his friends and I get three bridesmaids and a best man…I’m so happy we get to have everyone who means the world to us in our wedding party as it wouldn’t be the same without them all standing there by our side!

  2. Ali

    I chose 3 close friends to be my bridesmaids rather than my 2 sisters who I’m not very close to. This caused major friction with my oldest sister! I think it was mostly caused by jealousy though (she’s 7 years older and her and her fiance haven’t set a date yet and I think have some money troubles) I don’t regret my decision despite the problem it caused as I wanted people really close to me. However, one of my bridesmaids has just decided to move to Australia next week and so will now be missing the wedding which is in 4 months. I feel really hurt and disappointed and a little angry but I do understand why she wants to go. I feel like although I don’t want it to though this is going to be hanging over our relationship. I also feel really disappointed to only have 2 bridesmaids instead of 3, I don’t know why, I know it’s silly! Plus they’re both amazing!

  3. Holly

    So where do we stand on buying gifts for attendants that aren’t helpful?! We have the people we love most as bridemaids and groomsmen, because we want them and everyone to know how much we love them, but none of them have turned out to be helpful at all with the planning and I don’t expect them to be on the day either. So I’m not planning on buying them presents. We don’t have a lot of money and we’re already paying for their outfits so I don’t see why those can’t be their presents.
    Ps. This also goes for mothers! One of them is very helpful but one of them isn’t so I’m not going to give them flowers at the wedding, I’ll get the helpful one something after the wedding to say thank you.
    This all makes me sound very mean and stingy but I don’t see why you should have to buy things out of tradition, to say thank you when there’s nothing to thank them for.

  4. Gayle Crockford

    I’m having no bridesmaids, just my cousins two little girls as flower girls. The Groom is having one best man. I’m genuinely thinking this will relieve dress picking stress! I cannot wait!


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