The occasion of a couple's marriage is full of excitement and celebration; families are united and there are many festivities that lead up to the wedding date. Although the focus is on the bride and groom, the wedding attendants play important supporting roles in making the event memorable.
Choosing the members of your bridal party can be challenging if you and your partner have siblings as well as many close friends. Traditionally when either of the couple has brothers and sisters, they are considered first. However in the case where the relationship is strained or the individuals live a great distance apart their participation may not be possible. When another individual is preferred for the role of best man, maid/matron of honor, groomsmen or bridesmaids, informing your sibling(s) of your choice before making it official is the most appropriate way to handle this situation.
It's quite natural to want to include your nearest and dearest friends in your wedding, however your choice needs to be guided by the overall style of your wedding as well as the personalities of the individuals involved. For weddings with a guest list of 100 or more, having several attendants can be helpful before the wedding to assist the bride and groom as well as at the reception to interact with guests.
The best man and maid/matron of honor bear the most responsibility in this regard and goes well beyond safeguarding the wedding rings and getting the couple to the church on time. Their duties include helping the groom and the bride select their attire and accessories, managing the mailing of the wedding invitations and thank you notes as well as arranging the bridal shower, groom's luncheon and the traditional send-off parties before the wedding date. These two people are also responsible for delegating tasks to the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
However in order for all of these events to come off without a hitch and without ruffling anyone's feathers, it's important to make sure that all of the members of your bridal party know each other and are fairly compatible. Nothing can throw a damper on an occasion faster than personality conflicts or anti-social attitudes. As the bride and groom are the center of attention they are also the hosts for the wedding guests. It is their responsibility to make sure that the bridal party members are up to the task of socializing with them as well as have the information that they need to answer the questions that will be asked on your wedding day.
One way to make sure that your bridal party has the information they need and show appreciation for their support is to hold a bridesmaids tea and groomsmen's luncheon, as well as a rehearsal dinner. These pre-wedding festivities give everyone an opportunity to interact in a social setting and become comfortable with each other. Taking time to arrange these events pays off on your wedding day by reducing tension that can result when people are in the spotlight. It's also important to pair bridesmaids and groomsmen carefully in respect to their significant others to avoid anyone feeling awkward.
A gift to each member of your bridal party as a memento of the occasion as well as a thank you note is a lasting way to show your appreciation. There are hundreds of items you can select to serve as reminders of their support on your special day or you can choose these gifts with an eye to the personality of each person to make it really special.