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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Heller

How do I select the bridal party for my wedding?

Catholic bridal party

PC: Margaret & Mary Sarah Stokman  

When it comes to choosing the bridal party for your wedding, it can feel like a stressful or overwhelming process. You might feel the pressure of unspoken rules or find it difficult to manage expectations of friends and family who assume they will or won't be part of your bridal party.

I want to remind you that this is your wedding and this moment is for you and your fiancé to celebrate the gift of your vocation! The people that stand by your side on the altar are witnesses for your marriage. Your bridal party is saying, “Yes, I believe in this couple with my whole heart!” They are the ones who are on your team.

So, how do you select the people who will be in your bridal party? Pray about it together as a couple, think about the people who have been most impactful in your life, and choose the people you can confidently say will invest in you and your relationship for the rest of your life.

E's recommendations on selecting your bridal party:

  • Choose people you love. (Feels obviously, but worth mentioning!)

  • Choose people who have been investing in your friendship and who have been supportive of your relationship. Choose people who you know will continue to be supportive in 5, 10, 25 years. You want people who are in for the long haul.

  • Choose people who understand and appreciate the beauty of the Sacrament of Marriage! Your wedding day is fun and beautiful, but the highlight is your vows and the Nuptial Mass. Having people by your side who will also enter into those moments with you is such a gift.

  • Choose people who will pray with you and pray for you. (on your wedding day and after)

  • Choose people who will always take the side of your marriage and encourage you, especially when you run into difficulties or need advice.

  • Choose people who will celebrate YOU all day long and hype up you as a couple.

While it can feel like there are unspoken rules when it comes to choosing your bridal party, I want you to feel freedom in the decision that you and your fiancé make together. As you think about the people you want to include in your bridal party, remember that your decisions are your own. While some of these may not apply to you, just remember these unspoken rules don't need to be followed!

E's Reminders:

  • You don’t have to include your sisters or brothers in your wedding party.

  • You don’t have to include every new brother or sister in law you will have.

  • You don't have to include all your cousins.

  • You don't have to include someone because you were in their wedding.

  • You don't have to include a childhood friend who was promised to be in your wedding. (especially if you have grown apart over the years)

  • You don't have to include your family's opinions in your decisions.

  • You don't have to have a certain number of attendants on each side.

  • You are not responsible for the feelings of others.

  • You are not responsible to make everyone feel happy about your decisions.

At the end of the day, I want to remind you (again!) that this is your wedding and this moment is for you and your fiancé to celebrate the gift of your vocation! You deserve to have people surrounding you who will make you feel celebrated, keep you focused on the most important things, and serve you throughout the day.

xoxo, E

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