When two people get married, there is a whole slew of participants that become involved with the wedding; the officiant, the in-laws, caterer and, of course, the bridesmaids and groomsmen. A common question that crosses every couple’s mind is how large or small their wedding party should be. After all, there are both benefits and disadvantages to having a sizeable entourage stand by you as you exchange vows. To help each couple reach their own conclusions, below are some of the pros and cons:
Pros of a large wedding party
1) More hands = more help. It is not uncommon that bridesmaids are asked to help with mundane tasks like pulling together favor bags or assisting with DIY projects. If you have nine friends at your disposal the work can be split nine different ways, limiting the workload for each individual and upping their happiness.
2) Let the Good Times Roll. Weddings are supposed to be fun but, when we’re caught up in the hoopla of planning, we can easily lose sight of this. Your wedding party can quickly pull you away from the stress with a fun bachelor(ette) party or even encouraging cheery laughter during otherwise dull tasks like stuffing envelopes. Surrounded by your friends, details like the rehearsal dinner and photo shoots will feel festive as you guys reminisce and bond. Plus, let’s not forget about the endless funny photos the group of you can do (your pals might even have a creative idea or two to contribute)!
3) Less Drama. Though it is rarely expressed, there is always that one comrade who is disappointed to not be considered among your upper tier of friends. More likely than not, it is a complete oversight on your part, as you may not have simply known her as long as your other chums. With a larger wedding party, you can invite such individuals to join in on the fun, sparing their feelings and passive aggression.
Cons of a large wedding party
1) More Drama. With any big group of guys or gals comes clashing personalities and communication styles. The more bridesmaids or groomsmen you bring on board, the more likely there is to be personal turmoil amongst the troupe. Furthermore, there is bound to one or two individuals who, not being tight with the other members, may be uncomfortable and simply not mesh well with the energy. With each member of the bridal party comes a different schedule and budget to accommodate, making the process potentially a lot more complicated.
2) It won’t be cheap. Being a bridesmaid or groomsmen isn’t only costly for your friends, as hosting them can be a bit of splurge for the couple themselves. They have to pay for the bouquets, boutonnieres, transportation . . . the price tag can add up to a hefty fee. Furthermore, it is often considered polite for the bride to provide her ladies with complimentary hair and makeup services and for grooms to assist their groomsmen with paying for the suits, and both genders are expected to provide appreciative gifts to their participating friends. If you’re worried about the budget but don’t want to skimp on thanking your wedding party, skip the wedding favors (guests have an annoying habit of forgetting or tossing them) and, instead, treat the people who have been there from day one. Your bridesmaids will love receiving a personalized piece of jewelry from fashionista Kate Spade and groomsmen will appreciate something that is both stylish and practical, like a personalized wallet or poker set from Groomstand.
3) Adios close memories. You may have the exact same circle of friends that you grew up with . . . or maybe not. Friends come and go from our lives and, with a sizeable wedding party, there’s an increased chance that people might be in your wedding photos that you won’t be in touch with five years from now. Furthermore, just like with any large hang out of friends, the individual bonding that comes with quiet, loving chats will be supplanted by group conversations that, though hilarious, won’t be as intimate.
When it comes to choosing the right-sized wedding party, there is no right and wrong. It is important to be true to yourselves and your vision. If you factor in the size of your venue, your budget, your circle of friends and your general preferences, you’ll undoubtedly arrive at the perfect number.
When we dream of being a bride, our imaginations linger over the dress, the veil, the bouquet, the glittering accessories . . . often, little thought is given to the footwear. This often underestimated fashion detail has the ability to add pep to your step, express your personal style and, ultimately, determine the quality of your experience (sore toes and chaffed heels can make any bride sour).
When choosing your shoes, practicality should be in the forefront of your mind. If you are a lass who doesn’t feel comfortable when not sporting flip flops or tennis shoes, your wedding day is not the occasion in which you should experiment with wobbly heels. Don’t let your trip down the aisle be the first time you wear your chosen set, as donning them for a few hours days prior to the affair will allow the footwear to be comfortably broken in, as well as prevent any unwelcome surprises. Pain for your feet will show in your face, so make sure that you buy a pair that you can comfortably stand, move and dance in for hours. Arch support and insoles will help make being constantly on your feet bearable, so consider investing in a quality pair from Footwear Etc. or Payless. A kooky fact to be aware of is that your feet tend to swell with the progression of the day, so consider trying on your shoes during the same hour of your wedding. Take into account the venue’s terrain and temperature, as a sandy beach is no place for stilettos, and you may appreciate breathable fabrics if you’re a summer bride. Will the dance floor you’ll be floating about be a slippery tile? Might be wise to use sandpaper on the bottoms to prevent slipping about!
Factor in the height of the hemline – while a heel will make your legs look lean and fit, such an effect will be wasted if your stems and footwear is hidden underneath yards of billowing fabric. While heels will never pass off the scene, more and more brides are reaching for comfy, cute flats for the big day (or at least the reception). Another height to reflect upon is that of your husband. Wearing stilts that will have you noticeably taller than him will make the photographer’s job unnecessarily tricky, so avoid being the loftiest of the two of you if possible.
Footwear is a fun vehicle through which you can add touches of individuality without deviating away from the traditional. Many brides are deviating away from the expected pumps to feature shoes that reflect their personality; many Midwestern country-girls love to display cowboy boots, and it isn’t uncommon for urban, modern brides to have sneakers peeping out from underneath their princess gown. Shoes also are ideal for adding a subtle splash of color to otherwise monochromatic attire, a trend that is becoming increasingly popular with the passing of time. If the hue is bright, make sure that it is used other places throughout the décor, and that the texture and shine of the shoe does not clash with that of the dress.
Regardless of the style of shoe you pick, it is worth the splurge if you can envision yourself wearing the pair again. Therefore, pick something that genuinely represents your taste and style, and also well-fitting enough that you won’t be confronted with swollen feet and blisters galore. If your white shoes don’t seem appropriate for an occasion besides your wedding, don’t forget that dyeing is always a possibility. So treat your feet to fashion and comfort as you make your trip down the aisle with stylish and sound footwear.
You’re getting married. You have your dress picked out. Now it’s time to figure out what your bridesmaid’s will be wearing on your special day.
Your bridesmaid’s should be included as much as possible. Take your bridesmaids out collectively as a group and decide as to what colour and what type of dress you would like. This allows for no disappointments and it makes your bridesmaids feel like their opinions are valued.
Choosing Contrasting Dresses
You should definitely stand out from your bridesmaids. One way to do this is to make sure that the dresses are a contrasting color from yours, whatever you choose. Many brides will wear a sash on their dress that matches their bridesmaids’ dresses. This is a great way to tie things together.
Matching Bridesmaids Dresses
At one time, brides made their bridesmaids wear all the same dress – same style, same exact color, same cut, etc. These days, brides are trying different things. For instance, choosing the same color but different shades is a great way to have matching dresses but allowing everyone else to have their perfect sense of style.
Bridesmaids typically pay for their own dresses, but in some cases, the bride will pay for them. No matter what you decide to do, you need to be forthright with the bridesmaids and let them know your plans. Consider making it easier for bridesmaids who are having a difficult financial time by paying half or helping somehow.
Choosing bridesmaid’s dresses does not have to be a daunting task. It may seem stressful when you think about it, but have fun with it. Make a girl’s day. Go to the spa or get manis and pedis. Make shopping a priority but be sure to have a lot of fun at the same time.