Lifestyle Magazine

Choosing Your Wedding Party & Family Politics

By Claire

For most peo­ple, their wed­ding is one of the (if not the) most impor­tant day of their lives, and in most instances, even if you try to keep it a small affair there will be a num­ber of dif­fer­ent peo­ple involved, with their own roles to play and their own opin­ions to con­tribute (often regard­less of whether you want them to).

Part of the job of orga­niz­ing a wed­ding is select­ing the wed­ding party – brides­maids, best man, page boys etc… But any­one who has done it will well know that fam­ily pol­i­tics at wed­dings can be a nightmare.

Bridesmaids watching wedding

Wed­ding photo credit: (click photo to see the wedding)

Bud­get / Attendants

Before we get started with choos­ing the wed­ding party, it is worth con­sid­er­ing what the bud­get is and how big the wed­ding will be. Hav­ing 7 brides­maids might be fine if you have 150 guests, but if your wed­ding is going to be a small affair you should prob­a­bly limit your­self more.


This is likely to be the most dif­fi­cult part: if you are going to ask one of your cousins, or nieces for instance you might feel like you have to ask the oth­ers, but this can quickly get out of hand. Some­times it is bet­ter to be strict and don’t ask any­one if you think it will cause issues, but then again, what if you really want to ask the cousin you are clos­est to?

We have I think 6 or 7 brides­maids, with two head brides­maids. A cou­ple of brides­maids are the bride’s cousins, which at the time was con­tro­ver­sial, since the bride has many other cousins to whom she is not so close. This did cause some ten­sions but at the end of the day you have to draw the line some­where… Oth­er­wise we would have ended up with 15 or more brides­maids. In hind­sight I think we might have been bet­ter to just have 1 or 2 brides­maids, it would have made life simpler!

Best Man

The groom has an espe­cially dif­fi­cult task – you might have just one close friend, but many men have a few very close friends and it can be really dif­fi­cult to choose. One option here is to talk to the 2 or 3 can­di­dates and arrange a sys­tem whereby you all get to do it once for one another, then let them choose who does it for you!

Alter­na­tively, just have 2 best men! Ok it’s not the norm, but hey, it’s your wed­ding… I actu­ally have 2 best men — One of them I used to run a busi­ness with and the other has been my best friend for as long as mat­ters, so I couldn’t choose between them. The upshot is that they are shar­ing the best men duties. For instance, one is organ­ised (good for stag do type duties) but the other is doing the speech.

wedding flower girl

Photo credit: (click for full wed­ding blog)

Other Jobs

Although a rel­a­tively small task, the job of ring bearer is an impor­tant one. Ush­ers too have an impor­tant task, and there are plenty of other smaller tasks that you can think up if you need to. [Read­ings at your cer­e­mony; help­ing with wed­ding DIY before the big day; flower girls; page boys (par­ents love it too!) bak­ing (care­ful with this one!); mas­ter of cer­e­monies, help­ing choose wed­ding music — etc. Claire]

The great thing about these jobs is that they can often also be used to include some­one spe­cial to whom you have not given one of the other more ‘high pro­file’ roles. Make sure you pick peo­ple you trust of course, but think care­fully about who would most appre­ci­ate being asked.


One thing to remem­ber is that this is your wed­ding and it is your choice. By all means ask for advice, but don’t let well-meaning loved ones make the deci­sion for you. Think care­fully and be open with peo­ple who don’t get picked. You can’t make every­one happy, so just try to be fair.

About me

My name is Alex. I am a groom to be and a rela­tion­ship enthu­si­ast – I love to talk about rela­tion­ships and find­ing hap­pi­ness. If you haven’t yet found your own per­fect part­ner, check out my site at

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