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Important People - Attendants

- Bridesmaids
- Groomsmen

- Back to the Planning Guide


With so much to do before, and during, the wedding- it's no wonder brides choose to have bridesmaids to help them out. Bridesmaids are in charge of many different tasks (see Help) and can really lighten the load that you and your fiance carry. There are many various things you need to consider when choosing bridesmaids- or any other attendants.

It is really important that you include everyone you absolutely want to include. There's an old rule of 1 bridesmaid for every 50 guests, but in this modern day anything goes. You can have as many or as few bridesmaids as you want. However, make sure you keep your bridesmaids to only those nearest and dearest- having 10 bridesmaids at an intimate gathering is a little excessive.

Every bride is curious about the role of siblings in the bridal party. Many choose to have sisters (and sister-in-laws) as bridesmaids and brothers (and brother-in-laws) as groomsmen. However, we are in a different day and age, so- anything goes. You can choose to not have siblings as attendants (for example: if you have 5 siblings, it may make your party a little too big). Or, you can choose to have siblings on the right side- meaning bride's brothers as bridesmen and groom's sisters as groomswomen. The same principle can apply to best friends of the opposite sex.

Of course, there is always the issue of what the bridesmaids pay for. They are expected to pay for their own attire (unless you have it in your budget). They should also pay for their travel expenses if they are from out of town. The bride can offer to pay for a few things, such as matching jewelry, hair and make-up, etc. Whatever you choose to pay for is totally up to you. Just remember, the more you pitch in for, the more your bridesmaids are happy and willing to help you.

It is customary to give your bridesmaids gifts to thank them for the effort they put into your wedding. These are especially important if your decided not to contribute to any of their expenses. Gifts just seem to set your relationship back on the right track after all of the stress you all went through for the wedding. On average, these gifts cost between $25-50. You can either choose to give them all the same gift, maybe a personalized jewelry box, or picture frame, or you can give them each a gift that suits their individual personality.

Bridesmaids are very important and no matter what you do- make sure they know that you appreciate them. Even if you are giving them a long list of to-dos along with just a hug, at least they'll know you are grateful for their help.

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It's a lot harder to come up with good groomsmen than it is to find suitable bridesmaids. This is because, no offense, guys are a lot less responsible than girls. This means that they may be late to the wedding, the best man may forget the ring, they may be hung over from the bachelor party, and the list goes on. It is really important to stress to your fiance that he needs to choose wisely and think about which of his best buds and family are the more reliable.

Of course, from there, he will have to choose his best man who will have to most responsibility. It is not inappropriate for the groom to choose his second to best friend to be the best man if he is the most responsible of the bunch. Of course, he shouldn't pick his third cousin just because he's a lawyer and the most reliable man alive. It is still important for him to pick someone he will really enjoy having as his best man.

Needless to say, the groom can pick how many people he wants- even if his attendants are more, or less, in number than the bridesmaids. It really doesn't matter if the sides are asymmetrical- just as long as both the bride and the groom have everyone they wanted as their attendants. Remember, though, the same rule applies to groomsmen as bridesmaids- do not have a dozen if you are having a wedding of just 75 guests.

Groomsmen are very similar to bridesmaids in the fact that they are in charge of paying for everything they need for the wedding. This includes attire, accessories, travel arrangements, etc. The groom can help with some of these costs if he wants, but the attendants should know that they will be expected to pay their own way.

Just as with the bridesmaids, it is really important for the groomsmen to be thanked for the help that they give the groom. Let your fiance pick out gifts that he finds suitable for his friends. You shouldn't try to persuade him to get something different because only guys really know what guys want. Of course, it is okay for you to give him a spending limit so that he doesn't break the budget you have set up.

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