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It’s Time to Pick Your Party.

Ok. You’ve got your when. You’ve got your where. In theory, choosing the “who” in your wedding should be the easy part. After all, it’s all about gathering up your favorite people to stand by your side during one of life’s Big Moments.


Only your groom’s favorite people aren’t your favorite people. You can’t decide between your high school bestie and your college bestie. And apparently your fiancé’s sister already has her maid of honor speech written.


Oh boy. In reality, putting together your wedding party can be stressful. You just can’t choose everybody. So how do you decide who makes the cut? For starters, remember my number one rule: this is YOUR wedding. Do not be manhandled into decisions just to make other people happy. And yes, I know it’s easier said than done. If you need a little expert direction, here are a few “rules” you can use to help pick the perfect party.


Maid of Honor: This coveted position wins the award for “Most Hurt Feelings” when it comes to who you choose. Remember, sisters generally trump friends. If you have more than one sister this honor probably goes to the one closest to you in age. After that, go with your oldest and most treasured friend—the one who knows everything about you and still loves you anyway. Maid of Honor duties usually include planning bridal showers, throwing bachelorette parties, making sure the bridesmaids are in the loop, possibly making a toast at the reception and generally being your “go-to girl” (we’ve even seen a few “go-to boys”). It’s not necessary to choose a Maid of Honor who lives near you, but it does make the wedding machine roll a little easier. And if you’re torn between two choices, go with the type A personality over the scatterbrained party animal. Trust me.


Bridesmaids: The rule on bridesmaids is that there are no rules. You can choose sisters, friends, cousins, future in-laws (this is a great spot for your fiancé’s sister). You can even choose your best boy buds. Just choose people you believe genuinely WANT to be in your wedding and will not suck the life out of you along the way. And no, you don’t have to choose an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. That’s old school.


Best Man: This is really your fiancé’s decision, but you might want to gently steer him in the direction of someone you actually like. We know he loves his beer swilling, skirt chasing, speech-slurring college roommate, but…we’ve all seen Hangover. Try to pick someone who will actually show up for tux fittings, throw a nice bachelor bash and not creep out your bridesmaids. A brother is often a smart choice.


Groomsmen: The perfect spot for brothers, cousins and old friends. It’s also a good spot to put the brother of the bride and maybe even her close guy friends. Again, nothing says there has to be an equal amount of groomsmen as bridesmaids. If you have extra friends who didn’t make the cut, consider making them ushers.


Other Members: This includes ushers, flower girls, ring bearers, junior bridesmaids, personal attendants, reception hosts, ceremony readers and other duties such as cake cutter, punch pourer, etc. These are all positions given to friends and relatives on both sides, and are considered positions of honor. All of these people should be given corsages or boutonnieres. Don’t be afraid to give out flowers to anyone you want recognized as “special,” especially parents, grandparents, children and step-children.


I never say it would be easy, but with a little compromise and a lot of grace, you’ll get that wedding party figured out. And if you simply can’t decide—there’s always a coin toss.

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