Image by Chen Sands Photography via Jasmine & David’s Black Tie Mural Hall Wedding

This question should actually begin with another question:

Should I have a bridal party?

At Melbourne Civil Marriage Celebrant, often my couples feel like they should because everyone seems to have one but that’s not always true.  The question you should ask yourself is:
Who is so close to me that I must have him/her standing by my side at one of the most important moment of my life?

If the answer is:  He/she is already standing across from me and there’s not really anyone else – then you don’t need a bridal party!

For those who answer yes to that question, then bridal party it is.

Relaxed Como Gardens Wedding - Polka Dot Bride

Image by warrenphotography via Rhiannon & Matt’s Relaxed Como Gardens Wedding

Uneven bridal party

So many people mistakenly think that the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen need to be equal.  That is absolutely not true.  A good photographer can set up the group nicely for shots. For the ceremony, there are several tricks you can use too:

  • For the side that has fewer numbers, stand the celebrant or a musician on that side to balance out the look
  • The genders don’t have to be girls for the bride or boys for the groom – your closest friends are who they are
  • Just choose one or two of the dearest to remain standing and the rest to take a seat during the ceremony

Intimate Sorrento Wedding - Polka Dot Bride

Image by Sorrento Wedding Photography & Film via Tammy & Matthew’s Intimate Sorrento Wedding

Too many people you want to include?

Consider just choosing a few nearest and dearest for your official bridal party and then ask some others to dress in your colour theme and arrange a boutonniere or corsage for them. That sets them apart from other guests so they know they are special.

Don’t want to rank your friends?

No problem, just arrange them by height order. Or for those walking down the aisle, the first one to walk down the aisle stands furthest from the centre, so ask the least shy friend to walk down first!

A final test question I like to say to my couples when choosing your bridal party:

Are you confident those you chose will still be there in 20 years’ time?

Hard, I know – but if that friendship fades, effectively more than half your wedding photos may be tainted with a sad moment of “oh… I haven’t seen him/her in years”

At the end of the day, don’t just organise something because that is how it’s done.  Ask yourselves – does it apply to us and how?  Your wedding is your own so make it so and love every part of it.  For all of you getting married, you have already found the most important friendship ever and every extra person is a bonus.


Swirl divider

Ms Chinoiserie Says: Great advice – it is important to make decisions that suit you as a couple rather than following tradition or what your friends have done..