Choosing Your Wedding Party & Family Politics

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Wedding photography credit: (click photo for wedding)

This is a guest post from a groom-to-be – Alex shares his personal advice about choosing your wedding party – and the pitfalls to avoid!

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

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



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