So many choices to make it to the wedding day finish line in one piece. Who will you choose to help you and cheer you on? The process is not the same as choosing the right tungsten wedding bands. The wedding party should be composed of reliable, responsible supportive friends who will make it a stress free celebration to remember.
USA Today calculates the average cost for a bridesmaid is $1,500.00 or higher for an out of town or destination wedding. So prior to asking or accepting here are a few tips to help the decision process.
Bride and groom:
– Check to insure there are no size restrictions from the wedding venue. Some smaller places may ask you limit the number in the sanctuary. Also check if there are religious guidelines that prohibit non religious members from being in the sanctuary or being an official witness.
– Remember for every person chosen to be in the wedding party, that is another expense to consider: meals, transportation, accommodation for them and significant other and ‘thank you’ gifts to name a few.
– Family and ‘family to be’ trumps friends if the number is growing. But as nice as it is to include future in laws the rule of thumb should be to chose those that will be loyal, caring and helpful throughout .
– Traditionally it is between 4 to 6 bridesmaids/ushers (1 usher for every 55 guest to expedite seating). However a modern approach allows for odd numbered bridesmaids to ushers, more than one maid/matron of honor or best man or even a male maid of honor or female best man. If it is a thoughtful, comfortable decision, go for it.
-Aside from supporting your friend on their special day, the hope is that you will help and support them throughout the process with all the necessary details: dress/tux fittings, engagement parties, showers, addressing/assembling invitations, assembling favors and programs, speaking at events, church set up and clean up, airport shuttling of out of town guests and being a supportive shoulder and uncritical ear for them during this stressful time.
– Monetary costs may include: dress/tux, shoes, hair, hotel, rehearsal dinner, chipping in toward bachelor/bachelorette parties and gifts for bride and groom
-Maid/matron of honor and best man duties go above and beyond the normal expectation to include: planning and executing special parties, first toasts, making sure the bride and groom are always picture ready, official witnesses, holder of the rings, payer of last deposits to various hired help, and the go to person for any minor emergencies.
For both groups:
-Know your budget and time constraints
-Know your dates and costs
-Do not ask or answer right away
-Know it’s ok to include friends in other ways (guest book, readings, small jobs etc.)