You will have a lot of fun and make many precious memories with your bridal party as you navigate your way through planning towards the big day. But choosing just who will stand beside you can be a challenging task, especially if you have multiple close friends or a large family who would all like a coveted role in your wedding.
This can be made even trickier still if there are friends or family members who automatically assume they have the role of bridesmaid or groomsmen – even though they didn’t make your final list.
The important thing is to discuss bridal party size and make-up early on with your fiancé.
You may choose to have all family members or no family members, evenly match friends so there is balance or allow each other a choice of numbers so they can include their nearest and dearest.
Whichever way you go is totally fine, it is your celebration after all.
But if there are some people who are talking like they are on your bridal party and you haven’t asked them to be, here are some tips to let them down easy.
Tell them early
There is a school of thought that believes you shouldn’t have to tell someone if they AREN’T in your bridal party, because you would have extended an invitation to those who you wanted – and clearly, they weren’t among them.
But it is cruel to let someone continue to build the excitement about their non-existent role and the longer you leave it, the harder the blow is going to be.
Meet with them
With news like this, it is best to do it face-to-face as it’s more personal and there is no danger of misinterpretation. Go for a lunch or a coffee date and you can bring it up there.
If the person lives too far away to catch up in person, schedule a Skype or Facetime chat so you can talk things through rather than sending an email or text message. These can come across as impersonal and may add insult to injury.
Be honest, but not brutally
There is no doubt this will be an awkward conversation, but there’s no need to beat around the bush when telling them they are not in your bridal party.
You can soften the blow by explaining your reasons why (you wanted to include just family or no family, you wanted even numbers etc).
Let them know this is not a reflection on the strength of their friendship and you still value and cherish them.
Be prepared for a potential backlash
People handle disappointment and upset in very different ways. While some may quietly accept the news, others might get visibly upset or even angry with your decision.
Chances are, you know this person well enough to know what kind of reaction they will have, so you can prepare accordingly.
Consider another role for them
If there is no room for them on the bridal party, you could consider asking them to do a reading during your ceremony or having a special role, like MC, at the reception. This articles suggests some other ways you can include loved ones in your wedding.