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Selecting Your Squad

By: Katy Hunt

Photo Credit: Jac&Jules Photography

Every person we come across in life has a hand in shaping us in some way. Whether it be the barista serving us coffee with a genuine smile, a sibling who shared our early experiences with us, or even a long-distance friend that we may only see once a year. Every interaction, no matter how small, impacts us and helps us grow. With that in mind, you might be thinking: how am I possibly going to choose who to stand beside me on the biggest day of my life? For some, it’s a no brainer. But for many others, it can be difficult and even sometimes feel near impossible to narrow down your wedding entourage. Not to mention the fact of having to pare it down further to pick a maid/matron of honor and best man. 

There are numerous things to consider when selecting your squad for your wedding day. You may have many people you hold dear that really stepped in as a force in your life, and that can make it hard! And of course it is your day alone, but you may be worried about hurting feelings and leaving someone out. With so many thoughts buzzing around in your head already concerning wedding planning, we thought we’d try to at least make choosing your wedding party a bit easier by offering some advice! We’ll start broad with selecting your bridesmaids and groomsmen first, then get into the nitty gritty with the maid/matron of honor and best man. We’ll even touch on alternative roles the people in your life can play on the big day!

Photo Credit: Rachel Rosenstein

Bridesmaids & Groomsmen

Let’s start off with who is generally included in a typical wedding party as far as bridesmaids and groomsmen. Traditionally, siblings of the couple are included, as well as other close family members, and close friends. Now that we have our basis to work off of, let’s dissect further and get real: by no means do you have to include all of your siblings, cousins or even your partner’s siblings if you are not close. Especially if there are a lot of them! While it is a wonderful gesture and honor to extend a spot to your/your partner’s family, only do so if that is truly what you want.

Really this brings us to our main piece of advice: include who you want, not who you feel like you should include. This is not always an easy task. Your partner’s sister may be offended. But she’ll get over it (harsh, but true). You should have those behind you that you know in your heart are reliable, supportive, and cheering you on every step of the way. Wedding planning is stressful enough, and you don’t need any extra thoughts or pressure from the outside. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are the ones that should support and protect you in this endeavor, always.

Photo Credit: Caroline Morris

Think about the people that have been there for you through good times and bad, and those that loved you without judgment or knocking you down. These are the ones you want standing next to you. They don’t have to be those you’ve known the longest, or your own age, or even in the same step of life as you. As long as they have your back, and love not only you, but your partner as well, you simply cannot go wrong.

The final thing to keep in mind regarding all members of your wedding party: don’t rush to ask people to be in your wedding party as soon as you get engaged. Relationships change over time, and can do so especially during wedding highs and lows. You definitely don’t want to have to “un-ask” anyone. General rule of thumb is to wait until about 6-10 months before your wedding date to ask.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Betances

Maids/Matrons of Honor & Best Men

So you’ve narrowed down who will be in the wedding party, and now comes a crucial point: who of the squad will have the honor of maid/matron of honor, best man, or best person? If you’re already overwhelmed, remember there are no real rules! You can have no maid/matron of honor or best man, or you can even have multiple. Lately we have seen a lot of both maids of honor, and matrons of honor included in the bridal party, or two best men. We have even seen best persons, and mixed gender bridal parties or groomsmen. The possibilities are endless!

Typically, if you are close with one or more of your siblings, they can take on either of these roles (and then you don’t have to think too hard about it). It’s like having a built-in best friend! If you don’t have siblings, or are not close with them, consider choosing one of your actual best friends who are practically family to you in some way or another. These are the friends you know will still be around when you’re old and gray 50 years from now. And bear in mind…these will most likely be the ones in charge of the events and being your biggest supporter leading up to the big day, so choose wisely! Reliability, and flexibility, must come to mind when you think of them.

Photo Credit: Memento

Alternative Roles

There are several other ways to incorporate people who are important to you besides having them in your wedding party. Some couples choose instead to have a something-blue-crew, readers during the ceremony, ushers, or even grown adults as flower girls or ring bearers. Some skip the wedding party altogether! If you do this, you can still have your "girl squad" getting ready with you and a part of all the festivities leading up to wedding day, just without all the responsibilities (and pressure!).


There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to who you should select for your wedding party. But always remember that this is your day, a day you’ll remember for years and years to come. Make sure you surround yourself with people who will still be by your side then to remember it all with you!

Photo Credit:

Jac&Jules Photography

Rachel Rosenstein

Caroline Morris

Cheryl Betances



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