It's time to choose who is going to stand up there with you as you say "I Do" but how do you pick? From sisters to cousins to best friends, there are so many amazing women (and men!) in your life ... picking a handful to be a part of your wedding day can be hard. These are our top-6 ways to choose your wedding party:

  1. Don't Jump the Gun. Rushing to ask your bridal party in the moment of excitement happens. But it isn't the smartest move. You need to sit down and really think about who you want up there with you. You have plenty of time to ask so enjoy your engagement for a few weeks (or months) before you finalize your wedding day roster.
  2. Evaluate What They Mean to You (and Your Other Half). You want the people closest to you and your other half to be represented. Is the groom super close to his sister? Make an effort to include her. Just because they are standing on one side, it doesn't mean they are only supporting one piece of this love story. They are there for both of you.
  3. Don't Worry About Norms. That being said, don't be afraid to mix it up. Have a man of honor or a groomswoman. Today, there are no norms when it comes to bridal party so make your group the one that counts the most to you. 
  4. It Doesn't Have to be Even. Seeing a theme here? It's all about the two of you so don't feel the need to make the sides even. When you look back on photos 20 years from now, you will be much happier to see an uneven group of people you love than an even group of people you hardly even talk to any more. 
  5. Consider the Size of Your Wedding. See #3 and feel free to ignore this piece of advice! But on average, a small wedding of 100 people might be an odd place to have 12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen (that's one fourth of your wedding standing at the altar). Typically, consider no more than 4 per side for weddings up to 75, 6 per side for 150 guest count and so on. Keep in mind, bigger wedding parties mean more opinions and higher costs.
  6. Make it Fun! You've chosen your rocks for wedding planning. Now have some fun asking them. Take a look on Etsy and find something that you love - personalized cards, wine glasses, pocket knifes and more. Send a sentimental note to your guys and girls and let the fun begin.

Remember that these people are your nearest and dearest so make sure to set clear expectations (both with money and time) so it doesn't lead to disappointment or hurt on either side of the fence. You love your friends and family so make the planning process as fun for them as it is for you. Let's celebrate!

*Photography courtesy of Three Region NC Photography & Lifestyle