Picking your wedding party may seem daunting. How do you narrow it down to the right handful of people who will make your big day fun and make sure you enjoy it too? Let’s walk through some tips to help make this process less stressful, so you won’t be stressing over your chosen friends on the big day.

Think before you ask

        Give yourself at least a month to really think about who you want to include in your wedding party. Once you ask someone, you can’t go back. It is easy to want to ask all of your closest friends right away after getting engaged, but hold off and think about who will really help your special day run smoothly. An easy question to consider is: Will I still be just as close to this person five years from now? Thinking about that can help you cut some people out. If you are really unsure about asking someone, consider how they would fit in with the rest of your wedding party. If they won’t mesh well, leave them off your list.

Don’t ask someone just because they asked you

        Weddings are no time for pity invites. You do not need to ask someone to be a part of your wedding party just because they asked you to be in theirs. Don’t ask your cousin who you haven’t seen in 5 years to return the favor.      

         This could make some people upset, but if someone want to talk to you about why they aren’t in your wedding, be completely honest! Explain that it wasn’t an easy decision, but you wanted to have the people you are closest with standing up there with you. There are many people you had to leave out; remind them they aren’t alone. Since they’ve been in your shoes, they should sympathize. If not, even more reason to leave them out!

Set honest and real expectations

        Think about what kind of role you want your wedding party to play? How involved do you want them to be in making big wedding decisions? Do you want them to help you address invites and make DIY decorations with you, or is it enough for them to show up the day of wearing what you picked out? If you decide you want a very involved wedding party then it might not be a good idea to ask your best friend who lives far away or people who have very overloaded schedules. You do not want to set yourself up for disappointment. If any of your friends cannot commit for whatever reason (work, travel, living far away), you can still include them in some smaller activities like sharing advice on details and coming to the bridal shower. Every bride has have different needs that can be met on varying levels.

Consider the Size of your Wedding

        You can have as many or few bridesmaids and groomsmen as you’d like. The average wedding party size is four bridesmaids and four groomsmen. You can use that as a guide for how many you’d like to choose. If you are having a smaller wedding of only 50-60 guests then you probably do not want 12 people on each side, but if you are having a larger wedding of 150-200 you could have more people up there if you’d like.

         Keep in mind that more isn’t always merrier. The bigger your wedding party is, the more details there will be to organize. Finding flattering tuxedos and dresses, finding a date for a bachelor/bachelorette party with many people who all have busy schedules, picking wedding party gifts, and more tasks may prove difficult the larger your party gets.

         You can always find other roles for people you’d like to include, like ushers or ceremony readers. When giving people alternative roles, keep in mind what you’d like to do for someone’s wedding. Some friends would rather just be a guest at your wedding than be the guest book attendant.

Include your Brothers and Sisters

         Lastly, I do not want to sound like your mom, but family will be around forever. Even if you aren’t super close to his sister or her brother, the fact that they are becoming your family means that they’re becoming a permanent fixture in your life. You should seriously consider adding them to your wedding party. You’ll become closer to each others’ family over the years and, if one of you comes from a big family, you can draw the line at teenagers, because you might not be able to include everyone.

 Obviously you cannot have everyone you know in your wedding party. Set aside plenty of time to really think it over and do what feels right! At the end of the day this is your wedding. Choose the people who will make your happiest on your special day!

This post was written by Ring Cam blogger, Bailey Berberich