There are several parties involved in your wedding…and I’m not just talking about Bachelorette/Bachelor or Engagement parties. Below is a quick run-down of who’s who…
Bridal Party – These are the select few that will stand on the Bride’s side during the ceremony. Traditionally this includes a Maid and/or Matron of Honor, bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids, and a flower girl. Luckily today you can have any mixture of that – you can even have a man (or men!) stand with you. Whatever the case, these should be the people nearest and dearest to you.
Groom’s Party – The select few that stand on the Groom’s side during the ceremony. Traditionally includes the Best Man, groomsmen, and ring bearer. Again, feel free to mix it up – and yes, ladies are welcome on this side as well. Also should be people the Groom is close to.
House Party – No that isn’t an invitation to get a keg and crank up the stereo. This includes your ushers, the person(s) that hands out the programs, readers, and any one else with a special duty during your ceremony or reception. These responsibilities are perfect for your cousin that your mom insists be in your wedding or the kid brother you don’t want to feel left out.
Wedding Party – The collective term for all of the above.
A few tips:
- You don’t have to have everyone you know or are related to in your wedding. Somebody has to be a guest!
- Not only is it perfectly acceptable to have one or both sides mixed, I encourage it! If your best friend is a man, why can’t you have a Man of Honor? Is he really close to his sister? Why not let her be Best Woman?
- Don’t invite people to be in your wedding party to “keep the sides even”. There is nothing wrong with one gentleman escorting two ladies back up the aisle (or two men and one lady). I had a wedding last fall that the groom had almost all ladies on his side, and so did his bride. So yes, even two ladies can walk back up the aisle.
- House party members should have smaller boutonnieres or corsages than the rest of the wedding party, so don’t leave them out! It’s another way to let them know they are special to you and you appreciate them.