When you get engaged, one of the first things that most brides, and even grooms, tend to do it put together their wedding party. In most cases, you know exactly who you’re going to invite to stand with you as you say your ‘I Do’s.’ However, there can be some rough times ahead as you select your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

When it comes to your family and your fiancé’s family, and then all of your closest friends, things can get tricky...

Family in the Wedding

So what are the rules when it comes to family members in the wedding? Above all, it’s your wedding. This is the day that you’ve been dreaming of your entire life, so do what you want to do. If you want only friends to stand by your side when you get married, then so be it. However, be prepared for the consequences of not inviting your sisters or sister-in-law to stand with you.

In most situations, if the bride is close to her sisters and sister-in-law they will be in the wedding, no questions asked. However, it gets tricky when the sister is a bridesmaid and the sister-in-law feels left out. Do what you can to include her. Consider adding more bridesmaids then you originally intended to. Or perhaps offer her a similar role on your big day.

Friends in the Wedding

Your ‘besties’ were by your side the night you met your fiancé, they were by your side through the little arguments and tribulations that young love goes through, and they will be by your side on your wedding day. However, if you’re concerned about his friends being a part of your wedding, talk to your fiancé about these concerns. There’s always that one friend who you keep an eye on, who you know will step out of line or drink too much, so let your fiancé know your concerns.

Backing Out

When a friend backs out of the wedding, it’s like going through a break-up. Not only were you depending on that person to hold some very important responsibilities, you just wanted them there for support. When a bridesmaid or groomsman backs out, it throws off the numbers as well. Your even assortment has been altered.

Speaking from experience, if a member of the bridal party backs out, for whatever reason, it’s not the end of the world. This happens more often than you would think, simply because someone might get sick or there might be a family emergency. The show must go on, as they say. Consider asking one of the groomsmen to take on a different role in the wedding so that your two sides can be even. In my situation, when one of the bridesmaids backed out, we went ahead with the plans that were already in place. No one even noticed that we had an uneven amount in the bridal party.

Too Many

A case that we see quite often as well is the overindulgence syndrome. Many times a newly engaged couple will tell everyone that they can be in the wedding. Everyone is so excited that no one stops to think about how many friends and family they’ve just invited to be in the bridal party. When the time comes to sit down and really plan the wedding out, you realize that there are just too many bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Though it might seem like a horrible task to take on, if you want to narrow your bridal party you’ll have to tell someone the hard truth. If you offer alternative responsibilities, such as helping set up the reception hall, giving a speech or ordering flowers, they’ll feel less rejected.