5 tips to help you pick your wedding party

Choosing the members of one's wedding party is not a decision to be taken lightly. One should choose supportive, close friends with whom you will be in contact for years to come, and who can handle the responsibilities that come with being a bridesmaid or groomsman. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

Getting engaged creates a whirlwind of excitement, but after a few weeks of showing off your new ring the reality of planning for the big day slowly sets in. The first part of planning includes choosing your wedding party. Here are five things to consider when choosing a wedding party that can meet your needs:

1. Choose wisely

Choose supportive friends who you know are going to be reliable. Most importantly, pick friends who have been close to you and will remain close in the future.

“I wouldn’t want to be showing my children wedding pictures 20 years from now and telling them I have no idea where any of those people are now,” Anna Vander Hart, 2012 K-State alumna, said.

2. Set realistic expectations

Be honest and truly consider if your potential bridesmaid or groomsman can take on the huge responsibilities that go along with being a member of the wedding party.

Will they be able to attend the fittings and rehearsals? Also, what roles will the wedding party play? Will they help with mailing invitations; will they throw your bridal shower? Be sure that both you and your bridesmaids on clear on the expectations.

3. The more the merrier?

Once you know your wedding’s budget, you can determine how big or small you want your party to be.

“It’s nice to have all of those people standing up with you, but more people equal more conflicting schedules,” Hannah Katzenmeier, senior in elementary education, said.

Corey Childs, a 2012 K-State alumnus, decided on a small number of groomsmen for his wedding.

“I chose my cousin to be my best man because we were in college together and I chose to only have three groomsmen because my fiancée and I wanted to include our closest friends that mean the most to us and our relationship,” Childs said.

4. Don’t feel obligated

If your roommate asks on a whim to be a bridesmaid, do not feel obligated to say yes. It may feel awkward at first, but it may be even more awkward when you two no longer speak a year from now.

“I know a lot of people feel pressure to pick certain people or worry about not including someone, but you should pick the people who you can’t imagine getting married without and any other friends will understand,” Vander Hart said.

5. Your Wedding, your way

Ultimately, you should remember that it’s your wedding.

“Soak it all in,” said Lauren Heim, wedding planner and owner of Lauren Heim Weddings in Manhattan. “Enjoy your engagement bliss as this time comes around once in a lifetime. Make sure to genuinely thank your wedding party and family for being involved as well.”

Just remember as your wedding gets closer and the planning gets stressful, having close, supportive friends as your bridesmaids or groomsmen by your side every step of the way will make it all worth it.