From the moment you proudly post that "I said yes!" announcement to your social media, you are swarmed by "Congratulations!".
The next thing you know, the presumptive questions flood in. And they are to the tune of "Who are your bridesmaids?", "You're asking me to be your bridesmaid, right?" and "Please don't make me wear pastels, the colour doesn't go with my complexion."
Often, everyone is clamouring for a slice of the action. How do you siphon your best pals to form the wedding party from your sizeable network of sisters, friends, buddies, colleagues and cousins?
Fear not because we have amassed a guide to help you select a wedding entourage you'll love and turn away the hopefuls kindly (without anybody's feelings hurt in the process!)
Consider the size of your wedding
The average wedding entourage size is four on each side. Depending on your wedding size, go larger or smaller so there is just the right amount of tasks for every bridesmaid and groomsman.
For a cosy wedding with around 50 guests, four on each side would be ideal. For a larger wedding of, say, 250 guests, you could go up to eight on each side.
Keep in mind that often, more isn't always merrier. The more people you have in your wedding party, the more expectations to meet and details to work out - from schedules to outfits to task allocation.
Tip: If there are more people you want to include but can't, assign them other miscellaneous roles like usher or babysitter of young flower boys and girls.
Can your wedding entourage work as a team?
Your favourite friend can be the best listener ever, quietly absorbing your rants or sorrows and empathetically responding to them. But being the nicest person on earth might not mean she has the social skills to work in a team of people she may not personally know. And mind you, it is going to be on a stressful day when anxiety and tempers run high.
So have the foresight to spare any, for the lack of a better word, reclusive and socially awkward friends from the hustle and bustle of your wedding, they're likely to be more at ease being an inconspicuous guest.
Also exclude people who are great individuals but solo workers as well as those who just don't mesh well in a group.
Tips: Think about how they could still be a meaningful part of your wedding by leveraging their skills and expertise. This prevents them from feeling left out. For instance if they happen to have good penmanship or can wield a calligraphy brush, ask for their help in addressing wedding envelopes!
Make sure your expectations can be met
Do you need your wedding party to be very involved in pre-wedding errands or is it enough that they simply show up on your wedding day with your briefing sheet?
Be exacting on the amount of commitment and how "present" you require of your wedding party before and during the actual day. Find out who are the takers and rope these commitment-ready people in.
Tip: For friends whom you know can't commit (they live abroad or are going through busy times at work), leave them off the list.
Yes it is true that having evenly matched bridesmaids and groomsmen on either side of the bride and groom makes for a balanced photo.
But if you're killing yourself over making the numbers work — stop. Your happiness and sanity matter more.
Tip: Pre-empt your wedding photographer about the mismatched number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Professional photographers would know what to do in terms of positioning the wedding party so the imbalance isn't obvious.
Don't ask someone because they asked you first
It can be tough to decline someone's offer and you feel bad for doing so, sure. But remember that weddings aren't the time to be returning favours or testing new waters.
Your wedding party should comprise people who are closest to you at this point of your life, who are most enthusiastic about celebrating your union and who would stand up for you without qualms. Anyone else emotionally invested would be better off as a guest.
Tip: Thank them for offering! Then be absolutely honest explaining that you've already considered or asked other candidates. If it will make them feel better, let them know the other special people you had to leave out of the list too.
Now have fun picking your bridal A-team and banish all nagging doubts at the back of your head as you prepare for the most important day of your life!
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.