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who will you choose for your bridal party?

quotation markIt is important that you surround yourself with the people that you love and want by your side for this very special occasion. You may wish to follow tradition and have equal attendants for the bride and groom or you can create your own style… anything goes! You can have a best woman instead of a best man (or as well as!) or a bride’s man in lieu of a chief bridesmaid or matron/maid of honour if that is your choice. My daughter, Kaya, decided she wanted to have her sister and brother as her attendants when she married… so she did.

With regard to how many attendants… once again it is your call. You may wish to have a symmetrical layout by having the same number of attendants on each side. However, I have seen many other combinations at ceremonies I have conducted. For example: Tom had three groomsmen and Beth had her best friend as the maid of honour. Once the bridal party were all placed at the front, one of Tom’s groomsmen moved to stand beside Beth’s maid of honour to ‘balance the picture’.  All combinations are possible and you can discuss and rehearse with your celebrant or priest the best options for the layout for the ceremony and the processional (entrance).

At Karen and Neil’s wedding a guard of honour was formed with honorary ‘bridesmaids and groomsmen’ each with matching outfits (in colour but not style), buttonholes for each of the men and mini bouquets for the women who welcomed the bridal party. This honorary bridal party were seated during the ceremony. As their celebrant, the couple asked me to express to the guests that since they had so many best friends it would have been too hard to pick out a small bridal party and in this way, they could honour them all.

At a beautiful wedding in the Botanic Garden, Chantelle was escorted by her father to stand beside Dean at the front of the ceremonial area and together they faced out towards their family and friends.  I invited nine of the bride’s closest girlfriends to come up one by one bearing a long stemmed flower that they gave to the bride. The flowers were then bound together by one of her friends to form her bouquet which was placed on the signing table during the ceremony.

The role of the bridal party involves a lot of work and responsibility so choose well. Ensure you go through the tasks that you want each of them to undertake so they know what to expect. Also, discuss what costs you expect them to cover (ie: suit hire or dress purchase, shoes, jewellery, hair and makeup). Be open to discussion on both of these aspects and listen well if they have any concerns. Better to hear about them now than on the day of the wedding!

Allow plenty of time for the tasks that will be completed before the wedding day (e.g. suit hire or dress shopping) so that you can make an occasion of it rather than trying to cram it in with other tasks. I have always believed that all celebrations, including weddings, are made up of many smaller rituals that are equally important. All preparations seen as a part of the ‘wedding celebration’ can be made special!

Now you have your ACE team around you, let the fun and planning begin!
Wendy Haynes Signature

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Heidi, Cairns
Hi Wendy, I have been reading through your site and from feeling overwhelmed at the whole wedding planning now feel more relaxed!

Candy & Lincoln, Sydney, NSW
Your book gave us an insight as to what the important aspects of a perfect ceremony are. Had I not read your book I don’t know whether I would have put so much thought into the most memorable part of our wedding.
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