Today is a guest post from Jessica Socheski. Jessica is a freelance writer who loves researching weddings and successful marriages. You can connect with her on Twitter.
One of the most special parts of wedding planning is asking your closest friends and siblings to stand up with you as bridesmaids and groomsmen. Your wedding party will be there to plan the bachelor and bachelorette parties, to wipe tears at the altar and to celebrate on the dance floor at the reception.
But as couples choose their wedding attendants, they are asking for support that extends far beyond the wedding day. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are those key people who have encouraged your relationship thus far and will be there to keep you accountable in marriage, too.
As you plan your big day, here are some tips for asking the right people to be there at your wedding and throughout your marriage.
Friendships to Support Your Marriage
Friendships outside your future spouse will prove vital to the health and success of your marriage. Friends can help give you a dose of perspective when proximity plus conflict have you frustrated by your spouse.
“Every marriage needs friends, particularly those who support your marital relationship,” writes Dr. Harold L. Arnold, Jr. for Focus on the Family. When choosing your wedding party, keep the importance of friendships in mind. Are your bridesmaids and groomsmen people who will encourage you to fight for your marriage? Are they the people who will offer to watch your kids to give you a date night?
“Friends look in the same direction,” said C.S. Lewis, so identify friends who are as serious about your marriage commitment as you are. And when you ask, “Will you be my bridesmaid/groomsmen?” let your friends know that you are also asking for them to be an important part of keeping your marriage on track.
Looking for the Magical Number of Attendants
When it comes to logistics of the big day itself, many couples wonder about the correct number of attendants and other details. The good news is that there is really no right or wrong answers when it comes to planning your wedding. At the end of the day, you will be married with your dearest friends and family to witness and that is what really matters.
That being said, there are some loose guidelines for asking attendants and lining up your wedding party. A good rough ratio is about 50 wedding guests for every one attendant. This is because larger wedding parties are typically indicative of big and formal weddings. However, couples are completely free to plan a small wedding where there are as many attendants as guests.
Also, there does not need to be a perfectly even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. While things look nice when the numbers are at least proportional, having the right people standing beside you is much more important than symmetrically flawless photos.
Thanks for Being There
A fun tradition that has become well established in recent years is buying special thank you gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Typically given out at the rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids and groomsmen presents are thoughtful tokens to say thank you for all that your attendants have meant to you both before, during and after the wedding.
Some of the best groomsmen gifts represent a special memory together or something fun about your personalities and relationship. Similarly, bridesmaid presents can be personalized as a special memento about the wedding day or the life of your friendship.
Friends for Your Wedding and Your Life
By keeping the value of your friendships in mind, couples can choose the right bridesmaids and groomsmen who will be there for life to help them through the ups and downs of wedding planning as well as marriage.
If you are planning your wedding, who are those key people that jump to mind as mentors, encouragers and friends for life? If you are already married, do you still have friends who were there at your wedding and continue to share life with you today?
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