You’re gliding down the aisle in that beautiful white dress or dapper suit that you picked out 8 months ago with the help of your amazing best friend. You’re being led arm in arm by the most important person in your life until today, walking past a standing crowd of your closest neighbors, co-workers, relatives, and the people you love the most, staring at the partner who stole your heart. Then, standing across from your partner, there they are: the people who have held your hand through tears, held your hair after a night of
too much fun (no such thing!), encouraged you, traveled with you, given you advice and always told you how great you are, even when you weren’t feeling it yourself. They are the first people who shouted for joy when you told them you were engaged. But, who are they?
One of the most difficult decisions that you make once you start planning your wedding is choosing who will stand by your side on one of the most important days of your life. Just like an NCAA coach during March Madness, you can only play so many at a time. How do you decide who makes the cut and who doesn’t? If you are planning a very large wedding and have room for 15 people on each side (side note: please don’t do this and if you do, don’t hire me), this choice may not be too difficult to make, however if you can only accommodate 4 or 5 people, choosing will be a big deal. To complicate matters further, there’s absolutely no reason why your wedding party has to be all one gender. Fuck gender norms! It’s your wedding – pick the people who matter most to you!
So how do you go about it? Hopefully, the tips below can help you narrow the playing field and decide who to bench and who gets to be on the court.
The Five People You Should Consider for Your Wedding Party
#1: The Family Member (Your Point Guard)
Okay, so this is a no brainer. They were your first friend, first frenemy, and probably your closest confidant. They may have pulled your hair, roughed you up, stole your toys, or borrowed your clothes more often than you would’ve liked, but they are always the first to be by your side when you need a friend. It’s only logical to have them by your side as you say your forever vows. There’s no reason that your sister or brother shouldn’t be standing by your side.
*Tip: No sibling in your court? Why not make your grandparent or any other family member that you adore the person of honor?
#2: The Current Best Friend (The Shooting Guard)
The one who you call when you need to vent about your boss, your current fiancé, and everything in between. This is your person: the one you take trips with and share secrets that even your family or your romantic partner doesn’t know. They know you better than most, if not all people, because you simply can’t recreate intimacy with this much history. They will bring your entire wedding guest list to tears with their speech. You consider them to be your human vault and you trust them with your life. If you are lucky enough to have a platonic life partner like this as your best friend in your life, lucky you! If your sibling did not make the starting point guard, this friend is it. You can trust them to both score and not drop the ball, leading your team to make your wedding perfect for you.
*Tip: If your current best friend is not the most responsible, consider having two people of honor to balance out responsibilities. There are no hard-fast rules that say you can’t. It’s your wedding after all.
#3: Your College/High School Best Friend (The Power Forward)
We are all constantly growing, changing and becoming who we are. It’s an evolutionary process. You are likely not the same person you were 10 months ago, let alone 10 years ago. Just as some college ball players decide to leave their team and join another, or just move up into the pro leagues the people you started playing with, may not be the same people who are currently in your life. However, this does not mean you no longer love them, or they didn’t play a significant role in who you have become. The “Power Forward” can play under the hoop or out in the wings or corner of the court. They are also expected to get rebounds. For this reason, consider adding them to your court. They may have seen you through some of the most difficult times in your life, caught you when you fell and put you back up. They knew you before you were as shiny and clean as you are now. They can most accurately attest to the hard work you have put in to become who you are, because they knew who you were.
*Tip: If you were the member of a fraternity, sorority or other organization, this might be the category for those crazy friends you spent the most awesome spring break vacations with.
#4: Co-workers Who Became Friends (The Small Forward)
I know that these people could likely fit into a category above, but I thought I would separate them to confirm that it is okay to invite people you work with even if you hate your job. The small forward is the smaller of the two forwards on the team. Though small, they still must be good enough to play on the inside. This is not just anyone you work with: this is the person you met on your first day in the break room and you both immediately felt like you were long-lost siblings. The one you vent all your work frustrations with and who knows the inside work language and what the acronyms that you constantly spit out mean. You don’t have to take time to explain why the report due yesterday was a total waste of time and energy like you would have to explain to your friends or family outside of the organization. You’ve extended your relationship beyond the break room to happy hours after work and traveled together to your other co-worker’s awesome birthday boat party. Since work is a big part of your life, so are they. Go ahead and put them on the team.
*Tip: Don’t forget those former co-workers who could also fit into this role– especially if you changed jobs but were able to maintain a friendship with them.
#5: Your Fiancé’s Family Member (The Center)
This may be a purely political choice. However, one of the center’s primary jobs is playing defense and keeping the opposing team out of the paint. I know your fiancé’s family may not be the opposing team, but if you have a mother in law that you don’t quite see eye to eye with, your fiancé’s sibling may be the best defensive player you have. Providing communication with both sides of the family and the ability to smooth things out quickly if things get sticky during planning or the actual ceremony is priceless. Not only that, but not only are they great for playing the center, but the fact that you both love your future partner dearly makes them a great asset to your team. Bonus points if you are already great friends with them.
*Tip: If they have never met any of your friends prior to being invited to become a wedding party member, consider hosting a few informal happy hours, or gatherings at the beginning of your wedding planning to help them get acquainted with everyone and feel comfortable being a part of your team.
Hopefully these tips help you choose the players who will make sure your wedding day is a win. Ultimately, you should choose the people who you absolutely couldn’t imagine not seeing at the end of that aisle as you walk to meet your forever love.