Choosing your wedding party is one of the biggest decisions you will make as a bride, but there are ways to make this choice easier on yourself.

Now, you may feel a pressure to include all of your closest friends when choosing your wedding party. But the truth is that you are the bride, this is your day, and you don’t have to include anyone in your wedding party unless you absolutely want them by your side throughout the entire wedding planning process and on your special day.

With that being said, it can still be a difficult choice to make. But first, start with how many bridesmaids you want to have. And don’t necessarily compare this to how many groomsmen your partner wants to have, decide based on how many people you want on your side of the wedding party.

Now, the fun part. Deciding who gets to be by your side during your wedding! suggests first asking siblings and close family members to be in the party, and then considering reliability, prioritizing a positive group dynamic, considering personal situations and including friendly, easy-going friends.

So, once you’ve decided how many people you want in your bridal party, you’ve added your sisters, cousins and other close family members (if you have them and wish to include them), and you’re deciding on which friends to ask to be by your side. How do you narrow down that choice?

Think through your closest friends from childhood, high school, college, and adulthood. Which of them do you still stay in contact with? Which of them feel like reliable, true friends to you? And which of them will make you feel supported, loved and happy while you plan and enjoy your wedding?

Once you decide on the friends that fit this bill, consider if they’ll be able to make the time commitment that you need your bridesmaids to do. Do they have personal situations that they need to commit to instead? Will traveling for your wedding be a possibility if need be?

Next, think through what the group dynamics will be like. You want to invite friends to be in your wedding party who will make an effort to get along with your other friends, will be a good sport during wedding activities and will overall contribute to a positive group dynamic. Think about the engagement celebrations, bachelorette party and wedding activities that you will all do together.

Once you have considered these criteria, it’s time to start asking your bridesmaids and planning your entire wedding party with your fiancé. Find out who they want by their side during this process as well.

Remember, it’s totally fine if one of you has more people in their party than the other. While some people prefer even numbers of bridesmaids and groomsmen to walk down the aisle and pose in photos, it’s totally normal for people who walk down the aisle alone or with a fellow bridesmaid if the parties are uneven. Do what makes you happy and what will save you from adding more drama to your wedding day.

©CTW Features