Now that you've got a few resources down, you'll want to grab the most essential resources you can have in this journey...bridesmaids and groomsmen. I can say with 100% sincerity that in the end I would've never pulled it off without this crucial group of people! The majority of our wedding party came in from out of town; therefore, they couldn't help with many things until the final few days. However, anything and EVERYTHING they could do, they did.
The decision of who to include in your bridal party can be a hard one! There will be many people who could "qualify". There are the friends you grew up with, the family members, the family friends, the friends you were once really close to, and the friends you have now. When you're making the final decision, the people you're going to need with you, will be those friends who know you more than you know yourself. Everyone has at least one friend who would knows what you need without you having to say it, a friend who knows the appropriate thing to do to make you laugh when you're becoming neurotic, and will help you see the full picture when you're beyond emotional. These are the people who need to be considered first. REMEMBER, this is not a day for you to make sure everyone knows how much you love him or her and how important he or she is to you. Your wedding is for people to support and celebrate you and where your life's headed. On the topic of feeling obligated to include family members in your bridal part, I'd say their needs to be balance, as you will have them for the rest of your life. Siblings (unless they would absolutely RUIN your wedding) should at least be strongly considered. Whether the relationship is great or estranged, is it worth the damage it could cause to not include them in some way? Think about what they will have missed if the relationship is salvaged later on. Only you know what's worth it to you, but really think about it. Also, keep in mind (unless you have a wedding coordinator) that your wedding party will be the hosts of your wedding, directing your guests, directing transitions etc at lest a few of them will need to be comfortable with being in front of people, speaking up, being assertive, and having a good time. Finally, to make sure you enjoy this experience and it doesn't chew you up and spit you (which it will if you try to do this all on your own), I'd recommend having at least 1-2 bridesmaid locally, if possible. With that said, if your situation is somewhat like mine and the majority of those you'd want with you on that day are widespread; I urge you to let other local friends or family help you out.
On to the fun part... asking your bridal party.
There is always the conventional call or conversation to ask if your friends would be willing to be a part of your party, but after stumbling across this, I'm now a bit partial to asking in a more personal way.
I saw these great ideas posted by one of the lovely ladies over at www.weddingbee.com
ARE THESE FABULOUS OR WHAT?!
Asking your girls to be your Bridesmaids
These are simple ring boxes filled with fake rings and a note inside that reads, "Will you be my bridesmaid?" I thought this was such an endearing idea!
Asking the guys to be Groomsmen
In the scrolls were enclosed a charge to be with the groom on this important day. Also enclosed with each hand-sealed scroll was a cigar for the gentleman to enjoy! What a great masculine touch!
As I mentioned before, this group of people is going to be crucial assets in this entire process for you. With this in mind, I'd advise including a list summarizing with the duties/expectations for the bridesmaid/groomsmen will entail. While this may sound a bit too pithy, think about it this way...
- Some of these people may not be aware of what being a member of a bridal party even consists of. Help them. Fill them in. If you leave them in the dark, you can't exactly get upset when they have NO idea what's going on.
- Some people, simply put, may just not be able to commit to the responsibilities (life happens). Give them a chance to decline or ask questions before finding out too late in the game that they'll just be showing up to party.
- At times, THEY may have to remind YOU of what they're there for.
- Bottom-line, as in many situations, it's just nice to walk into it at least somewhat informed of what the expectations would be.