Two groomsmen, two bridesmaids, watch the ceremony kiss on a beach

Photo: Stacey Hedman Photography

Creating the perfect wedding party can be tricky, especially if you've got a squad as big as T. Swift's. Here are a few things you can do if you're struggling to cap the number.


First ask yourself...

Who can you spend one-on-one time with and have a blast?
You should be able to hang out with any of your wedding party members one on one and feel totally comfortable. If you think you wouldn’t want to spend a whole afternoon with just them, they probably shouldn’t be standing by your side on your wedding day.

Who makes you feel happiest when you’re around them?
Do each of these people make you feel like you can totally take on the world? Your closest friends should always be supportive and praising your successes. If you’ve got a friend who’s always trying to one-up you or doesn’t seem to have your best interests at heart, they shouldn’t make the cut. You want to feel your best on the day of your wedding, right?

Who has been there for you in both good times and bad?
Good friends during good times is always a great feeling, but what about when life gets you down? You should be able to call any of them at any time of night when you’re going through tough times. Whether it’s a break-up or trouble at the office, a good friend is one you can always rely on. If a potential wedding party member doesn’t have your back, it’s time to reconsider.

Who do you keep in touch with most regularly?
Think about how often you see or keep in touch with them. If they live across the country, do you feel fully informed about what’s going on in their personal life and vice versa? If you’re considering an old college friend or cousin who lives far away, think about how often you guys catch up. If the answer is never, you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting them out of your wedding party.

Is there anyone in your wedding party who you’re including because you feel pressured by friends or family?
Whether your mom is begging you to put your cousin in the wedding party or a friend recommends you include someone to alleviate a potentially awkward situation, it’s never a good reason to include someone. This is your wedding and your wedding party is your decision. Of course, this is easier said than done. Try to stand firm and not let the pressures from others affect you.

Is there someone you’re including simply because you were a member of their wedding party?
This is also not a valid reason to ask someone to stand by your side. First of all, you may have been in their wedding many years ago when you were closer friends or saw each other more often. You also may feel like it doesn’t make as much sense for you to have them in your party for a whole host of reasons. Try to eliminate using your wedding party history as a factor and stick to your current #squad.

Is there someone you’re including simply to even out the wedding party?
Does your S.O. have a few more wedding party members than you do? If so, this is no reason to go asking more people to stand with you at the altar. There’s nothing wrong with an uneven number. If you’re worried about it because of the way pictures will turn out, let your photographer know it’s a concern of yours and they’ll find a way to make it work. It's more important that you're happy and comfortable with your wedding party—the photos will look great no matter what.

Is there anyone who has difficulty getting along with others?
We all have that one friend who manages to create drama in every situation. If you’re debating putting this person in your party, think about what that might mean for the pre-wedding events. You want to make sure everyone gets along well so that the bachelor(ette) party and other fun events run as smoothly as possible and the focus is on you, not drama.

And if they’re not in the wedding party...

For those friends of yours that didn’t make the cut, you can still involve them in a different, yet equally special way.

They can do a reading
Asking a close friend or family member to read at your ceremony is a great option for someone who isn’t in your wedding party. This gets them involved in the wedding in a more personal way.

They can usher
Ask them to help direct guests to their seats for the start of the ceremony. This way they’ll not only feel special, but it’ll be super helpful as well.

They can attend your bridal shower or bachelor(ette) party
Involving them in the events before the wedding will make them feel just as much a part of the wedding when the big day finally arrives. There’s not rules about who you can and can’t invite to all the fun stuff beforehand, so feel free to include them.

You can have a house party
A house party is a Southern tradition which allows you to invite more people to be a part of your special day without overcrowding the altar. They sit in the front row, pose for pictures, and attend all the pre-wedding festivities. This is a great option if you have a lot of loved ones you want to include.