Your Attendants, or as they are commonly referred to as your Wedding Party, can be as large or as small as you like. Choosing your attendants may seem like a no brainer in the beginning. He pops the question, you say YES, you call everyone you know, and the next thing you know--you have 8 Bridesmaids! How did that happen??
It happened because your friends/family said, "I'm going to be in your wedding, right?" and you said, "of course!" It was not until three days later that you have realized how many people you invited into your wedding party. It is quite common to feel obligated to have certain people in your wedding (even if you are not close to them). However, it is your (and his) day so you should surround yourselves with people who are supportive, loving, and genuinely happy for you. Some of those described may be friends instead of family and that is okay.
Think about who you and your fiance' would really love to have in your wedding. The Bridesmaids and Groomsmen do not have to be an equal number (your wedding planner can help you figure out the processional/recessional later). Truly consider who you want to stand beside you on your wonderful day. Now consider if asking them to be in your wedding will prove to be a financial hardship on them...or if they are willing and capable to perform certain duties. You want to try to select attendants who work well with others, who can remain calm under pressure, who is reassuring, and who will do everything possible to help your day run smoothly. Once you have figured out who you want to include in your wedding party, ask them! Send them a sweet note expressing how much their friendship means to you and that you would be honored for them stand with you on your special day.
Your Wedding Party will include, but not limited to:
**Maid or Matron of Honor
**Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
**Flower Girl(s) and Ringbearer(s)
**Trainbearer(s) or Page
Gift Ideas for Bridesmaids:
Jewelry (possibly something to wear to the wedding)
Gift Ideas for Groomsmen:
**Do not forget to get gifts for the children in your wedding. Gift certificates to their favorite stores are great ideas. You may also want to present your parent(s) with a small gift as your way of saying thanks for all that they have done for you throughout the years. A loving note from the heart could possibly be the best gift of all!