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If you’re planning on having bridesmaids or groomsmen at your wedding, you’ve probably thought quite a bit about who you’d like by your side. (Your besties, duh.) Your wedding day is a special one, and you should be surrounded by your nearest and dearest. Simple, right? Er, not exactly. You might be worried about friends’ hurt feelings, family politics, proper etiquette, or some combination of all of the above. Here’s the good news: if you’re wondering how to choose your wedding party, you’re not alone. And Lovepop Weddings is here to make things super easy.

The most important thing to remember when figuring out who to include in your wedding party is that first and foremost, this day is about you and your partner. You should consider traditions and etiquette, but you should also be certain that you are surrounded by the friends and family you feel connected to, and who you want to be surrounded by on such a special occasion.

While attempting to include all of your sorority sisters in your wedding party is a nice idea in theory, it’s entirely impractical in reality. (Do you really want to be one of those brides or grooms with more than 30 people in their wedding photos? Nope, nope, nope.)

Don’t be afraid to be a little selfish when it comes to choosing your wedding party. Assume your friends are adults who will understand that it’s simply impossible to include everyone in the festivities. (Also remember that some friends will actually be relieved not be on the hook for yet another bridesmaid’s dress they’ll probably never wear again.)

That said, there are certain courtesies you can pay to your family members and future family members, so here are some tips on how to choose your wedding party.

Just Say Yes To Siblings

Whether you’re a bride who has a sister, a groom with four brothers, or a bride with a brother, make sure that the siblings on both sides feel included in the wedding party. Another thought: why not forget about gender norms when choosing your wedding party? It’s 2018. There’s no reason a bride can’t have her brother by her side on her big day.

Consider Who Will Actually Want To Get Involved

So you have a best friend, but that best friend is generally angsty about weddings (or just not the type to get super jazzed about organizing plans). It’s OK to talk to them and explain that you love them very much, you’re not going to put them through being a bridesmaid or groomsman because you’re thoughtful like that. Have a friend who just started their M.B.A.? Don’t put them into any more debt without talking to them first! It’s also smart to think about friends and family who are consistent in showing up for you. Having a reliable wedding party is important.

Think About The Group As A Whole

A peaceful wedding day is a perfect wedding day. So while it’s tough to leave people out of your wedding party, it’s easier to explain why you have to leave them off of the list if you do so in advance. On your actual wedding day, there’s not much room to mitigate tensions between members of your wedding party. This is why it’s important to make sure you think about any tensions that might arise. Consult your partner, too. (Especially if you set up your respective friends on a date at one point and it just didn’t work out. Oops.)

At the end of the day, you and your partner should stress less about who is in your wedding party, and focus on how the people in your wedding party make you feel. No matter what, it’s going to be a great day. Mazel!

Written by: Kimmy Foskett