While your bridal party should be all about surrounding yourself with the people you're closest to and those who will support you as you get ready to head down the aisle, it can also feel a lot like a game of political tug-of-war. You have to weigh what will make you feel best on your wedding day next to the risk of hurting feelings, causing rifts, or creating unnecessary drama. To make it a little easier, we've asked our experts to break down whom you shouldn't feel obligated to include—which will hopefully make your choice much more straightforward.
Anyone Who Included You in Their Wedding
Unless you are still the best of friends, being a friend's bridesmaid does not mean you have to ask her to be your bridesmaid as well. Relationships change and evolve, and if you're simply not close any more (or you're just better friends with someone else), don't worry about putting her in a dress that matches your sister's.
Your Partner's Sister
Hear us out on this one. Of course, including your future sister-in-law in your bridal party is super sweet and a great way to build your relationship. But you don't absolutely have to make her a 'maid. You could include her in other ways (like asking her to do a reading during the ceremony or inviting her to get her hair and makeup done with you), but just because she's your partner's sister doesn't mean she must to stand next to you at the ceremony.
Just because they're married to a VIP doesn't mean they're automatically on the list. Whether she's married to your brother or the best man, all that guarantees her is an invite—not a promotion to bridesmaid status. Only include her if you actually want her up there with you.
You've heard of bridesmen, right? If your nearest and dearest friend isn't a 'maid at all, don't sweat it! Surround yourself with whomever makes you feel happy, confident, and relaxed—regardless of their gender.
Anyone You're Adding for Symmetry's Sake
Does your partner have a HUGE wedding party lined up? Don't feel obligated to increase the number of bridesmaids just to match. There are plenty of ways to send your whole wedding party down the aisle even if the numbers are uneven, whether that's alternating between bridesmaids and groomsmen, sending all of the groomsmen down the aisle followed by all of the bridesmaids, or opting to have your wedding party sit in the front row instead of standing at the altar.