How we chose our wedding party and asked them to share the day with us
Picking our wedding party and asking them to stand beside us on our wedding day has easily been one of the most fun parts of planning our wedding so far. Kelli and I wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the undying support of our closest friends and confidants. The people we have asked to join us as we get married mean so much to us.
When we first got engaged, we both knew that we wanted to have a wedding party. What we were unsure of was how many people we wanted to ask. Neither of us wanted to have a dozen people by our side, but it was just as difficult to pick only one or two people. We settled on four people each. We made sure that those eight people were friends of ours who not only supported us individually over the last few years as we navigated the ups and downs of our relationship, but friends of each other’s that we have gotten to know.
We also knew that we wanted to stray from tradition a bit in terms of the genders of the people in our party. Kelli and I each have close friends who are women, but we also have some best friends who are men. We knew that we wanted them as our “men of honor” at our wedding, in addition to our friends as maids of honor and bridesmaids.
With our wedding party selected, we had one more very special person to consider—our officiant. As neither Kelli nor myself are religious, we didn’t feel compelled to be married by a member of the clergy. We both agreed that it would be nice to be married by someone who knows and loves us both. We decided on Kelli’s longtime friend, Maureen, who has always been there for Kelli throughout her life, and who has been steadfast in her love and support over the last few years of our relationship. It helps that Maureen has a huge personality with a heart to match! We couldn’t imagine a more perfect officiant to make us wife and wife.
With the who settled, we turned our focus to the how of officially asking our friends to be a part of our wedding day. Over the years, I have seen different kinds of bridesmaid proposal gifts and have received one myself. I liked the idea of showering our friends with gifts to show our appreciation of them and how significant their friendship is to us. I also wanted to make sure that the gifts we gave were relevant and not just stuff that they would have to find a home for or be tempted to throw away. We decided to put together simple gift boxes for each person containing a few items related to where we are getting married (Provincetown, Massachusetts) and to do with our color scheme (dusty blue).
In the boxes, we included a handmade candle from Provincetown, a Provincetown sticker, a preview of our Save the Date, a rainbow box full of our favorite candies and a handwritten note to each person. For the women, we included a nail polish (with a color that matches our wedding palette) and a nail file. For the men, we added a small lotion that smells like the beach.
We bought the boxes (which were a simple white) at a craft store. Each box had the name of the recipient and an image of Cape Cod on it, with a heart over Provincetown, printed on paper we selected and then adhered to the boxes; these matched our Save the Dates. We bought dusty blue confetti at a craft store to fill the boxes.
Maureen was the only person who didn’t receive a box identical to the rest of the wedding party. For her, we picked out a small glass corked bottle engraved with the Pilgrim Monument (a memorable landmark in Provincetown) and included a rolled piece of paper asking her to officiate our wedding. It was like a message in a bottle. Good things come in small packages!
We were lucky enough to be able to give the boxes to our friends in person over the course of this summer. It has made both us and them very excited for all of the fun that is ahead this year. While not everyone needs to ask their wedding party with gifts, it can be a nice way to show your loved ones how much they mean to you.
Maggie Kilgallon is a writer and marketing professional. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her fiancée. Maggie is a graduate of Boston College, where she majored in English and minored in Women’s & Gender Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with empowerHER, going to concerts, working on her yoga practice and beachcombing with her fiancée.