Dear Abby
January 25, 2008
Religious Institution

One last question for the day!

Q. I hope you can help with some ideas for how to incorporate a wedding party into the ceremony. We have our immediate family standing in the front with us but where does the wedding party go? There are some family members that we definitely want to sit in the front rows but I also don’t want to overcomplicate this production. Also, have you ever heard of not having the party walk down the aisle but rather come from both sides of the room and then either sit or stand in the front rows? Also, any ideas for what we could do in lieu of floral bouquets for the bridal party so I can keep costs down, i.e., a single flower, a candle, etc??

A. There is something really sweet and intimate about sharing your vows with only your significant other...while close friends and family marvel at the beauty of a wedding ceremony. I think that a wonderful way to honor your close circle of friends is the create a wedding party...perhaps even ask them to wear similar attire...and have them walk down the aisle (or come in from the side), then quietly sit in the first or second row (just behind your immediate family). I've seen this done quite a few times and it always turns out lovely.

As for something that the bridal party can carry...I really think that they don't need anything at all. If you are printing programs...a nice note, thanking your wedding party will certainly suffice. If you'd like them to have something, I agree that a single stem flower for the ladies and a boutonniere for the men is appropriate.

Honestly, I would follow your heart with this one...for many brides, tradition is beautiful. For others, simply having their loved ones around them, without the titles or placements, is the only thing that matters. Your friends and family know that you love them and as long as you include them in your joy while planning the wedding, they will feel more than appreciated.