By: Greg Shibley, G Sharp Entertainment
Do a little Googling and you’ll find a lot of bizarre historical reasons for the wedding party, like stories about warding off evil spirits, midnight kidnappings, and, my personal favorite, people throwing shoes at each other (no joke).
Nowadays, your bridesmaids and groomsmen fill certain roles that all of us are pretty familiar with. Of course, there are the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Then the best man and maid of honor often give the first toasts at the reception; groomsmen might serve as ushers for the ceremony; bridesmaids spend a load of money on matching sea foam green dresses they’ll never wear again. You know, the usual stuff. But as important as these things are, your wedding party could be so much more, and if used right, they can really make a difference to the success of your wedding day.
In many ways your coordinator is already your liaison to everyone else. When everyone who needs to talk to you has to go through the coordinator, you can enjoy yourself without being bombarded all evening with questions from the caterer, the DJ, and everyone else. And that’s a great thing. But aren’t there bound to be some conversations that even you don’t need to be a part of? Imagine if your coordinator is looking around for your bouquet ten minutes before the bouquet toss and instead of bothering you, she asks your maid of honor to help her hunt it down. A lot of coordinators might go that route anyway, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to get them both on board with the idea ahead of time. And it’s especially true if you don’t even have a coordinator! In that case, let your wedding party run the first line of defense between you and the DJ, the caterer, the photographer, and everyone else.
Maybe your cousin is flying in from out of town, or maybe some friends of your parents will be there, and they don’t really know anyone else. Of course, they came to see you, but you probably won’t be able to spend more than a few minutes with them the whole day. Now, imagine you’ve already asked your bridesmaids and groomsmen ahead of time to keep an eye for those people and check in with them now and then. Just a quick chat during cocktail hour or having a coffee together when cake is being served will make a big difference in how much they enjoy themselves. After all, you may be the host, but on a day like this, you can’t be everywhere at once making sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time. But you also don’t want people sitting in the back of the room wondering why they bothered putting on uncomfortable shoes just so they could watch a bunch of strangers do the Cupid Shuffle, right?
This is the big one. As a DJ, I see the value of this one first-hand. Once open dancing starts, the lights come down and I throw on that first song, one of two things happens. Either (1) a handful of people rush out on the dancefloor and establish the party atmosphere right away, or (2) everyone wanders over to the bar for twenty minutes or so before trickling back. Either way, the party gets going, but wouldn’t you rather it happens right out of the gate? So here’s what you do.
Give everyone in your wedding party a heads up that, once open dancing starts, you and they should be the first ones out there, and maybe they even grab one or two people on the way.
They can always head to the bar after a couple songs if they want– by that time the energy is up and the party is already well on its way.In fact, they might even keep that in mind for the whole evening. Remember that whole ambassadors to the party thing? I’m sure your sweet old nana would love it if one of the groomsmen asks her to dance when that inevitable Frank Sinatra comes on!
And if it’s easier, just casually show them this article. I’ll ask them for you.
Is all this too much to ask? I don’t think so. After all, you’ve asked them to be in your wedding party because you trust them and because they have already supported you over the years in so many situations. And now, on this most important day, you are empowering them with just a little bit of responsibility for the success of your wedding day. Who would say no to that?