Our Weddings

The 4 Types of People in Every Wedding Party

A group of Black bridesmaids surrounding their friend and bride-to-be.

In this Article


Selecting our friends that’ll accompany us along our engagement journey is probably one of the best things about getting engaged (outside of marrying the love of our life, of course). Once we get engaged, we’re ecstatic to ask our favorite people to do the honor of standing by us on our big day. The fun of planning a bachelorette trip and bridal shower and other wedding events is just so much better when you have good people surrounding you.

However, the people we ask to stand next to us are those that have come into our lives in various capacities. Though there are differences within these friend groups, we’ve identified four categories of people that are usually asked to be in our wedding parties.

Best Friends

These are the first and most obvious choice when it comes to picking our bridesmaids. They know basically everything about us. They’ve seen us at our worst and at our absolute best. They understand the journey it has taken to get us to this day and they’re equally excited, if not more. Not only are we asking them to be in our wedding party, we’re more than likely expecting them to be our MOH. And unless there is some life conflict or emergency, they’re likely to accept the offer and will succeed in the role.

Lifelong Friends

Our oldest friends are usually the people we know from school, former coworkers, or acquaintances that got promoted over time. We have grown up together and have been able to celebrate the highest of highs and lowest of lows together. These may not be the first people we call when we get news, but they’re more than likely to hear about it through text, phone call, or in person rather than seeing it online. These friends have the chance to be great participants of the wedding party due to the relationship we’ve have established.

Good Time Friends

This group of friends are really more like fun acquaintances. We can enjoy a great dinner, birthday celebration, concert or vacation together but we never really discuss the heavy topics. We may know the broad strokes of a breakup or how they got the new job, but we aren’t really aware of the details of the journey. But it’s cool — these friends are supposed to keep things light. We engage in more than just small talk with them, but not by too much. They’d be a good time when it comes to the exciting moments of the engagement like a Caribbean bach trip, but may be inconsistent when it is time to book the Airbnb or too tipsy to clean up the bridal suite after the wedding.

Obligated Relationships

Ah…the ones we feel like we have to include in our wedding party. These are likely our family members or someone close to our future spouse. Sometimes, we ask them to join our wedding party to show unity: my family is your family, my friends are your friends. Sometimes, we include them because we don’t want to deal with the awkwardness of not asking. Our brother’s girlfriend of 1.5 years that we share Housewives and The Shade Room news on Instagram might feel slighted if we didn’t ask her to be a bridesmaid. Or, she might not say anything to us but mentions it to him so now we’re fielding off these inquiries in the family group text.

Other obligatory asks can come from those that asked us to participate in their wedding party or another big life moment previously. Like, yes, it’s been six years since we were our freshman roommate Keisha’s bridesmaid, but she added us to her Close Friends so we feel like we have to ask, in the very least. (Even though she needs to see our birthday post before remembering to wish us a good one.)

These people in our lives deserve to at least get a wedding invitation (budget-permitting of course) but we, brides and brides-to-be by large may need to rethink if they truly deserve a place in our wedding parties. The excitement of the moment and need to not ruffle any feathers may cause us to make a decision that we would regret in the long run.


These four categories of friends and acquaintances frequently show up in wedding parties. What about you? #bridesmaids #weddingparty #bridalparty

♬ COZY – Beyoncé

Photo by Arlindo Gomes