When not planned correctly choosing your bridal party can add tons of avoidable stress. Should you include friends or relatives? College or High School friends? Added to that are so many unspoken layers–from your parent’s expectations to your in-laws requests–of who you should include. To give yourself some breathing room it is best to pick your party nice and early and stick to it. Remember you’re looking for people who will help enhance your experience not cause you any more drama. Here are some ways to help make your selection process is that much easier. Maid of Honor How to Choose One: Traditionally your Maid of Honor had to be your older sister but nowadays the rules have relaxed a bit so you are free to choose whomever you please. But whether it is your sister or a friend, look for someone with a real take-charge spirit; someone who is organized and has no issues with delegating work. Most importantly, look for someone that doesn’t get frazzled easily, because she will have the longest job description of your bridal party. Think of her as your right-hand woman from now until your wedding day. What you should expect: Your maid of honor should help you handle everything from making sure you remember your wedding dress fittings to creating and updating your gift registry. Also expect them to handle the arrangements for your wedding shower. Expect her to be in charge of the bridesmaids–from making sure they’ve gone to all their dress fittings to scheduling hair and nail appointments. On your wedding day she’ll be the one holding your train and bouquet (at the ceremony) and making sure attendees sign the guest book. She’ll also be the witness on your marriage certificate. Best Man How to choose him: Like the maid of honor, traditionally the groom chose his brother or even his father as the Best Man. You’re looking for someone who is responsible; the type that can party it up with the fellas on the night of the bachelor party but be awake in time to make it to the wedding in one piece. Because he’ll be the one offering the first toast, look for someone with a bit of charisma. Nothing says dull like a boring Best Man. What you should expect: The Best Man will help the groom keep track of the rings. He’ll also plan the bachelor party and take care of any other needs the men of the bridal party may have–such as helping to pick tuxedos and arranging haircuts. He’ll have to be the one who makes sure the groom shows up on time and is calm and collected. Like the maid of honor he will also sign the marriage certificate. Bridesmaids How to choose them: Picking your bridesmaids can be tricky. You want family members or friends who are fun when the moment calls for it and serious when needed. You don’t want anyone that will give you drama or bring negativity to the party. You’ll also want to consider how many people will be at your wedding before choosing your bridesmaids. Traditionally they say you should have one bridesmaid and one groomsman for every 40 to 50 wedding guest, so do consider your numbers before choosing too many or too few bridesmaids. Also think about their situation, financial or otherwise. Can your friend really afford to buy a bridesmaid’s dress right now? Did she just go through a rough breakup and isn’t really in a space to celebrate? These may both be signs to that you need to ask someone else who has the energy and the money to be in your party. But remember to communicate, communicate. You’d hate for a friend to come to her own conclusions about why you didn’t choose her to be in your wedding. What you should expect: Bridesmaids are essentially there to provide you with moral support and assist the maid of honor with events like the bachelorette party. They’ll also be the ones helping you with smaller tasks like keeping track of gifts at your bridal shower and running any last-minute errands you may need. Groomsmen How to choose them: This is not the time for the groom to start calling friends he hasn’t spoken with in a long time. You want people you’re comfortable with, now. Like the Best Man you want family members or friends who will be responsible enough to help you keep things running smoothly on the big day. Also think about choosing people you want and not those you choose out of obligation. It’s always a plus if your groomsmen get along with your bride. What you should expect: Groomsmen will help the Best Man organize the bachelor party. On your wedding day they’ll be responsible for seating your guests, handing out programs and escorting the bridesmaids down the aisle. Also think of them as the party starters once the speeches and formalities are done, especially when it comes to encouraging the single men in the room to catch the garter. Read More: