Etiquette has nothing to say about how many wedding attendants you have, whether they are the same gender of the half of the couple they are standing up for, what you ask them to wear, all of that is optional and completely up to you, no judgments.
However, if you do have attendants, here are some things to keep in mind.
- The only job of an attendant is to wear what you tell them to wear and stand up with you during your ceremony. While showers, bachelor/ette parties are duties that are traditionally and frequently arranged by the wedding party, they are absolutely not required and you can’t throw a fit if your attendants choose not to do so for whatever reason.
- In the US, you can ask that the wedding party cover the cost of their attire/hair/make up even if you are picking it out. But you should be upfront about the potential cost and be understanding if someone needs to drop out because they can’t afford it.
- Special gifts for the wedding party aren’t required, but they are very nice. A big thank you IS required.
- Remember, these people are doing you a huge favor and you need to treat them respectfully throughout the whole process.
- During the ceremony, you can have them perform certain duties such as holding the bouquet/rings and helping to arrange the dress before walking down and then back up the aisle.
- Did you know that traditionally the groomsmen other than the Best Man were called Ushers and they would actually help usher guests to their seats before the ceremony?
- While you can make your attendants wear pretty much anything you want, you should take their thoughts and feelings into consideration.
- You can expect that you attendants show up on time and ready to go for the rehearsal and on the wedding day itself.
Now it is not unreasonable that you will want help and support from the people who are supposed to be your best friends and that you will want them to go above and beyond what etiquette requires of them. You just need to talk to them before they agree to be part of your wedding party and see what their expectations and abilities are and if they align with what you want and need. See this really excellent post about the management of a wedding party on Offbeat Bride for more ideas.