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The men and women standing up in your wedding are there to support you. They will be a part of the process as you mark things off your wedding planning checklist for the next year or so, which is why it's vitally important to choose people who will be there for you and your fiance. Unfortunately, you can't pick everyone to participate, and you'll have to narrow down your selection options. Here are some tips for assembling the perfect bridal party:

Be choosy about your bridal party.

Less can be more
The bridal party should be composed of those individuals who mean a great deal to you, so a small group could be best. If you only have a couple people who you and your fiance feel would make a great support team, then it's OK to only select them.

Don't feel obligated
Just because you were a bridesmaid in your friend's wedding doesn't mean you have to invite them to be in yours. You could have drifted apart as friends or have someone who's closer to you in mind. Also, don't let family pressure you. Your mom might want you to include a long-lost cousin who just showed up, but you don't have to. If you are considering asking a person to be in the bridal party out of a sense of guilt, then reconsider your choice.

Friends versus family
In many cases, your sisters or brothers will be involved in your bridal party. You grew up together and love one another. You'll still have your siblings in your life years down the road, so including them in your bridal party is a truly wonderful experience. After siblings, pick friends who feel as close as family. Your best friend of five or more years is likely to be a life partner, someone whose kids will be friends with your kids. They are a great choice. Remember "less is more?" Once you have your siblings and very close friends, you don't need anyone else (except maybe important cousins). 

Forget about balance
Just because you have five guys doesn't mean you have to search high and low for another girl. It's OK if your bridal party isn't perfectly balanced. As long as you're surrounded by people you love who also care for you, then you'll have a great time and look back on the asymmetrical photos with fondness. 

An absence can even be used deliberately. For example, if your best man is in the military at the time of the wedding and can't get leave time, you can still include him. Rather than ask another guy, you might leave the best man's spot in the ceremony open as a way to honor your friend.