Southern Wedding Tradition: House Party

March 28, 2014 | By | Comments (8)

Along with our hair, our bridal parties tend to be a bit bigger here in the South. But what to do when the bridal party grows and grows? We owe a thank you to fellow Southern gal Jenna Bush Hager for introducing the world to an old Southern solution when she opted for a “house party” of fourteen in addition to her one maid of honor–her sister, Barbara. As Jenna demonstrated, a house party is a great way to include loved ones without having an enormous bridal party.

House Party; Photo: Sara & Rocky

House Party; Photo: Sara & Rocky

Similar to the standard “attendant” title, members of a house party are often assigned wedding day tasks like manning the guest book, handing out programs, serving cake, reading during the ceremony or just assisting the bride on her big day. They can also help plan the bachelorette party and bridal showers, or they might just be invited to the events. Some house party members aren’t assigned duties at all, but are simply included because the bride wants to honor her relationships. The only thing a house party traditionally does not do is stand at the altar with the bride–that spot is reserved for bridesmaids. HP gals can be seated in the first or second row, just behind family, and can be included in the wedding program.

As for clothing these gals, you have several options. Some brides ask their house party to wear the same dress in the same color–one that corresponds with the bridesmaid dresses. Mix and match dresses in a single color always look beautiful! Other brides ask their house parties to wear little black dresses, as most girls will already have an LBD in their closet. We also like the idea of giving your house party the whole color scheme of your wedding and asking them to wear something that coordinates. Finally, if your gals are wearing something less unified, we’d recommend giving them an accessory to acknowledge their role, like a corsage, a matching necklace, or a gardenia or magnolia bloom for their hair.

See the rest of this Texas wedding by Sara & Rocky on!


  1. adamwaisu

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  2. My Weekend in Photos

    […] didn’t have traditional bridesmaids in her wedding but she did have a house party which was a neat idea. She got us such a cool present, again, going with the world theme: sterling […]

    September 2, 2014 at 5:45 am
  3. Southern Wedding Traditions @eBayCollections #followitfindit – Dallas Single Mom

    […] bridal party by having many of these special friends be a part of the house party. As described in Southern Living they do many important tasks such as planning the bacheloretty party, manning the guest book and […]

    April 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm
  4. Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine

    […] Last week on Southern Living, we explained the Southern tradition of house parties. They’re a wonderful way to honor friends without having a giant bridal party! Read more here. […]

    April 4, 2014 at 10:46 am
  5. Pamela

    Why does it have to be a particular number; it should be based on the bride and her relationships with her friends and family – it is a day of celebration at whatever number feels best for the bride

    April 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm
  6. Jacqui Booth

    Our beautiful historic church in Virginia puts a limit on the number of bridesmaids!

    April 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm
  7. juanita

    anything over 6 is over the top.

    April 3, 2014 at 11:28 am
  8. Joan

    any thing more than 4

    April 3, 2014 at 11:16 am

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