How to Pick Bridesmaids
In this week’s Wedding Planning Series feature, we’re delving into the rewarding, yet potentially tricky task of picking bridesmaids. Why rewarding? Think of how awesome it will be to not only have your partner, but also your best friends and closest persons present to share your wedding journey and special day with you.
Why tricky? You may have to dig deep for the diplomat in you when carefully picking bridesmaids while avoiding misunderstandings, offending loved ones that weren’t chosen and artfully dodging your mother’s preferred choices for you. No bride-to-be enjoys the unpleasantness of upsetting the boatload of people that expected to be asked, but that weren’t. That said, you won’t be able to please everyone including your fiancé and yourself, so don’t despair if you don’t! Grab these great tips to help make your job a little easier!
Before Picking Bridesmaids
There are a few key things to consider before popping the “Will you be my bridesmaid?” question to your besties. Here are the most important ones to ponder before making your pick:
- Keep it on the down low: Before sharing any of your bridal party plans with your friends, have a chat with your fiancé to decide how large you’d both like your bridal party to be and who you’d like to include.
- Consider having just one: It’s your wedding so don’t feel obliged to have a large bridal party or an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen just for the sake of it. If you’re blessed with many friends and would rather not be faced with having to make the cut, forego the attendants and instead opt for having a maid or matron of honour and then giving each of your other closest friends and loved ones a special role (no matter how small) to play in your wedding. Whether it be singing a song on the day or helping you to create the wedding favours beforehand, there are many ways to have your closest friends be a part of your wedding celebration. Smaller bridal parties also mean less costs and less consensus is needed on things such as bridal party attire.
- Don’t ask just to return the favour: Don’t feel obliged to choose bridesmaids just because they asked you to be in their bridal party. Sometimes friendships grow apart, relationship changes. There’s no need for tit-for-tat. Base your bridal party picks on who is relevant and important to you in your life right now. If that happens to be the same three besties who picked you as their bridesmaid, then perfect!
When Picking Bridesmaids
Your bridesmaids will be the ones whom you lean on for support whenever you’ll need it and it is likely that you will be tapping into their talents while you’re planning your wedding.
- Track Record: Regardless of how long you’ve known a friend or family member, you should have some idea of the type of person that they are, which is useful when gauging how they would handle the typical duties expected of a bridesmaid before and on your wedding day.
- Reliability means you can sleep at night! Trusting your bridesmaid to take care of certain things so you don’t have to worry about them goes a long way in lightening your load, keep this in mind when choosing bridesmaids.
- Shew! Low-maintenance is such a relief. You need your bridesmaids to be there for you and not the other way around. Avoid temperamental divas who will need you to step in and mediate every decision, task or project.
- Shared Agendas are the way to go. Having a committed bestie by your side that has your best interests at heart and ultimately the same agenda as you (that it is a day in celebration of your commitment and not about them standing out in the limelight), is wonderful.
- Fact is, Blood is Thicker Than Water! Some of you may not be able to bear the thought of not having your sister or future sister-in-law in your bridal party, because you’re thick as thieves. However, some of you may. In the latter case, find it in your heart to include some family members to avoid unpleasantness, which you may find yourself paying for years later. On the upside, sharing a special experience such as your wedding with them, may bring you closer.
- Girls and Guys. As much as you get to choose who your closest friends are, you don’t really get to choose whether you just click with girls or guys or both. Have those friends who mean the most to you by your side, whether they’re girls or not. All it takes is a little title changing! If bridesmaid or groomsman don’t work for you, try attendant, bridesman or groomswoman.
- Always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-guest: If your friend has fulfilled many a bridesmaid role, she may not be game for another round. First find out if she’d like to be your bridesmaid or if she’d really rather prefer attending as a guest.
- Costs of being part of the party: Weddings can be expensive and unless you’re covering all of the costs, you bridal party will likely have to fork out more than just their time and efforts to be a part of your inner wedding circle. If you’re concerned whether a friend or relative may not be able to cover some of the costs of being part of the party, first chat to each of them about the expected costs, before assuming they won’t be able to afford it. If your friend is truly in a financial bind, you can consider subsidising the costs, asking another friend instead, or pay her way if you can’t bear the thought of not having her in your bridal party. Keep this in mind when picking bridesmaids.
- Near enough? Depending on the type of support that you’ll need, consider whether physical distance between you and a potential bridesmaid will be a problem. Remember, you will need to arrange your bridal party attire and will probably need your bridesmaids to be present to take care of things before your wedding, so having a bridesmaid who lives far away may not work out. Then again, your long distance potential bridesmaid may possess superpowers that allow her to plan and take care of things no matter where she is. Either way, you should know whether this is possible by taking a look at your track record together.
Before you pop the question, hold up! Think about how you’re gonna propose to your besties by checking out these 17 Fun Ways to Ask ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid?’
After Selecting Your Bridesmaids
Once you’ve confirmed your bridal party, there are a few things to bear in mind to ensure that you’re off to a smooth wedding planning start:
- Announce who your bridal party is: Once you’ve completed the task of picking bridesmaids and have popped the “Will you be my bridesmaid?” question to your friends and family, you should know who made the final cut and can spread the news so as to avoid others from assuming that they must surely be one of your bridesmaids.
- Be prepared to explain: Once you’ve announced your bridal party and you feel that you may have hurt or offended a friend or relative who wasn’t included when picking bridesmaids, then woman-up and have a one-on-one chat with the person, explaining your choices.
- Time to get planning: As the bride-to-be, you have to be organised to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them. Take time to sit down and work out the best duties for each member of your bridal party, along with a timescale of when what needs to be done and how.
- Learn what being a maid of honor typically entails and check out the best man’s role here
- Check out some bridesmaid duties and find out what the groomsmen get up to.
- Pop the question and ask ‘Will you be my bridesmaid‘ with these creative ideas
- Print out this helpful wedding day emergency checklist kit to make sure you and your girls are set to walk that aisle!
- Check out 30+ cute, original bridesmaid tees for a girls night out!
- Learn how to plan a gorgeous bridesmaids lunch to thank your bridesmaids for being part of your wedding
Carefully consider who you’d like to have standing by your side as you marry your partner. It can be infinitely rewarding and meaningful to have those people that have supported you throughout your journey to find love, share such a sweet and special time with you.