Choosing your bridal squad – especially when there are more ladies than guests at your wedding – can demand a lot of tact and finesse. Follow these tips on how to choose bridesmaids – without offending anybody in the process!
It’s time to choose bridesmaids for your wedding and, as the bride, you know you will have to turn down some of your besties or family members for the part.
Picking someone as a bridesmaid is a public acknowledgment of how much they mean to you. Yes, even if some of the people in your wedding party were chosen because you had to, your framily won’t see it that way. And you have to be aware that it’s hard for both the bride and those around her to know that another was chosen for the position.
So, unless you only have a very small group of close friends, a very small guest list, or you have decided not to have bridesmaids, – but if this was the case, you wouldn’t be reading this article, am i right? – check out how to choose bridesmaids for your wedding without offending anybody (well.. almost anybody) 😉
Who Should be your Bridesmaid and What is She/He Supposed to do?
Once upon a time, the bridesmaids’ duties involved protecting the bride from evil spirits. Allegedly, these devilish entities tried to steal the bride’s happiness. To confuse them and avoid this tragedy, all the young single women in the village would surround the bride dressed up like her.
Superstitions aside, your bridal squad does not have to wear the same dress or be all young single females. Welcome one, welcome all ages, genders and marital status. Besides, mix and match outfits will look snatched and save them some money on a dress they will only wear once.
So, who should be your bridesmaid? Those who are your closest friends and those you hold dear that show initiative, creativity, and willingness to help you with some tasks before, during and after the wedding.
After the wedding you say? Yes, they could help bring some of your gifts from the wedding venue to your future home, or strew rose petals over your honeymoon bed.
How many Bridesmaids should I have?
While traditionally many calculate the number of bridesmaids – or bridesmen – according to the number of guests as if they were canapés, today’s answer is: the number you want.
We say, the limit is how many people you can fit flanking your sides at the wedding ceremony. We have seen couples with 30 bridesmaids and 30 groomsmen – it was a large church – and other couples who only had two or three and it was all equally beautiful.
Another thing to take into account when defining the number of bridesmaids, is how much of their time you will need. The greater the number of tasks, the larger the wedding party. You can not expect them to leave all their obligations aside to help you organize your wedding, right?
How Long before the Wedding do you Ask Bridesmaids?
The sooner the better. You want to allow for enough time for them to get their dresses and plan the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. The rule of the land says between 8 months to a year is spot on.
Are Bridesmaids Supposed to be Single?
No. This tradition has been dropped a long time ago. Bridesmaids can be married and have children. Only use it as an excuse if you are trying to cut some suitors off the list. 😉
How to Choose Bridesmaids for your Wedding
First off, don’t get carried away by the moment and ask all your friends to be your bridesmaid when you call them to share the good news.
Take your time. Who do you really want by your side when you say your I dos? Or live forever in your wedding album? Create a list of potential candidates and draft only the most supportive and flexible friends.
Who Goes on the List?
Don’t limit yourself. Think of all your friends, they don’t have to be women. Consider including your sisters. Try to choose bridesmaids that get along well with each other. There is not need for added drama when planning your wedding, right?
Come up with a list of skills you would like them to have. You don’t have to justify your decision to anyone, but it’s easier if you have a reason to tell someone that they cannot be your bridesmaid.
Consider Logistics when Picking your Bridesmaids
Yes, she is your best friend. But your bestie lives all the way across the country and you need your bridesmaids by your side. How else can they help you with planning tasks? You will both be better off if you give her another role to make her feel part of your big day.
Make sure they are responsible and punctual and do not feel obligated because you were a bridesmaid at their wedding.
Avoid Losing Friends in the Wedding Planning Process
Have a clear Idea of what you will ask them to do, both physically and emotionally. If you need them to help you plan the wedding, call you every week, be there when you want to vent or just look pretty on the day of, be straightforward. It will save you loads of headaches later on and you could even lose a dear friend.
Family Pressure to Choose Bridesmaids for your Wedding
Let’s be real. People have expectations that they will be picked to be part of your bridal party and your family may even insist on a special someone. When it comes down to the last situation, you may want to let it slide and make this person a bridesmaid. Avoid the drama and have said bridesmaid help with what you feel comfortable with.
How to Include Friends who are not Bridesmaids?
Not everybody will make the cut and you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Or piss them off. Leverage what your friends bring to the table to make them feel part of your celebration. Ask them for advice on wedding planning, host a special gathering before the wedding, honor them at the rehearsal dinner or enlist them to help you welcome guests.
Have a Backup Bridesmaid
Things happen. And you may have to fire a bridesmaid. So, add one more to your list as a backup. Don’t wait to the last minute to ask them, so be tactful but honest. Explain to your friend that you love her very much, but that you did not have more places in your original bridal squad. If you had already assigned this friend a different role that can be taken over by another person, even better. Offer to pay for her dress – and for her kindness and understanding. It will be a nice gesture on your part that will lessen the chances of offending her.
If a Friend Declines your Invitation to be your Bridesmaid
Respect their decision. Do not try to convince her. Don’t feel hurt. Your friend may have her reasons and if she wants to share, she’ll let you know. It’s better to know now and not after stress ruins your friendship.
We are sure you will plan a very special proposal to ask her or him to be your bridesmaid or bridesman. Be as thoughtful when it comes the time to show them how much you appreciate their help. Be thankful. Mention their names on your wedding programs and plan on a nice thank you gift. You will save a many friendships this way.
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