Choosing who to have in your bridal party can be a tough task for some brides to be, while others will find it easy. It can often be tricky to choose between the long time friend you’ve had since kindergarten versus the people you’ve become friends with in more recent years and see on a regular basis. There are a few things to consider before making the choice.
How many bridesmaids should you have
Deciding on the number of bridesmaids is a good place to start. Every bridesmaid you have comes with more costs on the day, hair, make-up, dress, flowers etc. So that is something to consider especially if you want to keep your budget down. There is a tradition that there needs to be the same number of groomsmen and bridesmaids, but this isn’t always necessary. Yes it can create balance in photos but if you have a set three best friends and the groom has two best friends, he shouldn’t have to add an extra person just to make up the numbers. It is ultimately all about who you want standing beside you on your wedding day.
Write a bridesmaid preliminary list
Start with writing a list of all the potential people who you could have as your bridesmaid. Include any family, school friends, newer friends and see if there are any natural groupings. For example you might choose your sisters and have one friend that feels like an obvious choice. Don’t feel like you have to pick your bridesmaids as soon as you get engaged and start the wedding planning process. It is also common to not even have a maid of honour these days as well. If it isn’t a straightforward decision for you, take your time and sit on it for a while, a lot can happen in a year so you want to make sure your one hundred percent on your choice before popping the bridesmaid proposals.
Narrow down the bridesmaids choices
Being a bridesmaid comes with responsibilities and duties so it is important to also consider the following factors before making your final decision:
- Who will make you happiest on the day? One of the most important factors, who is going to be there for you on the days leading up to the wedding and to calm your nerves on the day. Who do you want to get ready with and keep you company the night before.
- What are your expectations of your bridesmaids in helping with the wedding planning? If you are planning a big wedding and want a lot of input from your bridesmaid to make decisions, consider how much time they will have for this. It can sound a bit harsh but the person who lives on the other side of the world with three kids might not be as easy to communicate with or have the time to devote to helping you as someone else might. But they might also be great at being there for you on the day, so you need to weigh this up.
- Can they afford it? Think about what kind of wedding you want to have and how many expenses the bridesmaid will need to pay for. Would you expect them to pay for their own dress? Or shoes? And would the friend be happy to and be able to cover this cost.
- Looking back at your wedding photos in sixty years time will you be happy with your choice? Whoever you choose has the potential to be in photos on your wall for many years to come. You want to look back at your wedding photos, have great memories and be happy with who you had standing next to you.
- Who do you trust or have similar style too? Undoubtedly you should trust any of your friends/family but you want to trust your bridesmaids opinion and if you have a similar taste that’s a bonus as well. She will potentially be there when you pick your wedding dress so you need someone who is going to be honest if the dress looks flattering, whilst also respecting what you want.
- Will they organise an awesome hens party for you? Who is going to pull together a memorable hens party while also respecting any boundaries you set for it. Remember that hens parties can often be a fair amount of cost for the bridesmaids, so factor in what you would be expecting and if they can afford it when choosing who will be your bridesmaid as well.
- Are they happy to speak in public? Speeches are a common part of weddings so make sure there is at least one bridesmaid who you know could stand up and tell some stories. They don’t have to be the best speaker but have enough confidence to stand up in front of the crowd and say a few words.
- Have they supported your relationship? Ultimately the decision is yours, but the friend who has supported your relationship and knows your fiancé well is often a good choice. They will have some great memories and stories to tell in speeches of you both as couple, rather then just about your friendship.
The decision on who you have as your bridesmaid is one hundred percent up to you. Don’t feel obliged because someone had you as their bridesmaid that you need to return the favour, or feel pressure from anyone else on who you should pick. Your good friends are going to respect your choice and if they don’t I wouldn’t worry about it. Wedding planning can be stressful so make sure you surround yourself with friends who you know you can go to if your having a meltdown, that will help you make wedding favours and give you a fun day out for your hens. Your bridesmaids should feel genuinely supportive and proud to to have been asked to be part of your special day.
When you take the next step and pop the bridesmaid proposals check out our Be My Bridesmaid collection to help get your proposal gifts together.