With engagement season behind us, it’s only right we talk about choosing bridesmaids. I’ve come up with five tips to consider when picking your bridal entourage.
1. Take your time.
I know, you’re engaged. Ahhh, exciting! However, before you send that text asking your best ladies to stand with you, pause and think it through. How close are you to this friend? Is she supportive in general? How well does she get along with the other ladies on your list? Really take the time to evaluate your relationship before you request something this important from a friend. Tip: Ask yourself, will we be friends in five years?
2. Just how big do you want your wedding party?
You, the engaged one! Put the Pinterest down! Large bridal parties are great to look at but the reality is, it takes a lot to manage all those personalities and coordinate a large group of women. Do not look to the inspiration sites to determine how big your wedding party should be. Instead, ask yourself how many ladies by your side makes the most sense for you. If you don’t normally travel in a large social circle then your bridal party should match that. Don’t add ladies just for the sake of adding ladies. Be intentional in determining who and how many for your bridal party.
3. Set expectations.
Not everyone can afford your vision for your wedding day, and that’s ok. When you talk to your maids be explicit in what they should expect in terms of cost. I understand many of you have never planned a wedding before so the cost thing is a little blurry. Research wedding averages in your area or ask your wedding planner. When you have “the talk” with each lady be open about what they should expect financially. Be sure to give them a price range for the dress and any other items/celebrations (bridal shower, engagement party, bachelorette) that they should be prepared to come out of pocket for. Tip: Be honest with yourself during this step. If you have a friend barely making it through that last semester of college it probably isn’t fair to ask her to be your bridesmaid knowing all of the costs involved. Be honest with yourself and then have an honest conversation with her.
4. Talk to your family.
If you have siblings you’ll want to lay everything out for them. If you expect them to be in the bridal party, no excuses! Or if you feel like your relationship isn’t close enough that it warrants an invitation to your bridal party (muddy waters, muddy muddy waters…be prepared for backlash) have that talk with them before you start announcing your bridal party.
5. Keep your emotions in check.
As a wedding planner, it’s my role to make sure the bride is receiving the support and encouragement she needs and deserves in the months leading up to the wedding day. Too often I have to wear the hat of counselor to mediate drama between the stressed out bridesmaid and overly demanding bride. When dealing with your bridal party don’t stir up unnecessary drama by pitting them against each other, demanding they be at your beck and call or expecting them to spend outside of their means. It’s not fair and it’s not worth losing a close friend over.
Are you struggling with choosing bridesmaids? Have some tips for our newly engaged ladies? Comment below.
Until next time, happy planning!