Top Tips for Choosing Your Bridesmaids
If you’re getting married soon, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is fitting in everyone you know and giving important positions to those close to you.
Many brides have known for years who their bridesmaids would be on their wedding day, others aren’t so lucky. If you’re having trouble deciding which of your many friends to invite to be a bridesmaid, or have too many options and can’t choose between them, we’re here to help.
This is a light-hearted look at bridesmaid selection that might actually prove useful. Let us know if it does!
How many bridesmaids do you need?
How many bridesmaids you have depends on the size of the wedding party and how formal a wedding it is. If you’re having a large, formal wedding then the common ratio is one bridesmaid to fifty guests.
Some couples also want to keep things even by having an equal number of attendants for both bride and groom. This is purely optional though as it’s one of those traditions that aren’t always observed.
A note on numbers
One thing to consider if you want to invite all your close friends to be bridesmaids is that there isn’t always strength in numbers. Lots of bridesmaids means lots of dresses, lots of hair, makeup, shoes, bouquets and anything else you’re including in your day.
It can also mean a harder time getting everyone to decide on a dress, colour or theme. The hen night could get quite messy too!
Blood is thicker than water
Unless there is a good reason not to, inviting close family members to be a bridesmaid should always come first. If you have sisters, step-sisters or know your future sister-in-law well, they are who you should ask first. Then consider other relatives you’re close to.
Only once your best friend and closest family have been asked should you then consider anyone else. Not only do you want your nearest and dearest to be with you on your wedding day, you also want to avoid feuds and hurting feelings wherever you can.
There are other attendant roles friends and family can take on if they don’t qualify for bridesmaid. They could be an usher, hand out programs, sing, perform a reading and plenty of other things depending on the type of wedding you’re having.
A modern bridesmaid has a lot of helping out to do. They can be useful when choosing reception venues, dresses, flowers, honeymoon locations, hairstyles, makeup, wedding themes and a whole lot more. They are another female influence for your wedding day and can be almost as influential as the groom.
Therefore you should consider bridesmaids who live nearby or who at least can travel to you when you need their help. Being a bridesmaid is about more than just turning up for a dress fitting and looking good on the day!
Ask before announcing
Not all your best friends are going to be able to be a bridesmaid even if they really want to be. Some will be really busy at work, others may just have started a new job, others might have serious commitments that prevent them attending. Others may simply not be able to afford it.
It’s always a good idea to make a “secret” list of your bridesmaids and ask them in confidence first to see if it’s a possibility or not. Most will of course jump at the opportunity, but there may be very good reasons why they cannot perform their duty.
That’s a discussion you should have with them at the time. If it’s a question of money, that can be worked around. If it’s a job or other serious commitment that they simply cannot get out of then that’s an entirely different story.
While it’s something we see more in New York than Surrey, a bridesmaid or bride’s attendant doesn’t actually have to be female. It is entirely possible to have a male attendant on the bride’s side of the aisle. If you have a brother or close friend that you want to include you can. It’s your wedding and it’s entirely up to you!
Once your mind is made up, the bridesmaids chosen and the appointments accepted, it’s time to tell the world. This is as much about managing expectations as it is spreading the good news. There may be friends, co-workers or family members who secretly thought they would be invited to be a bridesmaid. Now is the time to manage those hopes.
Making the announcement is also a watershed moment in your wedding planning. Not only is it a significant planning box ticked, you now have people who are close to you to help you make decisions. Having people you trust to offer opinions and help out will lower your stress level considerably!