One of the most fun parts of planning your wedding is the time spent with your bridesmaids: showers, bachelorette party, and of course sharing all the fun details. So how do you pick who will stand by your side on the most special day of your life?
There are about a million web pages to give you guidance on your decision-making – here are the top 5 that came up when I Googled it:
2. Bridal Guide
3. The Knot
5. Wise Geek
I gave my bridesmaids this book when I asked them to be a part of my wedding.
First you (and your groom) need to decide how many members will be in your wedding party. Once the number has been agreed upon, you can begin deciding who to include. For most, there’s an obligatory thought to include family members – be it a sister, cousin, niece or even an in-law. There are probably a few girls that you’ve shared late nights with, lots of laughs, and even a few tears, and these are the people you will plan to include in your wedding party. And there are a few who will automatically assume they are going to be a part of your wedding.
Before sending out cute invitation asking your BFFs and family members to share in months of planning, parties and one very important weekend, consider a few things:
1. How much time will your choices be able to spend with you over a several month span?
This part is more for the bridesmaids than the bride: being a bridesmaid requires time (and money). Not only do you have to try on a dress (or five), you will be invited to numerous parties/showers, there will be a weekend or maybe even a week that you are asked to celebrate the last days of singledom with the bride, and of course, there is a weekend where almost every moment is dedicated to someone else. While most brides don’t expect their bridesmaids to be at every event, there is a certain level of participation that is desired.
2. How organized are they and do they pay attention to detail?
Having an organized bridesmaid is essential. This should be the maid or matron of honor, since the responsibility of planning a bridal shower and bachelorette party, and helping you stay stress-free on the day of the wedding. You need someone who can command the attention of the other bridesmaids, pull together common dates for events, gather money for things like deposits on your bachelorette trip, and someone who can make sure everyone else stays in the loop on what’s going on. It’s a good thing to confirm all of your bridesmaid’s email addresses, phone numbers and mailing addresses in the beginning and get those to the MOH. Also important to make sure your bridesmaids actually check their email. You don’t want someone showing up on the day of wondering “were we supposed to wear pearls?”
3. Do they want to be a part of it?
It actually matters how much your choices want to be a part of your day. If you chose someone because you felt like you had to (and they felt like they had to be in your wedding because you asked), it might not work out the best for you. It’s possible that you’ll end up having someone who is lacksadasical about participating in your wedding. You might have asked someone who doesn’t have enough money to go to Vegas for a 4-day weekend, or to the Keys for a week. If you look, and you care to, you will see who really wants to be a part of your wedding. You will see the ones who ask you how things are going, go shopping for dresses with you, and tag you in pins on Pinterest of wedding ideas in your style. While you obviously want to pick who YOU want to be in your wedding, it’s worth considering if your first picks have the same desire.
I have a few friends who have recently gotten engaged, and I have listened to these questions on several occasions. The only advice I could give came from the three questions I posed above. Question three was especially applicable to my decision making process. You want to pick fun bridesmaids, genuine people, good friends. You want to pick those that will be honest with you when you put on a dress that’s too poofy, that will encourage you to keep working out if you’re complaining you haven’t seen results just yet, and that will offer to come write on 10 chalkboards and put guest bags together with you. And once you decide on WHO you’re asking, you can browse through Pinterest and Etsy looking for ways to ask!