Choosing your bridal party is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the wedding planning process, so don’t take it lightly.
Choosing your party
If you’re one of those hella easy gals that has an arsenal of ride or die chicks to have up there by your side, skip this completely–you’ve already achieved those #squadgoals anyway. But, picking your ‘maids can be more difficult than you think, whether you have a roster of family and friends to choose from or are just looking for a couple key people to witness your union.
Before proposing to your bridesmaids and maid of honour, ask yourself these questions: When you think of your bridal party, who’s in it? Do you see these people in your life 10, 20 or 30 years from now? Are you going to spend more time stroking their egos than they will helping you out? Would you just ask them so they don’t get offended or because you’ve known them a really long time? How often do you see or talk to them and how is the quality of your relationship? Just because you’ve known this person since kindergarten doesn’t mean that they automatically get to be in your bridal party. If you want them up there, then have them up there, but if it’s been a rocky road of constant drama in your friendship, take a moment to rethink it. If you can’t see this person in your life even a year from now, it may be better to keep them out of the equation. Yes, this is a sticky situation, but you don’t really owe anyone an explanation, and, truthfully, if it’s been a tumultuous relationship, your friend probably recognizes that, too. You’ll both probably have more fun if they’re just a guest.
Proposing to your ‘maids
What, you think your fiancé© gets all the fun? Nuh-uh. Proposing to your bridesmaids can be a really fun and sweet touch to including them on your big day and Pinterest has tons of ideas (obvs) to help you in that department, from DIY proposals to cards you can buy on Etsy. There are cute little poems you can use and sweet ideas on how to gift your ‘maids with something that they can use or save for the big day.
Once I knew who I wanted in my bridal party, I went the poem-jewellery route, gifting each of my three bridesmaids and maid of honour with a knotted pavé© necklace for them to wear the day-of and the little poem “On the day the knot is tied, will you be there by my side?” I DIY’d the box and stuff according to my wedding colours and I was done! (And of course, they said yes!)
If you’ve chosen bridesmaids from different parts of your life (for me: one I worked with throughout university, one I went to university with and two I went to college with), there’s a chance that they may not all see eye to eye, especially if they all come from different cultural backgrounds (such as having some friends who are very religious and some who are not). Hopefully your bridal party understands that they’re there for you, but things can often get a bit sticky. If that’s the case, do your best to diffuse the situation and encourage your bridesmaids to be open with you about how they’re feeling. Yes, it’s your day and that’s really all that matters, but an important part of being a cool, non-bridezilla bride is understanding that your bridesmaids are also doing you a solid, so if there’s one that’s being tyrannical or bratty or whatever the case is, you should know about it instead of making everyone suffer in silence. It could be as small as shelling out too much money for your wedding, which is, unfortunately, a real thing.
If you’re making your bridesmaids pay for their dresses and shoes, don’t force them to cough up $500 on something that they really, really hate. If you know one of your friends is in between jobs, suggest to the group that they plan your bachelorette locally instead of going to Vegas. Pushing your friends into something they can’t afford or don’t want to do will just breed resentment and then you’re down a friend after the wedding and no one wants that (remember when I asked if you could see this person in your life after? Yeah, that’s why).
The Wedding Planner is an ongoing series where we give you some real-life wedding planning advice, from finding the dress to dealing with that ever-growing guest list, over the next few months as we figure it out ourselves.