Choosing a Bridesmaid or a team of them does not have to be the daunting task that some make it out to be. Yes, it is an honor to be asked, a privilege that is not bestowed on many and can be a crushing blow if you fail to make the cut.
Easy right? Do not underestimate the importance of your choice or choices and the impact they can have on friendships, even relationships if you make a controversial decision. With so much riding on this, how on earth do you make a logical decision without causing any upset and drama?
Our advice below will help you steer clear of the controversy as much as possible. The guidance will hopefully leave you in a position of content with your selection and have full confidence that it is the right one. With that in mind, let’s get into the detail:
The Numbers Game
Think how many bridesmaids you want and then decide how many you actually need (They aren’t cheap!) You are buying or renting the dresses, flowers, gifts and potentially hair and make-up for them all so if you are footing the bill, manage your budget carefully.
It is amazing how quickly the costs can mount up per bridesmaid. Once you have calculated how many you can afford, you can press on with the selection process.
Whether it’s two or ten bridesmaids, the total should be reflective of your personal preference and what you feel is necessary for your big day.
A Family Affair
Your best friend is a given, if you have a sister then she takes the second spot. Then comes the tricky and awkward decision-making process that will inevitably cause upset somewhere along the line.
Your family will all have an opinion on things but remember it is your day not theirs. A significant financial contribution to the wedding may bag them a few evening guest invites for their friends or even a bestie at the table in the day but certainly does not give them the right to start naming bridesmaids.
Remember your family is now your partners family and vice versa so this has to come into consideration. If your partner has a sister, all things being equal, they will occupy the third spot (Unless you really don’t get on!)
If you are close to a cousin you have grown up with then perhaps they will come into consideration but don’t let your aunty try and force you into choosing your second cousin that you haven’t seen for a decade and never had much in common with anyway.
Relevancy Vs Longevity
Before you know it, you have three places already decided and they have all been compulsory picks, not out of choice (and you haven’t even picked a maid of honor yet!)
This is where things get interesting, particularly of numbers are tight and you don’t have the budget to go wild and assemble an army of Bridesmaids from all of your friendship and family circles.
If there is one or two spots left on team Bride then it comes down to selection criteria and you may have to show a ruthles and decisive side that is either completely out of character or something you will relish doing depending on your personality.
We aren’t talking about making a Pros and Cons list of the remaining candidates credentials (yet!) but you are going to have to break things down and quite often it boils down to relevancy against longevity.
If you can stretch to two more spaces then its feasible to have one more close friend and also include a friend from years gone by who you are still in touch with. If it is one or the other then you have to weigh up what is more important to you.
A performance award by picking the close friend or a lifetime achievement award and pick the long-termer who is still on the scene?
You don’t have to listen all the advice thrown at you, sometimes it is best to trust your own judgement and do what feels right. It is your prerogative to take on board the experience thrust upon you by people who have been there and done it, or alternatively, not to.
Some tips will naturally be of help but more often than not, each wedding is so unique and personal that a lot of faff is not relevant to another persons circumstances. Your day is just that, yours.
Just because things happened a certain way for one Bride doesn’t mean you should follow the same path or go in a different direction because of it.
Don’t allow anyone to take over or imprint their need to be heard on you or your big day regardless of how much they think they know (This is wise advice across the entire wedding or just for bridesmaid selection!).
- The Little Ones; If you are having flower girls (or page boys, for that matter) then include this in the final decision because they will also need outfits and gifts etc.
If you have children or younger siblings that will be involved in the wedding in this capacity, you may have to sacrifice an extra Bridesmaid to accommodate the extra expense and balance the dynamic and look of the group.
- Choosing Your Maid of Honor; A relatively simple task as there normally one outstanding candidate. Whether it is your best friend, Sister or even your Mother or Daughter, when you know, you know. There are two ways of choosing the unofficial head Bridesmaid.
Firstly, as discussed above, assemble the team first then select a captain from amongst them. Secondly, you can flip this around and pick your Maid Of Honor at the beginning then have the Bridesmaid team fall into place around her.
- Picking On Reputation; Your friends will be your friends regardless of their personal achievements and we are not advocating you go through their CV’s and interview them all for a Bridesmaids place (even though that does sound like a lot of fun!)
You will however, need to weigh up their personalities and character traits when assigning roles. Each Bridesmaid may be required to perform certain tasks and if you are unsure if they are up to the role then you may have to choose somebody else to perform these vital duties on the day.