How to choose bridesmaids? The process of choosing your bridesmaids can be both thrilling and daunting. So, this all-inclusive guide will lead you step by step in selecting the ideal bridesmaids. You will receive practical advice and valuable insights on assessing relationships, dynamics, logistics, and effective communication. With these tools, you can ensure the formation of a harmonious and supportive group of bridesmaids who will stand beside you on your momentous day. So, let’s check with Viva Wedding Photography!
How to choose bridesmaids?
Make a list of the people you feel the most connected to
Selecting bridesmaids can be daunting, but a helpful approach is to begin by listing your closest friends and family members. It’s important to keep in mind that while you may have a close relationship with women like your mother, aunt, or future mother-in-law, they typically don’t expect to be asked to be bridesmaids. The role of bridesmaids is usually reserved for peers such as female friends, sisters (or sisters-in-law), and cousins.
Keep in mind that your bridesmaids may be males
No strict rule prohibits you from having a close male friend standing by your side as you exchange your vows. So, don’t feel obligated to exclude a male BFF from your list simply because he doesn’t fit the traditional bridesmaids. It is acceptable for a bride to have a “man of honor” or a “bridesman.”
Consider your maid of honor and bridal party expectations
Including one or more maids of honor and bridesmaids in your wedding offers significant advantages, such as reducing your stress levels and enhancing your overall joy throughout the wedding events leading up to the big day. These chosen individuals can take on a range of common tasks typically associated with the roles of maid of honor and bridesmaids, including:
- Taking charge of the bridal shower and bachelorette party arrangements.
- Assisting in selecting the ideal wedding gown (along with coordinating bridesmaid dresses).
- Assisting you in handling nervousness and anxiety.
- Assisting with various tasks to simplify your wedding planning process.
When selecting your bridesmaids and narrowing down your list, consider individuals who handle these tasks gracefully, efficiently, and positively.
Choose an even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen
While there is no requirement for your wedding party to be evenly balanced, some couples prefer to have an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, often to ensure balanced photos.
It is important to communicate with your fiancé and discuss their preference, making the decision together. The average number of bridesmaids and groomsmen is typically around 5 on each side, but you can choose as many as you desire.
Consider bridesmaids’ availability
While you may care about certain people in your life, there are situations like having a demanding job or a busy family that can make it hard for them to take on the role of a bridesmaid.
If you choose not to ask someone for these reasons, it’s important to let them know it’s not because you don’t love them. Instead, explain that you don’t want to add extra responsibilities to their already busy life. This way, you can prevent any misunderstandings or hurt feelings.
Consider your bridesmaids and groomsmen’s compatibility
If you intend to have events involving your entire wedding party, like a combined bachelor and bachelorette gathering, it’s worth considering the dynamics within the group.
For instance, if one of the potential bridesmaids recently went through a difficult breakup with one of the potential groomsmen, it’s important to recognize the potential conflicts that could arise before including those individuals on your list. Taking such factors into account helps maintain a harmonious atmosphere and avoids potential tensions among your loved ones.
Determine whether you feel obligated to ask someone to be a bridesmaid.
Are there one or two women in your life whom you hesitate to ask to be your bridesmaids, perhaps due to concerns about potential drama? It’s important to remember that this moment is a significant milestone in your life, and you have the freedom to choose the people who are truly right for you. Surround yourself with bridesmaids who will make you feel amazing on your special day. Don’t let fear or obligation dictate your choices.
Use close pals who aren’t bridesmaids
If there are friends you want to honor at your wedding but won’t be part of the bridal party, consider involving them in special roles. Think about their unique talents and how they can contribute to your big day.
For instance, you can ask a musically gifted friend to perform a song or invite a family member with excellent public speaking skills to give a heartfelt speech. By including them in these meaningful ways, you can show appreciation and make them an integral part of your wedding celebration.
Before asking, be sure
Once you invite someone to be part of your wedding party, it’s important to remember that it cannot be revoked. Therefore, it’s crucial to approach the process of asking with thoughtfulness and intentionality.
While the excitement of your recent engagement may make you want to ask, “Will you be my bridesmaid immediately?” it’s advisable to carefully consider the timing and the individuals you choose to invite into this role. A mindful approach will help ensure that you make informed decisions and avoid potential complications or regrets.
>>> Maybe your love: Comprehensive Wedding Planning Checklist For A Big Day In 2023
The Best Questions about Selecting Your Bridesmaids
How many groomsmen and bridesmaids should I have?
While traditional wedding experts may suggest having one groomsman and corresponding bridesmaid for every 50 guests, this is not a mandatory rule. Let’s make it clear: You are free to have as many or as few bridesmaids as you desire. If you have 18 best friends whom you can’t imagine getting married without, that’s fantastic. However, there’s no need to feel obligated to ask all of your friends to be part of your bridal party.
According to The Knot’s 2021 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding party size is approximately four on each side, which can serve as a helpful guideline when determining the number of bridesmaids you’d like to have. Adjust the size based on the formality of your wedding. Having no more than four bridesmaids is recommended for a smaller wedding with around 50 to 60 guests. For a larger wedding with 150 guests or more, wedding parties of 10 to 12 bridesmaids may be more fitting.
What is the recommended timeline for selecting my bridesmaids?
Choosing your bridesmaids is a task that doesn’t require immediate action. It’s crucial to remember that once you’ve asked someone to be at your wedding party, you cannot retract the invitation. It may be tempting to ask all of your friends to join your bridal squad as soon as you get engaged, but it’s advisable to exercise restraint.
The selection process for your bridal squad holds significance, so it’s important not to rush it. Give yourself at least a month to consider your options, if possible. As a general guideline, asking your bridesmaids between eight months to a year before your wedding is recommended. This timeframe allows ample time to organize various activities with your bridesmaids and ensure a smooth planning process.
Is it necessary for all of my attendants to be women?
There is no valid reason to exclude your best male friend or brother from being part of your wedding party. It is increasingly common for couples to invite members of the opposite sex to stand alongside them. In such cases, a man standing on the bride’s side is called an attendant or bridesman, while a woman standing on the groom’s side can be called a grooms woman. The decision is entirely yours, and the most important factor is including your favorite people, regardless of gender.
Regarding the dress code, no strict guidelines dictate how to dress your bridesmen. They can match the groomsmen or coordinate their suits with the bridesmaid dresses. The key consideration is to ensure that they feel comfortable with the attire you choose for them.
Do I need to ask the person who asked me?
When you are faced with choosing a bridesmaid, it is natural to feel guilty about not selecting someone who had chosen you as their bridesmaid (and this sentiment is completely understandable). To gain some clarity, you can ask yourself a fundamental question: Will my relationship with this person be as strong in five years as it is now?
In our opinion, it is acceptable not to reciprocate the bridesmaid offer. However, handling the situation with sensitivity, compassion, and care is important. If the individual wants to discuss why they are not included in your wedding, it is best to be completely honest. Explain that it was a challenging decision, but you genuinely felt that your bridal party should consist of the people closest to you at this particular stage of your life. Express that there were many other special people (including them) whom you regretfully had to leave out.
How do I approach my friends about becoming bridesmaids?
Once you have finalized your chosen group, formally invite your loved ones to be your bridesmaids. Traditionally, brides ask their friends and family members through a bridesmaid proposal gift, ranging from simple to extravagant. You may consider gifting personalized pajamas with their names, writing a heartfelt note in a card, or surprising them with a bridesmaid proposal box filled with spa-themed goodies.
Regardless of your chosen method, asking your bridesmaids is an enjoyable way to express your appreciation for their presence in your life and convey how grateful you are that they are joining you on your wedding journey.
>>> Furthermore: How Many People Should I Invite To My Wedding In 2023?
How to pick bridesmaids when you have too many friends?
1. Don’t choose someone just because you’ve known them the longest
We offer this advice because the duration of time spent with someone does not solely determine the strength of the bond. Selecting a bridesmaid based solely on the length of acquaintance would be unfair to those in your group with whom you share a deeper connection, even if you have known them for a shorter period. While time is significant, it should not be the primary factor when choosing your bridesmaids.
2. Be completely truthful to yourself
Ladies, it’s highly likely that you have imagined your wedding at some point. Now, consider who among your group will truly assist you in turning that enchanting vision into a reality. This doesn’t mean everyone in your group isn’t amazing, but certain individuals possess unique qualities and helpful hands that will make your big day even more extraordinary.
3. Try to figure out where everyone’s head is
Contrary to popular belief, not every woman desires to be part of a bridal party. It simply isn’t a preference for everyone. While they will undoubtedly be present to support their friend on her wedding day, it’s important to discern those who may not mind not being part of the bridal party.
4. Consider who will be taking on the responsibilities.
Your bridal party serves a much greater purpose than simply wearing stylish dresses and accompanying the groomsmen. They are an integral part of your support system and play a vital role in the wedding process.
While you have affection for all your ladies, it’s important to consider who is genuinely committed to fulfilling the responsibilities and who won’t unexpectedly back out. Every group tends to have that one friend known for being consistently late, seemingly operating on a slightly different schedule than everyone else. It’s simply a part of who they are. This is a factor worth pondering before selecting the ladies for your tribe.
5. Make No Assumptions
You may have overheard some of your ladies discussing weddings and assumed they would be willing to participate. Conversely, you might have heard a few of them expressing their dislike for the idea of marriage. However, it’s important not to jump to conclusions and assume that these are their definitive positions on participating in your wedding.
6. Don’t Make It a Contest
If you turn to secure a spot in your bridal party into a competitive endeavor, be prepared for potential conflicts, stress, and emotional strain. The repercussions could significantly damage the bond within your group of friends, and such damage may be challenging to mend, which is an outcome that nobody desires.
7. Don’t choose someone only because they invited you to join their tribe
If you’re not the first to get engaged among your friends, avoid selecting a woman solely because she included you in her bridal party. While you can still choose her, it’s important not to make that the primary reason. Your other friends might become quite upset if they discover that was your main motivation.
8. Remind everyone that they are still invited to the wedding
At times, there’s a tendency for people to assume that if they’re not part of the wedding party, they aren’t invited to the wedding at all. Make sure to reassure everyone that they are still invited and that they are an important part of your special day. You couldn’t imagine celebrating without them.
How to ask for bridesmaids?
1. Send a gift
When considering inviting someone to be your bridesmaid, you have many bridesmaid proposal ideas available on Pinterest. From macarons to personalized puzzles, balloons to jewelry, there are countless options to choose from (you can even take a quiz to find a gift that matches your style and bridesmaids’ preferences!). Feel free to unleash your creativity when crafting a bridesmaid proposal gift, but it’s important to consider your available time and budget.
Additionally, remember that delivering the bridesmaid proposal gifts may be straightforward if your bridesmaids are local. Still, it could be more challenging if spread across different regions or countries. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that elaborate proposal gifts are not a mandatory part of asking bridesmaids to be in your wedding, and DIY options are not the only way to go.
2. Be a bit more formal
If you decide not to send a bridesmaid gift (completely acceptable), a more formal approach is still advisable when asking someone to be your bridesmaid. If the person is local, consider asking them in person. If they are not, you can use phone calls, FaceTime, or Skype to extend the invitation.
Regarding how to ask bridesmaids to be part of your wedding party, we strongly discourage using email or text messages. While it may seem old-fashioned, being a bridesmaid carries significance and should not be taken lightly. By personally meeting with your prospective bridesmaid or arranging a meaningful conversation, you are conveying the importance of the role, encouraging your bridesmaid to approach the responsibility with the appropriate level of seriousness.
3. Have a follow-up conversation
In most cases, when asked to join a bridal party, potential bridesmaids will enthusiastically respond with an automatic “Yes!” However, your bridesmaids must understand the full scope of their responsibilities, especially if they are new to the role. So, having individual follow-up conversations with each bridesmaid may be a good idea.
You may initiate this conversation by expressing your excitement about them being a bridesmaid and then inquire if there are any concerns or if they need any assistance. This allows your bridesmaids to openly discuss any issues or questions regarding the wedding, such as financial obligations or potential conflicts with pre-wedding events.
While uncommon, this conversation allows your bridesmaid to gracefully decline if she faces financial difficulties or significant life events. In such cases, handling the decline with understanding and genuine concern is important without overreacting. It is better to have an honest conversation with your friend at this early stage rather than encounter issues later.
4. Make introductions easier
Once you have completed the process of asking your bridesmaids and finalized your bridal party, the next step is introducing the entire crew. While it would be ideal if all your bridesmaids were already acquainted with each other, it is more likely that your bridal party consists of individuals from different stages of your life, including family members, childhood friends, and college besties.
You are responsible for taking the initiative and facilitating communication among your bridesmaids, ensuring that everyone is properly introduced. This can be accomplished through various means, such as organizing an in-person gathering like a game night or happy hour or creating a group text or private Facebook group. After the introductions, your maid of honor should begin planning the pre-wedding parties and preparations for your special day.
>>> Read more:
- 6 Most Popular Wedding Months – How Come They’re So Well-Liked?
- A Stress-Free Guide For How To Plan A Wedding In 6 Months
Finally, you have the answer to the question, “How to choose bridesmaids?” Choosing bridesmaids is an important decision that can greatly impact your wedding day. You can ensure a smooth and enjoyable process by following the helpful tips and guidelines provided by Viva Wedding Photography.