Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now it’s your turn to pop the question…to your bridesmaids. The question is, who do you want by your side at the altar, breaking it down with you on the dance floor, and holding your dress up in the bathroom? Before you begin asking every person you’ve ever met, here are some factors to consider to help you finalize your list.
Discuss it with your spouse-to-be
The size of the wedding party is one of the top wedding planning decisions you should make with your groom. Decide if you want to have equal-sized wedding parties. If so, come to a conclusion on what number the two of you are looking to have.
Decide if you want to have a mixed gender bridal party
It’s a growing trend in wedding parties for brides to have their guy friends stand by their side, and vice versa for the grooms. If you or your partner tend to have more opposite sex friends, consider having mixed gender wedding parties.
Make a list of the people you want to ask
List the people you want to ask in the order you want to ask them (no one has to see this list but you). Do you want just family members? Family and close friends? All your sorority sisters?
Think on it
There is no need to ask your bridesmaids the second you get engaged. Review your list and ask yourself – how long have I been friends with them, and where do I see our relationship in five years? You’ll have your wedding photos and memories for years to come, when you look back you want to point to that friend still in your life, not tell the story of the falling out you had years after your wedding.
Calculate the cost
Being a bridesmaid can add up quickly for the ladies that you choose. There will be costs for you though, depending on how much you are willing and able to pay for. Bride tend to pay for bridesmaids’ flowers, lodging if they are from out of town, transportation to the ceremony and reception, hair and make-up, thank you gifts for the party members, and a luncheon for the bridesmaids. Remember, if you do it for one bridesmaid, you are expected to do it for all. Choose what you are planning to pay for and how much it will cost, then multiply it by how many bridesmaids you are planning to have.
Don’t feel guilty or obligated to choose anyone
Ditch the “I was in her bridal party so she has to be in mine” mentality. Face it, you may be her closest friend and she might not be yours. That’s okay. It’s your day, include who you want standing up there, supporting you. Also, don’t let your mom guilt you into including a distant relatives or friends she worries might feel left out.
Bridesmaids are a support system
Not only does a bridesmaid support you through your wedding planning and the events leading up to your wedding, she should support you and your partner as a couple. If your friend has made comments about not supporting your relationship, or is constantly dissing your soon-to-be hubby, evaluate the situation and whether you want that negative energy in your bridal party.