Now that you are engaged and have set the date, it is time to choose your bridal party. Are you not exactly sure how to choose bridesmaids? It can be quite an intimidating task! You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. And how do you narrow it down?
Why do we have bridesmaids? Traditionally, they are to act as witnesses to the wedding ceremony and assist the bride on her wedding day. In modern times, bridesmaids also help the bride plan the wedding. They are also responsible for hosting and planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
Are you are asking yourself “Who should be my bridesmaids?” No worries! Here are 6 rules to help you choose the best candidates to be your bridesmaids (or bridesmen).
How to Choose Bridesmaids: 6 Simple Rules
Factor in the size of your wedding
The size of your guest list plays a part in the number of bridesmaids you choose for your wedding party. Of course, it is your wedding, and you can have as large or as small as a bridal party as you want. However, it is traditional to choose your bridesmaids according to the number of people attending your wedding.
If you are inviting under fifty guests, you should have no more than 3 bridesmaids and a maid or matron of honor. For a larger wedding party, say, 150-200 guests, you can have as many as 12 wedding attendants, according to traditional bridesmaid rules. Keep in mind, that the bigger your bridal party, the bigger the dent in your wedding budget.
This is not a steadfast rule. If you are asking yourself how many bridesmaids should I have? the answer is as many as you want. This is especially true with modern weddings, as anything goes!
Be sure to include family
According to wedding etiquette choosing bridesmaids, it is best to start with your immediate family. This would include your siblings and then your cousins and so forth.
If your family members are too young to serve as bridesmaids, you can ask them to be a junior bridesmaid or flower girl. It is customary to include your close family when choosing bridesmaids. If you do not have a large family or are not close to your family, you would then choose your closest friends.
You should also include your future sister-in-law bridesmaid. Asking your fiancé’s sister to be in your wedding party shows that you are accepting his family as your own. This also will allow his sister to feel involved in your wedding planning. And will hopefully draw you closer together.
Choose responsible bridesmaids
When asking friends to be bridesmaids, you want to be sure to choose those that are reliable and responsible. Your bridesmaid plays a major role in your wedding so you want to be certain that you can count on them.
In deciding who should be a bridesmaid, choose those who you know you can rely on to show up on time and follow through with assigned tasks. Make sure that they are able to attend any and all events such as your bridal shower, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner.
Are you confused as to how to pick a maid of honor? Is your best friend not the most reliable person you know? In this event, you can choose two maids of honor to prevent hurt feelings. She will still have a special role, but you can count on your other maid of honor to be the responsible one.
Don’t feel obligated to ask someone just because you were in their wedding party
There is no unspoken rule that just because you were in someone’s wedding, that they have to be in yours. If you were your sister-in-law bridesmaid, it does not mean she has to be yours. The same goes for your third cousin twice removed or your college roommate.
To avoid hurt feelings, you can simply say that it was a very hard decision and you had to narrow it down to those who play a major role in your life. You could always give them a smaller role such as the guest book attendant or ask her to do a reading at your ceremony.
Don’t stick to gender stereotypes
What are bridesmaids? They are someone special to you who helps you plan your wedding, acts as a support system and acts as part of your wedding party. Does it have to be a woman? What if all of your friends are males? What if you only have male siblings?
When picking bridesmaids, you do not have to stick with gender stereotypes. You can have a man of honor or a bridesmaid. It is totally your decision on how to pick bridesmaids, as long as you are comfortable with your decision.
Be mindful of your bridesmaids’ financial situation
While their budget will not be as big as yours, your bridesmaids will have to cough up quite a bit of money. Not only will they have to pay for their dress, but they will be responsible for throwing your bridal shower and bachelorette party, among other expenses.
Be certain that whomever you are asking can afford to be in your wedding. Be fairly certain that they will say “Yes I will be your bridesmaid.” However, do not be offended if they say no. They might have some personal reasons why they cannot participate in your wedding. This is not a slight against you.
Also, if your bridesmaids live far away, keep in mind that they will incur travel expenses. If you are willing and able to foot the bill, then, by all means, ask them. Just be mindful that not everyone has unlimited resources.
Are you looking for ways to ask friends to be bridesmaids? Check out our site for more info on how to pop the question to your friends!
Now that we have given you some advice on how to choose bridesmaids, it’s time to get cracking! Remember, your bridesmaids are going to be a big part of your wedding planning! Keep these tips in mind and it should be smooth sailing!