Selecting the people to stand with you as you say your promises is pretty huge, and one of the most important decisions for your big day. We will guide you on the things to keep in mind before making your decisions, so you’ll be sure to get it right!
The months just before the wedding and the day itself is hectic for bride and groom. Your bridemaids should be a good support system, which can make all the difference for you.
Don’t make rushed decisions, even though it is tempting to ask just as you got engaged. Mull over your options, know your factors and then select mindfully – and don’t be afraid of taking a month or longer to decide.
Needless to say, each and every bridesmaid need to get along with and approve of your groom!
Questions to ask yourself before proposing to your bridesmaid
Is she available?
Find out if she is available during this time. How much she should be there for the preparations, and how strongly you feel about her being there for certain events are important realities to consider as to avoid disappointment. Make sure she has time to squeeze you in before you propose the idea to her.
If she is busy going through life changes, health issues, dealing with a big work project or a new baby, she might not be as available as you are hoping for.
It is a good idea to ask her if she has holidays planned around some key dates during your engagements, if it is crucial to you that she is there.
For an out-of-town friend, you could give her remote duties, or if she’ll be around the week before the wedding you could ask her if she wouldn’t mind taking on a more involved role then.
What role will your bridesmaid play?
Before asking her, know what you would like to ask of her as a bridesmaid. Help you chose wedding dress? Attend venue searches and help you manage vendors? Assist with all your craft projects? Or just plan your bachelorette party and get ready with you on the wedding day?
Knowing in advance how practical you would like your bridesmaids to be might help you to decide who to ask. Think about their skills, qualities and other attributes if you are hoping them to be a part of your planning process. Would they be suitable for the tasks you want to assign them?
Be upfront with the expectations you have – it will also give them a chance to consider the proposal realistically and make an informed decision and honest answer. This will also prevent them from feeling taken advantage of, and enable you to know what kind of help you are likely to receive.
Is she a good companion?
If you are having more than one bridesmaid, you should definitely take their temperament and personality into account. For this precious time, be sure to surround yourself with friends that are unconditionally supportive, gentle, and mature with sufficient team skills. Strong personalities or tendencies to be dominant, irritable or opinionated might not be the best traits for this important role.
Remember that bridesmaids also go through stress – do you know them to handle stress well, or does it affect their behavior in any way?
Additionally, avoid combining two friends that have argued in the past, or have already expressed conflicting sentiments about your wedding plans.
It is wise to check your hubby-to-be’s groomsmen shortlist and make sure there isn’t existing tensions in the group.
Your bridesmaids should be able to treat each other with respect and solve issues amongst themselves independently, or there might be situations you need to step into to solve a disagreement when you have other -more pressing- wedding matters to deal with.
Is she likely to be in your life for a much longer time?
It is not a bad idea to ask yourself how likely it is she will be in your life 5-15 years from now. How long have you known her? What is the probability she will be there when you have children, change your career, buy your home? Do you see her as a friend you will spend time with even when you are much older?
This is a reason why it makes sense to give priority to your sister or sister-in-law or other relatives you are close with.
Chose women that are going to be around, mean the most to you and that you can count on no matter what happens.
How many bridesmaids do you actually need?
Every new member you add to the wedding party adds new energy and outlook to the mix which could either nurture or interrupt the flow. Less is often more, so try to limit your bridesmaids to family and those who are the very closest. Your bridesmaids are there to make your bridal life easier, so if there is any risk they might add stress, you need to accept that it might add complications. The more bridesmaids you have, the more likely it is that stress levels rise as opposed to being taken care of.
Good to know
- You are not obliged to ask a friend to be your bridesmaid, just because you were hers! There is no such protocol, so she should understand that the decision is personal and can be different in each new circumstance.
- If a person was not included and she gets upset, all you need to do is to be completely honest with her. It was a tough decision, but you chose to only included the absolute closest. She is on all accounts still very special to you and a dear friend. A lovely way to include her anyway is to ask her to do a reading, come to the bachelorette, or to make a toast during reception dinner
- Remember – your bridesmaid doesn’t neccesarily need to be a maid. Why not ask your little brother or male best friend to step in (providing he fits the bill of course!)?
- It is also totally acceptable to not have bridesmaids at all. If you ask them, your best friends will of course go on a bachelotte trip with you, and help you set up your wedding, no matter what!