Choosing Bridesmaids - Tips for Who to Pick

March 10th, 2014

Your bridesmaids will play an important role in your wedding, not just on the big day, but throughout the planning, as well.

Choose your bridesmaids carefully, and don’t let the topic become another source of stress. Use these tips to help you decide who to choose to be your bridesmaids.

1. First, decide how many bridesmaids you want to have. You can have one or none or a dozen. If you are looking for a guideline, the general rule is to have one bridesmaid and one groomsman for every 50 guests. Don’t get hung up on the number, though. You should choose the people who are most important to you, not people you hardly know because you need to fill a quota. You don’t even have to have an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.

2. Remember that a larger bridal party isn’t always better. More bridesmaids means more people that have to agree on a dress and coordinate a shower date. It also means more people who you have to buy bouquets and gifts for.

3. Include family, even if they aren’t your favorite people. You may be afraid that it will be stressful to include the sister-in-law that you don’t exactly adore, but excluding her will create family strife that could be much worse.

4. You don’t have to ask someone to be your bridesmaid just to reciprocate. The fact that you stood up in your former co-worker’s wedding five years ago does not mean that you have to ask her to be your bridesmaid now. Don’t let an unnecessary sense of obligation control your choice.

5. Think twice before asking long-distance friends. Whether a friend who lives across the country can serve as a bridesmaid in your wedding depends largely upon what your expectations are for your bridesmaids. If you just want moral support and their presence at the wedding, a long-distance friend might be just fine. If you want someone to sit with you late into the night addressing wedding invitations, you might be better off choosing someone who is more available.

6. Don’t exclude someone because you suspect that finances are a problem. It’s not fair to assume that they can’t afford to be included. Go ahead and invite the people you want to invite. Let them decide whether they can swing it, or offer to help out with the costs if it is important to you to include them.

7. You don’t have to limit your choices to women. If one of your closest friends is a man, go ahead and ask him to stand up for you. Just call him an attendant instead of a bridesmaid. This is becoming increasingly common, so go ahead and ask the people who are important in your life, regardless of gender.

8. Include people in other roles. So there are more friends and relatives who you want to include in your wedding, but you don’t need any more bridesmaids? Give them another special role to play, like reading a verse during the ceremony or passing out programs.

9. Spread the word. Once you have made your decisions about the bridal party, put the word out. If someone is expecting to be included but didn’t make the cut, you don’t want them lingering under a false assumption for any longer.

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