Choosing the right Bridesmaids
Choosing the best people for the job when it comes to your wedding day doesn’t end with which suppliers are the best fit. You need to give just as much thought to which of your nearest and dearest you want by your side on your special day.
Some couples have to deal very sensitively with this part of planning a wedding. Do you have half a dozen good girlfriends or 5 sisters. If you do, and you don’t want to have 11 bridesmaids, then you will need to have some difficult conversations.
Where to begin:
You may need to act quickly. As soon as you announce your engagement, your friends may leap into action and almost start planning their own involvement in your wedding before you really have the chance to think about what you want.
If you are one of the lucky ones, you may know exactly who you want by your side but if you don’t, you need to think about what you’re asking them to do and actually how good will they be at doing it. It’s not just about buying them a dress and letting them stand proudly by your side, if you want your wedding day to go without a hitch then you will be reliant on them to play their part.
What are you actually asking:
You would normally choose a good friend or selection of good friends. Maybe even female members of your family if you have a particularly good relationship with them, but how effective would they be if you asked them to undertake one or all of the duties listed below.
First and foremost, they need to show an interest in your wedding and your plans, they need to be respectful, diplomatic in the way they share their own opinion and able to put what they think a great wedding day is to one side. None of us are the same and we all have different ideas on what will work well, look good and be enjoyable. Your bridesmaids need to be happy for you whatever you choose and put your interests first.
You will be asking them to help you or to take care of important parts of your wedding day so make sure they are responsible and trustworthy otherwise you will worry and end up doing those tasks yourself which defeats the purpose.
This may all sound very serious but being a bridesmaid is such a fun job and most people feel privileged to be asked. If you pick the right people you will laugh, cry and find your friendship becomes even stronger than it was when you began.
During the planning stages:
Plan the Hen party – It will be clear how well your chosen bridesmaids know you when they plan this for you. Especially if you don’t have an input. If they know you well enough, they will plan the perfect occasion for you whether that is small and subtle, or a big fancy blow out.
Help with dress shopping – It is so important that you bring the right people with you to choose a dress, if you fall in love with something and they don’t show you the support you are looking for then you could end up not committing and going with something that you wouldn’t have chosen if you had been on your own. There is a very fine line between being honest and being supportive. The right person will get this spot on.
DIY wedding help – If you are planning to make things for your wedding yourself. Your bridesmaids will hopefully ensure they have time to help you, whether that is floral displays, favours or table décor.
Help with invites and RSVPS – If you are making your own invitations then 2 pairs of hands may be better than 1. Invitation making can take time, by asking for help you can half the time it takes whilst having a fun day spent with your bestie/besties. You may also ask them to chase up certain guests who haven’t sent their RSVP back in time. If you are busy and have other things to be doing, this could be a massive help.
Attend meetings at the venue or visit wedding fairs – You can, but don’t have to, take your bridal party to your wedding venue to show them around and give them a feel for what your wedding will look like before the day itself. You may also want to take them to wedding fairs to look at various items and help you find the right suppliers.
On the wedding day:
Set up – If you are doing parts of your wedding décor and set up yourself then you will need people to help you make this happen. That may mean things need delivering to the venue the day before or it might mean they have to get up super early on the morning of your wedding. I would always recommend getting an independent wedding day manager if you are planning a DIY wedding however, if you don’t want to or you don’t have the budget for it then you really will need help on the day,
Help getting ready – You need to feel like royalty on your wedding day. If you want a drink, something to eat or just another cushion to make the seat more comfortable while you do your make up then your bridesmaids are the ladies for the job. They should do this because they want to and not be huffing and puffing because they are trying to sort themselves out.
Steady your nerves – There are no two ways about it. You will be nervous on your wedding day, as well as excited and maybe even a little nauseous. You need people around you who can make you laugh, lighten the mood and reassure you that all will be ok.
Help with your outfit – Not only will you more than likely need help getting in your wedding dress but you will also need help during the day with things like making sure the dress is placed well for photos, tying up a bustle if you have one and maybe even going to the toilet.
Keep an eye on the time – If you don’t have a wedding day manager then you will need someone to keep an eye on how your day is unfolding. If you have gone to the effort to write a schedule for the day then you want to follow it. Especially if you need to be seated for your wedding breakfast for a certain time or cleared up in time for your evening guests to arrive.
Holding of the bouquet – Your maid of honour will be responsible for your bouquet during the wedding service itself and you may even need her to take control if it during the day when you are having pictures taken, or generally mingling. If you put it down somewhere, you want to make sure that one of your bridesmaids knows where it is and can even put it in a safe place for you so that it doesn’t get left and swept up at the end of the night and binned.
Help family members – If you have elderly guests or guests who require additional help then your bridesmaids may have to chip in. Showing them where to go, helping them into position for the photographs or arranging transport home.
Be the first on the dance floor – Sometimes it can take a brave sole to get the party started. Guests may look to someone else to get on the dancefloor first. Will you and your girls be those trend setters?
Make sure you get away ok at the end of the night – Your wedding day will be one of the longest days of your life, even though afterwards it will feel like the quickest. By last orders you will be tired and ready to call it a night. Your bridesmaids should be there to wave you off and make sure that you are in possession of everything that you came with or a least take care of your possessions themselves until they see you the next day.
Just be there – All of the other things are important but simply being there when you need her will be the basis of a great bridesmaid. She will hug you when you need it, wipe your tears, drag you away from that annoying guest who just won’t stop talking, notice when your glass is empty, sit with you when you’re tired, laugh with you and without even having to say anything know how you feel and offer her support.
Every wedding is unique, and each bride will require their bridesmaids to do different things. Just remember that the person or people that you chose to have by your side will certainly make a difference to how you feel on your big day.