How to choose your bridesmaids

From the moment you said ‘yes,’ a whole lot of questions and requests start to flood in.  What style of wedding are you having? Have you decided themes and colours yet? What kind of venue are you looking for? Who are your bridesmaids? I’m a bridesmaid right? So many questions!

One of the most enjoyable parts of the wedding planning process is being able to share the experience with your closest friends and family members who have supported you and made you laugh throughout the years. And no doubt all your friends are going to be delighted to be asked, however if you have a large friendship group, the whole process can quickly start to get quite political. And it’s those awkward conversations you certainly want to avoid.

I was pretty relaxed with my bridesmaid selection process. I was lucky in the fact that the three friends that I picked were my oldest and most favourite people in the world. They didn’t mind traipsing around the 14th bridal shop trying to find my perfect wedding dress and I knew they would be there the day before the wedding helping to mitigate my meltdown after being told that the wine/cheese/lychee martini order wasn’t buttoned down. I know. Nightmare. We sorted it – it’s not a party without cheese and certainly not without a martini on offer! But I know that I’m blessed to have a second similar brain that can support me when things go in the wrong direction.

It’s not always like that, so we’ve put together a short guide to help you navigate through choosing your perfect bridesmaids, who will be there to support you through your full wedding journey and not just be present to walk you down the aisle.

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First stop, make a shortlist.

A recent study by Hitched WIFE, outlined that 35% of brides decided to have four bridesmaids or more, 23.7% have three and 26% have two of their fave pals. For most, that number pales in comparison to your considerable network of school friends, work colleagues, future sister-in-law, and other favourite people in your life. So how do you pick? Do you choose the friend you’ve known for your whole life but don’t see very often, or do you opt for your newer best friend who you see all the time? We reckon you should start by making a list of everyone who you might like to include, highlight the no-brainers then look at the remaining names. Who is going to be wonderful, helpful and positive throughout your engagement AND help troubleshoot those pesky wedmin battles? Think carefully and stick to your guns too – whilst your family might prefer you to pick someone from within, these memories are going to stay with your for the rest of your life.

Secondly, think practically.

There are certain rights of passage when you become a bride-to-be. Wedding dress shopping. Pinterest boarding. Favour making and that unforgettable hen party send off. So practically speaking, who out of your friends is going to be perfect for all of these scenarios? You need the flawless organiser for your hen party, someone who’s well networked, an expert planner and negotiator AND can get the party started. If you’re looking to create a lot of DIY wedding items yourself, do you have a friend as crafty as Kirsty Allsop to lend a helping hand? And on the day of the wedding, which of your friends is going to be the one putting the bubbles on ice to chill your nerves? Alternatively, why not start a new tradition and have your Grandma as your maid of honour. She’s watched you grow and turn into the wonderful person that you are and sure to be able to rock any dress you choose!

Hopewell and her bridesmaids

Finally, communicate the cut.

There maybe a situation where you’ve been a bridesmaid for one of your friends and you’ve decided not to return the favour. Or perhaps a friend falsely assumes that she’ll be joining team bridesmaid too? How do you break the news? Be warm, empathetic and truthful in your reasoning. A way to lessen the blow would be to find another way for her to participate in the wedding so that she still feels included. A reading at the ceremony is a super personal way that means that you will both feel warm and fuzzy about it all.