Drawing up a shortlist for your bridesmaids can be tough especially if you have a bunch, so here is some advice to ensure you choose wisely.
Decide how many bridesmaids you want
First and foremost, make a decision on the exact number of bridesmaids you want to have for your wedding. Whether it’s two bridesmaids or ten, the total should be reflective of your personal preference and what you feel is necessary for your big day, bearing in mind that cost effect attached to in relation to your budget estimates.
Consult your family
There’s nothing worse than a family feud on a wedding day or even just days before it, so make sure you ask the family members who should be traditionally part of the bridal party. While sisters, sister-in-laws and nieces can be commonplace, you can start to put your foot down when second cousins twice-removed are suggested.
Who are your nearest and dearest?
While you may have a big social circle, choosing your bridesmaids should not be a people-pleasing exercise. Think about who you speak to regularly, who show genuine interest in your life, who are trustworthy and kind, and who have been there through thick and thin… they are the keepers and the ones who will make the best bridesmaids.
Don’t forget your childhood friends
A childhood friend who is a friend for life should definitely be considered as one of your leading ladies. You may not see them as much as you like but when you do see each other it’s like nothing ever changed, so give them some serious thought. On the flip side, if you have a childhood friend who doesn’t come close to the relationship you have with your more recent gal pals, then don’t feel you have to choose them.
Beware of the bride who has been there and done it
She may have great ideas and advice because she has got the t-shirt, but this friend has the potential to take over your planning. Constantly comparing to her big day and dictating what you should and shouldn’t do can become a worrying prospect, so assess her personality in the first instance and approach with caution.
Are you having flower girls?
Don’t forget your flower girls (or page boys, for that matter). If there are infant relatives or children of your own to accommodate in the bridal procession, think about how this will impact on the dynamic and look of the group.
Choose your maid of honour
Once you have settled on your squad, decide who will take the lead role as maid of honour. This might be an obvious decision for some, but for those who need a little more help consider the responsibilities that come with the chief position (directing the bridesmaids, hosting the hen party, holding the bride’s bouquet and arranging her veil on the day etc). The MOH should be sensible, practical, organised… and know how to throw a great party.
When the MOH is decided upon, think about how the rest of your bridesmaids can have a part to play in the planning process. They should all have some input in the hen party, but you can also assign individual tasks to make them feel extra appreciated: late-night DIY projects, arranging the hair and make-up trials, and coordinating the dress fittings, are all jobs some of your maids can take on.
Think about your bridesmaid announcement
Bridesmaid announcements are big business right now. Get creative and think how best to break the news to your group. Personalised sweet treats (think macarons, cupcakes and cake pops); presentation boxes filled with photos, champagne and chocolates; or an afternoon tea celebration for you and your ladies, offer some interesting ways to make a moment out of the announcement.
Announce your squad
One of the best moments of planning a wedding is announcing to your bridesmaids that they have made the cut. There will be hugs, tears and laughter aplenty, establishing even more of an unbreakable bond. Discuss their roles and responsibilities and in the nicest possible way, your expectations.
Celebrate with your bridesmaids
If ever there was a reason for more champagne, then this is it. Ensure that being your bridesmaid isn’t a daunting thought for them by toasting your squad in style and getting the party started to mark the occasion.