So you've set a date. Now who will you ask to be your Bridesmaids?!
18/04/12He asked the big question and you said YES! But who should you ask to join you on your big day? Your Bridesmaids need to be close to you, and willing to help on the day, and there's always potential to upset those you don't choose! To help you through this dilemma, we've put together some things to consider before you choose your bridesmaids.
Numbers: Most wedding planners recommend a bridesmaid for every 50 guests in attendance. If you have a small wedding, it might look odd if bridesmaids outnumber guests. On the other hand, for a big wedding, it might look less formal to only have one maid of honour. From a wedding photographer's perspective, it’s always nice to have a matching number of bridesmaids and groomsmen in the wedding photographs, and they'll all have someone to dance with later too! So take your fiancé’s expectations into consideration as well.
Etiquette: Once you have a number in mind, be sure you don’t ruffle any feathers. If you have sisters, they should always be included, even if you don’t get along that well. It’s perfectly OK to have your best friend as your maid of honour, but it’s rude to leave family members out of the bridal party!
Reliability: You probably have lots of dear friends that you would love to share your big day with, but keep in mind that you will rely on them for many things—least of all looking polished for the wedding photographs and the ceremony, and most of all—moral support. If your friend is always late, worried more about her appearance than yours, or tend to get tipsy at the sniff of bubbly, think twice about including them...
The Proposal: Yes, it's your turn to propose! You have chosen your special friends who will stand next to you on your big day, but it’s still appropriate to ask them to honour you in this way. After all, it is a big commitment of time and money for them, so a more formal request goes a long way.
Gifts: Whilst it’s common for bridesmaids to buy their own dresses, it’s a thoughtful gesture to buy them some jewellery or a trinket for the wedding day. You can choose something that coordinates with the dresses, which will also make a great gift for them to remember the occasion. If this is a little over the top, why not consider booking a group portrait photographyphotoshoot for you and the girls before the wedding day as a nice way to get to know one another and bet excited about the big day!
And remember, if you couldn’t include everyone you wanted to as a bridesmaid, don’t forget that there are other ways for them to be involved in your big day. They could do a reading during the ceremony or perform a musical number during the reception (as long as they can sing of course!). And of course they can still be invited to the hen night!