I know it’s really tempting to dive in and ask all your friends to be bridesmaids the minute you get engaged.
But please wait.
You need to think this through to avoid upset and difficult conversations later on if your expectations of your bridesmaids are not turning into reality.
My advice would be to take some serious time to ponder this one.
And I mean weeks not hours.
Here are my thoughts on things to consider before popping the question to anyone:
How involved do you want them to be?
Do you want or need your bridemaids to be really hands on and help with your wedding planning? Or are you happy for them to just be there on the day to help you get ready and look amazing.
If you want your bridesmaids to be involved in your planning then it’s probably better to be asking friends who live near by and who have the time to help you.
If your best friend lives two hours away and has just had her third baby, she’s probably not going to be able to commit much time to helping you.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask her to be your bridesmaid but you need to have the conversation with her so she knows you’re happy for her to be there on the day looking fabulous but you realise she won’t be able to do much in the run up to the big day.
This is always a difficult one. Being a bridesmaid can be a pretty expensive honour, what with dress, shoes, gifts, hen party, hair and make up etc etc.
So we’ve talked before about setting your wedding budget up front. As part of that task you need to be clear how much budget you have to help your bridesmaids with their dress, shoes, hair & make up.
This means you can then be open with them when you ask them to be your bridesmaid. I know it can be uncomfortable but if you are going to need them to pay for some or all of it themselves, this could mean that one or more of your friends has to say no to you.
Don’t let this affect your friendship by not facing into it at the outset. It would be really unfair to ask someone to be a bridesmaid and then hit them with a big bill for a dress that they probably won’t wear again as well as everything else they will need.
Size of Wedding
Whilst there aren’t any hard and fast rules here, it’s worth considering how many guests you are having.
If you’re having quite a small wedding then you probably don’t want any more than 4 bridesmaids. You don’t want more people stood at the front of the aisle than there are sitting down!
Give serious thought to your siblings as well as future sister in laws. Family will still be around for years to come and it can be a great way to get to know your husband to be’s family more.
If you come from a large family you will need to draw the line somewhere. Maybe an age limit? You could look at different ways to involve others on the day.
Will you still be this close in 5 years time?
Think carefully about your friendship. Is it a strong bond that’s been tested over the years?
If it’s quite a new friendship consider the strength of it and if you really think it will last for many years. Nothing worse than looking at your wedding photos in a few years and regretting your choices as you no longer see your bridesmaids.
What about Flower Girls?
Most people will admit they’re cute. But don’t forget they’re children and may not behave as you would like/expect especially as they’re in a new situation and may be a little bewildered.
Again don’t feel pressured into asking your friends daughters or family members if it’s really not what you want.
You will often find that people expect their children to be asked so you need to stand firm and don’t be drawn into making any commitments.
I see so many requests for help where brides are wanting to ‘sack’ their bridesmaids or are not happy with how much help their bridesmaids are giving them and that’s a really difficult situation to be in.
So before you ask anyone, think about who you trust and who is a true friend. Never feel pressured into asking someone to be a bridesmaid.
I hope this helps you with your decision making process.