Five steps to taking the worry out of selecting the right bridesmaids for your big day
One of the most difficult decisions you’re going to face when planning your wedding is who to ask to be your bridesmaids. Should it be your new sisters-in-law? Your BFF who hates your closest work friend? Your four year old niece your mum think will look really cute in a bridesmaid dress?
It can seem overwhelming trying to whittle down the list of potentials to a select handful of bridesmaids. After all, you don’t want to upset anyone. That’s why we’ve put together our handy little checklist to make sure you get the best bridesmaids you could ever hope for.
1. Set yourself a limit – and stick to it
The first thing you need to do is decide on the exact number of bridesmaids you need. Once you’ve determined how big your wedding party needs to be, don’t make any exceptions – that’s your limit and you’re sticking to it!
One reason for working out how many bridesmaids you need is so that you can coordinate with your groom so that he has an equal number of groomsmen to hand. This will make your photos symmetrical – always a good look! – and mean that every bridesmaid will have someone to escort her down the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony.
Having a strict limit will also mean that you won’t keep adding to your list. No matter how many bridesmaids you want, the main thing is that you have a definite number before you start the selection process.
2. Decide on your must-haves
I bet if I asked you right now who you definitely want to have as a bridesmaid, you’d be able to name at least one person without hesitation. Whether it’s your sister or your closest friend, they’re the ones who get the first couple of spots on your list and that’s non-negotiable.
3. Sprinkle on some fun!
If you’ve decided that you want a bigger group than just your must-haves, the next step is to choose a few people you know will be positive and supportive. If you’re having a big wedding, it’s especially good to have extra support in case of any last minute emergencies.
When looking for additional bridesmaids in this group, make sure you pick people you know you always enjoy being around and who will keep your happiness as their number one priority. However, no matter how sorry you may feel for her, don’t pick someone you know is pessimistic and prone to drama to have among your bridesmaids. It’s only going to cause problems and bring you down.
4. Bring in the got-to-haves
This is the difficult part. The chances are high that you’ll have people around you who you don’t want to upset by not asking them to be bridesmaids. Maybe you know they’d ask you to be their bridesmaid or it’s been their lifetime dream to be a bridesmaid and this would make your day. Or maybe you feel obligated to ask them because you were close once but aren’t any more or your mum thinks you should include a distant relative for the sake of a family.
It can be a tough call. If you’re having a large wedding or you know your groom is asking lots of groomsmen, you might decide it would be helpful to have a few extra people on your side. However, ultimately, this is your day, so you shouldn’t do anything that you think will ruin things for you. After all, there are plenty of other ways in which you can include friends and family without making them a bridesmaid, such as witnesses, readers or ring bearers.
5. Finalise your list
Once you’ve got your shortlist together, step back and take a critical look at it. Have you got a good mix of people? Do they all have your best interests at heart? Do they get on with each other?
This is the time to be ruthless. Take out anyone who you don’t think will fit in. These are the people who are going to be organising your hen party and helping you with those DIY touches that you don’t want to outsource. You need to be sure you can rely on them all.
Now you’ve got your list of potential bridesmaids, all that’s left to do is ask them if they’ll do you the honour of being part of your wedding!