Choosing your bridesmaids can be a difficult task. For me it was one of the most difficult. I agonized over it for months for the sole fact that I have so many amazing friends I wanted to include. In a perfect world where budget and realism were no factor, I probably would have had like 10 friends standing up with me. But Dave and I decided early on that was not realistic and decided to keep the number down as much as possible. In the end, we decided to have six people standing up on each side. If you’re in the process of choosing your bridal party, here are some tips to consider.
1. Consider the size of your wedding.
Traditionally, there would be one attendant on each side for every 50 guests. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Dave and I invited 250 people to our wedding (and ultimately had around 130 guests), but had 6 attendants on each side. You don’t have to follow tradition to a T, but the size of the guest list should still be a consideration. I would avoid having 10 bridesmaids for a wedding with 50 guests, for instance.
2. Choose friends who are supportive of both you and the marriage.
Wedding planning can be stressful, and it’s best to fill your wedding party with friends who can be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to vent to if need be. It’s also important to have friends who you know will be supportive of your marriage. Not all of your friends have to be BFFs with your future spouse, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to have someone stand up in the wedding when they can’t stand the groom.
3. Don’t let tradition box you in.
My friend Bill and I became best friends around 16 years old. Even in high school, we talked about how he would be the Man of Honor in my wedding. It might not be “traditional” to have a guy standing up on the bride’s side, but I couldn’t imagine getting married without him standing next to me.
4. Sides don’t have to be even.
You don’t have to have exactly the same number of attendants on the bride’s side and groom’s side. If you have three close friends and your future hubby has five close friends, that’s just fine. Each of should include the number that makes sense to you.
5. Don’t choose your bridal party based in reciprocity.
Just because someone asked you to be a bridesmaid in your wedding doesn’t mean you have to ask them to be a bridesmaid in yours. And just because someone didn’t ask you to stand up in their wedding doesn’t mean you can’t ask them to stand up in yours!
6. Choose your attendants based on your relationship, not what they can contribute to your wedding.
I see so many brides choose friends because they live nearby, are awesome when it comes to DIY projects, or can throw an awesome bridal shower. While those things might be added perks, I wouldn’t let them control the decision. I didn’t expect my bridesmaids to help with DIY projects. It was MY wedding, so my responsibility. I also tried to make the wedding as affordable as possible for everyone so money wouldn’t be a hindrance for them standing up with me. I also had several girls that live out of state. It was more important to include them in my big day than leave them out because they might not be there for all pre-wedding festivities.
7. Don’t choose your bridal party out of obligation.
This one can be difficult, and I know some people will disagree with me. But I think you should choose the people you want to be in your wedding, not the people “etiquette” or your mom say you should. Just because you share DNA with someone or are marrying into their family doesn’t mean they have to be in your bridal party. If you choose someone out of obligation who you aren’t close with, you’ll probably regret it.
What are your best tips for choosing your bridal party?
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