When I think back to the beginning stages of planning my own wedding, choosing my bridesmaids and asking them was one of the most exciting parts for me. I want to share some advice with you before you dive into choosing your bridal party. If I would have known this before going in, I think I would have still chosen the same women to stand up for me be there through the planning process with me, but I would have loved having some guidance to make the process of choosing my Bridesmaids easier.
The easiest place to start is with your siblings. Take into consideration their ages, and if they seem to young to be a Bridesmaid, consider asking them to be a junior bridesmaid or even flower girls.
For me choosing my two sisters first was a no brainer. I always thought I’d get married years ago and my littlest sister wouldn’t be old enough to be a bridesmaid, but as it worked out, she was 18 when I tied the knot and I was so happy to have her and my other sister right there by my side.
Don’t forget about your brother(s). There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking him to be a brides-man if your groom doesn’t have him stand up on his side.
There is no set rule on how many or how few Bridesmaids to choose. I urge you to consider the size of your wedding and consider keeping the size of the Bridal Party appropriate to compliment the size of the entire guests your have in attendance. For example, at my wedding we had 50 guests attending in total, so we chose no more than 5 Bridesmaids and 5 Groomsmen to stand up with us. Five might have even been pushing it, but I just couldn’t choose any less. So we ended up having approximately 38-40 guests seated and then 12 of us up front during the ceremony.
If you are having a larger wedding of 150-200 guests, you could go up to as many as 12 Bridesmaids and 12 Groomsmen. However; having a large bridal party isn’t necessarily a benefit.
As a Bride-to-be, keep in mind that you will be planning one of the largest events of your life, while also managing your bridal party to some degree with timeframes for dress fittings, alteration deadlines, wedding party gifts, coordinating busy schedules for the bachelorette party etc. Which brings me to my next topic, considering personalities.
I’m not saying you have to make sure everyone in your Bridal Party is best friends, but you may want to consider and reconsider if you’re on the fence about asking someone because you know they are someone who may start drama. Drama is the last thing you want when you are planning your wedding. You want to make sure when choosing your Bridesmaids that you also think about their reliability and character. You want to choose the people closest to you, that will also help make your Wedding Planning an enjoyable process and who will do anything to make your actual Wedding less stressful for you!
Being mindful of friends budgets when thinking about asking them to be your Bridesmaids is also something you should do. If you haven’t been a Bridesmaid for someone else, you should think about how much of a financial investment it will be for your Bridesmaids to participate in your Wedding. If you have someone you really want to ask, but you think she’s in a touch financial spot, maybe give her a call before you officially ask, so she doesn’t have to feel awkward letting you down and telling you she can’t do it. Communicating with make sure neither of your feelings get hurt.
When choosing your Bridesmaids you may realize you only have a couple sisters and couple close friends and your task is quite easy. On the contrary, you may have been in a sorority in college and have been a Bridesmaid 15 times, and now you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the decision of who to ask to be in your wedding and you just can’t have 15 girls standing up there because that is craziness?
Take a deep breath. Write down your list of potentials. Go through the tips above. Make revisions to your list. If you find someone you really want to be a part of your wedding in a more special way than just a guest, consider asking them to read a scripture or sing at the reception. You could also have them give a speech if they’d like, or any other special role you’d like to add to your day. After all it is your wedding and you can include anything you’d like in your special day.
If you go through your list and you find it hard to narrow it down, think about going small. Just have your siblings. Or perhaps, just choose a maid of honor and that’s it. Choose the Bridesmaid(s) that you want and will help your Wedding Day be enriched by their presence and your experience a memorable one.
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