Bridal Party 101: How to Select Your Bridesmaids

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Having a group of bridesmaids that you love is one of the best parts of a wedding. The fun parties, the girl-time bonding, the great stories–all a good time. But sometimes the process of selecting and inviting your bridesmaids feels more stressful than you had thought. Here are some helpful tips to common concerns with picking your bridal party:

Wait for the right time. Especially if you are planning a long engagement, don’t invite your bridesmaids right away (unless of course, they are family). There is no rule that this has to be done right away. Although it is hard to believe your college friendships will ever change or fade away, it happens. Don’t put yourself in the awkward position of having a bridesmaid in your party that you haven’t spoken to in two years. Or one that has become the ultimate frenemy.

Close family first, then friends. Play it smart. Don’t offend your sisters or your future sister-in-law. Find places for them before your start trying to track down the neighborhood friend from the fifth grade.

Be up front about details. When you ask your bridesmaids, communicate any details that will dramatically add to their expenses or time. Now would be the time to tell them the wedding is in Bora Bora and you have the perfect Reem Acra cocktail dresses already picked out for them (P.S. Expect a couple of declines…).

Remember that it is a question. Being a bridesmaid is expensive (no matter how much you try and save them money) and time-consuming. And once you invite them and they say yes, it’s pretty much an unbreakable pinky swear. So make sure that they have the opportunity to decline without offending you. Often when someone declines being in a bridal party they truly believe that they wouldn’t be able to appropriately manage the responsibilities, and this is saving you grief later. So be grateful and gracious if they turn you down.

Changed your mind? Want to uninvite a bridesmaid? The reason ought to be pretty drastic. As in of the “I can’t believe you made a pass at my man” variety. But otherwise you should try and find ways to work with what you’ve got. Telling someone you have decided to just go with two bridesmaids instead of three is a surefire way to end a friendship.

Photo Credit: Adriana Klas Photography

about the author
Sarah Sarah has been editing the blog at mywedding for four years. She enjoys watching classic movies, spending money on eyeliner that she never wears, and convincing brides to write thank you notes.

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