You found your groom, now you need your gals.
Picking your bridal party is often viewed as a back-burner task because every bride has a general idea of who they want standing by their side on the big day. But when it comes down to it, you’re selecting the friends and faces that will be in your wedding album for years to come – and no bride wants to explain to their future kids why a complete stranger was standing next to their mom.
Daughter: “Mom, who is that pretty brunette girl next to you and my Aunt?”
Scorned Bride: “Oh honey, that’s a backstabbing flake who single handedly changed my color palette from mint to mauve, violently threw up in the Uber on the way home from the bachelorette party costing hundreds of dollars which simultaneously came out of my makeup artist fund and then ditched the reception mid-cake cutting to go home with a groomsmen.
See, y’all? You want to avoid picking your friend of 3 months and traumatizing your future children. If you have a lot of ladies to pick from, a large family, friends from college, sorority sisters, teammates or neighbors that you grew up with, it can be even more stressful. Here’s how you choose your bride squad:
How Many ‘Maids?
It’s 2018 – we’ve got odd numbered groups, Man of Honor and Best woMan. Some brides even forgo a bridal party all together – so the traditional even numbered pair “guy, girl” jotting down the aisle isn’t mandatory. If you’re set on 11 bridesmaids and he’s got 6 groomsmen, no problem! Syncing up the ceremony order is the least of your worries. What really matters when considering the number of people in the bridal party is about ensuring your guys and gals are the most important people in your lives. The general rule is:
- FORMAL WEDDING (200+ GUESTS) 8-12 bridesmaids + groomsmen
- SEMIFORMAL WEDDING (60+ GUESTS) 2-6 bridesmaids + groomsmen
So, if you’re conflicted on a tight-knit group but have those 26 sorority sisters or work besties that you can’t imagine leaving out, ask them to be ushers or readers at the ceremony. I promise that the wedding invitation is enough for most friends – asking them to attend the biggest day of your life lets them know they have a special place in your heart.
Blood is Thicker Than Pinot Grigio
Other than thrilling your Mom, choosing family members is generally a safe way to ensure your crew includes people who love you and your groom and will be there to celebrate your 25th anniversary years from now! Even if you’re not incredibly close now – at the end of the day, your sibling is your sibling for life. Sisters/cousins/in-laws always come with the perk of mandatory attendance for these events anyways, so they’ll make sure your pre-wedding parties are fab.
So you’ve narrowed your potential ‘maids down to a handful but need to decide who will be prepared for the job? Browse this checklist:
- $$$$ – Please be considerate of how much money actually goes into being a bridesmaid. In addition to the dress, alterations, hair & makeup, shoes and accessories, bridesmaids need to shell out for travel, accommodations, gifts, and the bachelorette party! So if you’re a good friend and know one of your gals is going through a financially difficult time, ask her if she’d be interested or able before thrusting her into a David’s Bridal fitting.
- Dependability – Contemplating your girls’ dependability will save you BOTH time and frustration. Being a ‘maid means devoting a lot of time to planning, decorating and simply being there for all things wedding related. If your GF has just started a new job, relationship or has another major life event to focus on, keep that in mind!
- Authentically Sincere – Everyone has that “frenemy” in the group. You know, the one who likes to make everything a competition or jabs you every chance she gets. It’s all fun and games but when wedding planning starts to get stressful, the last thing you need is someone picking apart your decisions or constantly undermining your ideas. Your final few should be genuinely happy for you, supportive of your decisions and ultimately: your relationship.
The Monumental Moment
Keep in mind brides – once you ask someone, you can’t (well – you really shouldn’t) go back on it. That’s why it’s so important to deliberate on your bride squad BEFORE you ask. Even if minor arguments (like whether wiener decor is an option or who pays for the Lyft on the bar crawl) pop up along the way, your group of gals should be able to weather the storm. It might seem stressful now, but deep down in your heart you already know who to ask to stand beside you as you begin your life as a wife!
Bridesmaids for a day.
Besties for life.