Planning 101 18th April 2016

How To Choose Your Bridesmaids

Your sister? Your oldest friend? Your current bestie? Bridesmaid choosing etiquette is a tricky field to navigate. These are the girls you are asking to be a large part of the biggest day of your life, and who will probably (*hopefully*) be a godsend and lifeline in the planning process. Essentially, you need to arm yourself with the perfect mix of hen-do planning fun-gal, head-screwed-on organised type and emotional, shoulder-to-lean-on lady. Good luck!

Bridesmaids Getting Ready Tahoe Wedding Photo Journalism

So, you announce your engagement, lots of screaming, giggling and champagne popping ensues, and then comes the speculation as to who will be asked? Here is a 5 step guide to help you along the way...

1. To ward off assumptions, brush off bridesmaid chat by immediately stating that you haven’t decided the type of wedding and that you were thinking a small, family thing might be nice, or words to that extent.

2. Forget the rules about sisters/cousins/married friends, numbers (you can have just 1, or 10, nobody cares!) and who’s already asked you to be theirs etc.

3. Now you have avoided any awkward situations with friends assuming they’ve been picked, you can think about what you actually want and need from your maids, naturally they won’t all tick every box, but getting a few to cover these bases is a good place to start!

- Somebody who knows you very well. You don’t mind peeing with this girl holding your dress, and she’ll know you’re about to have a break down before you do.

- An organisational whizz, somebody who’s on-hand with a clipboard and pen, can keep on top of your suppliers on the day and who won’t need bags of recognition and gold stars for it all (though obvs we are eternally grateful!!).

- A more outgoing, party loving type. She’ll be the one getting people on the dance floor, and booking your stripper (Channing Tatum please!) for you hen-do.

- Girls who won’t be difficult! We all have those friends who will throw a tantrum if their make-up isn't absolutely perfect, or if they just ‘don’t do’ pretty much any colour on the Pantone board. Sorry love, this is not your day.

4. Hopefully you should now have an idea of 1 or 2 girls who immediately fit the bill. If, however, you’re still swamped, it’s time to consider your budget. We’re not just talking dresses, you need to factor in bouquets if you want them for all the girls, the cost of accommodation if you need it, and hair and make-up. Naturally, you can always ask them to pay for things themselves, but this is usually a good way to whittle things down!

5. Now you should have a pretty good idea as to the core of your bridal party - just one more thing to consider - will you lose a friend for life if you don’t ask her? It’s not worth the collateral damage that could ensue if you pick one friend but not another. If your wedding would definitely not be any worse with her in it (remember budget!) then it’s best to include that one!

bride getting ready with bridesmaids Peter Van Beever Weddings

Bridesmaid Myths Busted

- You don’t have to have any. At all. Trust us, they’re helpful, but if it’s tricky to select just one or two, and budget is a problem, go for none. Your closest friends will still be on hand to help you with planning and fun organising, just without the hefty price tag.

- You can have a boy. It’s the 21st century - if your best bud is a guy, then have him in your bridal party!

- You can have married ladies, or pregnant ones. Anybody you like! Tradition states that a married member of the bridal party is a ‘matron’ of honour, but we’d rather not a liken our friends to ageing school nurses thank you very much!

- You can organise your own hen-do. Maybe you don’t have any friends who are particularly adept at party-planning, or maybe you just have a really good idea. Do as you please!

- You can tell them what you want them to wear. You really want a specific colour dress? Do it. chances are their complexion doesn’t look as bad as they think with that colour. Just, try not to be all bridezilla about it - approach with caution!

how to choose your bridesmaids