Who, what, where, when &... why? Are you a bit stuck on where to start with bridesmaids?
Well, have no fear! I am going to talk all things BRIDESMAIDS including... how to choose your bridesmaids, what bridesmaids actually do, gifting for your bridal party, their attire and maybe a few horror stories just so you stay well clear!
So let's dive straight in...
"Don't feel pressured into choosing someone because you feel like you have to"
How to Choose Your Bridal Party
This is a hot topic and I have done a whole blog just dedicated to this so you can read that by clicking here, but there are a few things you need to remember when choosing the right people as there have been some horror stories in my bride academy facebook group!
So when your thinking about who should be your bridesmaid, ask yourself these questions
- Do I have a good relationship with them?
- Do you think they will support you throughout the wedding planning process?
- Will they dive in with the DIY projects?
- Will they be a shoulder to cry on when it all gets a little too much? And it will, but that's okay it's natural!
- Are they going to help plan your hen do? If you want one.
- Have they got your back on the wedding day? Will they make sure you're having the best day and that you have everything you need? Because it's about you and not them!
You'll need to consider how many bridesmaids you can have as this will relate to your budget. The more bridesmaids you have means more bouquets, more dresses, more hair and makeup, more gifts, more shoes... you get my drift.
Then consider your relationship to them, I know I've said that already but please don't think you have to ask someone to be your bridesmaids just because you were theirs. Even if this was a long time ago... remember people change and relationships change. You might have closer friends or a different circle of friends or you might just think they'd suck at being a bridesmaid, there I said it! So don't feel pressured into choosing someone because you feel like you have to. Don't feel pressured to have a family member or sister in law as a bridesmaid if you don't want to.
What a Bridesmaid Actually Does
So let's move on to what a bridesmaid actually does, we've kind of covered it above when deciding who to choose as our bridesmaids, someone that will support you, help with the DIY's and plan your hen do.
But a bridesmaid on the actual wedding day is somebody who will be getting ready with you in the morning, supporting you emotional during that time and keeping the mood fun and relaxed, it's the time you want to spend with your favourite people around you, on the best and most exciting day of your life.
Then their roles during the day, are mainly there for support, but they'll also walk down the aisle with you and then they'll help with taking your bouquet and your handbag during the ceremony and making sure the ushers are doing what they need to be doing. But their main role is just supporting you and make sure you're okay!
I have a facebook group with currently over 18,000 brides in and I don't know them all personal as thats a lot of people, but recently there was a post from one bride about what to do because, they had chosen a bridesmaid who they now weren't really friends with and it was a really awkward situation where they had fallen out.
So she was asking for advise on how to un-ask them to be her bridesmaids as she had a better more supportive new bestie that she preferred to be her bridesmaid. The original bridesmaid was being nasty about her wedding and every time she spoke about it would just dismiss it and not be interested! I mean you definitely do not want a bridesmaid like that!
You do not want to be in the same situation as this bride, so choose wisely! But if you do find yourself stuck in that situation then I feel honesty is the best policy in this situation even if it does burn that friendship bridge.
Dress & Attire
This is always the fun bit! I love seeing what the bridesmaids are wearing at weddings and I feel a new trend is coming in, that I absolutely love, where the bridesmaids wear different dresses possibly in the same colour or shade so that it fits with the wedding theme.
I'm seeing less of brides choosing the dresses for their bridesmaids which, I personally agree with, as it's difficult to find a dress that suits all shapes and sizes, plus your dressing someone else and they might not typically like to wear that style or feel comfortable in it (and trust me I've been there!). You want your bridesmaids to feel confident and special on their best friends wedding day.
Shoes, most brides these days ask their bridesmaids to find or wear their own shoes in a certain colour whether thats nude or gold for example, then your bridesmaids again feel comfortable with what they're wearing, they can choose the heel height that works for them.
Then there's hair and makeup, are you providing a stylist to do all your bridesmaids hair and makeup? You don't have to by the way, it's not obligatory. You could just have a stylist come in to do their hair and they do their own make up or vice versa, you could have a stylist just do yours and they do their own hair and makeup. Alternatively if they don't feel comfortable or confident enough doing their own they could pay for their own professional to come in and do it for them.
So you might be thinking 'how or what do I gift them?' or 'do I have to give them a gift?'. Firstly no, you don't have to give them a gift if you don't want to or budget doesn't allow but it is a nice gesture to say thank you for being part of my wedding day. It doesn't have to be a big gift, it could be something really small, I personally feel the best gift for bridesmaids in jewellery because they can wear that on the wedding day and keep it as a memory of the day but also be able to wear it again especially if it's a classic design or shape.
So there we have it, the main areas that are associated to bridesmaids, I hope that's helped with how to choose them and what their roles are.
Photos by 1 & 3. Sophie Duckworth Photography, 2. Ross Hurley Photography, 4 & 5. Mindy Coe Photography