Choosing your bridesmaids could be one of the Top 3 Biggest Decisions of your life, up there with the man you’ll marry and how many children you’ll have. There are so many factors that affect this choice, so don’t rush it – it’s hugely important that you have to right people up there with you on your big day.
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This is obviously the first question that needs to be answered, easy if you’ve got a modest budget, you’re an only child and have one very-bestest-best friend. If this is you, lucky girl, you don’t really need to read on…
If you’ve got sisters, cousins or a big group of female friends and don’t have an endless budget or a venue the size of the O2 Arena, you might have some tricky decisions to make. Firstly, decide how many you can afford. You need to think about the Hen Party, dresses,hair and make-up on the day if you’re getting it all done professionally; all those eyelashes add up. When you’ve got your number of bridesmaids sorted, you’re halfway there.
Length of Time Known
OK, I might have lied when I said you’re halfway there. Maybe it’s more like a few steps on a treacherous bridge wearing stilettos…
The length of time that you’ve known your bridesmaid may or may not be a factor that you’d consider. Personally, I’d choose a friend that I’ve only known for 4 years over someone that I went to primary school with, purely based on the fact that we’re much closer.
‘Length of time known’ can quickly morph into ‘we know too much about each other’,which is closely translated to “We’ve been through everything together” in her Maid of Honour speech. You both know that night-out where you lost your shoes and woke up 50 miles from home will never be spoken of ever again.This may not be the case for you; your oldest friend may pip your University friends to the post with memories of first crushes and giggly sleepovers.
Whoever you choose, they should always be beside you before you’ve even asked them.
Commitment & Helpfulness
This is a huge influence on your decision. If your best friend is a little bit flaky, sometimes forgets your coffee dates and is generally unreliable then maybe she shouldn’t be Maid of Honour or Head Bridesmaid. Just because she’s your best friend doesn’t automatically mean that she should be give the big-girls job with major responsibility over things like rings and party organising.
On the other hand, if you have a super-efficient friend from work, asking them could make your wedding plans smooth, drama-free and could even bring you closer. Having a really helpful person like this can take some of the stress away from choosing wedding supplies such as confetti, table runners and difficult mother-in-law gifts.
Something to also consider when choosing your Head Bridesmaid is whether they can actually commit to helping you to the extent that you need. If she’s really busy at work or doesn’t just live around the corner, you may need to split the role between two of your closest, most reliable girls so they can share the responsibility.
A Word Of Caution
There will always be ‘The Automatics’ – the girls who automatically expect that they’d be your bridesmaid (i.e. your fiancé’s attention-seeking sister who just wants the dress so she can “alter it and wear it again”). Beware of ‘The Automatics’; they’ll creep into your psyche until you can’t say no. Explain to her that you just don’t have the budget (even if you do) to have another bridesmaid and she should understand.
I think pretty much the only factor that matters is: could you do it without her? Would she tell you if you have back cleavage in your dress? Will she be there for you, throughout the process, from engagement to picking you up after your honeymoon and all the dramas that could pop up in-between? If the answer is no, yes and yes (in that order), then she’s the girl you need as your bridesmaid. She’ll make sure you have a brilliant day.
Have you got any good suggestions when it comes to choosing bridesmaids? Share in the comments below.
Bio: Elise Lévêque is a bride-to-be who writes for Wedding and Party Store. She is considering eloping so she doesn’t have to choose between all her wonderful potential bridesmaids!