How to Choose Your Bridesmaids

Choosing your bridesmaids can sometimes be a stress all its own. It's important to choose people who support you fully and that you know will make planning your wedding easier and more fun. You have waited long enough to marry the person of you dreams. Make sure your tribe is a part of the community that keeps you together.

Choosing your bridesmaids is an emotional task. Some loved ones may expect you to ask them, but you shouldn't feel pressured to choose anyone you don't feel would be best suited to it. Being a bridesmaid is an honor, but above all it is a great responsibility. Choose them wisely.

Bridesmaids in Sage Green Dresses

Photo: Madison Perry Photography

Here are a few tips and strategies to help you choose your bridesmaids.

1. Only Ask Those Closest to You

There is no greater joy than to have your favorite people at your side on your best day ever. You can ask your siblings and other close family or you can ask you closest friends. Whatever you do just be sure to only ask those who you can count on. Ask those who you know can be selfless in their responsibility and will be able to place you and your needs and your desires above their own.

2. Be Clear About Your Expectations from the Start

Think about how you would like for your bridesmaids to serve you. Will you expect them to attend any events such as fittings or luncheons? Will you require them to wear a certain hairstyle or makeup? How much is the dress you want them to wear? As much as you might want someone or as much as that person might want to serve as your bridesmaid, there might be a financial issue or a lack of time on their hands preventing them from being able to serve at their best. It's better to meet your loved ones where they are in this case. Don't force more on them than they can handle. There are plenty of other ways to have your loved ones near during your wedding. Not everyone can serve as a bridesmaid.

3. Choose Time Masters

If you choose a person who is always late to everything, chances are they will be late for your wedding as well. Be mindful of this. You want to choose loved ones who you can trust to be on time and to take the initiative on your behalf. Also, try to avoid asking those who you know already have a full plate and a busy life. For example, if you have a sister currently studying for her PhD, chances are she may feel overwhelmed as a bridesmaid, but at the same time she may also feel guilty for declining to be a bridesmaid. This sort of pressure can be hard on both the friendship and eventually the wedding planning experience. It might be best not to ask at all and to, instead, give these loved ones another, much smaller, role in your wedding so that they will still feel involved but with a lot less pressure.

4. Be Mindful of Other's Finances

Being a bridesmaid isn't just time consuming. It can also be a hefty financial responsibility as well. Bridesmaid dresses can cost anywhere from $150 to $350, but this isn't the only expense to consider. Bridesmaids are also expected to pay for their own shoes and accessories as well as their own hairstyling and makeup. Furthermore, they are expected to assist in the cost of pre-wedding parties, their own travel and accommodations. The average cost of being a bridesmaid is $1200-$1800. Try to refrain from asking friends and family that you know will have a hard time affording the cost. Be sure to research the stores that have the stock of your choice and try to ease the budget as much as possible. Provide reasonable timeframes to allow your bridesmaids to plan their finances beforehand.

5. Consider the Size of Your Wedding Party

One thing has proven absolutely true throughout the entirety of my time as a wedding planner in Charleston. The larger your wedding party is, the more stress you are likely to feel from wedding party related tasks. A larger party will require more of your time as well as more of your wedding budget. Smaller groups are much easier to handle across the board. Your wedding vendors will also benefit from you choosing a smaller party. On wedding day, your photographer will have an easier time with organizing a smaller wedding party for photos and your coordinator will make better time with keeping a smaller party to together.

6. Bring Everyone Together

Once you have chosen the perfect tribe, don't let them go on as strangers. Host an introductory luncheon or a coffee to introduce everyone. Make sure there are good vibes between everyone. This will help to bring your bridal party closer and prevent awkward moments between them. It's always better to have a harmonious group that gets along and has a good time together. Schedule some time for an ice-breaking event in a relaxed place where each party will be eager to meet, get to know each other, and purpose themselves towards moving forward with the wedding plans as a team. A team of friends will make the most perfect support system for you on your big day.

Finally, remain calm. Don't allow stress to overtake your emotions. It will only draw you away from the main reason for your wedding, which is to join and become one with the love of your life forever. Your bridesmaids' primary goal must be to help you make this new journey a less stressful and more enjoyable one.