If you're reading this with your girl gang in mind, there's a pretty big chance your big day is approaching, and you have a long list of family and friends you want to be with you -- at the front, by your side -- when you walk down the aisle with the biggest smile on your face. It's so exciting. Not just because of the wedding day itself, but everything that goes with it: the Hen Do, the planning, the dress shopping, the getting ready on the morning of -- all of it.
Of course, picking your Bride Tribe can also be tricky because, well, you have to choose your favourite girls and that can have a little bit of fallout. Everyone will be happy for you, that goes without saying, but some may feel a pang of sadness that they didn't get picked. So, how do you go about picking your I Do Crew? Well, the good news is this: traditional weddings are giving way to more unique, fun and personal celebrations, meaning you no longer have to have an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. It's all about who you want to have with you on your big day, whether that's your three sisters or your ten favourites from your school days.
Whatever the case, here are some things to consider when making your choices:
Decide How Many Bridesmaids You Want
There's a lot that can sway your final decision here, from the amount of space you have at the altar to the number of guests you're inviting, the size of your families to the cost of hosting each individual at the venue and even the date you decide to get married (hint: the pandemic may mean you're having a gorgeously intimate wedding).
For example, if you intend to have a small wedding with 50 of your nearest and dearest in attendance, it could feel out of place to have ten bridesmaids. You may want to discuss the wedding reception's size with your fiancée and family and the entertainment you would like to hire, such as Funtime Frankies, before deciding because you'll have a better understanding of your budget, the size of your wedding and, consequently, the number of bridesmaids to have.
Being a Bridesmaid Comes with Responsibilities
It's true. It's not just about looking a million bucks, posing for amazing photos, hooking up with that cute groomsman and being a supportive member of the wedding entourage. Being a bridesmaid means helping bring the wedding to life and making the planning process go as smooth as possible. It can mean attending the different wedding preparation meetings, picking suppliers, offering emotional support, helping with the harder decisions and sometimes offering financial support.
For example, the bridal team should help choose the wedding dresses, colours, entertainment, vendors and what signature cocktails to serve. Sometimes they even help book and reserve accommodation, weigh in on the perfect barn venue and go crazy about what sort of honeymoon getaway you should go for. That's why you need to choose a team that will support you physically, mentally and emotionally, and is ready to sacrifice their time to ensure your dream wedding is a huge success.
Choosing the Maid of Honour
Choosing the maid of honour can be super-tricky, especially when you have a bunch of amazing friends. And with it being 2021, you don't even need to pick a girlfriend. You're closest friend may be that boy you've known forever, or a relative, and there's nothing to you can let him be your maid of honour because the role is no longer gender-sensitive. It's also okay to have two maids of honour, which could solve so many problems when you have two BFFs. If you do go down that route, however, just make sure you outline the roles of each person so that you avoid conflicts and nothing critical gets missed out.
As you will come to realise, you cannot make everyone happy. Some friends or relatives will feel left out (even if they are super-happy for you deep down). By understanding this, and loving them for it, you'll find it easier to find them some other role, such as being in charge of the reception area or gifts or showing people to their seats at the church. Explain to them why you think the new role suits them. Maybe they have a friendly personality, which will make the guests feel welcome at the reception, or they have an eye for detail, which is needed when supervising the day's duties.
Also, note that some of the people you will invite to be in your bridal party will decline the offer. Some may not have the financial capability to support you, the confidence needed in a big crowd or the time. Understand their decision and don't let it ruin your friendship.
As you choose your bridesmaids, make sure it consists of people who understand and know you well, from your tastes, preferences, and style. It would help if you had a team that will stick with you long after the wedding.