Remember when the most stressful choice you ever had to make was your Myspace top 8? Well, when it comes to picking your bridal party, get ready to feel like it’s 2007 again, Myspace Tom excluded. Do you pick the girl you’ve known since kindergarten, but you don’t keep in touch often, or your newer friend you see weekly for coffee? However, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Keep these few tips in mind and choosing your bride tribe will be less like The Hunger Games and more like the ending of Bridesmaids.
Be realistic about numbers
Before you go ahead and list every girlfriend you’ve ever had, be realistic about how many bridesmaids you can actually have. Talk to your partner and find out how many groomsmen they are planning to have and decide on a number that makes you both happy. Technically there are no rules, but it’ll be easier on the day (and look better in photos) if you both have the same amount.
Narrow down the obvious choices
Once you’ve settled on a number, it’s time to get serious. Start by making a list of everyone you’d ideally like to include. Next, note the must-haves (if you’ve got sisters, this means them), then look at the remaining names. Of course it would be nice to have everyone, but if you have a long engagement ahead of you, it’s wise not to get carried away.
Sisters are particularly good for managing your expectations and calling you out on Bridezilla BS. If you don’t have sisters, think about your chosen family. Your best friend and ride or dies are obvious choices, but if you’re still close with university or school friends, choose carefully, You can’t have everyone standing with you on the big day.
Decide on what matters to you
We all love our gals for different reasons but when it comes to choosing your bride tribe, the best bridesmaids are your girls who are responsible, good at providing emotional support and even better at throwing parties (hello hens party masterminds). You’re going to be relying prettily heavily on your bridesmaids for some major wedding planning tasks and to keep you mellow, because there just might be a few pre-wedding meltdowns. Apart from that, make sure you consider your most selfless friends. The last thing any bride needs is a spotlight hog who seems to think the wedding is her big day too. Think to yourself, who will help with the nitty gritty seating chart details and who would be excited whatever dress you choose regardless of their own personal style (TIP: You can’t got wrong with these dresses).
Feel free to break tradition
Is your BFF a guy? There’s no need to leave him out of the fun. Grab your man of honour and tell him to suit up. There are really no hard and fast rules, so if your OG just so happens to be more of a bridesmate than a bridesmaid, all that matters is your fave friends are there for you, regardless of gender.
Don’t ask anyone out of obligation
Sure your Mum will probably insist you ask your sisters and maybe you have one persistent Aunt who demands her daughters get to be involved, but at the end of the day, it’s your wedding.
Just because you were a bridesmaid for somebody a few years ago, that doesn’t mean your wedding is time to return the favour, especially if you aren’t as close as you once were. To spare some feelings, explain (politely) to anyone who might be put out by choices that you’ve decided to limit your bridal party to the people closest to you now instead of five years ago.
Enlist help outside of the bride tribe
Not everyone can be a bridesmaid but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a role in your wedding. For instance, if you have a pretty large group of gals and you can’t include them all, stick with family or one close friend for the bride tribe and ask the rest to be involved in another way.
If you have one particular friend who can hold a note, ask them to sing something special at the wedding. Or maybe you have on friend who is a fantastic wordsmith and wouldn’t mind writing something to read at the reception. Whatever you do, don’t give out random roles just to make people feel included. Chances are Betty from high school will just feel annoyed by having to arrive early just to show your great Aunt Katherine to her seat.
Sleep on it
Once you think you’ve got your final list, sit on it for a couple of days to be doubly sure before you take your turn at popping the question. There’s no need to rush into choosing your bridesmaids unless your wedding is in the next two weeks (and if that’s the case, may we suggest this article).