It’s time to choose your bridesmaids! Easy right? Hmm not so much. For some people, the choice is obvious and it’s an easy decision. For others, there are many factors to consider and it’s an overwhelming task. We’re here to break it down for you and give you some practical things to consider.

First off, take your time. And by this, we obviously don’t mean that you should wait till the last minute. You need to give your girls time to plan! But you shouldn’t be under any pressure to pick your all-star team in a rush. If somebody asks, just say you’re reviewing your budget before you make any decisions.

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Here are a few key elements that will factor into your decision-making when you choose your bridesmaids…

Budget

If you plan to pay for your bridesmaids’ dresses, hair and makeup, then you should keep your budget in mind. It’s not the main consideration but it is worth keeping in mind. The more bridesmaids you have, the more you will be paying. Don’t forget to consider dress alterations, thank you gifts, robes or hangers and bouquets.

 

Friends vs Family

Assuming you get on well with your family, consider asking your sisters or cousins to be in your bridal party. But what if you aren’t close with your family? It’s totally acceptable to go the friends-only route! If you’re asking one sister, it’s probably best to ask the others too (after all, they’ll be in your life forever). Equally, if you are close with your future sister-in-law, or another family member on either side, ask them too! But never feel like you have to do so out of obligation. You know your family dynamics better than I do, so weigh up all the options before making your decision.

 

Length of Friendship

This isn’t a perfect indicator, but generally, you want to prioritise longer friendships over newer ones when you choose your bridesmaids. Friendships come in seasons (think of who you were super close with when you finished school, compared to your close friendship group now). It’s worth considering who you picture in your life in years to come! When you look back on your wedding photos, you don’t want to have regrets.

 

Politics

Obligation should never be a motivating factor, but sometimes there are situations that can be tricky to navigate. Consider who’s asked you to be a bridesmaid. If you are no longer in touch, she probably isn’t expecting reciprocity. When it comes to family drama, you need to think about whether the consequences of not asking someone outweigh having them as a bridesmaid.

 

Practicality

Consider what you’re asking your bridesmaids to do and who will be able to say yes to the task. This will vary from one bride to the next, but here are some things to think about: Do you need your girls to travel for your wedding or hen do? Would you like them to come along to all your dress fittings? Or do you simply want them to be excited to attend your wedding and be there for you on the day? Think about your expectations and then match those up with your friends’ logistical aspects, like location and lifestyle. We’re not saying you should exclude your friend with other financial priorities or the one who’s pregnant or with small children. Just consider that they may not be able to be as invested as some of your other friends.

 

Alternatives

Be prepared to throw tradition out the window! You don’t want any bridesmaids? Then don’t have them! You’d like to have two Maids of Honour, then go for it (I did!). Maybe you’ve got a close guy friend or brother who you’d like to be on your wedding party? Invite him! Or maybe you’d rather have flower girls instead of bridesmaids. Follow your heart and do what makes sense to you!

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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