Congratulations! You are engaged and you have just started a wonderful and exciting journey of preparing for probably the biggest party and event of your life. But you will need some friends with you along the journey for emotional support, positive encouragement and a little bit of practical help too.
It may feel the most obvious to choose your best friend as your Maid of honour. Good bridesmaids candidates could be your sister, a childhood friend and your grooms sister too perhaps. But before asking them the “question”, it is fine to have a month or so after the engagement, let the high of the engagement settle and avoid letting the rush of emotions influence you to make a premature decision.
There are some important factors to consider in order to create the best Team Bride to help you get married and to share the fun with.
Commitment and time
Will they be around this year? Perhaps they have work lined up in a different country/ city. Consider how much you would want them to be around to help you with dress trials, parties and crafting. Take a look at their life situation – if they just got a new job or a baby, joined a course or any other time consuming commitment, they might not be able to help you as much as they otherwise would have.
Feet on the ground
How practically minded are they? This also depends on how practical you want them to be of course. If they are absent minded or easily get stressed but have a great taste, perhaps assign them a more suitable job such as helping you to decide on design aspects of they day, such as managing bridesmaids flower crown and shoes as opposed to keeping track of the RSVP lists.
Your Maid of honour – is she a good leader/ speaker? Is she sensible and mature? Do she stand by your side in all situations? It is traditional that she gives a speech on the day, and she would normally be assigned to keep track of the rings and being “head of” bridesmaids, as well as many other responsibilities. Ensure that she would be comfortable to manage these significant tasks before assigning her to the role.
Wait to see how enthusiastic your close friends really are about weddings – it might not be the way you think. My friend who is a divorcée turned out to be the most involved and interested in my wedding preparations even though I assumed she would not be keen at all – and now she is giving me great advise about what to expect, how not to fret about dresses, and other most useful words of wisdom.
According to ability
What roles do you want them to play? Do you want them to help you choose the dress, venue decor, wedding colours or is it enough that they plan your bridal shower and stand by your side during the ceremony? How will they be useful?
Different strokes for different bridesmaids
Think about peoples skills and personality – do they have the right attributes? Look for qualities such as being caring, attentive, “together”, being a good companion, having a good eye for details, a positive outlook, being a calming influence and so on and so forth.
Take the nature of each candidate into account. If one of them is known to be an opinionated drama-queen who loves being in the centre of attention, or your mate from varsity who can’t hold down a job and seems to have a new boyfriend every month, will possibly not be the most stable support for you, even if you have had lots of fun together and love her as a friend.
Take a honest look at what every candidates energy and ability to be a positive force is like. If they have a tendency to complain, pull out of commitments or cancel your dates, not answer the phone, talk mostly about themselves – rule them out immediately. You want your team to be able to focus on you and fill you with positivity. Reliability and accountability is a must.
Say yes to the best
If they are going to accompany you to your wedding dress appointments – make sure that they would put your interests first, as opposed to their personal opinion. Have you ever seen the show Say Yes To The Dress? Then you know what a nightmare a strongly opinionated entourage can be. Try to find out if they would put you first in this situation by taking them out for a regular shopping trip first.
What do you see you and this friends relationship to be like in 10 or 20 years time? Is she a contact you can count on to be around or is she a brand new or possibly a fleeting friend? Do you honestly see it possible for you to be friends for life? This might not matter right now, but prepare yourself by considering the future.
Keeping it simple is ok
You don’t have to choose more than 2 bridesmaids, just for the sake of it. Quality support is better than quantity. The more members of your squad, the biggest risk for disagreement and confusion – choosing outfits is a classic scenario with potential for difficulty.
With your heart
Maybe you feel fine to deviate from any of the points above,and that is totally up to you. Don’t let anything stand in the way for your personal feeling about who you wan’t to have around during this precious time. Just being aware of who they are and can offer can help to prevent any disappointment further down the line.
Choose women who mean the most to you, that you admire and feel good when you are around. You don’t need to follow conventional traditions when selecting your crew – go with your gut instinct when it comes to your final decision. Select thoughtfully, and be fine which whoever you decide on.
- Choose a bridesmaid just because you know you can ask her certain favours, or use her contact network or other resources to your advantage when planning the wedding. She will probably end up feeling abused and that will not be a good experience for either of you. Mutual respect is very important – be a fair bride just as you expect them to be fair to you.
- Make your decision too quickly. Mull over the options before making your final decision. Use the first month to figure out just how big interest your close friends take in this journey you just embarked on and what role they play in your life.
- Feel obliged to ask somebody just because she asked if she could be your bridesmaid. Be honest and explain that it was a tough decision but you have considered it carefully, or tell her that you want to think about it for a bit first.
- Choose somebody unless they are 100 % fond of your fiancé and are fully supportive of your engagement. Total agreement and encouragement is key.
You hopefully have a clearer picture of who makes the best team to support you in your wedding. After picking out the members, you can enjoy to so much fun and excitement with them. Good luck!
PS. Don’t forget to spoil your girls along the way to show your appreciation!