How To Choose Your Bridesmaids. Is it your close friends? Your family? Your girlfriends? Highschool friends? University friends? Co-worker friends?
- What do you want?
- What’s their vibe?
- Willingness Meter
- What memories do you want to make?
- Don’t force it
Usually, the “lead up” to the engagement meant that your partner has already asked for help from your closest friends and asked for your immediate family for blessing before the engagement happens.
Most likely, since those closest to you and your partner were somewhat part of the engagement, they might have already “assumed” that they will be part of the bridal party.
It can get tricky picking your bridesmaids, not because you have limited choices, but usually because you have many options.
Your bridal party and bridesmaids are the people that will surround you the most as you go on your wedding planning journey. This is why it’s not just who are you closest to or who has known you the longest.
It’s also about building a team. Choosing to surround yourself with people who not only support you but more importantly, will make you feel safe, heard, and seen.
Remember that your bridesmaids will not just spend time with you, but also with your partner and families from both sides. Choosing them wisely will contribute a lot to the quality and enjoyment of the wedding planning process.
How To Choose Your Bridesmaids
1. What do you want?
I know we sound like Ryan Gosling asking Rachel McAdams “What do you want?” (see the meme below for reference!) from The Notebook.
Here’s why. Knowing your non-negotiables will help you pick the “right” bridesmaids.
Because you may want a low-key bridal party, but some of your closest friends are known to party hard. You might like certain styles of dresses for the bridal party, but some of your girls want a totally different aesthetic.
What do you expect from your bridesmaids? For them to pay for their own bridesmaid stuff? Do you want them to always hang out with you while you make wedding decisions? Do you want them to tag along with all your appointments?
Knowing what it is that you want will help you round up the people that you want to be in your bridal party.
Assembling the appropriate group of people with the right attitude, vibe, as well as availability is important.
This will help you make fair and quicker decisions and move along smoothly through the whole wedding planning.
Another thing we wanted to point out is knowing what their “experience” is in terms of being a part of a wedding is a big factor as well.
If someone has not been part of a wedding before, they might not know what steps or what level of involvement looks like.
In this case, you can create a list of your expectations or “asks” that your bridesmaids can go over and review so they also understand what they are getting into.
Gauging who are the people in your life that can and is willing to offer what you want is also a great way to start on how to choose your bridesmaids.
SIDE NOTE: For other friends with that you still want to be “involved” and ensure that they don’t feel “left out”, you can ask them for some favors and tasks here and there so that they can still feel that they were “involved” one tiny way or another.
2. What’s their vibe?
When wondering how to choose your bridesmaids, this is probably one of the factors you won’t want to miss.
Negative Nancies, Debbie Downers, and Judgy Angies are obviously not your top 3 choices.
However, we understand that some of our closest friends and families have one or two qualities that we are not a big fan of – usually because they are negative, judgy, and they kill the vibe.
Choosing to fill your bridal party with supportive, empathetic, and “open-minded” people is essential.
People that can handle arguments and multiple differences gracefully. People that also understand how peace is important more than being right.
More importantly, people who understand that there is a line between their suggestions and your decision as the one who’s getting married.
Are they reliable and responsible? If you set an appointment or assign a task, are they able to show up on time and prepared?
People have different personalities. Consider this when you are trying to bring them together to avoid any unnecessary disagreements.
3. Willingness Meter (super important when figuring out how to choose your bridesmaids!)
Because the last thing you want is to drag someone into your wedding planning who really doesn’t even feel like being there, to begin with.
Wedding planning has a lot of moving parts and decisions, and having a “go-to” group (which is your bridal party) to share your insights or thoughts with will help you a lot.
If they are showing “uninterested” vibes in this exciting and stressful phase in your life, they really have no place in your bridal party.
It also should be mentioned that being a bridesmaid does require quite an investment. The willingness of your “chosen” people to pitch in and contribute to some expenses is also a factor.
SIDE NOTE: Be also okay when some of your bridesmaids say they are not able to make it or contribute to specific things like bachelorette (especially traveling) parties, bridal shower/s, and other wedding-related events.
4. What memories do you want to make?
Will the chosen bridal party be able to help you make the memory you want to have? This goes together with the willingness meter.
If you are looking to have a fun and engaging wedding reception, will your bridal party help you make that happen?
Are they going to create situations to help you get what you want? Maybe you need someone to catch you when you’re about to get stressed and help you get back down to baseline.
Perhaps a group that can hype up the crowd and solves things behind the scenes. Just showing support overall.
Passive-aggressiveness and annoying behaviors are to be avoided during your wedding planning journey, especially on your wedding day.
Do you want to feel confident and positive about the decisions that you’re making or have already made? Then avoid having people that will make you question and criticize your decisions.
You can create the memories you want with the help of the right group of people. You deserve the best, it’s your wedding.
5. Don’t force it
There might be existing relationships that you feel like they perhaps “need” to be part of your bridal party.
Understand what you can tolerate and navigate versus just a lost cause because some people won’t just adjust or adapt to the group dynamics.
It can be tricky to not “include” some people that have already “assumed” that they will be part of your bridal party.
However, remember that during your wedding planning and on the wedding day itself, there is such a close, we would say so much so as almost enmesh involvement of your bridal party.
They can also be exposed to some sensitive information – whether it be family disagreements or personal relationship issues during the whole journey- which is why you must have someone that you can trust.
Someone that won’t turn around one day and expose sensitive information, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally.
Understand as well that some people will feel hurt for being “passed on” – we’re talking about the ones that you didn’t consider to be part of your wedding.
Like what we always say there, preparing lines and templated responses is important so you can “gently” respond to questions like “how come I wasn’t included in your bridal party?”
Responses like: “I honestly wish I can include everyone and ask them to be part of the bridal party, and that includes you, but as you know as well, internal and personal dynamics and reasons are much more complicated than it looks…”
You can then also include them in other aspects or roles or tasks at your wedding. This way they won’t feel like their opinion and presence don’t matter.
We’ve seen some newlyweds-to-be who let go of the bridal party altogether. They still had their closest friends involved in some of the wedding tasks but there were no labels made like “maid of honor” and “bridesmaids.”
SIDE NOTE: If you are choosing bridesmaids due to family relationships and traditions only (the “have to” ones!), know that it is what it is only.
This means you might not get the support that you want and expect from them. In addition, setting up appropriate boundaries, should this be your situation, is essential to keeping you sane and happy.
Do what feels right to you lovely. Follow your heart and your gut. Trust yourself and put up boundaries.
There you are lovelies! How To Choose Your Bridesmaids!