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Choosing Your Bridesmaids & Setting Expectations

Hi Brides! Let’s talk about how to choose your bridesmaids and setting their expectations.

Thoughtfully choosing your bridesmaids is really important! These are the women that are going to help you plan your wedding, be there getting ready with you, and be standing next to you on your wedding day. These women will be in images that will be in your home for the rest of your life.

Some people instantly know who they want to be their bridesmaids but other times it takes some thinking. That might be because you have SO many amazing friends but can only choose a few to stand by your side. Maybe you have sisters that you want to include as well. Maybe your partner knows how many groomsmen he wants and you want your numbers to match up. I have heard so many times that brides don’t feel like they have very many or any close female friends. Trust me, you’re not alone. The most important part is choosing people that make you happy!

I personally chose my bridesmaids (my MOH – sister – and long-time friend as a bridesmaid) because I knew these women would always be in my life. I don’t have many strong female friendships and was very particular about making sure that whoever I chose was always going to be an important part of my life forever. For me, having even numbers wasn’t important.

I think it’s hard to remember that every bridesmaid/bride relationship is different. Some brides require a lot from their bridesmaids – help with creating decorations, finding their dress, planning a bridal shower, planning a bachelorette party, buying a certain dress, having matching shoes, asking for specific hair and makeup, etc. Some other brides are the opposite: stand by my side and have fun. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way of going about it as long as you appreciate the help that you do get.

There is a spoken and unspoken responsibility of being a bridesmaid. No matter what you want from your bridesmaids, you should let them know before they agree to be your bridesmaid. It’s helpful to give them an idea of how much it’s going to cost them to be a part of your wedding because some people might not be able to afford to be a part of your special day and will just have to attend as a guest.

Some things to think about:

  1. Will you be requiring them to wear a specific dress? Or can they just be in the same/similar colors? What’s your/their budget for dresses?
  2. Do you want them all to have matching or new shoes or can they wear whatever shoes they’d like?
  3. Do they need to have their hair and makeup done professionally?
  4. Do they need to wear specific jewellery?
  5. Do they need to have their nails professionally done?
  6. How will all of you get to the wedding? The larger numbers of bridesmaids the more seats you’ll need (that shouldn’t necessarily be a deciding factor but it’s good to think about).
  7. Who will be paying for the above items? What do you expect them to pay for and what (if anything) will you offer to pay for?
  8. Will they need to help you set up or clean up on the day of the wedding?
  9. Will they need to help make favours or decorations?
  10. What other preparations do you expect them to help with?

Hey bridesmaids (and brides)! Look out for another post directed towards bridesmaids about how they can help the bride, what to expect, and general bridesmaid etiquette.

I hope you’ve found this helpful! What other tips and tricks do you have for people who are deciding on their bridesmaids?

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Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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