Choosing your bridesmaids

Things to consider when choosing your bridesmaids

The history of the bridesmaid varies across cultures, religions and time periods. In early Roman times, bridesmaids formed a kind of bridal troop (I love that term!), who marched alongside to accompany the bride to the groom’s village. This ‘protective shield’ of similarly outfitted bridesmaids was supposed to intervene if any wayward thugs or vengeful suitors tried to hurt the bride or steal her dowry (ref wedding ideas magazine).

Choosing your maids can be a tricky decision, who will you have by your side through the thick and thin of planning the wedding? Who can you trust for honest opinions on things, who will be there for you as a calming influence and not judge you during bridezilla moments (lets face it everyone has them at least once), who will hold your dress up and prim you to perfection before photographs, who will deal with any mini dramas that may occur on the day, who will dance to every single song if necessary to encourage that dance floor to stay full and most importantly who are true friends that you would want to share such a special time in you life with, who will be your bridesmaids?

Here are some things to consider before choosing yours…

  • A bridesmaid does not have to be a woman, if your best friend is a man there is no reason why he can not make up part of the bridal party, your man of honour perhaps! The most important thing is that you include those you want to, whatever their gender.
  • More is not necessarily merrier. Think carefully about this before you jump in to ask away. Not only does each additional maid come with a potential price tag (dress, bouquet etc), but too many maids= too many opinions to consider when it comes to things such as dress selection and hen do planning.
  • Take your time. Once you have asked someone to be your bridesmaid it is extremely difficult to un-ask them if you have changed your mind. Let the excitement of being engaged mellow slightly before selecting.
  • Set realistic expectations. Think about how involved you want your maids to be in the planning. Do you want them to attend dress shopping with you, arrange your hen do, help make decorations and attend pre-wedding shindigs? If so it is worth considering who will actually be available to do this? Those who live far away, have very busy lifestyles or perhaps have just had a newborn may not be able to commit to this. This may cause frustrations later down the line and they will feel bad about not being able to help.
  • Don’t feel you are under obligation to ask someone just because they asked you. Friendships and relationships change over time and you may not be as close to the person you were bridesmaid for 3 years ago.
  • Don’t feel like you have to follow tradition. Traditionally, it is the brides sister, if she has one that is closest in age to her as the maid on honor. However we are far from tradition in this day and age, so feel free to choose whoever you want to. Of course you do not want to put anyone’s nose out of joint but sometimes it just can’t be helped. The decision on who will be your bridesmaids can be really difficult and at the end of the day it is just not always feasible to include everyone you would like to in the bridal party. Which generally people will understand but my tip would be to acknowledge the fact they are not included and speak to them about it directly and explain, rather than glazing over it. Perhaps try and involve them in some other way, ask them to do a reading for example.

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Good luck in picking your own troop!

Written by Jenny Granlund of Jenny Wren Wedding & Event Planning. Photography credits in order: Kirsten Prisk Photography, Stewart Girvan Photography, Taylor & Porter Photography, Sarah Lauren Photography, Mckinley & Rogers Photography.

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