Updated: Mar 30, 2019
Planning your wedding can be a very stressful time, but having the right people by your side can really help to lighten the load and make planning a lot more fun. Choosing your bridal party might come easily to some. While some may have had their bridal party picked out their whole life, for others not all of their friends may get along. Sure they only have to get along for one day at a time, but some personalities just don't mesh and that can add a lot of stress on you, the bride. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are choosing your bridesmaids.
Reason's They Should Be A Bridesmaid
You've Been Friends a Long Time.
When you're planning a wedding, family dynamics really come into play. Whether they are helping to pay for the wedding or not, they are still a big part of your special day. Having a friend that you've known a long time and that knows your family well can really help with those family dynamics. If there is any family tension throughout planning, a bridesmaid who knows and respects these family dynamics can be a real asset.
They GET You.
Having a bridesmaid who knows you well or better then you know yourself is a blessing. A friend who knows you and knows and understands your needs, feelings and emotions in the month's leading up to a wedding is a real asset to your bridal party. A bridesmaid like this seems to know what you need before you need it and is always one step ahead, this can be really calming on the nerves during a stressful time.
They're An Amazing & True Friend
Most importantly, you should be really good friends and close to whoever you choose as a bridesmaid. “Select bridesmaids who support you and your life decisions, be someone who you can rely on whenever you need a favor, make you laugh, be a shoulder to cry on and should understand you from a deeper perspective than those who know you as an acquaintance,” says Jenny Orsini of Jenny Orsini Events in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. The quality of friends you have standing up with you is more important then the quantity.
They Understand It's Not Their Day.
As a bridesmaid you have a lot of tasks to do for someone else. This can be frustrating at times, asking someone to be in your bridal party is asking someone to designate some of their time, energy and money to you and your big day. When you ask a friend to be in your bridal party it is because you want them by your side and you want their support. If you have a friend who is easily upset when the spotlight isn't on them or is swept up easily by their own drama, they may not be the best fit for your bridal party. Having a friend who is supportive and willing to do anything to make the day flow smoothly for you, really relieves some of that planning stress and pressure.
They Love Your Fiancé.
If your bridesmaids don't like your fiancé it can be a red flag and can cause some friction. The best bridesmaids, know and love the brides fiancé and have developed their own relationship with them. Wedding planning is stressful and there will be the occasional quarrel between the happy couple. Having bridesmaids that understand and respect your relationship with your fiancé is crucial and can really help you through these little rough patches.
Reason's They Shouldn't Be A Bridesmaid
You Can't Count on Them.
If your friend is unreliable they may not make the best bridesmaid. They may be lots of fun to hang out with and you may have been friends a long time, but if they're a bit unpredictable, can you count on them? Planning a wedding can be really stressful and more stress is added when people don't show up or cancel last minute. When you choose your bridesmaids you need to know that they can be present and punctual. You need your bridesmaids to be present and on time for all wedding related events. The bride can be late to her own wedding, but the bridesmaids need to be right on time. “An unreliable, bad bridesmaid will only cause you anxiety and put stress on your relationship,” says Lindsey Nickel of Lovely Day Events in Napa, California.
Friend of a Friend.
You may see this person often and get along. For example they are dating someone in your life or your fiance's life, perhaps you hang out with the same crowd. However, if you don't socialize with them in your personal life and wouldn't grab a cup of coffee with this person one on one, they may not be the best suite for your bridal party. Your bridesmaid should know your last name and "just get you."
If you and your friend have a "fraught relationship," and go back and forth from being best friends to each others nemesis, they may not be the best candidate for your bridal party. You need to know that it is your "Friend," by your side on the big day and not your, "Enemy." Keep in mind that you will have to have a delicate conversation with this friend. It is an honour to be invited after all.
They Don't Play Well With Others.
Some personalities just don't mesh well together. If you have two friends who just can't seem to get along, it may be tough for them to do bridesmaid tasks together. While they do only have to get along for one day at a time. Planning your bridal shower, bachelorette party and any other events leading up to the wedding may be hard when they just don't get along. This can cause unnecessary friction among all the bridesmaids and can be extra stress for you. It is up to you to decide how you want to handle it.
They Can't Make It.
If a close friend or family member is unsure that they will be able to attend the big day or events leading up to the wedding, they may not be the best choice. If they can't make it to your shower, bachelorette party or the rehearsal, but can make it to the wedding, then ultimately it is your call. You need to decide if you are okay with only having them present at the wedding and not throughout the process. It is up to you if you want to give them the title of, "Bridesmaid," or if you want them there as a guest. If they can't make the wedding, then what's the point of having them as a bridesmaid? You're bridesmaids, should be reliable and by your side on the big day. If they can make the events leading up to the wedding, you can still invite them. Include them in your shower and bachelorette party, but as a guest rather then a bridesmaid.
Your Not Excited, But Are You Obligated?
First and foremost you should never feel obligated to choose someone to be your bridesmaid, you should feel excited to ask them. If you feel pressure to choose a family member or friend, it can be an indication that they shouldn't be part of your bridal party. If your gut is telling you that they shouldn't be a bridesmaid, don't ignore that. If the person has other things going on in their life and are easily distracted right now, they may not be the best candidate. It doesn't mean that you don't have a good relationship with this person, it just means that you may feel more comfortable inviting them as a guest. You need to be surrounded by supportive people who understand your needs and lift you up on your wedding day.
To Top It Off.
At the end of the day when you choose your bridesmaids, if you choose quality friends that understand you and are supportive and reliable, you can't go wrong. You may end up with a smaller bridal party in the end, but as long as they have your back and you trust them, things should run smoothly. Now that you're starting to get a good idea of who to ask and how to narrow it down, be sure to check out, "Will You Be In My Bridal Party?" for ideas on how to ask your bridal party.