How to pick your bridesmaids? Well, they need to be a group of women who are nearest and dearest to your heart. Your bridesmaid team needs to be special because bridesmaids are an important part of your ceremony.
Whilst you may want to pick your best friend to be your chief maid of honor, this is not always such a good idea. Your maid of honor needs to be efficient, cool under pressure and organised. If your best friend is fun, creative and disorganised and muddled, then you'd best think again and ask somebody else. (And in fact, your best friend might be relieved not to be asked anyway.)
At the same time, your bridesmaids need to understand that it is ultimately your day and they need to respect your wishes. A calm, cool, and collected planning process will ensure that these women will have your back long after you say "I do." Follow these simple pieces of advice to not only keep your bridesmaids smiling, but to keep yourself completely sane the whole way through.
1. Make sure everyone is well acquainted
It's fairly uncommon for everyone in your bridal party to know each other like you know each of them. Take the necessary time to get the group together and have some girl time to get everyone well acquainted. Once everyone gets comfortable, you will feel as if you have one tight-knit team that communicates effectively as opposed to an unreliable disjointed bunch. You never know, the run-up to your wedding day might spark off some new, long-lasting friendships.
2. Ask them in a special way
Right from the beginning it's important to make your bridal party feel like VIP guests. The best way to make them feel recognized is to find a creative way to ask them to be your bridesmaids. Try something like sending each of them a little handmade gift in the mail that ties to your overall wedding theme. Once your man pops the question to you, it's time to get crafty with popping the question to your right-hand ladies. This really isn't the time to text or e mail your girls with a message. Instead ask them in person or write a handwritten letter or card. It's an important occasion and you need to give it the drama it deserves!
3. Ask them what they want to wear
A bride's most common mistake is not asking her bridesmaids what they would like to wear. It's helpful to get everyone's input in order to decide what will best suite both your vision and your bridesmaids' opinions. Be open-minded to maybe choosing one color and letting them pick a style to fit their specific body types. Instead of having everyone match perfectly, you should be more concerned about having cheerful, confident women by your side in your wedding photos. Be thoughtful about this - a girl who's self-conscious about her legs won't want to wear a short skirt and a girl who is voluptuous might not feel happy about wearing a strapless gown. So talk to them about what they feel comfortable in and take it from there.
4. Let them know what you expect
Some women are bridesmaids many times in their lives, and some just once. Don't assume that everyone automatically knows how to be the perfect bridesmaid. Be up front with your ladies about when and where you will need their help within the many steps of planning your wedding. It's a good idea to learn to delegate and give each bridesmaid a separate task that plays to their skills and strengths. Keep communicating - your girls won't be mindreaders and they need to know what you want and what you're after.
5. Delegate certain tasks to the maid of honor
Your maid of honor should be the first one to assist you with everything you need. She's your confidante who you can truly count on. Let her show you her worth by taking on some tasks that you feel she would be good at. If she's super-friendly, then let her be the key contact to communicate with the rest of the group. If she's the creative type, then let her handle packaging all of the favors. While the urge to resist handing over some of the reins will be there, you will feel a immediate relief when you don't have as much on your plate.
6. Realize the world exists outside of your wedding
Your bridesmaid should realize it is definitely an honor to be a part of your special day, but that also doesn't mean their whole world needs to be turned upside down. Acknowledge that they have other responsibilities that they have to tend to when planning things like dress fittings or catering appointments. If she's a friend you can trust, then she'll make every effort to be there for those important decisions. Don't turn into that dreaded thing, a bridezilla!
7. Avoid having arguments
It's almost inevitable that you'll hit at least a few rough points over the course of your engagement. However, the good news is that your bridesmaids already know there might be a few meltdowns, so they are well prepared. Don't worry if there are a few moments when your stress levels sky rocket, it's all part of the process. However, try to keep yourself in check. Is a battle with your bridesmaids really worth the fight? Try and talk things through beforehand so that they don't become cause for a row.
8. Say and show how grateful you are
Saying thank-you is by far the most important thing to remember to do. On your big day, these women will be going above and beyond to keep you happy. Take note of the little things they have done for you along the way and remember to let them know how much it mattered to you. Gifting your bridesmaids with small matching tokens or even just handwritten cards will remind them of your gratitude for years to come.
They're going to play a big part in your big day, so respect that.
Photos by Jen Huang Photography, Abby Jiu, Black Hue Photography, Ivey Pictures, Brandy Angel Photography, Maria Harte Photography, and Ryan Nicole Photography