We’ve all seen it: the moment of anticipation in a movie or sitcom when the main characters ask their friends to be in their bridal party. (I’m looking at you, ‘Friends’). When you announce your engagement, you may already be sure who you will ask to stand beside you. Or not. Perhaps you know exactly what role you want them to play in the planning process. Or not. And you’ve totally got a plan to ask them. Or not. We can help with that….
Our general rule of thumb: only include people in your bridal party you can count on. Only your very nearest + dearest. Only the people who if they weren’t standing up with you, you would be heartbroken. No one says you have to invite all your sorority sisters, all your cousins, all your best childhood friends. Don’t feel like you have to have sometime as your bridesmaid simply because you were one of theirs – everyone’s family and personal relationships are different. These people are going to play an integral role up to and on the wedding day. Can you count on them to help? Will they cause more drama than they help control? If you are honest with yourself, you already know the answer to these questions about the people you are considering asking. Their behavior is not going to change because this day is so important to you, often they don’t know how.
Yes, some people’s feeling might be hurt if they are not included. One of the easiest ways to counteract this is to tell them personally + privately why. Often they are hurt because they found out some other way, were present when others were asked and they weren’t, or were blindsided. You know the people in your life that will be upset – head this off at the pass and make life easier for yourself.
Meet with your crew early on and get clear on the expectations. Being in a bridal party is often pretty costly. If you’re expecting your MOH to plan + execute a dazzling bachelorette in Vegas that everyone in the bridal party pays for, perhaps this is something you should discuss beforehand. Consider the fact that if you have a destination wedding that involves a plane ticket, a new dress, hair + makeup, AND a gift – this may be asking too much of a friend who is not in a place in their life to afford that. Will some of these people be asked to speak during the wedding, help decorate or clean up the venue, or host any pre or post wedding activities? – not everyone wants to or is able to do those things. Having discussions about how involved everyone can and/or wants to be is integral to the success of your event.
Be grateful, and show it. Above all else be sure to show that you are grateful that they are standing by you for this most important occasion. First, offering to pay for anything expected like matching ties or a certain complicated updo is only fair it it’s outside the norm. Perhaps a gift if your budget allows, or if not a good ol’ fashioned handwritten thank you. But the easiest thing you can do is enjoy their company and the day. There’s nothing worse than trying to make a bridezilla or groomzilla happy – you try it sometime.
November 1, 2018