Today we are going to talk about the next step in your wedding planning journey.
I should be right in assuming that you’ve spoken to your partner and we’ve had all the important conversations? (If not, download my free wedding planning convo prompt).
So once that is out of the way, it’s time to talk bridal party.
This was one thing I REALLY struggled with in some areas. I knew who my Chief bridesmaid and Maid of Honour would be. (Essentially the same thing but with far different roles).
Your main ladies (or men!) need to be reliable , be charismatic but most of all be your all time best friends. I say this because whilst the notion of being a bridesmaid is romantic , the actual role can be anything but. Especially if you are not having ANY help on the day from a wedding planner, stylist , designer, coordinator etc, then this will fall on your bridal party.
One of my best-est friends, Leigh, is creative , has a proven track record for event planning and has a heart the size of the earth. So it was an easy pick without hesitation for me to pick her. She has been a God send and has gone WAY over the call of duty !
My other best friend, Brandie, is very much the same in terms of generosity, warmth, and vision. She has listened to my rants and raves, helped with organisation and threw me a stellar engagement shin dig!!
So before you call your best friend and give her the good news or send her a proposal box or write it in the sky, go through her qualities. Does she have what it takes? I DO NOT mean that in a bitchy way, but I mean, will she struggle with the tasks you need her to do? Do her strengths lay somewhere else and maybe someone else may prefer the role of Chief Bridesmaid or Maid of Honour.
Does she have the time? One of my bridesmaids has a very demanding job and after many months, decided she couldn’t juggle both and felt guilty for letting me down. I completely understood and managed to pass her roles onto the other bridesmaids but it left me feeling guilty that I may had put too much on her.
Can she afford to be a bridesmaid? You may be wanting them to purchase their own dresses, make up and hair and even accommodation. I was clear with my bridesmaids right from the start and said we unfortunately don’t have the budget to cover any of those things. I did feel bad; however, it is an outdated tradition and a lot of modern weddings see the bridesmaids at least purchasing their dresses.
Only one of them said she couldn’t afford it all (we are having a destination wedding so she had flights etc too). Again , I told her I understood and said I would not take offence if she decided to pull out of the bridal party.
You cannot take it to heart if your bridal party pull out, You will learn through the process that not everyone is as invested in your wedding as much as you are! That’s okay. They don’t have to be, but you DO have to realize that’s the case and not take it personally. It may be the be all and end all for you but you only (and your fiancee!) BUT, you must step in their shoes and see it from their eyes.
If you’re asking them to purchase their own dress, maybe you could let them pick the style? My bridesmaids live all over the UK and USA so they couldn’t all get together and go shopping. So to combat this issue, I showed them the colour palette for the wedding and said, “All I stipulate is that your dress is one of these colours.” They can literally have any style they want then. They are all different sizes and heights so I wanted them to feel comfortable on the day.
What’s their strengths , what’s their weaknesses? Play to them. When I proposed to my bridal party, I included a roles list. It was a few examples of what I needed their help with. This not only highlighted their strengths, but it gave them an insight on what to expect. It’s a good idea to include this so that your bridal party are educated in YOUR wedding. They may or may not have been bridesmaids before, but YOUR wedding is different. You may require different things and it’s good to get it out there from the start.
Don’t assume a gender based role Your guy best friend , your brother , cousin etc could be the perfect fit. According to WeddingWire , 40% of couples are choosing a mixed gender bridal party. You could be overlooking the perfect candidate.
Don’t feel pressured. Just because your sister REALLY wants to be your MOH, doesn’t mean you have to choose her. Evaluate her strengths and weaknesses, go through the process above and make an educated decision.
So you should have a general idea of who you want in your wedding party but most importantly, follow this process. You don’t want to get 6 months down the line and find out that your bridesmaid isn’t comfortable and you end up falling out. Or you have had an argument with your MOH and now she’s pulled out. Your Chief Bridesmaid can’t afford it all and is now crying and stressed out. At the end of the day, it’s supposed to be joyous and good fun, but it can be hard work too. This doesn’t mean to say you can’t have fun doing it but just make sure you have the right team.
The Bridal party that want to be there for you, will work for you 🙂