Wedding Planning 101: Choosing Your Bridesmaids

Choosing your bridesmaids and bridal party

Ahhh choosing your bridesmaids – one of my least favorite parts of the entire planning process. I’m a people pleaser, so of course I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I’ve also been blessed to know so many awesome girls who have played a huge role in my life, and of course I wanted them all standing with me! But I knew that personally, I couldn’t handle a bridal party of 14. Remember: with girls comes drama. The more hormones floating around, the more drama, and you don’t need that on your wedding day. So, even though Darla tried her best to convince me to choose only 3 or 4, I chose 6 bridesmaids. However, that number is totally a personal preference! I’m not here to tell you how many bridesmaids you should or shouldn’t have – just here to warn you of making a rash decision because this is a big deal!

Whatever you do, do not ask your bridesmaids right after you get engaged! Think it over. Think it over again. And again. The last thing you want is to regret who you chose to stand beside you on one of the most important days of your life. Wait and ask your bridesmaids about 6-8 months out. This will give you time to make a thoughtful decision, while still giving them enough time to order their dresses, make travel arrangements, coordinate a bachelorette party, and whatever else their duties may include.

*Kel tip: shipping for most bridesmaids’ dresses is 3-4 months, so start shopping earlier rather than later!

Choosing sister as maid of honor

Maid of honor was an easy decision for me because I have an older sister and usually, sisters trump friends. In my case, I’m very lucky that my sister is my best friend, so that was a no-brainer. Otherwise, I would advise choosing your most loyal friend, not necessarily the one you’ve known the longest (also, having organizational skills is a big bonus). Your maid of honor is your right-hand girl throughout the planning process and on the day-of. She’s typically the one planning your bridal shower and bachelorette party, attending vendor meetings with you, preparing a toast for the rehearsal dinner (or reception), straightening and fluffing your dress on the day-of, and answering ALL of your late night phone calls, prepared to come help you whatever the task.

Choosing bridesmaids and bridal party

When it comes to bridesmaids, choose girls who you know will be in your life for the rest of your “firsts.” First house, first married fight, first baby. Choose a friend who you know will be honest with you to tell you that dress you love is super unflattering or that you’ve had food stuck in your teeth all day. Choose a friend who has, selflessly, listened to you ramble on and on about all of your boy problems. Choose a friend who isn’t afraid to tear up the dance floor with you, even if she isn’t the most coordinated. Choose a friend who will happily start writing when you throw 75 blank recipe cards her way and tell her they need to be done that night (I might be guilty of this…). Choose a friend who is, as I heard somewhere, your “marriage godparent,” someone who has had and will always have a personal relationship with you and your husband-to-be. Choose girls who know you and your insecurities, your emotions and what causes you to come unglued, your stress levels and how to calm you down.

If you’re still having trouble deciding, I love this point system Glamour came up with. Where was this when I was choosing my bridesmaids?!

In the next few days, I’ll be sharing a fun little post about how I asked my bridesmaids! Until then, I want to know! How did you decide who to ask? What’s your advice on the subject?

P.S. Sarah, Amy, Stephanie, LeighEllen, Becca, or Ashlyn, if you’re reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you for being the absolute best (and for staying up until 1 a.m. handwriting 75+ recipe cards).

If you’re not to this stage in the planning process yet, maybe my previous posts will help a little more!

Saying Yes to the Dress

Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

Choosing the Perfect Date

How He Asks: All About the Proposal

Wedding Planning 101: Meet Kelly



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