Engaged? Congratulations! As soon as a couple’s engagement has been made public, it is time to start thinking about the composition of the bridal party. Your bridesmaids should be your trusted help during the wedding planning stages and your close and personal assistants on the wedding day. Do not rush your decision. Allow yourself at least a month to consider your options. Once you have asked someone to be a bridesmaid, you can not change your mind, so choose wisely.
The number of attendants will have to be determined first. Choosing your maid of honour will be the next important decision. According to tradition the number of bridesmaids are determined by the size and type of wedding. Large bridal parties are not uncommon at formal weddings while informal weddings work better with smaller groups. The larger the bridal party, the more complicated the coordination and the practical aspects such as finding suitable outfits for all.
Make sure that you and your fiancé agree on the number of attendants. Allow him to speak his mind and make suggestions. It is not a big deal if you do not have an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Just be creative in the way you make them all walk down the isle!
Choose people who play an important role in your life and whom you believe will also remain special friends in the future. Include your siblings if possible. They will always be part of your life and you will probably become even closer over the years if you are still unsure…try and picture the attendants in the different roles they will have to play. Sometimes their unique personalities will convince you either to include or eliminate them.
The role of the maid of honour is to assist the bride before and on the day of the wedding. She will help the bride to select her gown, assist with the invitations and plan the bridal shower. The rest of the bridesmaids should be available to offer support to the bride as well as assist the maid of honour whenever she needs help. These ladies and gents will have certain responsibilities with regards to the wedding planning tasks but they will also be depended upon for emotional support when the going gets tough! Your bridesmaids should continue to be part of your lives after the wedding to support you and to hold you accountable to the vows you both made.
Have an open discussion with your maid of honour before she commits herself. She will probably regard your invitation as an honour gladly to be accepted. In some cases though, a hectic schedule, family responsibilities or even distance might prevent her from taking on the responsibility. Make sure that either of you will be able to back out gracefully if it plays out that way. If you have many friends and find it difficult to exclude some, you can always invite them to help out with one or more of the many minor tasks to be fulfilled.
Trust your own judgement in the choices you make and have fun with the special people you surround yourself with during the time that leads up to the wedding and the wedding itself. Thank them personally for their presence and support when you return from the honeymoon. It will take a little more effort to meet up with your girlfriends after the wedding – especially with a permanent resident known as your better half. Do not neglect these special friendships though. Make time. Call them. Keep on being a friend to them. Isn’t that what a meaningful life is all about?
Photos by: RDK Photography