You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker or chintzy plaque that says “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives”. We are hoping this will help you choose your bridesmaids and keep your relatives happy…so good luck with that! One of the wisest things I am still learning is you can’t ‘un-say’ what you’ve already said. If you have a list in mind, think on it overnight before you send out the email or text or shock-horror, actually face to face invite your friends to be your bridesmaid. Once you’ve asked someone, it’s impossible to take it back. You probably haven’t rushed into marriage, so don’t rush into the bridal posse without thinking it through and discussing it with your groom.
Bridesmaids for Your Wedding
Traditionally here, the bridesmaids and the groomsmen are the same number. When I got married in England, it wasn’t the case. My husband and I had the traditional English wedding party – he had a best man, and I could have any number of bridesmaids. I chose my only sister, his only sister, and one girlfriend. A bride can choose as many bridesmaids as she feels like, but you don’t want more people in the wedding than actually observing the wedding…that looks really sad.
Less is more, and even the most spectacular of Royal Weddings in recent years showed as that one perfect bridesmaid – Pippa Middleton, sister of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge – can hit just the right note for elegance. Too many bridesmaids will drown out the bride at the altar and in all the photographs – if they haven’t drowned you out with their own opinions on everything from their dress to your dress by the time you get there!
Some people will outright ask, and even presume, they are going to be in your wedding party. This may be because they assume that since you’re related, or since you were a bridesmaid for them previously, they automatically are in your party. If you have sisters or cousins, this is an easy way to solve that – by saying “I’m just having relatives as bridesmaids, but thank you for offering”. If they are true friends, they will understand.
Friends as bridesmaids need to have a balance – a drama queen that doesn’t want to contribute anything except her opinion will wear you down and bring nothing but aggravation to the relationships with the other girls. Remember that the more girls you have, the more work, not necessarily the more good will. Choose carefully. Easier to find dresses to suit three ladies than thirteen. Even if cost is no object, you will alleviate so much stress in your life but taking the time to consider personality and relationships over sheer dramatic numbers.
Be honest with yourself and courteous to everyone involved. Have a friend or two or five, but make sure they are the right people for the occasion. The days leading up to the wedding will be busy with appointments, fittings, parties and planning. Choose carefully the ladies you want around you and you will be a happy bride.