Bridesmaids! How to pick them

In light of the recent release of Bridesmaids, I thought I’d offer some advice about how to pick your bridesmaids (comedy aside!). Most brides automatically pick their closest friends and have made their decisions about their bridal party perhaps even before the engagement, but the role these women are being put into is often not considered.

Reasons (that by themselves) are not good reasons to pick someone as your bridesmaid:

1. Just because they were a sorority sister, college roommate, or childhood friend you always promised would be in your wedding

2. Because they like to party and want to plan your bachelorette

3. They’re a good friend (yes, standing alone this is NOT a good enough reason!)

4. Their feelings would be hurt if you didn’t ask. Someone’s feelings will always get hurt at some point during a wedding planning process or at the wedding. It just happens at an event like this and it’s ok!

Now let me tell you why those are not good reasons in and of themselves by telling you why you should ask someone to be your bridesmaid. Bridesmaids are women that traditionally were supposed to aide the bride as she went through a big day, there to support and help her. (Look at Will and Kate’s wedding – other than Pippa, all the bridesmaids were little girls – certainly not Kate’s best buds. They were there to help with the dress, and look cute of course!) Making poor choices about the women that are going through this process with you will come back to bite you! So here are my tips about who should stand by your side on your wedding day:

1. Women who support the marriage. Do you want someone up there who couldn’t care less about the man you’re marrying or seeing this wedding happen, or worse, thinks it shouldn’t happen?

2. Women who want to be involved in the process! Nothing is more frustrating that trying to get your friends on board with showing up for fittings, showing up to rehearsal, showing up at all to anything! If they don’t want to be part of the wedding, that doesn’t mean they can’t be a much loved and welcomed guest instead. Figure out who will stand by you as a bride, not just as a friend.

3. Women you’re honoring by having involved. Sometimes, that’s a nicer way of saying those that have to be in the wedding. I know there are some you really do have to ask, often siblings. But look at it as honoring those women by wanting them to be a part of your wedding. For example, think about how much it might mean to ask your future sister-in-law, since she is about to become family.

4. And the much dreaded one…Women who are going to behave. Obviously everyone has different ideas of how “wild” they want their wedding to be and your definition of “behave” might be different from someone else’s! That’s fine! But make sure the ladies that are in your wedding are not the ones that are going to be escorted out later or need someone to be “assigned” to them to keep them from ruining your special day. This also applies for women who might make the day all about them instead of you! When I say “behave,” I mean your bridesmaids should make your day better with their actions, not worse. You can’t control the actions of your guests but you can control who you ask to be in your bridal party.

What did I forget? I’d love to hear why one of your bridsemaids was a good choice!