My Wedding Journal: How to Choose your Bridal Party

writing the proposal story

The first step in ensuring your party is there to support you on your wedding day and at all key stages in the lead-up too is to choose the perfect team.

Who to ask?
When considering who to ask, keep in mind what role they’ll have to help with:

  • Organising an Engagement Party (are they organised, helpful and responsible?)
  • Choosing the dress (are they going to be honest and help you look the best you can on your Wedding Day?)
  • Making invitations/place-cards/favours (are they going to have the time and inclination to do so?)
  • Plan your Hen’s do (and make sure you get home in one piece)
  • Getting on with one another, and possibly following instructions from the MOH (If they’re not going to get on well with the other Bridesmaids, The Groomsmen or the Groom, rethink your team!)
  • Keeping you company the night before your Wedding Day (and easing any last-minute jitters)
  • Getting ready on your Wedding Day (will they calm you down or stress you out?)
  • Making a speech about you (can they speak publicly and refrain from embarrassing you?)
  • On-the-day roles including encouraging guests to sign the guest book; ordering family into photos; and tending to stray children and groomsmen!
  • Appearing in your Wedding Photos (and therefore possibly appear on your living-room wall for the next 60 years – will you still be friends?).

It might sound harsh, but being a bridesmaid comes with responsibilities.  If your friend is swamped with work and can barely come out at the weekend for brunch, they probably won’t have time to help with your wedding – which is, after all, the point!

Of my 5 Bridesmaids, 2 live overseas, so I had to accept from the get-go that they wouldn’t be able to help much in the months leading up to the wedding, but I know they’ll be there for me in the immediate lead up, and keep me sane on the day.

The absolute must-haves of your Bridesmaids though: Girls who you can lean on, that you can cry to when planning’s not going perfectly; that will tell you to put down the hot-glue gun while pouring you a glass of wine (and that will hopefully finish off your centrepieces); make you laugh and snap you back to reality; have a fun night out on your Hen’s; tidy your veil for the ceremony and fix your lippy for photos; and take you aside for 10 minutes on your Wedding Day and tell you how beautiful you look and how happy she is to be there for you.  I hope you’re as lucky as I am to have girls like this in your life!

Once you’ve chosen, here are some creative ways to Propose to your ‘maids!

notes from the heart

Finally – a few more ‘Keep in Minds’ for picking your Bridal Party.

– Bridesmaids and Groomsmen do not need to be picked in even numbers.  Isn’t that a strange tradition, that Bride and Groom must have the same number of close friends to stand next to them on the day?  Traditionally, the Groomsmen’s job was to help the Groom kidnap the Bride, apparently… but that’s another story.  Don’t worry about having even numbers in the photos or at the Ceremony line-up, instead pick the numbers based on those people you really truly want to be a part of your big day (and ideally, people who you truly want to be a part of the rest of your lives).  Seeking to even up numbers is likely to make you ask people you wouldn’t otherwise.

– The more Bridesmaids and Groomsmen you have, the higher the cost.  Traditionally, Bridesmaids have been responsible for all the costs of their own attire and accessories; Bachelorette party; gift for the couple and a gift for the Bride.  The Bride traditionally covers the cost of each Bridesmaid’s Bouquet; transportation to the ceremony and reception; a thank-you gift; and hair and make-up if the Bride requires it to be professionally done.  If that is the case, Brides ought to be prepared to spend at least $100 on each Bridesmaid’s bouquet, and around another $100+ on a gift.  Alternatively, Brides may choose to pay for their Bridesmaids’ outfits in lieu of an expensive gift, but the costs add up either way.  The average cost of a Bridesmaid is apparently $1,700, so it’s up to you and your maids how much you each cover…

Who not to ask?
– Don’t ask the girl who made you a Bridesmaid, if that’s the only reason why.  We’re all adults here, we need not go tit-for-tat on choosing our Bridesmaids.  Each Bride has a different set of circumstances: close sisters; daughters; large circles of friends; etc – just because you made someone else’s ‘inner circle’ does not entitle that someone to be within yours.

Head to the wedding planning page for an index of our content, and if you haven’t already seen our wedding organiser and diary, take a little look at the little white book.

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