“Will you be my bridesmaid?” can actually be a difficult question to brides-to-be to ask. It could be you don’t know who to ask, how to ask, or even when to ask?
Choosing your Bridesmaids
Choosing your Bridal Party can be daunting. It can be hard narrowing down your list of the loved ones and deciding who is going to stand beside you on your wedding day, choosing the right mix of friends, and trying not to offend anyone.
Your bridesmaids will not only be your biggest support crew on your big day, but also when it comes to the lead up and planning your wedding. Asking someone to be a bridesmaid is a special moment, not only for you but also for them. Here are some tips to help ‘pop the question’ to your bridesmaids.
How many bridesmaids is too many?
Before you even think about asking friends to be your bridesmaids, you and your fiancé must decide together how many people will be in your bridal party. There is no one answer to “how many bridesmaids is too many?” (okay, maybe 29 bridesmaids like Jane had in 27 Dresses may be a little too many…),
One larger consideration should be the cost. Having a large bridal party can be EXPENSIVE. Most brides will cover the cost for the dress, hair, makeup and also accomodation for each bridesmaid – see What should your Bridesmaids pay for) If you are on a tight budget, this may have to mean fewer bridesmaids.
Another factor that can determine how big your bridal party will be, is the size of your wedding. If you are having a small wedding, with a small wedding venue, the size of your bridal party will therefore also be restricted – it can look strange to have a large bridal party at an intimate wedding.
Who to choose?
At the end of the day, you want to choose bridesmaids who will be responsible and reliable. Planning a wedding is a hard task to do on your own (even with the little white book). Trusting that your bridesmaids will be able to complete certain tasks on time and to your exacting quality is crucial; the less stress leading up to your big day, the better.
You also want to choose friends and/or family that will be genuinely supportive of you. Most importantly your bridesmaids cannot be divas and make everything about them… we all know people that make every single thing about themselves and these can be some of the worst people to be in your bridal party. This is YOUR wedding, not your bridesmaids’ – don’t choose someone whose goal it is to steal the show.
Keep in mind that some of your friends and family may actually prefer to be wedding guests rather than be a part of your bridal party, so do not make presumptions. Some may not be able to afford being a bridesmaid (as there are certain costs you as a bride may not be asked to cover, such as the bachelorette party). Others may have a lot of stress in their lives and may not have the time or energy to dedicate to help create your wedding. If you know one of your friends or family members may be in this position, it may be smart to have a talk to them before asking them to be a part of your bridal party.
Choosing bridesmaids without hurting feelings
Remember, this truly is a day for you and your partner, not for your sister, brother, mother or friends. It can be so easy to let other people influence your decision on who to include in your bridal party, but choosing your bridal party is very hard to undo, so you want to make this decision cautiously. Don’t choose someone to be your bridesmaid just because you were theirs, and you feel as though you need to return the favour.
Good friends will understand if they are not chosen as a bridesmaid. If someone makes a big deal about not being chosen, are they really someone that you want as a part of your bridal party anyway?
If you choose to have a small bridal party, resulting in some close friends not being a bridesmaid, why not give them another role? There are so many roles needed to make a wedding successful. Why not ask friends to MC, make a speech, sing a song, write a poem, or even be in charge of the music during the reception? Your close friends will appreciate you including them in your wedding in any way, shape or form.
‘Bridesman’ or ‘Groomswoman’
Traditionally the bride will have female bridesmaids and the groom with have male groomsmen. But it is 2018 which means traditions can definitely be broken! If you’ve seen the Sex & the City movie, you will remember Carrie was the ‘best-man’ for her guy best friend. If you are a bride-to-be that has multiple guy friends that you are close to, that you wish to be in your bridal party, why not choose one of them? It is your wedding and there are no set rules. Read Daniel Musto’s experience of being a ‘bridesman‘.
How to ask someone to be your bridesmaid?
You do not have to spend a lot of money to ask someone to be your bridesmaid in a meaningful way. You may choose to ask your girlfriends to be your bridesmaid with a sense of humour, or you may choose a more serious option. No matter how you decide to ask, here are some ideas on how to ‘propose’ to your bridesmaids in a way that will be memorable and have an element of surprise.
Invite them around for a brunch
So many people think they have to spend large to ask someone to be their bridesmaid. Actions and words can mean so much more to people than a gift. Asking face-to-face can mean so much more than a text or a Facebook message. Inviting everyone around for a brunch can mean that all of your bridesmaid’s can mix and mingle if they do not know each other. It also means everyone is in the same place for you to start planning and divvying out roles and tasks for your big day.
Write them a letter
A letter is something that does not happen often in the day and age of social media. Letters are keepsakes- when they are full of meaning and significance, people are most likely going to keep them forever. Why not ask your bridesmaids by writing each of them a personalised letter about how much they mean to you and why you are asking them to have a significant role in your big day?
Bridesmaid’s gift box
Some of us love spoiling the ones we love- why not spoil your soon-to-be bridesmaid’s with a gift box? There are many companies in and out of New Zealand that create personalised gift boxes. You can add things that they will use on the wedding day, such as nail polish and accessories, and you can include things to treat themselves with such as skin care and bath bombs to relax after completing their bridesmaid’s duties. There are lots of beautiful companies that create personalised boxes or a pre curated gift box, if you want to spoil your girls, or of course you could make one yourself.
Get Creative To ‘Propose’ To Your ‘Maids
- Personalised Apparel
Why not personalise apparel such as mugs, t-shirts and wine bottles to ‘propose’ to your bridesmaids. This is something that they can keep to remember your special day.
Etsy have balloons that when you blown up they will say “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?”. This can be a different and fun way of asking your friends and family to join your bridal squad.
Also found on Etsy are custom-made puzzles. Your soon-to-be bridesmaid will have to complete the puzzle, being left with the question “will you be my bridesmaid?”
- Fortune Cookie
Who doesn’t love a fortune cookie? Why not personalise a fortune cookie with a secret message of ‘proposing’ to your bridesmaids?
There are sites available online which allow you to personalise a photo frame with the lady’s (or man’s) name, asking them to be a bridesmaid. This is sentimental and meaningful, allowing you to put a photo of the two of you at an event that means the most to you. After the wedding, your friend will be able to update the photo with one from the wedding.
How long to wait before asking
There is no set time to wait before asking someone to be your bridesmaid. You will most likely have an idea about who you want to choose – especially if it is your sister or best friend. However, it is best that you wait until you have made some decisions wedding decisions such as a possibly your wedding venue and budget before letting anybody know.
You do not want to create a situation where you have told someone they can be apart of the bridal party, but then have to take it back- this can cause unwanted stress and also create unwanted tension.
A nice time to ask is before your engagement party – this can give you time to make decisions and also see who is willing to help as people may volunteer to help plan your engagement party.