When you first get engaged, your focus is all about finding a venue and securing a date. Then, you start thinking about the amount of people. Around that time, you make “the list”. What I’m referring to is, of course, your bridesmaids. Growing up, I think I categorized my “very best friends” by the girls I wanted as the bridesmaids at my future wedding. Not surprisingly, that list of ladies had some changes throughout the years, so when it came time to choose them for my actual real-life wedding, it wasn’t as easy as I assumed it would be when I was in high school.
Originally, I thought four bridesmaids would be the perfect number. I typed up the four names in a Word doc, only to feel restless about how limited that made me feel. There were two others I wanted to have as my bridesmaids, but at the same time, I didn’t want to be looked at as “the girl who had too big of a bridal party” (I know…who cares?). Finally, I decided I needed to have all six standing up with me on my big day. Here’s what helped me figure it out:
– You can’t let little annoyances cloud your judgment: Sure, you know them well enough to foresee one girl trying to make the day about herself and another one making it clear that she doesn’t like the dresses you love…but everyone has their faults and you should make the choice while focusing on all of the qualities you love about them, nothing less.
– It’s better to have someone involved in the wedding and regret it than not have someone involved and regret it: (That could just be my opinion, but still). In regular day-to-day activities, you and your friends may not stay in touch as much as you’d like (especially if you live far away) so it can make you second guess where you really stand. However, big events like a wedding really bring everyone together and it could surprise you with the sweet and thoughtful gestures your friends send your way, whether it’s in a gift, a text, or some other way to show you they really care and support your big life change.
– Family is forever: When my younger brother one day gets married, I hope that his fiance will want my sister and I involved in their wedding and have fun doing things together as future sister-in-laws. I wouldn’t have felt right before or after the wedding if I didn’t ask my sister-in-law to be one of my bridesmaids and I’m looking so forward to create memories with both my family and my husband’s family that we will all remember and bring up at holiday events and get-togethers even years down the road.
– The great new friend definitely deserves an invite, not a bridesmaids slot: When you start hanging out with different groups of people and make new buds, it’s natural to begin getting really close to one or two of the girls and spend almost all of your time together. But a lot can happen in a year and you can either get even closer, or you can drift apart. If you work together, maybe one of you will switch jobs and you’ll find it impossible to meet up with your schedules. Maybe one of you will move away for a semester or longer. Maybe you’ll just lose touch. Regardless, if you get closer and closer, the wedding will still be special for each of you when she attends as a guest.
– Don’t worry about the number! If you only want two bridesmaids, or even just your maid of honor to stand up with you, then go for it! Some of your other friends might be bummed or upset, but they should be understanding about how you plan your day. If not, you can always have a heart-to-heart with them to explain the reasons you want to make the party more intimate. And if you have a list of girls you want in your party and absolutely can’t narrow it down, just roll with it! Even if it seems like a larger group than you’ve seen at any other wedding you’ve attended or seen on Facebook, you can’t let that stop you from having all of the ladies you want. This is going to be an event you remember and look back on for the rest of your life, and you don’t want to look at the pictures and think that someone’s missing.
Being a bridesmaid is a special commitment – they’re promising to be there for you for the biggest day of your life and also the events that come beforehand, even when traveling is necessary. It’s a big deal and a way to solidify your friendship in the greatest way, and that’s why you might feel strongly about asking them to be part of your bridal party in a creative way. Now, I’m not saying you have to pull a move from Bridesmaids and send a box with a butterfly in it (OK, I know that was an invite for the shower, but you know what I mean), but since you only get to ask this once, I think doing it in a cute way is extra special! Here are a few different creative ways to ask your bridesmaids:
At a website like Wedding Chicks, you can order handkerchiefs that ask “Will you be my bridesmaid?” and even customize them by adding each of their names. You can’t choose the colors, but I didn’t mind that especially when they came in and they were all so pretty! (Yes, I guess I just gave it away that this is the route I went with). I even received an email with proofs of the hankies to make sure all the names were spelled right and the right message was on it, since my sister’s was “Will you be my maid of honor?” This is a fun way to ask because not only does it get the question across, it’s also a sweet keepsake that they’re able to hold onto!
Sending a card that reads something along the lines of “I’ve found my guy, but I still need my girls!” is one way to already bring the “party” into “bridal party”! It gets the point across and will make your friends smile and probably already start thinking about your bachelorette party. You can continue the fun with your message inside by recalling the most outrageous memory you’ve shared together and end it with a promise that you two will definitely top that during your wedding festivities. You can find some cute cards on Etsy!
Give out your own rings!
Another creative plan (found on Etsy) is sending a box with a Ring Pop to your lucky ladies. Not only is it fun to “pop the question” to your bridesmaids, it obviously incorporates the wedding-related proposal that you’ve already gotten as a bride and allows you to sort of pass the torch, so to speak. Very adorable idea!
This will be a crowd pleaser no matter what, because who doesn’t love receiving a surprise package of alcohol? They would have to be crazy to say no to being your bridesmaid! You can either send it with a customized wine label, or attach a handwritten note to the bottle.
I saw this on Flour Pot Cookies after I sent out my handkerchiefs and smiled at the idea, thinking that this edible question would have probably been my second choice. Maybe it’s my sweet tooth, but I just found it to be a precious way to ask your friends. The gift box is pretty and the cookie/note is classy – it’s a great choice for a girly girl!
But there isn’t a wrong way to ask – just go with your gut and have fun with it! The best feeling is getting the giddy phone calls once your creative packages arrive in the hands of your closest friends. Enjoy planning your big event together!