Choosing who’ll be in the bridal party is a tricky minefield. You run the risk of disappointing and alienating your friends in the short time it takes to announce the list. But you’re damned if you do – and damned if you don’t. It’s not like you can have every Jane and Mary standing up there with you before the wedding formalities get underway. How, then, to choose your bridesmaids without causing too much upset?
Wedding literature dictates that you need a certain number of bridesmaids per guest/square metre. Ignore what others tell you and go with what feels right. Sometimes, the safest route to take is to use natural groupings for your bridesmaids – stick to either just friends, or just family. That way, nobody can accuse you of favouritism!
Temper the disappointment of not being included by breaking the news in person. Take said friend out for lunch and gently tell her that she didn’t make the cut. Be honest, and be sensitive to how this might make her feel. It’s usually a secure bet to say that you’ve decided to just have family members in the bridal party.
Find other roles for your excluded friends. Make them “Honour Guests” at your wedding, and indicate this by giving each friend a distinct flower to wear. They can even have their own group photo on the special day. Assign different responsibilities so that they feel involved. Is there a good speaker in your friendship group, who could possibly pass for an entertaining MC? How about anyone with a talent to exploit, like singing? In the weeks leading up to the wedding, don’t isolate the bridesmaids’ clique from the rest of your girls – they’ll feel like the uncool kids at the party. Rather, find ways to integrate them as often as you can in all of the pre-wedding preparations.
Be honest with yourself and assess what YOU expect from your bridal party. Are you a social butterfly who needs a large gaggle of friends with whom to consult on your every decision? Or do you prefer a smaller, more elite group of close confidants?
Use these as guidelines to help you select your bridesmaids in the most sensitive way possible!