Your bridesmaids will be there to share the entire wedding experience with you from dress shopping, to cake tasting, hen’s night, to your big day, and why do they do it? Because they love you and can’t wait to see you marry the love of your life!!
So, how can you keep your girls (or guys) happy along the way and make the process less stressful, and more fun for everyone? Here are 12 tips to get you started!!..
- Choose your bridesmaids carefully – don’t rush in to the decision, it is an important one! These people will be with you throughout the whole planning process and there for you on your big day. You might be considering asking your best friends, siblings, or cousins, but whoever you decide to ask don’t do so out of guilt or obligation. You need people who are there to support you and be happy for you, and by choosing the people you really want and who really want to be there, everything will be more fun and enjoyable!
- Get them chatting – be sure to introduce your bridesmaids to each other, and get them involved in the planning. They will all be spending a lot of time together, and will all want to be involved in some decisions (even those ones that you won’t know about, such as the bridal shower or hen’s night plans), so get them together, and help them get to know each other. Luckily with Facebook, Insta, Snapchat and WhatsApp, group chat is so easy, and they can still bond even if your bridesmaids are spread all over the world!
- Be money conscious – there are a number of expenses that come along with being a bridesmaid, from the dresses, to travel, a wedding gift for you and putting together your hen’s night. Be upfront with them and gauge your bridesmaid’s budgets right from the beginning, and discuss your expectations and what you are happy to pay for. Don’t forget to factor in the smaller expenses too, including alterations, accessories, shoes, hair and makeup… these costs quickly add up!
- Let them all shine – when it comes to their outfits, do what you can to be flexible! Your bridesmaids will likely come in all shapes and sizes, so together choose a dress, or dresses, that show off their best assets, and be sure to ask them what they will feel most comfortable in. There are bridesmaid’s dresses that can be worn in many different ways, and there is no rule that says they all have to look exactly the same! Mismatched bridesmaid dresses are one of the latest wedding trends allowing your girls a say in what they wear is a definite way to have comfortable and happy bridal party!
- Don’t fill their calendar – plan ahead for wedding dress shopping trips, your bridal shower, hen’s night, your wedding rehearsal but be considerate of their jobs, families and other commitments. Filling every weekend with wedding-related trips and chores will very quickly go from being fun, to annoying!
- Make them feel special – your bridal party are VIPs at your wedding, so be sure that they feel that way! List them in the ceremony program, create a ‘profile’ of them on your wedding website, give them a shout out in your speech, and make sure that they have the chance to let their hair down, celebrate with you and enjoy themselves!
- Give them a schedule – keep the bridesmaids up to date and provide them with a schedule, not just for the wedding day but for the weeks leading up to the wedding when you might like them to attend a rehearsal, have their nails done, pick up the dresses, and help with pulling everything together for the big day. Be sure to provide plenty of notice so they can make travel, accommodation, family and work arrangements.
- Give them a plus one – even if you have decided to not have plus ones on your guest list still extend the offer to your bridal party, no matter what. They may not be in a long-term relationship, and they may not take you up on the offer, but they have invested time and money into your wedding and will be so excited to share it with you. This is a way you can ensure that they know you appreciate it!
- Pick your battles – with 12-18 months of planning time, and sharing discussions about weddings, money, responsibilities, and coming together to make many decisions, there is a high chance that there will be some conflict or disagreements between your bridesmaids, or between you and them. Know when to let it go, look at the big picture and remind yourself that you have asked them to be your bridesmaid for a reason; because you love them. To avoid these issues be sure to be open and upfront, be clear on expectations, and listen if they have something to concerns or worries.
- Look after your friendship – remember, while you may be consumed in your wedding, and your bridesmaids are excited to be a part of it, they still do have other things going on in their lives. Make an effort to hang out and talk to them about things other than the wedding.
- Let them spoil you – you may have ideas of how your hen’s night or bridal shower should go, but try and let this go, and let your bridesmaids take care of it and spoil you! This is their chance to show you how much they appreciate being asked to be a part of your day, and give you a good time. While they might have a different vision for your ‘perfect’ day or make decisions that might not have been your first choice, be grateful and enjoy your time being the bride and being the centre of attention!
- Be grateful – don’t forget to thank your bridesmaids!!! You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy gifts, but put some time and thought into something to show how thankful you are. Write them a nice card or buy them something small to show your appreciation; a piece of jewellery to wear on the day, a massage voucher or bottle of wine goes a long way to making someone feel very special!