Part 2: The Bride's Guide to Bridesmaids

2014 Apr 17 - by Naureen
After instagramming that fabulous ring and calling your gal pals to share the exciting news, you realize you have to make another epic decision. You have to pick a select few friends to join you on the journey between engagement ring and wedding band. But, who will you choose as bridesmaids? How many can you choose? Is there a limit?

{photo by Gucio Photography via Kerry & Jason's Wedding}

Well dulhans-to-be, whether you pick four or fourteen, you’re probably picking the people you first called after the engagement. They’re the people you’re closest to and whose friendship you truly value. These bridesmaids will be ecstatic for you and will be there for you throughout the process (*crossing fingers*). This being said, they’re going to need you to uphold your end of the bargain too. But don't worry, we’re taking a look at a list of things brides should consider for their bridal parties. Yay!

1. Choose Wisely.

Indian weddings tend to err on the concept “bigger is better.” It is important to realize, however, that you do not need a large bridal party to prove popularity or improve your ceremony’s aesthetics.

• Pick those whose names you’ll remember in thirty years! Once you decide on these lucky individuals, ask each of them in a personal way.

• Make sure you establish the ground rules in terms of important dates, financial obligations, and day-of expectations. But, do respect anyone who may not feel comfortable in taking on this role (although refusing without a valid reason is super tacky).

{photo by Candace Photography via Debika & Taki's Wedding}

2. Let the Bridesmaids Say Yes to the Dress (too).

While it’s ultimately your decision as the bride, it’s important to keep the price-tag and comfort zone of the bridesmaids in mind before picking their dresses.

• Picking a bridesmaid dress that is ridiculously expensive by justifying they can wear it again= NONSENSE. No, they’re not going to wear their bright fuchsia saris with neon orange accents to anything but your wedding. This being said, it’s nice to consider wearability in terms of colors and cuts they could possibly repeat at another event.

• Set a budget agreed upon with your bridal party council and stick to it! They’ll love you for it. (They’ll love you even more if you can foot some of the bill for the outfits- if possible.)

{photo by KSD Weddings via Anjoli and Tim's Wedding}

3. Your Bridesmaids Are NOT Your Slaves.

A bridesmaid is NOT a humble servant who waits on you beck and call- that’s your husband-to-be (just kidding). The bridesmaids have their own lives and they’re taking time out of their busy schedules just for you. So make the most of the time you do have and make it fun!

• Be wary of the number of events and planning parties you mandate- especially considering financial constraints and scheduling conflicts. Keep some events as optional.

• Don’t turn into a bridezilla and forbid anyone from getting pregnant, looking prettier or wearing comfortable shoes. They’re your honored guests who deserve both your attention and appreciation.

Try to have normal conversations with your friends without using the S or W word (aka shaadi or wedding). It's hard, we know.

• Let the bridesmaids stylize their outfits as they see fit and get their hair and makeup done accordingly. You have enough to handle without micromanaging bridesmaids to look like pastel clones. They’ll appreciate your trust and the ability to individualize their ensembles. The brighter your bridesmaids shine, the better it reflects on you!

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{gif via zap2it.com}

4. Treat Them Well (Literally and Emotionally).

After dropping over a grand on your nuptial preparations, the bridesmaids deserve a little more than your wedding reception favors. Express your gratitude (constantly) through kind words, acts, and tokens of appreciation.

• Try to do little things for your bridesmaids throughout the process. They don’t have to be expensive gestures; an in-home mani-pedi party can be fun and therapeutic.

• Give a personalized wedding gift to each of the bridesmaids- like a pair of earrings or a brooch that they can wear as a reminder of this special day.

FEED your bridesmaids. Chances are they’re holed up in a room getting ready with you and they haven’t eaten very much. Keep snacks and/or meals planned and on-hand to avoid bridesmaid grumpiness.

• If you have time, prepare bridesmaid survival kits for the wedding that contain anything from bridesmaid robes and flip flops to aspirin and safety pins.

• Write personalized thank you notes that mention the time and expenses they've allotted to your bridal shower, bachelorette party, midnight rant sessions, Hobby Lobby runs, and bridal jitters. Thank them for their friendship that has brought you both to this point.

{photo by This Modern L<3ve Photography via Naureen & Ghazaly's Wedding}

5. State Your Expectations Clearly and Early.

One of the primary sources of conflict in wedding parties is confusion over tasks assigned and/or miscommunication. An easy way to eliminate that is to designate tasks beforehand in an organized manner.

• Set up a meet-and-greet for your bridesmaids to get to know each other. If it’s difficult to conduct in person, introduce everyone virtually through e-mail. Use the forum to distribute a schedule of the dates, times and duties. I know it sounds borderline military-ish, but having a handy guide can really help streamline the process!

• Keep the e-mail thread going for the bridesmaids to exchange ideas and plan events like the bachelorette party or bridal shower. Designate the maid of honor as moderator to prevent disagreements from breaking out.

• Establish what you’re paying for or covering partially to set money matters straight.

Don't overdo the number of tasks you assign. Your bridesmaids are human and they can only do so much for the sake of your happiness. Do right by them too!

{photo by IQ PhotoStudio via Priti and Nicholas's Wedding}

The wedding may be your special day, but it’s your bridesmaids’ special day too because they get to share this momentous occasion right up there on stage with you. They’re the ones wiping your tears as their own tears stream down their faces. They love you, but don’t test that love too much! Remember, if you don’t treat your bridesmaids well, they can extract revenge via an unfavorable wedding toast roast. Eeeek.

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