After getting engaged, your mind is probably racing as you think about all of the things you need to do to get started with wedding planning. Once you’ve gotten the big items checked off your list, like securing a venue, hiring a caterer, and locking in a photographer, one of the next things on your list should be asking people to be in your bridal party. Though this may be a challenging task, remember that it should be a fun process for you as you get ready for your big day.
1. Consider who you want to be in your bridal party
This decision may come easy to some, especially if you already know who you want to stand by you on your big day, but for others (like myself), it was a little difficult to determine who I wanted to include in my wedding. Figure out if you just want to include family, friends, or a mixture of both. Next, determine just how many bridesmaids you want to have—though an even number is often preferred for balanced pictures, there’s no right answer for how many people you want to include in your bridal party. You may not even want to include bridesmaids and that is totally OK.
2. Ask your bridesmaids in person
As soon as you’ve determined who you’re going to ask to be a bridesmaid, make it a point to schedule some time to meet with them in person. If you live on the other side of the country from your bride tribe (or are just a little too far to ask in person), give them a call or try FaceTiming them. This will add a slightly more personal touch and make your bridesmaids feel extra valued.
3. Give them a gift
To personalize your ask, consider giving your bridesmaids a gift they’ll remember. There a ton of gift options, from elaborate boxes to sweet cards. I asked my bridesmaids by giving them a box filled with essentials (a candle, face mask, mini liquor bottle, and scrunchies are just some of the things I included in my boxes). However, I added a personal touch to each box by including something intimate to that person.
For example, my matron of honor is a teacher, so I added personalized school supplies in her box. For my fitness lovers, I added a fitness band and monthly pass to a nearby boutique studio. Note: you don’t have to go big with the personalization. Something as small as a heartfelt card can go a long way.
A great website for finding unique gifts for your bridesmaids is Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique – they have a huge selection of fun and creative ideas for bridesmaid gifts. Some of my favorites include the custom gift boxes that can hold personalized robes, champagne flues, jewelry or anything your heart desires. I love that they also have elegant gifts such as leather journals and shawls for the minimalist bride.
4. Create a group chat
Once you’ve asked all of your bridesmaids to be in your wedding, start a group chat! This is one of the easiest ways to ensure nobody gets left out of the group and is up-to-date on all things pertaining to your wedding. It’s also an easy form of communication to share big updates throughout the wedding planning journey—pictures of your wedding dress, bridesmaid swatches and dress options, catering menus, day-of details, etc.
How to tell someone they’re not in your wedding
While it can be tempting to include anybody and everybody in your wedding, you simply won’t be able to accommodate all of your friends and family members. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll have to cut some people from your bridal party. This can be a little challenging and uncomfortable, but by taking heed of the following advice, you’ll be able to have an open conversation with those you aren’t including and allow for a better dialogue.
- Try to communicate in person—There’s nothing worse than getting a text from someone saying you’re not going to make the cut as a bridesmaid. Texting someone this information can come across as passive-aggressive or insensitive. Do yourself (and your friend) a favor and tell them in person. This will allow for a more open line of communication and prevent misunderstanding and assumptions.
- Be real—Be honest with your friend with the reason why you’re not including them in your bridal party—but don’t be too harsh. For example, if you’re closer with your other bridesmaids and are only looking to include eight, you can tell them that you’re trying to have a set number and can’t go above that.
- Offer other roles—Though there’s not a spot by your side, your friend may be able to help out with other aspects of the wedding (but only if you truly want them to). Have them pass out programs, help seat people, or even read Scripture or play music during your ceremony. You could even invite them to your bachelorette weekend and bridal showers so they don’t feel left out.
Asking your bridesmaids to be a part of your big day should be exciting and stress-free. With the above tips, hopefully you’ll be able to have all your people in your corner on your big day without hurting anybody’s feelings.
This post was written by our guest author Kealia Reynolds . Kealia is a contributing writer at House Method and founder of A Cause for Joy. In her free time, she loves traveling, playing with her dog Soren, and planning for her upcoming wedding.
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