Monday, 20 June 2011

Bridesmaids: How to choose them for your wedding.

This post is inspired by the movie Bridesmaids which is out later this week. I had the absolute pleasure { and honour} of attending the Stellar Magazine Premier of the movie last week with one of my own Bridesmaids.

{ I will digress slightly and say} The movie is brilliant! Witty, hilarious and yes, a definite chick flick but I will firmly put my neck on the line here and say that I definitely think men would thoroughly enjoy it too!

Watch this trailer of you don't believe me :) { I promise the real post on Bridesmaids: How to choose them for your wedding, starts below}



{Promise to do a real Movie Review soon}

So back to the task at hand: Bridesmaids...

These gals started life as bodyguards... well sort of. In 'auld gods time' {as they say} a bridesmaid's main function was to ward off evil spirits or spurned suitors: a bride would be brought to her grooms village and walked down the aisle in the midst of a similarly dressed bunch of women {aka the bridesmaids}.

Thankfully the role has developed into something a little less life threatening and a little more functional.

At this point I just want to point out one or two things: Bridesmaids is the traditional name given to women who help, aid and stand with a bride before and during her wedding, but Bridesmen {and similarly Groomswomen} are perfectly acceptable nowadays!

So how do you choose you bridesmaid or bridesman?

1. Identify what the role of a bridesmaid/man means to you. 

Do you want them to help with the wedding. Do you want them on hand for all wedding supplier appointments? Will they become your unofficial team of wedding planners? Or do you just want them to stand with you on your wedding and look good in pictures?

You need to know what you want before you can look at the cross section of friends and family to see who would best fit the criteria you've established. Word of warning here though, people have their own lives, be a realistic in what you can expect of them and from them.


2. Decide on how many you want. 

Tradition dictates that there should be 1 bridesmaids for every 50 guests. But if you 1 bridesmaids or 8 go for it; this is your wedding. Just decide on what you are comfortable with and stick with it.


3. Choose wisely: draw up a list of potentials; include sisters, sisters in law, cousins and friends. 

Don't forget to ask your groom if their is a male/ female on his side of the family that he would like include in your side of the wedding party.

{Quick note here: often it is expected that if you stood as a bridesmaid for a friend or family member that the 'favour' will be returned. Its not law, but sometimes nice, but again; this is your wedding, so don't feel obliged. Word of advice though, if you expect that by not asking them, a nose will be seriously out of joint perhaps have another task or job lined up for them, like a reading or prayer}

Look at your list, what does you gut tell you? Who best falls into what you've identified your bridesmaids/ man mean to you. If you've choose to have more than one, do they all know each-other? Will they get on? Can they work together?

4. How will the all look? 

This might be of little importance to you. In fact you might not have even consider your bridesmaid dresses or colours yet, but if you have, what have you in mind; will it suit them all? Can they afford it? { In Ireland, generally speaking, the couple pay for a Bridesmaid Dress, Shoes {bag and shawl} and often the Hair & Make Up, jewellery/ accessories are normally given as gifts, in the States and other countries a bridesmaid pays for everything herself}

If this is still too up in the air, will you find it easy to dress the guys and gals you've chosen?

5. Be clear with your chosen ones.

You know what you want from them at this point, but they might not necessarily know what being your bridesmaid means. When you ask them, do so individually, explain what you are looking for, the tasks, appointments, costs {if any} that are involved. Give them a choice... they may not want or be able to be your bridesmaid - BE OK with that if it happens. This shows how serious they are taking the situation for you and is the sign of a good friend - don't forget that.

AND remember - You do not have to have a bridesmaid or man if you do not want one! It is totally up to you! 

Once you've choose your bridesmaids/ man my three pieces of advice for you during the wedding planning stages and on the day itself:

Let them have their say. 

You don't have to always accept or go with it, but allow and listen to the input all the same.

Say Thank You {often}.

These guys and gals are giving up precious time for you, and yes they are happy for you, they realise the importance of the day, but don't be fooled, nobody is as interested in your wedding day as you are; thank them for their time and involvement.

Don't make all about the wedding.

Yes they are your bridesmaids/ man but don't make every outing/ conversation or email about your wedding. Do ask them about themselves, do have non wedding related outings/ dinners and chats. These guys and gals where your friends before your wedding, its not what ties you all together - remember that.

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Bridesmaids: How to choose them for your wedding.
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