Bridesmaids 101

Chances are you’ve been a bridesmaid once or twice yourself, or have at the very least known a bridesmaid or two in your day, but just in case you haven’t, here’s an overview on who the bridesmaids are, how to choose them, and what they’re responsible for.

How Many: As the bride, the number of bridesmaids at the wedding is entirely up to you. There’s no right or wrong answer for the appropriate number of attendants at the nuptials. You can have as few as just a maid of honor and no bridesmaids, if you so choose, or as many as a small army. You and your fiancé should make that decision based on the size of your wedding, your budget, and your personal preference.

Who to Ask: Again, there’s no formula or rule stating who should and should not be a bridesmaid. Feel free to ask anyone you’d like, but you may want to consider these questions before selecting bridesmaids: How close am I with this person? Will she be supportive? Do I think our relationship will stand the test of time? It’s important to select bridesmaids who you have a deep and meaningful relationship with, like a sibling, relative, future in-law, or close friend, which will hopefully last well into the future. You don’t want to look back on your wedding photos and see a virtual stranger because you prematurely asked a new friend who didn’t have staying power.

What to Expect: It’s customary for the bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses, shoes, and accessories. If you have room in your budget to accommodate some or all of these costs, it’s an amazing way to bless your attendants, but it’s not necessary. Ultimately, the selection of the bridesmaids’ dresses is up to you, but your pals will surely appreciate it if you bring them in on the decision.

The bridesmaids are definitely expected to attend pre-wedding festivities (i.e. rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids’ brunch, etc) and they will typically help out with some of the pre-wedding planning. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re at your beck and call. Be respectful of their time and other commitments when asking for their assistance.

Lastly, the bridesmaids typically help organize and host your bridal shower and bachelorette party. It’s not uncommon, though, for another friend or close relative to throw the festivities instead.

Keep the peace with bridesmaids

Wedding Planning Conflict

More on keeping the peace

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