What You Should Already Know Before Picking Your Bridesmaids

Don't ask them right after getting engaged!

Find out what you should already know about your upcoming wedding before you ask your best friends to be part of your wedding party.

Photo: Sarah Tew Photography

In the immediate excitement following your engagement, you may be tempted to ask your closest friends to be your bridesmaids as soon as you call to tell them the news. However, with the possible exception of sisters who are naturally assumed to be part of your bridal party, we recommend holding off on the request for a while. For one, weddings can have a tendency to bring out the worst in you, and you don’t want to ask a friend to stand by your side only to spend the next year realizing the relationship has been toxic and one-sided all along. It’s important to examine and think about each person you want to include in your bridal party rather than rush into any decisions. Not only that, but it is also a good idea to be a bit farther along in the wedding planning process so your prospective bridesmaids know what to expect if they choose to participate in the big day. 

what you need to decide before picking your bridesmaids

Photo by Studio This Is

First of all, it’s absolutely necessary to have a location and date for your wedding before bridesmaids can expect to commit to be there. No matter how close you are, there are some family obligations or financial hardships that can’t be overcome if there’s a scheduling conflict or a destination out of their means. It’s also considerate to let everyone know what your expectations are. While we always advise that bridal showers and bachelorette parties are not requirements, if that’s a deal breaker for you, your attendants need to know it. Similarly, if you have a strict vision for the dresses, it’s helpful for everyone to know what they will need to purchase (or rent) and wear. If you’re more flexible with your plan, this can be discussed with everyone once you have selected your bridesmaids. 

The other thing to consider is who the attendants will be on your partner’s side of the aisle. Nowadays, many couples are forgoing the picture-perfect look of matching outfits and pairs, but if symmetry is important to you, make sure you and your future spouse plan to have the same amount of people in your wedding party. It could also be necessary to make sure the people you and your sweetheart have in mind get along – or at the very least, don’t hate each other. If your college roommate had an acrimonious breakup with the best man, it might be better off for everyone involved if she is simply a guest on the big day. 

Learn how to coordinate your wedding-day look with your bridesmaids and what information to include on your bridal shower invitations