When you’re planning a wedding, it can be hard to decide who to ask to be your bridesmaid (or bridesman). After all, you want to honor the people who are most important to you and make sure everyone feels included. Often, due to social pressure or family obligation, a bride feels that she has to have more people in her bridal party than she wants.
Here are some best practices for choosing bridesmaids while maintaining who and how many people you want standing with you at the altar. We've also peppered in some bridesmaid proposal ideas that will make the process as stress-free as possible.
1. Choose People Who You’re Close With
When choosing your bridal party, pick people who have been with you through thick and thin and you know have your best interest at heart. There’s no need to feel obligated to include a distant cousin or a friend-of-a-friend. Pick people who have been there for you in the past, who you can rely on, and who you know will be supportive throughout the wedding planning process.
There are other ways to include the special people in your life without asking them to be part of your bridal party.
Invite them to do a reading
Ask them to serve as an usher
If they sing or play an instrument invite them person to be part of the ceremony
Give them the honor of saying the prayer or giving a toast at the reception
2. Consider the Number of Bridesmaids
Your wedding party size should be manageable for you and be a source of inspiration and support rather than additional stress. Consider the number of people you’ll be able to comfortably accommodate at your ceremony site and venue. You should also take into account the budget for bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories. Being a bridesmaid is an in investment of time and money, so these should be factored into your final decision.
3. Be Mindful of Emotions & Expectations
When asking someone to be part of your bridal party, be mindful of their emotions. It can be difficult for someone to say no to such an important request, so make sure you’re sensitive to their feelings. Also, if you’re asking someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, make sure to catch up with them and explain why you’re asking them to be a bridesmaid.
The responsibilities of a bridesmaid are typically set by the bride. Your bridal party is your responsibility. You need to manage the group with open and honest dialogue about what you expect from them in terms of time commitments, special dates and financial contributions at the onset of your wedding planning.
4. Make It Special
When asking someone to be your bridesmaid, make it special. Try to find a unique and personal way to propose. Here are a few ideas for a unique bridesmaid proposal:
Organize a fun day out with all of your bridesmaids-to-be, like a day at the spa or even throw a bridesmaids’ party, that's all about them. Since most of the planning process will be about you, this gesture puts your maids in the spotlight for a moment.
Bridesmaid proposal box ideas are always a huge hit. If you're unsure of what to put in a bridesmaid proposal box, rely on these popular trends - candles, beauty and wellness items, personalized tumblers, robes, jewelry, wine and sweets. To level the proposal box up take the time to include a sentimental bridesmaid proposal letter that's personal and unique to each of your bridesmaids.
Host a brunch or dinner and bring out a cake that reads "Will you be my bridesmaid?"
Keep is simple yet thoughtful by mailing a handwritten bridesmaid proposal card.
Have flowers, food or balloons sent to each bridesmaid with a personalized proposal attached.