On July 8, 2011 I was so happy to have my best friend of 12 years standing next to me as I pledged my love to my high school sweetheart. And last October, I stood and watched her do the same.
Photo by Rebecca Franklin Photography
Sometimes choosing the bridal party is easy. And sometime it's not. A lot of times, family politics plays into it and a bride might feel guilted into a decision to keep everyone happy. Here are a couple tips from one bride to another:
Look for support - Planning a wedding can be a very stressful experience, because so much time and money goes into it. And some people make it more stressful, while others make it less stressful. Surround yourself with people who will give their honest opinion but ultimately support your decision.
Keep the peace - Sometimes you have to pick your battles. And if your future sister-in-law is going to be devastated if she's not a bridesmaid, it's probably best to ask her. It's so easy to get wrapped up in having the picture perfect wedding day and forget that it's a day to celebrate not just the joining of two lives, but the joining of two families. And if adding an extra bridesmaid will keep the peace, I'd recommend it.
Don't be demanding - Agreeing to be in someone's bridal party is a big expense and a big time commitment. So make it as easy as you can for your dearest friends. I bent my wedding vision a bit to help my girls find a more affordable dress. I didn't make them pay for professional makeup. I didn't even tell them they had to get their nails done. Two of my bridesmaids lived 4 hours away, so I knew they wouldn't be able to come to my bridal shower or help me put together programs until midnight, and that was ok with me. Don't be the bride that picks out every single detail of the bridesmaids' attire down to the nail polish or demand that your girls attend all 7 of your pre-wedding festivities. The last thing that you want to do is have your wedding ruin a friendship. And if that means that you don't get any help putting together all of those favors, so be it.
One more tip. Notice anything about my bridal party from the photo? Three girls and four guys. So what? Don't feel like you have to ask another person just to have even sides. Just ask who you want to ask.