“OMG, You’re engaged! I can totally help you plan! Can I throw you a shower? How many bridesmaids are you going to have…? Who’s going to be your Maid of Honor…?”
Choosing the bridesmaids can be both exciting and stressful! There are many books and websites out there chock full of ideas and important considerations. For example, most will tell you to consider the guest list size when deciding on the number of bridesmaids, to choose those who are responsible and available, and to think about their ability to manage the costs of being a bridesmaid. What you don’t find in the books and on the websites are the deeper considerations.
Remember… though most of what you rely on your bridesmaids for takes place during the time leading up to the wedding and on the actual wedding day, who you choose can have an impact that lasts a lifetime. I’ve asked a few brides of the past what they think of their choices now that the wedding is just a fond memory. I found out some interesting things. The time in you life when you marry is just one of many seasons, and those gals who are your besties now may not be in 10 years or even 5. In fact, one friend told me that of the five bridesmaids she had in her wedding, she lost touch with all but one of them (a family member).
One thing to consider is what the bridesmaids represent to you. Many couples think of the wedding attendants as practical helpers, but some think of the deeper meaning of those they choose to stand by them in their wedding. To those couples, the wedding party are those they believe will be there throughout their lives, committed encouraging and supporting them through the ups and downs of their marriage and of life. If you view it this way, you may think more carefully about who you choose. My informal poll tells me that those bridesmaids who chose family members or their one or two very closest friends are those who feel the best about their choices to this day. So, though you may be fighting with your sister or favorite cousin today, that tension will inevitably fade and the true, lasting relationship will be there still when you are celebrating your 20th anniversary. You can look back on those wedding photos together and admire your terrific figures, laugh at your hairstyle and sigh at the sweet memories. And though that favorite friend from work who you know will throw you an off-the-hook bachelorette bash seems like an obvious choice today, you may want to think twice about asking her. Regardless of the size of your wedding, you may consider the significance of your relationship as the greatest deciding factor of how many and who to choose to have at your side on one of the most important days of your life. Happy choosing, Ladies!