As a beautiful blushing bride, you’ll surely find the months leading to your special day are bustled full of activity and excitement. And having fabulous bridesmaids to assist you, is key!
Not only will they help ensure your days unfold smoothly, but they’ll assist in making arrangements and provide much needed moral support when needed most. Having strong camaraderie proceed you down the aisle and stand beside you as you say your vows, is ideal.
Truth be told, having female attendants is as old as marriage itself. Sit a while with those who’ve married before you and their mantra will ring the same: select your bridesmaids carefully.
The Selection Process
If you find yourself favoring tradition, consider selecting the sister nearest you in age as your key attendant, the maid of honor (or matron of honor if she is married ). However, a younger sister , relative, or a best friend is an equally valuable choice. Some brave brides have even asked a male friend or relative to fill this role (then called a man of honor or honor attendant). Should you be blessed with multiple sisters or dare not choose between two friends, consider inviting both to be maids of honor and split the duties between them. Another point of fancy, however not required, is to invite your fiancé’s sister to be a bridesmaid.
The number of attendants you choose will depend largely on your circle of friends and the tone you’d like to set for your day. For informal or intimate gatherings, a single maid of honor will suffice, however a large and formal ceremony, can call for up to a dozen. Typically, numbers fall between four to six. While not crucial, attendants on each side are evenly paired. More common now, this tradition is often broken: consider having sides walk down separately, or having one three-some enter last down the aisle.
Duties of Honor
When it comes to helping out, each bride’s desires are different. You may simple want your ladies to escort you down the aisle, or you may want them involved in every step of the planning. But regardless of your requests, be sure to communicate effectively.
In the months of prep that follow, the maid of honor typically accompanies the bride as she finds the perfect gown, helps select the bridesmaids dresses and takes lead in organizing a bridal shower. She helps the bride with DIY projects, assists in running errands and alleviates the groom, by engaging in consistent giddy “wedding talk”. Come wedding day, she will over-see the wedding party and help prepare the bride in every way.
When it comes to your lovely bridesmaids, they’ll help scout out dresses, research hotels, and co-host a shower if the maid of honor is unable to do so. On the wedding day, bridesmaids often gather guests for the couple’s first dance, greet people in the receiving line, and look after elderly relatives and friends.
Most importantly, take time to think things through and be clear about your expectations when inviting them to get involved.
In Preparation and Planning
To give ample time for preparation, I suggest contacting your potentials shortly after engagement. When possible, offer an invitation in person (perhaps a hand-crafted gesture to whoo them). Should distance not permit, a simple phone call or mailed card will do (you could also send a bouquet of flowers or a token gift by mail). Steer clear of emails or facebook messages, as they can be too informal and slightly impersonal.
Once your parties been assembled, e-mail is an efficient way to keep the bridesmaids up-to-date and informed. But, no matter how you choose to communicate, make sure all attendants have one another’s contact information to connect when needed.
My Gift to you
To make this process as seamless and fun as possible, I’ve carefully a free cheat sheet. Download and present to your beautiful bridesmaids!
Download your copy | Bridesmaids Etiquette Cheat Sheet