So your man finally popped the question! Or you did? Whatever, it doesn’t matter – you’re engaged! Now naturally, after all the excitement dies down (and you’ve successfully texted every WhatsApp group a picture of your left hand), it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty details. You work out dates, maybe decide if you want an indoor or outdoor venue, and then you’re ready to pick your bridesmaids – but there’s one problem: you have too many girlfriends.
We know, having too many friends never sounds like a problem, but suddenly this is looking like a major dilemma. While your girl squad is tight – I mean, your carnival on-the-road photos look more like the VS fashion show than a group of friends, and your pre-drink limes look more like a party itself with the sheer number of y’all – you know there’s no possible way you can fit them all in as bridesmaids. Well, without looking like Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses.
So while you’d love to have the whole crew in your bride tribe, you realistically know some need to get cut. And it’s scary, because these girls are your best friends and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But it’s doable. And at the end of the day, this special day is all about you and what you want, and your friends love you and will understand that. Not to say it’ll be the easiest decision in the world – but you’re wedding planning, so you have tons of tough decisions coming your way anyway. But the question remains: how do you choose who stays and who goes? Well, we’re sharing our go-to advice to make your journey to wifehood as easy as possible.
1: BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF:
This is honestly (no pun intended) the first step to choosing. This is your special day – who do you want by your side to make it the day of your dreams? Make sure you’re choosing ones that’ll be able to live up to your expectations, as well as help to take the pressure off of you on your big day. Before even thinking of who to choose, take some time to think of what you want your ideal bridesmaid to be: what will she do, how will she act, how will she help? Then let this be your guide when choosing your go-to girls.
2: WHO WILL ACTUALLY DO THE JOB RIGHT?:
As fun as being a bridesmaid is, it’s just as much of a responsibility. There’s more that goes into the role than just zipping up a pretty dress and walking up an aisle. While you love all of your friends, you know that there are some that just might not be the best fit in terms of living up to the responsibilities. Make sure when you’re choosing your ladies, they’ll be there for better or for worse – and they won’t flake out when you really need them.
3: FEEL OUT WHERE EVERYONE’S HEAD IS AT
Contrary to popular belief, not every woman is dying to be a bridesmaid. In fact, some people dread it. As a bridesmaid, go from getting to celebrate your friend’s love from afar to being all up in the nitty gritty details that you just don’t have time for – and it’s just not for everyone. Plus, you don’t get to wear your own dress, and face the possibility of the dreaded ugly bridesmaid dress (yours won’t be ugly, don’t worry!). Try to feel out what your besties are thinking – are they dying to be a bridesmaid or are they happier supporting from the sidelines?
4: DON’T PICK SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE KNOWN THEM LONGEST:
While your closest, truest friend may just be the one you’ve known the longest, this isn’t always true. What we mean to say is that time isn’t the biggest indication of your bond with someone – and it’s not fair to the girls in your friend group that you may be even closer with but haven’t known for as long. Let your bond decide your bridesmaids, not time.
5: DON’T CHOOSE SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE YOU WERE THEIR BRIDESMAID:
Did we learn nothing from 27 Dresses? After Katherine Heigl’s many many stints as a bridesmaid, she decided to have all of those brides in her tribe – and it wasn’t pretty. If you’re close to another friend who’s already been married and who you were a bridesmaid for, then by all means choose her. But don’t let that be your only reasoning for choosing her.
6: DON’T MAKE IT A COMPETITION:
They say there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, but in this case, it’ll only lead to disaster. The biggest no-no is making landing a spot in your bridal party into a competition. Not only will it be totally uncomfortable for you and your friends, but it’ll actually cause your friends to resent you and your wedding, and the last thing you want are negative feelings associated with your big day. And beyond your wedding, even the tightest friendships could crumble under that kind of pressure. So leave the games to the athletes.
7: LOGISTICS, LOGISTICS, LOGISTICS:
Now this isn’t to say that you can’t choose bridesmaids that don’t live in the same place as you, but make sure to consider if your friend or cousin from abroad would actually be able to make it for your wedding weekend before planning to put them in the bridal party. If your friend living in New York has run out of days off for the year, then don’t expect she’ll be able to hop on a plane to Trinidad in time for your wedding. But similarly, don’t assume otherwise.
8: MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THAT EVERYONE IS STILL INVITED TO THE WEDDING:
Sometimes, friends may think that if they’re not invited to be a bridesmaid, it means they aren’t invited at all. Make sure you continue to let your friends know that they’re still invited. They won’t be missing out on your special day, and it truly wouldn’t be complete without them there – even if they aren’t standing in matching dresses next to you. If you want, keep your close friends who didn’t make the cut in on the loop too – and let them help you with other wedding decisions. Need help with party favors? Call up all the girls for a bonding experience. Don’t let this one night strain friendships you’ve worked hard to nurture and keep over the years.
9: AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE DECISION IS YOURS:
While it can be really stressful feeling like you’re choosing between friends and certainly not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, you don’t have to justify your choices to anyone. Ultimately, it’s your wedding and your choice, and this should be a fun experience and certainly not a stressful one. If your friends are truly your friends, they’ll be happy about your engagement, understand that you can’t have everyone, and celebrate with you like they were a bridesmaid, even if they don’t make the cut.