Having issues choosing your bridal party? Struggling to include both your family and your closest friends? Once you’re engaged you’ll find family and friends more than eager to give their two cents about the wedding but when it comes to narrowing it down to who you ultimately want by your side as you say ‘I Do’, take the time to reflect on your choice carefully. Consider our below advice before making any decisions.

Think of the size of your wedding party

The number of bridesmaids can vary greatly with each wedding but try not to let your bridal party get too large – think about the size of your wedding and plan accordingly. If you have a small, intimate wedding having five bridesmaids and five groomsmen will look ridiculous. Sit down with your fiancé and make a shortlist of the people you would both like to include and think about who will gel well together as this group.

Try to include family

Nicole Leever

If you have sisters they should be strong front runners for the role, if you are from a big family and have a lot of sisters, pick the sister which you are closest to and try to find alternative roles in the wedding for the rest. If your fiancé has a sister, you should try to include her also, even if you are not particularly close – you have years to work on this and think how happy it should make him! Friends can sometimes outgrow each other but family will be around forever.

Choose carefully – think responsible and reliable

Of course, you want to include your best friends but the role of bridesmaid involves more than just having somebody to stand beside you on the day. Weddings take months of planning and organisation and your bridesmaids should aim to ease the stress and help out where possible in the months before this. They will also be organising your bachelorette party so avoid any drama queens or friends who are known to put themselves first… you don’t want to be disappointed or end up organising this yourself so pick somebody reliable who knows you and what you like. You should also try to pick friends who will actually be around to help, a bridesmaid who is snowed under with a busy job or who lives abroad will not be a great help when it comes to the planning.

Once you ask, you can’t take it back

Le Rose Gifts

It’s an exciting time but avoid getting carried away and jumping the gun when it comes to picking bridesmaids, some friends might automatically assume they will be given the role but don’t get into any conversations about this until you and your partner have sat down and discussed it fully. Once it’s out there, it’s pretty uncomfortable to try and take it back.

Don’t ask someone because they asked you

Do not feel any obligation to include somebody as a bridesmaid purely because you were part of her bridal party, your bridesmaids will be your saviours when wedding planning gets too much and you need an escape or when you just feel like venting – you need to be fully comfortable with them and excited that they will be part of your inner circle on the day.

Consider alternative roles

Christy Johnston

There are limited spaces for bridesmaids and quite often, you won’t get to ask everybody that you would ideally like to but don’t despair, there are many other roles which these friends can take on instead. Consider the role of usher or have friends distribute programs at the beginning of the wedding, you could also ask friends to do a reading or for those who are musically talented to contribute in that way throughout the ceremony or reception.

Don’t be stuck on tradition

Don’t let tradition dictate who should be in your bridal party if you would prefer a Man of Honour instead of a Maid then go for it! Do what makes you happy. The role of the bridal party is to help and support the bride and groom in the lead up to and on their special day so if your best friend is a guy then don’t let this affect your choices.