Doesn’t matter if it’s for 1 year or 50 years, ask any married person if they’re still friends with every member of their wedding party, and way more often than not, they’ll give you a resounding no. It’s a weird fact of life folks and a real bummer. There’s a lot of reasons for that, but hopefully by choosing the right bridesmaids in the first place, we can avoid the temporary friend factor!
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing your bridesmaids, so we’ll dive into that and go into how to avoid creating a wedding party of people you won’t even talk to 5 years later.
Watch below or scroll down to read on.
1. Forget Symmetry
So, first off, my biggest insight for you guys in choosing your bridesmaids would be to say that your bridal party does not need to have an equal number of people on either side. I should underline that. Seriously. If your fiancé has 7 guys on his side and you’ve got only 3 friends in mind, don’t just invite 4 random people to join your squad. As a photographer I can tell you that there are only 3 instances and 1 picture where the whole bridal party will be together, that’s at the front of the church, getting group photos taken (and we don’t do a ton of those!) and getting announced at the reception. That’s it! A bit of asymmetry is nbd.
2. Family First
This may be an unpopular opinion, but whatever; Your family is your family for life, and now your husband’s family will be your family for life too. Family members should have priority when selecting your bridal party.
3. Get over the aesthetics.
So, as a wedding photographer, I’m part of a half dozen or more wedding forums and groups, and I have to tell you, some of the things I read from brides planning their wedding day is just horrifying. Now, I know none of you are like this, because you’re cool, but I’ve literally seen conversation threads where brides are considering excluding a friend from being a bridesmaid over the fact that they’re not attractive enough. People like that are weird, don’t be weird guys.
4. Reciprocity is Not Required.
Just because your friend had you as a bridesmaid does not mean you have to return the favor. Maybe you’re just not that close anymore. Whatever the case, talk to them, be honest and if they’re a good friend, they’ll understand.
5. Forget Obligation
If you’re inviting someone because they’re the only member of your friend group that won’t be in the bridal party, it’s not worth it. Honestly, being in a wedding is expensive. Don’t assume you’re doing them a favor by asking them to be a part of your wedding party, but, by all means invite them to the bachelorette party.
6. Choose a Supportive Squad
This one should be obvious, but if one of your friends has a chip on her shoulder about your groom, she is not wedding party material. The people you choose stand as witnesses to your covenant vows and are supposed to encourage you in your marriage. Anyone who will be sowing seeds of dissension should be eliminated.
Special considerations in choosing your bridal party :
People who are in school, married with kids.. If you want to include these people, understand that they come with limitations, especially budget and time considerations. These people may be steadfast, amazing friends who belong in your bridal party, but just know that they may not be able to commit to the festivities or the costs like some of your other girls. And, that is totally fine, but you have the right expectations. For people in this situation, I recommend having an honest talk with them explaining how you’d love for them to be a part of your wedding day, but totally understand if being a bridesmaid is not something they can commit to at the moment! No hard feelings.
Young bridesmaids. I’ve seen this play out a lot over the years. Matter of fact, I was this bridesmaid, unfortunately. If your friends are a bit young or inexperienced with the whole wedding thing, you can expect that they might be totally clueless and unhelpful. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love you, it just means that they’re clueless. They’ll grow out of it one day and feel bad for complaining about the dress or not helping with your bridal shower. It’s just the way it is for younger bridesmaids who are single and who’ve never been in a wedding before. Like I said, That was totally me- the first wedding I was in, I was still in college, and again, totally clueless and unhelpful (sorry Jewels!).
Speaking of bridesmaids, here’s a guide to choosing bridesmaid dresses you won’t regret!
Hope that was helpful and happy planning!