You’re engaged! Congrats on experiencing one of the happiest moments in life! Now you ask… what now? How do I begin?
Weddings are a big project and you cannot do it alone. So it’s time to choose your Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids.
By following the tips below, you can minimize the drama, stress, miscommunication and outright chaos that can occur if you choose too casually your team for your bridal journey. The following will help you retain the friendships you have chosen to honor by asking them to be a part of your bridal party.
#1 Choose your Maid of Honor wisely
I know you’ve probably already had your Maid of Honor chosen in your mind before a ring was ever a twinkle in your boyfriends’ eye. But take a step back and really think about it. This is an important decision, as the Maid of Honor will be coordinating your largest pre-wedding events like your Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party. Not to mention, she will be your point of contact for you and family members, the groom, vendors, the bridal party, etc.
Ultimately, people who have been in a bridal party before or have been a Maid of Honor before are good candidates. But as long as she is detail-oriented, organized and has the time and money to commit to this large project, experience may not be the most important factor.
There are websites, like BFFbridesmaid.com, that can help with organizing, tools, and guides but the Maid of Honor still has to sift through a lot of information and ultimately bears the largest burden financially over everyone else.
It will be better if the Maid of Honor lives in the same city or is willing to come and be with you for the numerous appointments, fittings, parties, etc. that come with being a Maid of Honor. Make sure she is flexible, patient, a good communicator, and is decisive and it will make your life a lot easier.
#2 Will you be my Maid of Honor?
Once you have chosen your lucky right-hand gal, do it right by making a memorable formal proposal to ask her to be your Maid of Honor. You can find a list of Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid proposals on this blog.
Communicate, communicate, COMMUNICATE!! I cannot stress this enough! Communication is the leading cause for friendship breakups through the bridal process. If you cared enough to make this girl your Maid of Honor, then you should care enough to want to keep this friendship afterwards. You need to communicate with her from the beginning to the end and a million times in between.
When you ask her to be your Maid of Honor, sit down with her for an hour and tell her directly and honestly what you expect of her. What is the timeline? What pre-wedding events do you plan to have? What events do you expect her or the bridesmaid to plan? What kind of event are you envisioning for the events you want her to plan. Large and extravagent, small and casual, something out of the ordinary? Are you hoping they’ll take you on a girlfriend getaway out of the city?
Be open and flexible if what you are expecting is deemed unpractical or undoable by your Maid of Honor. She is here to keep your expectations under control so that you will not be disappointed. Check if she has anything in her calendar already planned so you can avoid any conflicts.
#4 Money: Keep budgets in check!
Ask her what kind of budget she may be thinking about for each event and how much out of her paycheck, she can set aside to budget for the events, the dress, hair and makeup and whatever else she needs to save for. Be direct on what you expect her and the bridesmaids to pay for: the dress, the shoes, hair and makeup, bridal shower, bachelorette party, gifts for each event, favors, invitations, etc. Make sure she feels safe enough to tell you when you are being unreasonable or not keeping people’s budget’s in mind. It is your day, but everyone else still has their life, their bills and their limits on their disposable income. If you work as a team to meet together in the middle, there will be less disappointment and resentment in the end. The goal is to get as close to your expectations as possible without breaking their banks.
#5 Bridesmaid choices
Now that you have a general idea of timelines, events, and budgets, you are ready to choose your bridesmaids. This should also be done with care as haphazard choosing can lead to clashing personalities, drama and unsolicited stress.
Make sure you choose people who can dedicate some extra time and money to the events, whose personality works well with others and who won’t try to steal your spotlight through drama and fussiness.
Ideally, bridesmaids who live in the same city are optimal but if the Maid of Honor can be organized this is not mandatory. Make sure your Maid of Honor is a part of the bridesmaid choosing process since she will ultimately be the one working closely with the other bridesmaids.
When you ask your bridesmaids, be upfront about timelines, budgets and expectations and don’t be offended if they cannot accept your proposal. It is better for you to have people 100% on board and excited about being your bridesmaid, then to have bridesmaids who accepted out of obligation and didn’t really have the time and extra money to commit.
Just as you asked the Maid of Honor, make your proposal to the bridesmaids special, meaningful and unforgettable. You can find suggestions on this blog..