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Finalizing Your Crew

Posted: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013

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Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!

Once you’ve got the groom and the date, you can start thinking about who will be your bridesmaids. So how do you pick who will stand by your side on the most special day of your life?

First you (and your groom) need to decide how many members will be in your wedding party. Once the number has been agreed upon, you can begin discussing potential wedding party members. For most, there’s an obligatory thought to include family members – be it a sister, cousin, niece or even an in-law. There are probably a few girls that you’ve shared late nights with, lots of laughs, and even a few tears, and these are the people you will plan to include in your wedding party. And there are a few who will automatically assume they are going to be a part of your wedding (think High School BFF that you still keep in touch with via Facebook).

Before sending out cute invitation asking your BFFs and family members to share in months of planning, parties and one very important weekend, consider a few things:

1. How much time will your choices be able to spend with you over a several month span?

You might not REQUIRE that your bridesmaids dedicate every waking moment to your wedding for 10 months, but you will certainly appreciate their effort to be at various showers, parties and events. You will want your bridesmaids there to try on dresses, and maybe even with you as you try on dresses. When your Bachelorette party rolls around, you will want your chosen bridesmaids to celebrate your last days of singledom with you and the rest of your girlfriends. Choosing a bridesmaid who is already overwhelmed with her life (new job, recently moved, new baby, etc.) can be problematic if she cannot find time to be with you, support you and participate in those special moments. The chances of everyone making it to everything are slim, but you will notice the ones who do make an effort to be there for you.

2. How organized are they and do they pay attention to detail?

Having an organized bridesmaid is essential. This is usually the maid or matron of honor, since the responsibility of planning a bridal shower and bachelorette party, and helping you stay stress-free on the day of the wedding fall to your MOH. You need someone who can command the attention of the other bridesmaids, pull together common dates for events, gather money for things like the deposit on your bachelorette trip and making restaurant reservations, and someone who can make sure everyone else stays in the loop on what’s going on. It’s a good thing to confirm all of your bridesmaid’s email addresses and phone numbers in the beginning and get those to the MOH. Also important to make sure your bridesmaids actually check their email. You don’t want someone showing up on the day of wondering “were we supposed to wear pearls?”

3. Are they excited to be a part of it?

It actually matters how much your choices want to be a part of your day. If you choose someone because you felt like you had to (and they felt like they had to be in your wedding because you asked), it might not work out the best for you. It’s possible that you’ll end up having someone who is lackadaisical about participating in your wedding. You might have asked someone who doesn’t have enough money to go to Vegas for a 4-day weekend, or enough vacation time to go to the Florida Keys for a week. If you look, you will see who really wants to be a part of your wedding. You will see the ones who ask you how things are going, go shopping for dresses with you, and tag you in pins on Pinterest of wedding ideas in your style. While you obviously want to pick who YOU want to be in your wedding, it’s worth considering if your first picks have the same desire.

I have a few friends who have recently gotten engaged, and are beginning to think about who will stand with them on their big day. The only advice I could give came from the three questions I posed above. You want to pick fun bridesmaids, genuine people, and good friends. You want to pick those that will be honest with you when you put on a dress that’s too poofy, that will encourage you to keep working out if you’re complaining you haven’t seen results just yet, and that will offer to come write on 10 chalkboards and put guest bags together with you the week of the wedding. And once you decide on WHO you’re asking, you can browse through Pinterest and Etsy looking for ways to ask!

What’s your best advice on picking bridesmaids? We would love to hear it!

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