How to choose your bridesmaids

Choosing the people to have as your bridesmaids is one of the first, and biggest, decisions a bride-to-be is faced with. From the moment you announce your engagement, aside from ‘have you set a date?’, it’s the biggest question on everyone’s lips, not least your closest friends.

There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a difficult decision, especially if you’re part of a large group of friends. When Rory popped the question and the news began to sink in, I immediately started to think about my bridesmaid selection.

There are many elements to consider when making your decision so, to help focus my mind, I decided to concentrate on the key things that I would want from my bridesmaids. Asking someone to be your bridesmaid is more than a nice gesture, it’s a request to have that person around you during one of the most special, and somewhat stressful, times in your life. I know that I will need my bridesmaids to help me through this journey and, as a result, I wanted to ask people who would:

  • Embrace the fun of planning a wedding: you want to be able to share your planning with someone who can enjoy it with you and understand the things that are important to you
  • Listen to me in times of sheer panic: it can be a stressful time and I want to be surrounded with people who can support me through the more challenging moments
  • Provide an unbiased opinion to help make the big decisions smaller. I knew I needed people who know me well enough to give helpful, objective advice
  • Throw me a hen do to remember!
  • Ensure my Champagne intake is high throughout the planning process and limited on the big day (until after the ceremony at least!)

Based on this criteria, my decision was relatively simple and my four special ladies were chosen. My older sister, Cara; my cousin, Caroline; my future sister-in-law, Ciara; and (making one exception to the ‘C’ rule that I seemed to have inadvertently set) my best friend, Antonia, have all taken on the mantle.

I have also nominated three of the younger members of our families to be flower girls and I will definitely be giving my two year-old niece, Orla, one of these Bridesmaid Dolls by Laura Long to help her to understand a bit more about the day itself.

Bridesmaid Doll by Laura Long

There are, of course, countless other friends who I’d like to be involved in my big day, but I decided four bridesmaids was a good number. There are lots of other ways you can include close friends if they’re not going to be a bridesmaid: you might want to ask someone to give a reading during the ceremony, be a witness as you sign the register, help you with the preparations (such as making decorations or invitations) or style the venue on the day. You could even have a number of non-bridesmaids with you on the morning of your wedding to help you get ready.

Having been a bridesmaid four times myself, I know what a privilege and an honour it is to be asked, so I was really excited to break the news to my four lovely ladies. These personalised ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid’ Cards from Button Box Cards were perfect for the job.

Personalised 'Will You Be My Bridesmaid' Card by Button Box Cards

So now the fun has started! Discussions around the hen do have begun, Pinterest boards have been generated for bridesmaid outfit ideas, and a lot of Champagne has been drunk. It’s fair to say that my selection criteria worked a treat for me!

How did you go about choosing your bridesmaids? Was it an easy decision-making process? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Top image: Fabric Bridesmaid Posie by ‘By Alex’

  • Comment by Emily Coltman

    I was a Quaker bride – so had no bridesmaids! That’s one way to avoid offending anyone :) But I involved my close female friends and family in other ways, as you’ve suggested – one of my best friends came to help me dress on my wedding morning, another organised the afternoon barn dance. My mum acted as my witness on the marriage certificate, and my niece carried in the wedding cake for cutting. There are lots of ways you can involve your family and friends!

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