Bridesmaids - Tips for Who to Pick
More isn’t always merrier
Firstly, you will need to ask yourself is how many guests you're planning to invite. While bridal parties can range anywhere from a single maid/matron of honor to more than a dozen attendants, many wedding experts agree that a good rule of thumb is to have one groomsman and one corresponding bridesmaid for every 50 guests. Most large wedding parties traditionally signify a formal wedding and thus formal attire. So if you're planning a small, intimate gathering, twelve bridesmaids might be a bit too much.
Speaking of size, remember that the more bridesmaids you have, the greater the potential for issues to come up. In other words, you'll need to get more people to agree on a dress or decide on a shower date and what to do with their hair and accessories. And if you're on a limited budget, think about what it will take financial to pay for the bouquets as well as the bridal party gifts.
Relatives vs. friends
If you're close to your sister or future sister-in-law, the thought of “not” including them in your wedding party probably never even occurred to you. But still there are those of you that aren’t close to your sister (or sister-in-law) and you don’t want them to be a part of your wedding party at all. Still, it's usually worth including family members just to avoid unnecessary conflict if it matters to either or both parents especially if they are helping pay for the wedding.
Still stuck? Keep in mind that there are plenty of other roles good friends and relatives can play in your wedding if they don't make first tier cut -- ushers, a reading, candle lighters, passing out programs etc.
No returns or exchanges
You don't need to ask someone to be in your wedding just because she asked you to be in her wedding. You need to pick carefully because you can’t ask someone to be a part of your wedding party and then “un-ask” them the next week.
What do you expect from your bridesmaids? Do you need help addressing invitations and tying tiny ribbons around your programs or do you just need the emotional support? If it's the latter, think twice about asking friends who live far away or who have extremely hectic schedules. You don't want to find yourself getting frustrated with a friend you knew wouldn't be able to give you all the help you wanted. Bridesmaids that live in your neighborhood would make it easier for you to assign them tasks and for them to complete them.
Try not to make hasty assumptions. Don't write off some friends simply because you think they don't have enough money to afford that Watters and Watters dupioni silk bridesmaid dress you have your heart set on. If you want to ask a friend who you know is having financial difficulties, you can always have her be a part of the wedding as a candle lighter or in charge of the guestbook.
Yes – guys do count
A bridesmaid doesn't have to be a woman. Today, many brides (and grooms) are including members of the opposite sex as attendants. If your best friend is a man – you should certainly feel comfortable asking him to be a part of your bridal party.
Share the news
Once you make up your mind about your bridesmaids, you'll want to let everyone know who is in your bridal party to set expectations. If you're afraid of hurting someone's feelings, remember that, it is your decision to make and if they are a true friend they will understand your decision. And finally, the sooner you make your decision, the sooner you get to check off another task on your checklist.