More and more these days, we find that brides are choosing to “fly solo” on their side of the alter. That’s right, no bridesmaids, no flower girl and absolutely no maid of honor. Sound strange, well most are citing the drama, bickering and overall hassle that comes with putting several young women together and trying to manage them. Instead of shutting everyone out, how about just straightening them up? Here are several tips to ensure that your bridesmaids are happy, helpful and humble at your wedding
- Choose bridesmaids for their friendship and personal meaning to you, not just to make others happy – don’t make your crazy cousin a bridesmaid just because your mother suggested it unless you really want to. Choosing people that you don’t really trust or want associated with your wedding will force you to micromanage the event and keep you from delegating responsibility. Once that is done, the brunt of responsibilities either fall on the bride, her immediate family or worse, one single bridesmaid. Choose people you trust and truly want to be a part of your special day.
- Lay out the responsibilities up front – many bridesmaids don’t know what they are getting into when they are asked to be a part of a wedding, especially those doing it for the first time. Be upfront and honest with them. If you don’t want them to do anything, just show up on the day of the event, tell them. However, if you want them to be involved in the process with you, make sure you decide beforehand what responsibilities you are comfortable with sharing and lay them out up front, at your very first meeting.
- Choose attire that will flatter everyone so that everyone feels comfortable – for many, that may mean choosing one color dress and offering it to your bridesmaids in several different styles. If your bridesmaid doesn’t feel comfortable and confident in what you are asking her to wear, it may show on their face, which in turn may show up on your pictures. You may want to even allow the girls to make several dress suggestions, that way you they are involved and helping with the decisions.
- Be reasonable with your expectations – Being honest and open about what you need is the best way to set up the guidelines for your bridesmaids up front. However when it comes to their actual projects make sure that you are not unreasonable with your requests. There’s no way that one bridesmaid is going to be able to hand address 500 invitations in one night! Being unreasonable with requests usually happens when the bride is stressed and things are running behind. Don’t forget that when you are stressed, it can easily stress the rest of the wedding party!
- Remember, you may be in their shoes very soon! – Don’t forget that what goes around comes around. Treat others the way that you want to be treated and other great old sayings can come into play here. Sure, you may be the bride this time around, but next year it may be their turn and you might be the bridesmaid. Good organization, reasonable expectations, open, honest requests and valued relationships will help you make sure your bridesmaids’ experience is a great one – and in turn they will treat you the same when their turn comes.