Sunday, August 19, 2007

Choosing Your Bridesmaids

Choosing Your Bridesmaids. You've got a sparkly ring on your finger, booked the church, and chosen a dress. Now it's time for a somewhat bigger problem: who to choose for your bridesmaids. For some brides, it's an easy task, for others, it involves hairsplitting and painful decisions.

Traditionally, "bridesmaids" would include the bride's sisters and close friends.
For some lucky brides, they know for sure who their "bridesmaids" are going to be even before the guy proposed, for others, choosing the members of the wedding party is a traumatic experience. This does not really answer the bridesmaid problem though. Sometimes the problem would be an overabundance of eligible bridesmaids that is nearly impossible to narrow down; sometimes the problem is a shortage of "bridesmaids" that it's nearly impossible to find anyone.

If you have a lot of potential "bridesmaids", list them all down and pick out which ones are closest to you, which ones you have known the longest and are most likely to help you with everything from wedding jitters to potential disasters. If your list is too long, because of some people who are there because of obligation, simply remove them from the list. It is not necessary to ask someone like your estranged sister to be a bridesmaid if you are not comfortable being with her, but if you would like to make a reconciliatory gesture by asking her, go ahead.

On the other hand, do not be guilt-tripped into asking someone just because you are expected to. Your wedding party should include the people you would like to share the happiest day of your life with, not the people you think should be included just for form's sake.Before booking your friends and sisters for dress fittings, you should know for sure what you expect your bridesmaids to do, and what duties you would require of them.

Do you want them to be involved with planning every detail of the wedding or just expect them to show up for the ceremony and reception? If your bridesmaids are needed with putting the wedding together then you should choose friends and family members that are or can be available during the planning stage. You should also choose people that can work together or are comfortable with each other. Instead of helping, bickering bridesmaids would be more of a hindrance.

If the "bridesmaids" were just required to show up for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding, then the criteria would only include who you would like to have in your wedding party and who would be available for the wedding day. This might involve a lot more hairsplitting than if bridesmaids are expected to help out. If the list of potential bridesmaids is still too long, some of your friends or family members could be requested to perform other duties instead, like doing the liturgical readings or the offertory during the mass.

Having a lack of possible bridesmaids might also be a problem, and if there are no distant relatives to scrounge up you could ask acquaintances or the groom's family to fill in the gaps. Of course, the same rules still apply - you don't have to ask anyone with whom you are not comfortable including in the wedding party just because you need another "bridesmaid".

Still, some brides opt to have "bride's men" in lieu of bridesmaids, or a "lad of honor" in addition to the bridesmaids. Of course, if you choose to ask your brothers or close male friends, you should make sure that your groom and your potential "bride's men" are ok with it. It is also good to check in case you might offend some sensibilities by including men in your wedding party, but of course you have the final say in whom to include or not to include. Remember, the wedding is for you and your fiancée, so don't waste time worrying over the wedding party. In the end, everybody who cares about you would still be there for you both, not just during the wedding day but for the rest of your lives.

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