To define the wedding party: a combination of those people that are nearest to you, the best friends, sisters, and college roomies. They are the people that you know will keep you accountable in your marriage. The people who will smile & cry just as much as you are–because you mean as much to them as they do to you. And those people who, even if you haven’t known them since diapers, feel as though you do.
They are the people who you just can’t say “I do” without.
To put it simply, these are some special people that you are about to ask to partake in your big day. So let’s do it right.
WHO should I ask?
When it comes to who to ask it shouldn’t be much of a struggle. You probably already know who you plan to ask just from imaginary wedding planning in your head. But there is always the issue of even numbers, included siblings, and far-away friends that throw a wrench in the works. These are all things that you personally need to assess, each situation is different. However, word to the wise, pick people that you truly love and want to spend your wedding day with–not just people to make the numbers add up or that you feel an obligation to. These will be the girls partying with you the night before and getting ready with you the morning of. Whether it’s two or six, you shouldn’t have to sweat over your choices. If you want to include younger siblings without lengthening the bridesmaids or groomsmen, consider the option of Jr. Bridesmaids or flower girls and ring bearers.
So write down everyone that comes to mind for both sides of the aisle, work to make the numbers balance, than get to askin’!
HOW should I ask?
I found that this portion relates purely to the brides, in most cases. My husband called up his guys and that was that. But girls like to be a bit more creative. There are tons of ideas out there and I suppose it’s based on how much time & money you have to spare.
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- Face-to-face. This would be a really fun way to get together with your girls. You’d get to see their reaction when you ask and chat over weddings things like dresses and makeup. Plan a get-together over brunch or coffee and in the midst of the laughter pose your question in your own personal way. You can still opt for cards, bridesmaid gear, or small gifts to give out during that time.
- A thoughtful card. If my girls lived closer, I would have gone with the first option. However, all but one were long distance at the time. If you find yourself in this situation or having a hard time scheduling a get-together with everyone, one of your options is to send a card. Sending a card doesn’t have to be impersonal, there are so many great options on Etsy or Amazon. Plus, it can save you a lot of time and money, especially if you make them your own. Make sure to write something special inside to each one and look forward to hearing back from your ladies.
- A package. This was my option–I had been eying up the “bridesmaid’s boxes” online and determined to DIY the whole thing on a budget. I will say, as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to prioritize quality over quantity. In this case, Pinterest is crawling with creativity, just type in “bridesmaid box” and hundreds of ideas will arrive at your fingertips. You can make it really elaborate or steer towards simplicity. Either way, it’ll make your girls feel special & excited. Here are a few neat links that inspired me via Pinterest:
WHAT should I have them do?
Like I said in the beginning, these are special people. They don’t come around very often. With that mindset is became my personal goal to honor that special relationship. I didn’t want them to feel like they owed me anything or were fulfilling the role of indentured servant to bridezilla. We’ve all probably been involved in one of those super stressful, needy weddings at one point or another. So do unto others as you would have them do to you. Just sayin’. I wanted to make my girls feel special and honored. I chose them because I care about them a whole lot and I wanted to make sure they knew it. I hired other connections to help with the workload.
On that note, bridesmaids usually want to help. Especially that maid/matron of honor that can’t get enough of late nights DIY’ing, consoling, and “planning” over laughs and coffee…amIright? But I also wanted to remember that they have their own lives to lead–my wedding isn’t their top priority (especially when two are getting married within two months of your own). So I chose to ask each one to help with one area that they are especially good at, except for the Matron of Honor, like I said, she’s a glutton for punishment.
Jacqueline hand made those invitations (which is one of the things that she does really well by the way, check out her Etsy shop here), Tiffany painted my thumb-print, guestbook canvas, and Lisa helped with making pennant flags. Rather than piling on the lists and demands, I loved having each friend contribute in their own special way. All of these things are now decor and memoirs in my home, double bonus.
If you’re curious about the BRIDESMAID BOX that I made…
Like I said, I was eyeing up those beautiful boxes above. However, I couldn’t afford to buy 8 wooden boxes, spend the time painting, and do everything that I wanted to do for the Bridesmaid Brunch before the wedding. If I could have thrown money at it, I definitely would have.
So I improvised and came up with something like this:
I used paper boxes, mod-podged book pages onto it–and glued poofy, mint fabric to the bottom.
Each girl got their own matching planner (they go on clearance right after the New Year) filled with the information they would need to know in coming to the wedding. This included: important addresses and phone numbers, dates and times. I sent out a more detailed packet of information a month before the wedding, once things were solidified and they were making plans to travel.
Each box included: 1) Personalized, book-page box 2) Book-page girl chain–with names of who was in the party and what role 3) Planner with important dates & information 4) A copy of our Save the Date 5) Photo cards of dresses & shoes to show guidelines of what to look for when shopping 6) Paint chips of the color scheme as well as a tag to verbally describe what girls should dress like 7) Photos to depict the theme and style of our wedding so everyone could be in the loop.
Hope that all of this inspires you as you plan to ask your bridesmaids! Comment below to share your stories and ideas of how you asked or plan to–I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Next week, I’ll share more about dressing your wedding party–be sure to check back next Monday!