Choosing my Team Bride for my wedding day wasn’t that big a deal.
Whilst I have a fabulous group of friends, I really didn’t feel the need to ask loads of people to be my bridesmaid and I was really fortunate that no one else made me feel like I needed loads of people either.
Being chosen to be a bridesmaid is a privilege, not a right. It is an honour that should be earned, not a title you should assume you’ll be given. Whilst I was really lucky to not come across any bridesmaid dramas, I completely understand that for some brides, it’s not so straight forward. I thought I’d give my thoughts on choosing your best girls (as ever, this is my opinion and just for fun!) Enjoy.
1. CHOOSE WHO YOU WANT, NOT WHO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE
I have no sisters and neither does Maz, so I was lucky that I have complete free rein on who I choose to be with me on my big day. I choose two of my closest friends from school. I choose them based on their wonderful friendship, never-ending support, their kind hearts, hilarious ways and beautiful souls. I chose them because they were an obvious choice, even though I have a group of friends I love dearly.
I honestly feel everyone should have this luxury. I didn’t choose H & H because I thought one of them would kick off if I didn’t and I wanted an easy life. I didn’t choose them because my mother told me I should. I didn’t choose them because I thought they’d look prettiest in the dresses I wanted and I didn’t choose them because they’d asked me to be a bridesmaid and I had to reciprocate.
This is your day, your way, and you should have who YOU want at your side. And if you want no one? That is bloody fine too! For me, having a Team Bride, was about having the girls with me on the morning and sharing my day with them. They don’t have to wear matching dresses and follow you down the aisle to be a huge part of your wedding. Just making them feel special and a part of it all would be good enough.
2. HAVE THOSE AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS
Following on from point one, what if you are feeling pressure to choose someone you don’t feel is right?
My advice would be, stick to your guns but be honest and open and have those awkward conversations you don’t want to have because, I promise, they will save so much heart ache.
If you think a friend or relative is expecting to be a bridesmaid and it’s not something you’re thinking, sit them down and explain how much you love them and how important they are to you but you’ve chosen other people to be your bridesmaids. Suggest other ways they can be involved in your day. Are they talented at something you need making for the wedding? Could they do a reading or take charge of an element of the hen do?
And if you choose your Team Bride and then someone else’s reaction to them not being asked surprises you, whilst you don’t have to justify your decisions to anyone (this is your day, remember), sit them down and explain.
Weddings are about coming together, not about creating divisions. Take the time to consider friends and relatives who might be upset. And if their reaction is a negative one, despite your best efforts? Well, you’ll know you made the right decision in not asking them in the first place. This is your wedding day, you don’t need that kind of negativity.
3. DON’T LET MONEY BE A FACTOR
Having loads of bridesmaids can be reaaalllllly expensive. I wrote a little about how I saved with my two girls in a post here. But whilst having two girls was financially manageable, if you want loads, how the heck do you afford it?
I still say, have the girls (or boys!) you want by your side but be prepared to make compromises to have them all there. Is there a dress on the highstreet you love that might work for each of them at a cheaper price than traditional dresses? ASOS do a whole range of bridesmaids dresses now which I adore. Can they wear their own shoes, do their own hair and make up?
I know this might seem controversial, but I’m also not adverse to asking your girls to buy their own dresses. But (and it’s a big but!), I would say, if this is the route you’re going down, you give them a budget (you can’t expect them to spend more than they would on an outfit if they were simply a guest) and you have to give them more freedom in their choices. Do not ask your girls to buy their own dresses and then dictate that they all have to buy the £300 number you’ve had your eye on for them. Not cool, at all. If they’re paying for it, I’d say they choose it (with some guidance on colour from you of course.). Most girls will still want your input and approval, even if it is their choice of dress. And if you don’t like what they ultimately choose? Well, you should have bitten the bullet and paid for it!
4. THINK OF A FUN WAY TO ASK THEM
When I was asking the girls, I honestly got a sense how it must have felt for Maz asking me to marry him! I knew they would say yes, but the anticipation was killing me! I suppose it’s because you imagine all your life who your bridemaids will be (granted, those choices undoubtedly change over time) and it’s a pretty big deal for a bride. And I love some of the beautiful, heartfelt and downright hilarious ways you can ask the big question to your girls.
My girls love different things, so I wanted a personal approach. Little H has a sweet tooth and is a foodie so chocolate was certainly the way to go. I created a personalised box of Milk Tray for her on the Cadbury’s website, asking her to be my bridesmaid and had it delivered to her office. And H Mac, well our friendship has pretty much revolved around cups of tea, so she got a personalised mug asking her (I don’t think she’s ever forgiven me for using a photo on it where I said she looked like a boiled egg. A beautiful boiled egg mind!). Asking H Mac was particularly stressful as the one time I needed her to have a cup of tea so I could present her with her tea in her “Will you be my bridesmaid mug?”, she didn’t want one! I had to really twist her arm and she was probably incredibly confused as to why I was so insistent she had a cuppa!
Asking the girls to be by my side is one of the most wonderful memories in the run up to my wedding. We laughed, we cried and they were just so delighted. It was so wonderful.
I love some of the ways you can ask your girls. From personalised bottles of bubbly to a simple, personal letter describing what they mean to you and why you’d like them by your side, there are countless ways.
After all the beautiful photos, I needed one to balance it out! This is Team Bride in Skegness on my hen do!
Whatever you decide to do, savour it. It’s a really special moment in your friendship, one to be treasured so make the most of it, in your own way.
I’d love to hear if you’ve had any bridesmaids dramas that you’d like some advice on. Or if, like me, you just got to choose who you wanted. And how did you ask them? Please do tell me in the comments below.