How to keep your bride tribe happy
14 Feb 2019
A rowing bridal party is the last thing you need while in the middle of wedding planning, says Julia O’Driscoll
Image: Captured Life Photography
Choosing your bridesmaids is one of the first challenges all brides face when planning their wedding - and things don’t necessarily get easier once you’ve decided who will be by your side on the big day. From the hen do to the wedding outfits, keeping the peace between your nearest and dearest in the run up to the wedding is no small task.
I’ve been a bridesmaid twice and had an amazing experience both times. It seems a few simple tricks and tips can help keep everyone happy. These #weddinghacks will put a stop to potential difficulties and keep Team Bride on top form.
A group chat is essential
Keeping communication as easy as possible between the bridal party is crucial, especially when negotiating dates for fittings and hen dos. I’ve found email chains can easily get overlooked whereas a group message will help keep everyone up to date and in the loop. So first things first, set up a Whatsapp group so you can share exciting updates and ask for the squad’s advice when making important decisions on everything from the venue to your bridal make-up look.
Image: Wesley Vorster Photography
Set budgets and be upfront about costs
From the outset it’s important to be clear about what costs the bridesmaids will need to be aware of. Are you paying for their outfits, transport and accommodation, for instance? How much can everyone afford to spend on the hen do? Be realistic and clear about costs from the start and remember that everyone will have a different idea about what’s a reasonable price for a wedding outfit or weekend away.
Avoid dress stress
Choosing your bridesmaids’ outfits shouldn’t end in bride wars. Lots of brides are breaking the traditional mould so narrow down the outfit options by the type of wedding you are having. If it’s a relaxed and DIY vibe pick a general colour, pattern or design and ask the bridesmaids to choose an outfit that fits your brief – that way they will co-ordinate and get to show off their personal style at the same time.
For a more cohesive look, multi-way dresses are a popular choice as each bridesmaid can choose to wear it whichever way best suits their shape and style. Or pick a dress that comes in different cuts and ask the bridesmaids to pick their favourites. My cousin did this for her eight bridesmaids and we all ended up with the style we liked most and would wear again. From the pictures, I’d say she did a pretty good job…
Image: Photos by Sarah Beth
Plan for happy hens
Give good warning about when and where the hen party will be. If your bride tribe are happy organising it together then leave them to it – but if they don’t know each other too well and you have an idea in mind, take control and set a date for a hen do that will keep everyone happy. Whether it’s a spa trip, city break or activity-filled weekend, bear in mind how far everyone will need to travel and ask if they are prepared to take time off work if necessary.
Make time for non-wedding talk
You’ll be consumed with planning details in the months running up to the wedding but try to make time to catch up with your bridesmaids about non-nuptial news. As tempting as it is to flood them with updates, remember that no matter how excited they are your bridesmaids will be less invested in your choice of favours and flowers than you and your partner. Be sure to keep up with how they are and any news of their own.
Timing is everything
Give the bridesmaids a rough schedule before the wedding so they have a plan for the day. Make sure they know how long they will have to get ready and where this will happen. On the day itself, ensure your stylists leave enough time for the bridesmaids’ hair and make-up to avoid a last minute rush and if they are doing it themselves, leave extra time in case of last minute mishaps.
Image: White Stag Weddings
Let’s hear it for the girls
Make sure your bridesmaids are mentioned in the speeches and ask the DJ to give them a shout out on the dance floor by picking a tune they will all dance to – ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ or ‘Who Run The World’ are classic choices…
After the big day
When your feet have stopped aching from dancing the night away, get the gang together for a post-wedding catch up. You’ll be on Cloud 9 for weeks so before dashing off on your honeymoon make sure you find time to say thank you to your bridesmaids for playing such a big part in your special day. Whether it’s a quick coffee or an evening of cocktails and nibbles, taking the time to show just how much they mean to you won’t go unnoticed.
Image: Marta May Photography
Have you got any advice or anecdotes on keeping the bridal party happy? We'd love to hear from you - email Julia.Odriscoll@archant.co.uk.