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Lessons in Wedding Planning: choosing your bridesmaids

16 Aug 2016

It could be the hardest decision you ever make, but choosing your bridesmaids need not be a headache - as bride-to-be Jessica Phillipson explains

Hi fellow brides-to-be!

For this blog I’m turning my attention to the important task of choosing your bridesmaids.

Though it may seem obvious who to choose, you hear the occasional horror story – I read one about a woman’s old school friend who was asked, went completely off-radar after being measured for her bridesmaid dress, then sent the bride a text the night before the wedding asking what time to show up! Do not choose that person.

It’s doesn’t have to be your oldest friends

I discussed it with my fiancé’s friend whose wedding we had recently attended and she gave me the best, no-nonsense advice: choose the people you’re closest to now.

That ‘now’ is important – despite being a bridesmaid for her oldest school friend, she didn’t choose that friend to be a part of her wedding party. Though the years had kept them friendly, she admitted they were very different people now and her childhood friend simply wasn’t the best person for the job.

I’ve known my maid of honour since we were small – we literally used to bathe together – but this is a rare scenario. Another of my bridesmaids I have only known for a little over two years, but she is absolutely one of my favourite people to be around. It’s more about choosing the people you feel a connection with and whose opinions matter to you.

They should be your most trustworthy friends

When you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, you aren’t just asking them to wear a pretty dress and hold some flowers. It is a job. You may need them to help during the planning process, but you will definitely need their help on the day – whether it’s wrangling relatives, directing suppliers or just keeping a close eye on your make-up situation.

Choose the people who want the best for you

You want your bridesmaids to be as committed to you having a good day as you are. This is particularly important when wedding dress shopping. You want honest opinions, but also an appreciation of what you like. My friends were able to pick dresses for me because they know what I like.

They really need to know you – including stressed you

Hopefully all wedding prep and execution will go as smoothly as possible and not a frown will pass your forehead – but this is unlikely. Surround yourself with the people who know how to deal with you when it all gets too much.

It’s not all about you

One thing my bridesmaids all have in common is that they show an interest in my husband-to-be. Whether it’s chatting to him and asking him about things when we’re all together or asking about him whenever I see them, they show they care about what the wedding is all about. And there’s something really special about seeing that handful of people who mean the most to you brought together and connecting over your big day.

Be proud of them

My four are so kind, so intelligent, and so beautiful and I am excited to show them off to friends and family – and wouldn’t hesitate to introduce any of them to my oldest and most conservative relatives. They do interesting things, they make people laugh and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

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