Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaids 101

Hello All!

Have I told you that my sister is getting married in September 2012?  Well, she is! And this weekend, I had the pleasure of hanging out with her awesome bridesmaids as we purchased our oh-so-glam bridesmaid gowns.  Sister’s friends are wonderful, so choosing bridesmaids was a pretty easy decision for her. She was lucky! If choosing your wedding party is causing you stress, don’t fret! I’m here to teach you all the things you need to know with Choosing Bridesmaids 101

The basic definition of a bridesmaid is: a woman who is an attendant of a bride.  An attendant.  Keep that in mind for later…. Even without the definition, we all know who the bridesmaid is. She stands next to  the bride at the altar and helps her through her exciting big day – and hopefully not in an ugly gown!

The Tradition

Traditionally, bridesmaids would dress in very similar gowns as the bride to ward off evil spirits. It was superstition if the women acted as decoys and followed the bride everywhere the she went on her special day, the evil entities would get confused and therefore could do no harm to the bride.

Today we have our bridesmaids to spread word about the bridal shower, throw
the bachelorette party, help address invitations and thank yous, assist
decorating the reception hall, keep us calm before the ceremony and basically
do anything we need them to do to keep the wedding running smoothly! For these
reasons, it’s important to choose a solid lineup of women to be your support
group during your special time. No one wants a cranky bridesmaid who complains
about everything, or one who is unwilling to find run and grab your lipstick
before picture time!

2, 4, 6, 8?

When it comes to how many bridesmaids you should have, the possibilities are endless. A general guideline however is to have one bridesmaid, accompanied by one groomsman, for every 50 guests. Therefore, if you will have 250 guests at your wedding, you should have five bridesmaids. Having five maids at an intimate wedding with 80 guests might look a little unbalanced. It’s your day though, so anything goes

Sister Act

Though a nice sentiment, and thought to be tradition, it is not necessary to have sisters as your bridesmaids, whether yours or your fiances.  If these ladies aren’t cut out for the job of making sure you’re wedding day what you’ve been dreaming of, then don’t feel obligated to make them part of your wedding party. It can be hard to make this decision, especially if you want to avoid family conflicts, but if your future sister-in-law will only
cause you grief on your wedding day, try including her in another way. She can always be a reader during the ceremony or perform a song if she’s musically inclined. This goes for your sisters as well. You should be at ease during your wedding, with a troop of maids who would do anything to keep you smiling!

Ladies Only? No Way!

Who says the people standing next to you has to be all women? In today’s world, anything goes! If you have a best friend who is a man, or a very close bond with your brother, you can always have him as an attendant. He can also be your maid of honor. In this case, the proper title (for all those programs you spend hours designing) would be Honor Attendant. Spread the word to your future hubby – he doesn’t need a male only policy in his bridal party either!

Friendly Obligation

You should never feel obligated to have a friend in your wedding party just because you were in hers. The same sisters rule of thumb applies here – if she (or he) will not be the best person to be your Attendant, they should not be in your wedding party. If they are truly your friend, this will not offend them.  You should do what feels right to you!

So brides, just remember when you’re picking your bridal party, bridesmaids should be the people who you love and who love you, who will be beaming at you while you beam at your groom and who will make your wedding day all the more special by standing by your side!

Do you have any bridesmaid horror stories? Either as a bride or an attendant? Please share!

XO Stephanie

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