Wedding season is upon us! Many of our readers here at Project Inspired will soon be attending weddings, standing up in weddings or perhaps having a wedding of their own! Even if none of these describe your summer schedule, you’ve probably thought about your future wedding a time or two. Between the dress and the groom and the flowers, there is that ever-important decision: Who will stand beside me on my wedding day?
This is actually a pretty important question. The people who stand next to you on your wedding day represent the friendship they’ve given you over the years. They are standing as witnesses as you say an eternal vow to the love of your life. That’s a big responsibility! And it’s a big responsibility to pick friends who have made an impact on your life as you decide the lineup of girls for your big day.
Since the role of bridesmaid comes with some responsibility and some history, choosing them should be a thoughtful process. Here are five questions to ask as you do so.
1. Is this person dependable?
There is nothing more frustrating than attempting to plan a wedding with an MIA bridesmaid. She won’t respond to your texts, calls or smoke signals. She doesn’t get you her dress size in a timely manner. On the wedding day, she’s entirely unhelpful, a mere decoration for the front of the church. You may not have experienced this, but you’ve probably seen it happen!
The bridesmaids you pick should be dependable people, and if they’re your true friends, that’s exactly what they’ll be.
2. Did this person invite herself to be in the wedding party?
Did your former college roomie respond to your engagement announcement with a self-invitation to your bridal party? It happens more than you think. A girl like this is not only being presumptuous and rude—she’s not letting you decide who will fill those select few spots beside you at the altar.
Having this conversation is hard, but it’s better to let the girl down from her self-created ideas than to pretend everything’s alright when it’s not. Keeping her in the party to prevent hurt feelings will only end up hurting you more, and it keeps you from having a genuine friend in that spot.
3. Am I inviting this person out of guilt?
Similar to the above, inviting a person because you feel guilty is not a worthy reason to add to your bridal party. If you’re not close with her—or haven’t been for a long while—it’s not your responsibility to assuage feelings. There will be more weddings in her future!
Invite the people you are genuinely close to and who truly want to support you on your day.
4. Can this person afford the dresses and events I’m planning?
This is a tough question, but it’s one that has to be asked. If you’re planning a wedding that is higher budget, there’s a chance certain bridesmaids won’t be able to afford the dresses or parties you’ve planned. Try to be considerate as you look at bridesmaid dresses. If you really want ALL the girls in your party, remember their stage of life—a college budget doesn’t go very far, and a $300 dress is a lot of money!
If you sense one of your girls won’t be able to afford the bachelorette excursion or the dress or both, meet with her privately to ask her. If she’s unable to be in the party due to finances, consider helping her out financially.
5. Has this person been a meaningful figure in my life and love story?
Finally, choose bridesmaids who have made an impact on your life. Generally I recommend choosing women who have supported your walk with the Lord, but many of us have friends and family who don’t know Christ and have still been meaningful in our journeys. They deserve a spot beside you, too!
Choosing bridesmaids can be hard, especially if you have a lot of friends, but as you ask these questions and think about the people who’ve had the greatest impact on your life, you’ll soon have a list of girls who are perfect for your big day.