Wedding planning is in full swing for us! We've only got 206 days left till we're Mr. & Mrs (but really, who's counting?!?). It's become something I think about daily, and even when I try to relax and escape the wedding madness for a bit, something pops up and I'm right back in the swing of planning things. We've currently hit a bump where everything is a tad stressful, but we'll be through this patch soon and we can finally get on to the really fun things! For now, I thought I would talk a bit about the craziness that is choosing your bridal party...it sounds simple enough, right? Choose your closest friends and have a big giant party. Except not. Weddings are hectic on everyone, including your girls. To save yourself the trouble, I thought I'd put a list together of things I wish I had known before I picked my own wedding party...
1. Quality over quantity. Though I don't have that "core group" of girlfriends, I'm lucky enough to have many girlfriends! When we first got engaged, I thought I wanted to include all the girls who were a big part of my life at one point or another, but I knew right away that some of my friends might be better as guests than bridesmaids. For one, having a giant wedding party is expensive on the bride and groom. The thought of buying our wedding party gifts makes me cringe a bit because we have 8 on each side and that truly adds up. We're making it work, but if you're on a budget, stick to a smaller party. Also, if you don't have patience for people, definitely stick to a smaller party. Weddings bring out the weird in people sometimes, and I cannot tell you that attitude and sass I've dealt with, even from those who I felt would support me in every way possible. Don't have a lot of girls in your bridal party just because you feel obligated to include everyone. You'll save yourself many headaches down the road.
2. It's okay if your BFF isn't over the moon excited with you. Sometimes you just have that girlfriend who's naturally a Debbie-downer, negative-Nancy, etc etc. It doesn't make them a terrible person, but it also probably won't make for the best bridesmaid. I'm telling you now, from someone who is knee deep in the planning process, you will deal with a lot of personalities and attitudes during this time. Choose girls who will be supportive if you put them in a giant ugly puffy dress or a beautiful sleek gown. The right girls will be happy in either or because they know this day is 100% about you and your groom. If you know one of your girlfriends can't be cordial towards you, don't include them just because you're best friends.
3. You don't have to include someone just because they're related to you. It makes me a little sad to admit this, but some of the least supportive girls in my party are related to me. It sucks, but it's true. Just because they're your relatives doesn't mean they'll be the picture perfect bridesmaid. Don't feel like you HAVE to include your cousins or sister-in-law if you don't really get along with them that well to begin with. You don't owe it to anyone, and you definitely don't have to sit back and accept their negativity just because they're your're family. Plain and simple.
4. Remember this wedding is about two people. Some people might think I'm a bit crazy to include Raewyn in our wedding party since we just met earlier this year (yay blogging!). But if we're being honest here, she knows Andrew and I a lot better than some of my lifelong friends. She cares about us and our relationship, and that's what you really need in a bridesmaid (and a friend, really). Choose girls who support the both of you. This is just as much Andrew's day as it is mine, and I would never include someone who didn't like him or support our relationship.
5. Don't be afraid to NEXT, some people. My relatives I mentioned above? I might be cutting them out of my party. Awkward, I know, but really it's been so hard to deal with them. It can be a little stressful and disappointing to think about excluding people out of your wedding party after you've already asked them, but if you feel they aren't into it and are unhappy, what's the point? Don't just shrug it off. Kindly let them know that they are more than welcome to just be guests at your wedding if that's what they feel happiest doing and have that be that. Think of it this way, a few years from now when you're thinking about the memories of your wedding planning and wedding day, you don't want to think about how rude some of your girls were. It's not fair to you and it's not fair to them.
Do any of you have any other tips for choosing your bridesmaids? Have any of you encountered some bumps along the road when it comes to your wedding party? I'd love to hear about it!