*Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of *All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her latest Brides.com column, Jen answers a bride's burning question: Do I have to make my sisters bridesmaids?
Figuring out who your loyal troop of bridesmaids are going to be can be a very headache-inducing experience, especially when you have sisters, close cousins, and a handful of best friends. You may even find yourself scratching your head and wondering if there's a maximum amount of bridesmaids you can have, and if there's not, maybe it's easier to just ask everyone and have a bridal party that could fill a school bus. Before you know it, half of the wedding will be wearing a matching pale pink polyester dress and walking down the aisle with you. Though it may feel like that's the only way to handle the situation, it's not.
It's important to remember that having bridesmaids is just an option, not a necessity. So in the end, your bridesmaids should be who you want them to be. If you find yourself in quite the bind because you don't want to let anyone down, especially those related to you by blood, then separate out the honors and the tasks. Approach it so that you don't have official bridesmaids, but you let your sisters plan the bridal shower and your friends the bachelorette party. If you have always wanted bridesmaids at your wedding, then perhaps make your friends your bridesmaids and have your sisters take on a different role — even wear a different colored dress.
Either way, it's important to have a conversation with your sisters. Even if you are not super close with them, let them know the situation and what you are thinking about doing before you do. If the process of selecting bridesmaids is making you practically break out into hives, take a step back and think if having bridesmaids is something you want to do. You're wedding is about you and your fiancé, not the people wearing the taffeta.