Asking someone to be a bridesmaid is a big deal. You are asking someone you love, a friend or a family member, not just to play a special role on the day of your wedding but to be hands-on with pre-wedding festivities. Asking someone to be a bridesmaid also shows the depth of your friendship; you are telling this person how much they mean to you and how important they are in your life.
Understandably, you want to get the asking part right (we can call it proposing). You might be wondering if there is a right or wrong way to ask someone to be a bridesmaid or how to make this person feel special. For help, we turned to Jen Glantz, Founder of Bridesmaid for Hire, a professional bridesmaid service. She is also an author and host of the podcast You're Not Getting Any Younger.
Meet the Expert
Jen Glantz is Founder of Bridesmaid for Hire, a professional bridesmaid service
Glantz says there is no right way to ask someone to be a bridesmaid. "After you decide who you want to be in your bridal party, think about the right way to ask them," she says. "If you have a friend who loves surprises and lives nearby, doing it in person might make them feel extra special. If you have friends who live far away, and you won't have a chance to ask them in person, it's okay to give them a ring and ask over the phone." But she also gives ideas and suggestions for how to best pop the big question. Read on to learn her advice.
"Will You Be My Bridesmaid?"
While you don't want to sound generic, some of the most powerful phrases can be the simplest. If you are asking a friend or family member who already knows all your thoughts and sentiments, consider getting straight to the point and saying, "Will you be my bridesmaid?" That five-letter sentence might just reduce everyone to tears.
"I want you to be my bridesmaid because..."
"When you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, you don't want it to sound generic," says Glantz. "For each person you ask, think of your reason why. Why do you want them to stand by your side during the wedding adventure? Why do they mean a lot to you? Why do you value your relationship with them? Once you know the why, use those words with your ask."
"Will you go on this adventure with me?"
When you are asking your friend or loved one to be a bridesmaid phrase it in a way that makes it sound fun and exciting. "Tell them why you hope they'll be by your side during your wedding adventure," suggests Glantz.
"I can't do this without you."
It's ok to be vulnerable and tell your friend or family member how much you need her by your side on your big day. Say, "I can't do this without you!" or "I need you by my side every step of the way."
"He's marrying me, but he's stuck with us."
It's so sweet to tell your friend or family member that even though you are getting married, she comes first—don't shy away from being a little sentimental. You can make it more light-hearted by saying, "I have my mister but I can’t do it without my sister." Or, "He’s marrying me but he’s stuck with us."
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo..."
Many celebrities or orators have made powerful or meaningful statements about bridesmaids or friendships. Pick a quote you love and let it do all the talking. For example, you can quote Oprah Winfrey: “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” Or quote Amy Poehler who said, “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life."
"Here is what I need you to do as my bridesmaid. Will you consider the job?"
While it's less exciting than actually popping the question, a big part of asking someone to be your bridesmaid is telling her the details of what that duty will entail. "Some people only want their bridesmaids to show up on the wedding day and do nothing before. Other people want their bridesmaids to be hands-on during the wedding process and come to many pre-wedding events," says Glantz. "Letting them know you'll share expectations can help them make a realistic decision whether or not they have the time, finances, and desire to be in your bridal party."
"Here's a gift to show how much you mean to me."
Many brides try to make their soon-to-be bridesmaids feel special by asking them with a gift. "You can coordinate your ask with a gift you mail," recommends Glantz. "When it arrives, leave a note on top that says for them to text you letting you know the gift came. Then, you can pop on the phone, or FaceTime, and ask them that way." It's a great way to show the people you love how much they mean to you and how much it would mean if they were part of your wedding.
"I wrote down my thoughts in this card."
Many brides prefer to pop the question with a note. But skip the text or email and opt for a handwritten card to make it special, says Glantz. "You can ask someone to be your bridesmaid without giving a gift," she explains. "But you should ask them in a way that makes them feel special and appreciated, even if it's just with a handwritten card."