Worlds collide at a wedding: It’s probably the only time you’ll see your grandma on the dance floor with your college bestie or your childhood neighbor at the bar with your partner’s sister, and there’s no better proof that we are the sum of our parts and our past than in the bridal party. Think about it: The women you’ve asked to stand by your side at your wedding span your entire lifetime, from your sister to your high school BFF to your first roommate after you graduated from college. They all know you, but do they all know one another? While they’ll definitely have time to bond at your bachelorette party, it’s a good idea to make sure these ladies are acquainted with one another before the fun really begins. Here are 5 tips for making the introduction, plus 5 creative ways to get them together for a little fun.
1. Embrace the group mentality.
As the bride, it’s up to you to make sure your ladies know one another (and know who’s who). Don’t leave it to your wedding website! Instead, send a group email with everyone’s name, role, email address, and phone number so they can get a hold of one another. You should also make sure your MOH has all the important contact information she might need, since she’ll probably be taking the lead when it’s time to plan your bachelorette party (and will be the go-to contact for whoever is planning your bridal shower).
2. Set up a group text, email, or Facebook page
If your BFFs are spread out all across the country and it's too much to coordinate a trip—a pre-wedding get together may not be possible. In this case, Chancey Charm Charlotte wedding planner, Miranda Tassi, strongly advises starting a wedding Facebook group—a group text or email will work too—and inviting all your girls. "It can be an outlet for advice, catching up, getting to know each other and keeping up on wedding details. They will most likely friend and follow each other on social media outlets, and if they see a post they can relate to, it can be an easy conversation starter."
3. Make the introduction...then step away.
Yes, there are conversations you’ll want to be included in, like choosing the bridesmaids’ dresses or organizing hair and makeup schedules, but it’s important to remember that your ‘maids will probably have a lot of emailing and texting to do without you. Don’t micromanage, and instead trust that they’ll do what needs to be done—and prepare yourself for a few surprises from the women you love!
4. Create a Guesterly book
It's like a yearbook, except for your wedding guests or in this case, just your bridal party! Ask each of your bridesmaids to answer a short questionnaire on Guesterly.com. Put their photo and information together in a cute booklet, suggests Emily Schwartz, owner of Galej Events in North Carolina. "Share this booklet with each of your bridesmaids so they can learn a little more about each other before the big day."
5. Try to set up an in-person meeting.
If some (or all) of your bridesmaids are local, get everyone together in person ASAP. There’s no better way to form a bond! Invite them over for a glass of wine, meet for brunch at your favorite local restaurant, or consider one of these get-together ideas:
6. Learn Something
Taking a class together is a great way to get your ladies comfortable with one another. It’s built-in entertainment, and it gives you something to chat about and bond over. If you’re getting married on the beach, spend an afternoon taking surfing lessons. Want to get into the kitchen? A group cooking class will satisfy your hunger and get you ready to entertain again in the future. If you’ve got a creative streak (or even if you don’t!), a wine-and-painting night is guaranteed to have you laughing together in no time.
7. Tempt Your Tastebuds
If you and your ladies love wine, a winery tour and tasting is a great way to spend a weekend afternoon. It gives your bridesmaids a chance to get familiar in a comfortable atmosphere, and you’ll pick up skills to show off at your menu tasting.
8. Do a Dine-Around
For a local group of ‘maids, organize a dinner tour at some of your favorite spots. Begin with cocktails during happy hour, then move on to different locations for appetizers, the main course, and dessert. Get your bridesmaids involved by asking them to recommend spots for each stop, sharing your favorite hidden gems and discovering new favorite hangouts.
9. Become Master Mixologists
Serving a signature cocktail? Invite your bridal party over to help you figure out just what it will be. Pick your favorite liquors, mixers, and garnishes, then spend an evening playing with combinations until you hit the nail on the head. Then, take suggestions for the perfect name. Just don’t forget to write down the recipe!
10. Lunch & Palm Readings
Relationship advice expert and author April Masini recommends inviting your bridesmaids out to lunch or to a cocktail party and have a psychic do short readings. "This breaks the ice and bonds your bridesmaids, who may or may not know each other well. It also gives them a memory, besides the beautiful wedding to come, to reminisce about."