It's no secret that wedding planning requires a lot of decision making: choosing the venue, dress, linens, invites, cake ... But few are more important than choosing your bridesmaids. They're your girls that will be by your side on one of the most important days of your life, so naturally, you need to pick wisely. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the prospect, here are five key questions to ask yourself as you choose the perfect bridal party.
1. How big is this shindig going to be?
According to tradition, the number of bridesmaids you have is determined by the size and type of your wedding, with formal weddings having larger bridal parties, and informal weddings sticking to the smaller side. While this rule can be interpreted loosely, it is still smart to keep your bridal party proportionate to your number of guests. After all, 12 'maids for a wedding with 50 guests is a bit excessive.
2. What does my groom want?
Believe it or not, your other half has his own set of opinions and they might not always mirror yours. So be sure to agree on the number of attendants as soon as possible. It's not a huge deal if you have a different number of groomsmen and bridesmaids, but you'll just need to get creative with your processional.
3. Will we be friends in 10 years? 20 years? In, like, forever?
If all other considerations are malleable, the one absolute requirement is that you choose the women in your life that mean the most to you. Family, forever-friends, soul sisters, you know who they are because you've already discussed the marriage of your hypothetical children and chosen the matching outfits you two will wear in the retirement home.
4. Is she bridesmaid material?
Sure, it's a harsh question, but being a bridesmaid does come with responsibilities. If your friend is so swamped with work or personal issues that she can barely squeeze in a G-chat once a month, chances are slim that she'll be able to join you at your bridal shower, bachelorette, and beyond. If it's still important to you to invite her despite the circumstances, kindly acknowledge how busy she is when you ask her and offer a less-involved alternative, like greeting guests or doing a reading in case she can't commit.
5. Is she supportive of our marriage?
Traditionally speaking, your bridesmaids are there to support you and hold you accountable to the vows made on your wedding day. This means they should definitely be big fans of your groom and that rest-of-your-life relationship you're entering into. If one of your pals has never been too fond of your fiancé, or never fully supported your engagement, she's probably not the best fit for your bridal party.