Choosing bridesmaids for your bridal party is a big decision. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but you also want to make sure you’re surrounded by people who will be helpful and keep you calm on your wedding day. So what’s the best way to spread the news once you’ve chosen your ‘maids — especially to friends who aren’t being invited to stand by your side at the altar? Our experts weigh in.
Just like Mom always said, honesty is the best policy. If your friends know you’re figuring out your bridal party, don’t string anyone along. Pretending you haven’t decided (or even worse, pretending a friend is being considered when you’ve already made your choice!) can lead to hurt feelings, when what you really want is for your friends to be there to support you on your wedding day, whether or not they’re wearing a bridesmaid's dress.
As soon as you’ve decided who your bridesmaids will be, let them know who else is going to be a part of your squad — this way they won’t accidentally assume another friend was tapped (if she actually wasn’t). It’s also a good idea to share everyone's contact information with each other and introduce them to one another, so start that group text or chat or email ASAP!
When it comes to friends who will be invited to the wedding, but won’t be bridesmaids, let them know gently. If possible, have the chat in person or on the phone instead of via text — that way your tone can’t be misconstrued. Explain that it was a tough decision, but that you’ve made your decision. You can go through the reasoning (especially if you’re keeping your wedding party small or are including only sisters and sisters-in-law), or can leave it at that. Be prepared for hurt feelings, though. If your friend is already married, she’ll probably understand the challenges and won’t take it personally, while an unmarried friend may not quite get it. Either way, emphasize how much fun it will be to have her there at your wedding to celebrate with you! If you’re close enough for her to think she was going to be a bridesmaid, ask her to be involved in other ways, from attending the bachelorette party to giving a toast at your rehearsal dinner.