It's your big day, but that doesn't mean you can demand that friends and family bend to your will—even the ones who have agreed to be your faithful bridesmaids. But what if you need your gals to step up to the plate? Here's how to make those requests without coming across as controlling.
Start a Group Chat ASAP
To start off on the right foot, consider launching a group chat via GroupMe or Facebook messenger so you can communicate important details to your maids in a concise but effective way, says Alana Futcher, a Chancey Charm Richmond wedding planner. "Your bridesmaids will get frustrated if they aren't told about times and places of events ahead of time but are still expected to be there with last-minute notice," she warns. So be sure to layout expectations early on to make the commitments easier for them to plan around. This goes for anything from accompanying you while dress shopping to attending multiple bridal showers. Don't assume that your friends are always at your beck and call.
Keep Communication to a Minimum
At the same time, don't flood everyone's inboxes with wedding requests, says relationship and etiquette expert April Masini. "If you're creating a text tsunami you're going to irritate your bridesmaids and alienate them," she adds. One or two emails or texts a day is fine, but keep it to a minimum until it's crunch time the week of the wedding.
Opt for a Phone Call Instead of a Text
And, for the most sensitive tasks, call rather than text or email, advises Rachel Jo Silver of Love Stories TV. "These are your best friends—pick up the phone and give them a ring. You're much more likely to avoid miscommunications and misinterpretations that way," she says. Being direct and polite throughout the planning process will get you far with your friends, and it's usually a good idea to meet them halfway. If, for instance, you chose a bridesmaids' dress that nobody likes, acknowledge how they feel and offer to split the cost of it. Or if you're having four bridal showers and two are out of town, ask if they wouldn't mind attending the two that are local.
Up the Fun Factor
Once you've let everyone know exactly what you need from them, find a way to make the commitments more fun. Katie Werkin, a Chancey Charm NYC wedding planner, suggests planning a pre-event brunch or post-event dinner to make for more of a social occasion and less of an obligation. And if you're the recipient of multiple showers, make sure your bridesmaids know that they aren't expected to bring gifts to each gathering.
Don't Forget to Properly Thank Them
Finally, remember that your bridesmaids are probably making some sacrifices—both time and money—to be there for you, and while they may be honored to be included in your wedding they should be recognized for standing by your side on one of the most important days of your life. Werkin suggests something as simple as a thank-you note or taking them out for coffee individually. A little can go a long way when it comes to showing your appreciation. To make a bigger gesture, Brittany Collier, a Chancey Charm Washington, DC wedding planner, suggests a bridesmaid brunch as a nice way to treat your girls with some quality time and a good meal. And mani-pedis following the feast can never hurt!