How to Ask Someone to Be Your Bridesmaid

It's your turn to propose to your bridesmaids-to-be; here's how.

Bridesmaids looking at each other

Photo by Briana Moore

One of the most exciting parts about getting engaged is sharing the news with every single person you know. After you and your new fiancé have properly celebrated this milestone and basked in all the excitement, you’ll send pictures, make (so many) FaceTime calls, and post ring selfies on your Instagram so the people in your life can celebrate with you. You might even be eager to sit down and start planning by picking your wedding date, venue, color scheme, and dress, all within the first week of getting engaged. But one decision you should take a minute to make? Deciding on your bridesmaids and maid of honor.

Selecting your bridesmaids is among the most important (and fun) elements of planning your wedding. The bridesmaid proposal should occur anywhere between a year to eight months before you walk down the aisle. After meeting with each prospective bridesmaid in person to share the big news, you may consider pouring a glass of champagne or giving them a keepsake gift as a small token of your appreciation.

How to “Propose” to Your Bridesmaids

As far as bridesmaid proposal etiquette goes, the sky's the limit. You know your 'maids better than anyone else and your proposal should reflect that. While some proposals may be more intimate and low-key in nature (think: a one-on-one chat where you can ask them in person), there's much fun to be had in grandiose gestures, too. From popping the question with fortune cookies and ring pops to delivering a bouquet of flowers with a personalized note, there's no shortage of creative ways to do the asking. For a thoughtful sentiment, you may consider putting together a curated gift box filled with wedding essentials and goodies. Want to turn your asking into an affair to remember? Take your bridal squad out for a workshop or class where you can collectively ask everyone at once with a celebratory toast to follow.  

When should you ask someone to be your bridesmaid
Emily Roberts / Brides 

Even if you’re eager to tell a handful of your closest pals that they are part of the wedding party, you don’t want to rush handing them an invitation, especially until you know more details about the big day and you’ve had time to think it through. Ahead, five things you should do before selecting your wedding squad.

Wait Until You Know Your Wedding Date

Before popping the question to your bridesmaids-to-be, first, wait until you know your wedding date. Knowing your wedding date will let your bridesmaids have a better idea about whether or not they can commit to the role. The date might come at a bad time for them personally, with another wedding commitment or a major life change, like a baby or move, that might keep them from saying "I do" to being a bridesmaid.

Take a Few Weeks to Think About It

Picking your bridesmaids should be a decision that comes with a lot of thought. If your wedding is going to happen a year or two after your engagement, take the time to really think about the people in your life and who you want there for you throughout the entire wedding adventure.

If you’re deciding between 10 and 15 people, start to think about the people whom you know will be a friend of yours for life and will be able to help you with your wedding details over the next couple months.

Know as Many Wedding Details as You Can

Before picking your wedding crew, try to figure out the kind of bridal shower and bachelorette party you want. Details like that might determine how big your bridal party should be, and it will allow you to ask your bridesmaids with enough information, so they will feel good about taking on this role and get excited about your wedding.

Be Engaged for At Least 60 Days

To prevent rushing this decision, give yourself a 60-day grace period where you don’t pop the bridesmaid question to any of your friends. During that time, start planning out how many bridesmaids you actually want, and think about things like what kinds of gifts you want to give them when the time comes to ask them to be your bridesmaid.

Have a Follow-Up Conversation

After the initial excitement of hearing they will be a bridesmaid, it's natural for a person to have some initial stress or apprehension about assuming the role. Early on (within the first few weeks of asking), you should meet with each bridesmaid to start discussing your overall wedding vision. Make sure each bridesmaid understands their role and responsibilities in your wedding, and be sure to ask them if they have any questions or concerns. Getting everyone on the same page will help as you move towards your big day.

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