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Choosing Your Tribe: How to Decide on the Right Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids preparing for wedding celebration in Toronto

So you're engaged. Congratulations! Now comes the hard part, not the venue or the florist. Not your mother-in-law. Your friends. Yes, those girls who love you and support you unconditionally, the ones who you spent all your time with pre fiancé? You have to pick one, just one, to be your MOH. Then you must decide who else makes the cut. Does your elementary school best friend mean as much to you as your high school girlfriends? Does your cousin have to be a bridesmaid? Although these answers aren't the same for everyone, we've taken a poll and come up with the best advice from previous brides; when it comes to choosing the right friends to be a part of your special day, who do you choose?

There is no going back, so be 100% sure.

Every girl has different groups of friends. High school friends, yoga friends, the girls from work and the ones from last years trip to Cabo. Sometimes, filtering out your friends is easy, and you've always had a running list of the girls you planned to include in the back of your head. However, relationships can change over time, and sometimes the girls you expected to support and encourage your momentous occasion just aren't on the same page. So write out a list of the girls you hoped would be a part of your tribe, and then take some time to think about it. Consider financial responsibilities associated with these roles, the relationship you've had for the last year, and the constraints that could affect each girls participation. Talk to your best friend or fiancé, and get their feedback on your list. Once you've asked, there is no nice way to downgrade someone's role in your wedding. So be 100% sure, or perhaps take some time to wait before popping the question. You don't have to ask all the girls at once, and waiting may save you tears and heartbreak of asking someone who really shouldn't be there.


Quality over quantity

In qualifying your bridesmaids, try not to think in terms of time. Just because you've known someone the longest, or been friends since you were kids, doesn't mean they are the best fit as a bridesmaid. Deciding on your bridesmaids based on a quantity over quality basis could lead to a serious disaster, as sometimes friends grow apart more than they grow together. Choose friends who have been there for you, and for your relationship, and invite those you believe will support and shower you (and your hubby) with affection. It can be difficult to come to terms with the loss of a friendship, and preparing for a wedding can sometimes show you the cracks you didn't notice. Try not to be too hard on yourself, and remember that a wedding gives you a pass at being just a little self-indulgent. More importantly, these women will be in your wedding photos FOREVER, and you don't want to look back begrudgingly, thinking of how disappointed you were with your choice.


Family is forever.

That being said, family can sometimes be the exception to the rule. If your family has, and likely will be a part of your life forever, try to keep a special place for them in your wedding party. Your sister doesn't have to be a bridesmaid, but be courteous and discuss it with her if you're unsure about including her. Siblings can sometimes feel like they're impeding on your inner circle, and no one likes to feel left out. If you do include your sibling in your wedding party, try your best to make them feel welcome and comfortable around your friends. It's important that everyone is feeling the love on your special day. This exception also extends to SOs (Significant Others) of siblings, and siblings in-law, especially if they've been around/will be around for the imminent future. As a rule of thumb, 3-5+ years in a relationship, and you really love your brother's girlfriend? Include her. Looking back, even if they break up, you'll be happy she was there. If you or your fiancé would like your siblings in the other persons bridal party? Sit down and explain why it's so important he includes your brother in his groomsmen. Being surrounded by family, love, and acceptance is what it's all about.


No filler friends.

Most importantly, picking your bridesmaids is NOT a numbers game. Yes, we all have that little bit of OCD that creeps in when a wedding photo isn't completely symmetrical. So it can be frustrating when the bridal parties don't end up with an equal number. However, can you imagine how much worse it would be to know you were the bridesmaid picked to "even it out"? Embarrassed, uncomfortable, and probably unwilling to speak to the bride ever again. Don't include filler friends. These will be the bridesmaids who complain about the dress cost, ignore invitations to showers/bachelorette parties/dress fittings, and forget to grab your shoes out of the limo. We may be repeating ourselves, but it bears repeating: these are likely the ONLY wedding photos you're ever going to get. You get one wedding. So make it the best one ever, and only include those who will be more than happy to do the same.

We can't magically populate your bridesmaids for you, but we can offer you advice to help your decision making process. After dealing with countless MOH's as they prepare for bachelorette events with NudeTO, we love to see eager, excited, and happy MOHs planning exactly what they think the bride will love. And that's what we want for you!

Have you had trouble deciding on your bridesmaids? Do you have the magic formula for decision making? Comment below!


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