Be honest: Have a little get together well before the wedding and talk to your bridesmaids about what you’d like them to be a part of in terms of the preparation for and the wedding itself. Do you want them to just show up on the day in a blue dress, or do you want them to be with you when you choose a dress and taste the cake? Let your bridesmaids know what you expect of them so that everyone is on the same page and you don’t end up miss-communicating.
Consider the costs: Destination weddings are like a holiday and a celebration all rolled into one, but they can also be expensive for guests. This should be considered when choosing the members of your bridal party. If you’re thinking of having a destination wedding, plan the costs out before asking people to be your attendants. That way you will be able to present the expenses they will have to pay for and those that you are paying for.
Note: It is good etiquette to subsidize (or pay outright for) the accommodation for any of your wedding party who are coming from out of town.
Compromise on your vision: You might have the perfect Vera Wang bridesmaids dress in mind for your wedding, but if you are planning on having people as your attendants, who you know can not afford Vera Wang gowns, or do not have the body shape needed to pull off a dress in that style, then you will need to be able to compromise a bit.
Dress for success: Speaking of dresses, chose with compassion. If you know one of your bridesmaids would be uncomfortable in the dress you have chosen, compromise so you’re both happy you’re your bridesmaids are all different shapes and sizes, perhaps offer some guidelines (colour/length), or opt for a variety of colours.
A collection of friends happily celebrating a wedding makes beautiful photographs no matter what the dress shape (seriously), and ultimately you want every one of your bridesmaids to feel beautiful (and comfortable!).
Be organised: Try to come up with a list of things that need to be done before and during the wedding so that you can ask bridesmaids to help. Often there are other people in your life – aunts, cousins, sisters-in-law who will offer to help with preparation. You can put your bridesmaids in touch with them and that way your bridesmaids have help, and will not feel overextended if the To-Do list is large, and your extended family and friends feel useful.
Stay grounded: Sometimes when you’re caught up organizing your wedding, it can be hard to remember what’s reality and what’s wedding fever. Your bridesmaids can help with that. When you meet up with them make sure you speak about their lives, and about non-wedding related topics. Don’t let the wedding take over your friendships or you’ll regret it once you have said I do’ but have no buddies left to hang out with.
Photo supplied by Simon Darby – Wanaka Photography