Bridesmaid’s etiquette

1. The Question: You’re engaged!

Now it’s time to pop the wedding party question. Once you narrow down who you want, you can simply ask them in person or over the phone. Another fun idea? Send a personal card that will get the message across and also act as a sweet moment.

2. The expectations: The wedding party has long-established duties, but what you have yours do depends on how traditional you want your wedding. Typically you can expect bridesmaids to organise your hen party and it is reasonably to ask your maid of honour to take the lead. On your big day, your wedding party can help with any last minute issues.

3. Taking no for an answer: It’s a huge honour when someone asks you to be in her wedding, but if a person cannot commit to being a dedicated bridesmaid she might decline. Be grateful for her honesty – after all, you don’t want a friend to resent you if she can’t handle the responsibilities. And since the person declining is likely very important to you, feel free to include her in any of the pre-wedding preparations or the wedding itself.

4. The dresses. On your big day, you can dictate your wedding party’s attire. That ranges from having them all wear a certain colour to picking out a specific dress – just remember that you want your bridesmaids to feel comfortable. And if you have preferences about jewelry, hair, or shoes, its all about how you ask. Make sure you don’t come off as demanding and controlling.

5. The plus ones. In trying to keep your guest list in check, you might decide to only invite married or engaged couples or partners you know well. But if you can swing it, be a little more lenient for your bridal party and allow them to bring any date.

6. The left-out friends and family. It’s hard to include every person that matters to you, but I’m sure close friends and family will be happy to participate in another capacity. You can ask a cousin or old friend to do a reading at your ceremony.

7. NEVER un-ask a bridesmaid. Rather than kick out an uninvolved bridesmaid, it’s usually best to take the high road and avoid any extra dram surrounding your wedding. When a bridesmaid has stopped being involved, try to understand any financial or emotional limitations she’s dealing with. If you really don’t want the person in your wedding, ask yourself the questions you would ask before ending a friendship – since that could very well happen.

8. But I don’t want a wedding party! That’s cool. It’s totally acceptable to have no wedding party! Your good friends and family can help you with pre-wedding parties and plans and you can ask someone close to you to sign your wedding license. It’s your big day, so feel free to do whatever you like. That includes having two maids of honour or having your best guy friend as your attendant too!

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