Happy bridesmaids, happy bride

Choosing your bridesmaids is one of the best things about the wedding planning process. There really is nothing better than having the people you care about most, stand next to you and support you as you enter a new phase of your life. Yet conflicts and tension between brides and bridesmaids can be a source of wedding angst – although they don’t have to be. The solution? Be a thoughtful bride and consider these suggestions for how to make your bridesmaids love you – no matter what.

All photographs © Lifestyle Images by Alexandra Grimshaw

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Keep it small

All group events work according to a simple equation, and more people usually equals more drama. Keep the size of your wedding party limited to just a few. If your other friends are mature, they’ll understand that your bridesmaid selections are not a reflection of how much you value their friendship.

Consider whether your friends want to be involved

Some people are excited to be involved in weddings, while others are less keen. If you’re good enough friends with someone to consider asking that person to be part of your wedding party, then you should be close enough to have an idea of how they truly feel about weddings. If you think that, for whatever reason, your friend would rather not be in the wedding, then stress that they can say no, and that you’ll still be thrilled to have them at your wedding as a guest.

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Let your bridesmaids choose their dresses

Give your bridal party colour swatches of the colour you’d like them to wear, and let them choose their own bridesmaid dresses. That way, they’ll have a dress they’re happy about wearing, and you’ll have them looking just the way you pictured.

Don’t make your wedding a financial burden

Don’t make your best friends live on two-minute noodles for months at a time just so they can stand next to you in a designer gown while you get married. With the costs of travelling to the wedding, the dress, the shoes, and everything else, it’s surprisingly easy for the price of being in a wedding party to go up and up. Be sensitive to the fact that your bridesmaids aren’t made of gold. Don’t expect them to travel across the country for a hen’s party. Don’t make them buy $800 dresses. Encourage them to wear shoes they already own. In short – be considerate.

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Make it fun!

They want to celebrate with you, and the getting-ready process, while exciting, is also time consuming. Providing some upbeat music and drinks or snacks before walking down the aisle is a great way to show your appreciation and make sure they’re ready to stand next to you for your ceremony.

Gifts

Make sure you thank your bridesmaids with a gift you know they’ll love.

Introduce them

Remember to introduce your bridesmaids if they don’t already know one another. That way, they have time to feel comfortable around the other girls and become friends. Friday night drinks, dinners, brunches or even wedding DIY parties are a great way to get your bridesmaids together before they need to start planning events like your bridal shower or hen’s party.

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Plan ahead

Your bridesmaids are probably all willing to help you out with planning, DIY projects, or helping you run wedding-related errands. However, don’t expect them to be available for your wedding needs 24/7. They have their own lives too. Ask them well ahead of time for their help, instead of saving chores for the last minute.

Organise some wedding-free time

Make a conscious effort to try to talk to your bridesmaids about topics other than your wedding. Keep up with what’s happening in their lives, and keep supporting them – even if you’re secretly freaking out about your wedding on the inside. They’ll appreciate the fact that you still see them as more than just your bridesmaid. Organise at least one or two days prior to your wedding where you can relax and spend time with your bridesmaids without any discussion of ‘The Wedding’.

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