By Lisa van der Knaap
Having someone stand up for you on your wedding day is huge. But choosing your bridal party can be very challenging. “I’ve been a bridesmaid so many times, who do I ask to be mine? Will everyone get on? Are they too busy to be bridesmaids?” Avoid the drama and politics and keep these things in mind before you make any decisions.
Roles for the wedding
Before asking anyone, think about what kind of role you want your wedding party to play. Do you want them to help you choose your wedding dress and narrow down venue choices? Or is it enough that they plan your bachelorette party, wear what you choose and show up on the big day? How hands-on you want your bridesmaids to be will help you work out who to choose. In addition, think about people’s skills and attributes − and how they could be useful for the wedding. If one friend has a great eye for detail, it might be helpful for her to look over wedding stationery before it’s printed, whereas someone who is a stickler for punctuality would be a great asset on the actual day.
Narrowing down your choices
If you’re having a problem whittling down the bridesmaid list, take the temperament and history of people into account. If two women have had trouble getting along in the past, there might be some arguments over duties if they are both involved. To avoid this, you could give your ‘problematic’ bridesmaids individual tasks, so that their time together is minimal, or allow your maid of honour to pull rank and have the final decision on group discussions.
Keep your goal in mind
At the end of the day, your bridesmaids need to make your big day stress-free, memorable and enjoyable; they should treat one another with fairness and respect and resolve any differences amongst themselves. But remember that the more bridesmaids you have, the greater the potential for complications. If you’re on the fence about asking someone to be in your wedding party, consider how they would fit in with the rest of the bridesmaids. If you don’t think they’d mesh with your bridal party – and it would put additional stress on you in the lead up to the wedding – then it might be best to leave that person off the bridesmaid’s list altogether.
For more expert advice about choosing your bridesmaids, pick up a copy of the Autumn 2017 edition of South African Wedding Inspirations, on sale now nationwide at Pick ‘n Pay stores, CNA, Exclusive Books, PNA, Clicks and Dis-Chem, as well as selected SPAR supermarkets and independent retailers.