*this post is probably a bit different than you’ll find on other wedding planning websites, but I like to keep it real and be as helpful as possible!*
Your favorite ladies said yes to being your bridesmaids because they love you and they are excited for you, but wedding planning can create relationship tensions no one wants. If you’re in college or right out of college, they may be in several weddings at the same time. If you’re getting married in your late 20s or 30s, your bridesmaids might be moms or getting married themselves. This should be a time you all can celebrate together without adding stress or tension to your relationship. Here are a few of my tips for helping maintain these friendships.
photo by: Shannon Oleksak Photography
Set expectations up front
Let them know from the get go what will they need to purchase. Are you covering their jewelry or shoes? What about their hotel room for the wedding weekend (I think this is definitely something you should cover)? Traditionally your bridesmaids should be invited to every shower and party, but they don’t need to attend every one nor do they need to bring a gift to more than one. Since they’re already spending a lot of money on the dress and bachelorette weekend, gifts aren’t necessary at every event. They are coming to support you, especially at the showers where you don’t know anyone.
If you need their help along the way with programs or welcome baskets assembly, ask them if they are available to help. Don’t demand that they must help and be gracious if they’ve already got plans that day. Also, don’t try to do everything on your own! Be open with them about where you need help and let them offer to help when and where they can.
The last thing I would set expectations for is the wedding weekend itself. But that goes more with the next point, so let’s get on with that one.
Communication is key
Just like with any relationship, communication is important. When it comes to the actual wedding weekend, be upfront with them about when you need them to arrive and what you need their help with that weekend. Don’t just assume they know you need them to help set up the reception area or put out chairs for the ceremony. If something on the calendar changes let them know as soon as you can. If the cost of something goes up, give them as much of a heads up as possible so they can adjust and prepare.
And going back to point one, the way you communicate your expectations with them will set the tone for your wedding. They will never be as invested in your wedding as you are, so make sure when asking for their help or their presence at an event, you remain gracious and aware that they might not be able to be part of everything. And that’s okay! Lean on them when you can, but remember to keep it fun and a time of celebration!
A few other things to consider
When picking bridesmaids dresses, please, pick ones that will actually look good on them. Take into account their body types. You’re asking them to stand in front of other people in this dress and you’re hiring a professional to take photos you’ll keep forever. Encourage them to get the right size (regardless of size) and undergarments needed for things to lay and move smoothly. Remember they don’t have the same budget and time for your wedding as you do. Be respectful of their finances and calendars when asking them to be in your wedding.
If you get the feeling one of your bridesmaids is starting to get annoyed or stressed out, go for a mani/pedi together and talk it out. Don’t let it get to wedding weekend and still have tension there. You all want to enjoy the day and celebrate your relationships, keep that at the front of your mind when planning with your favorite ladies!