Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

May 2012

How to Choose Your Bridesmaids

Ever heard of the saying “Behind every successful man lies a great woman”? Well, SingaporeBrides has our own version. We say, “Behind every bride lies a great bridesmaid – or five”. Unless you want your wedding to shake like a Jenga tower missing more than a few blocks in the middle, you better put some thought into picking your bridesmaids.

You know your bridesmaids have a more important responsibility than fending off your groom and his boys during the gate-crashing and looking pretty by your side. If you’ve been a bridesmaid yourself before, you know they will be your support system, your aid in the wedding planning and have your back from the very beginning to the end. Which is why it’s exceptionally vital that you find the one (or many more) women who’d be perfect for the responsibilities of a bridesmaid to ensure you get all the help and support you need to make your wedding a successful one.

The question is, how would you know who these individuals are and how do you identify them from the others on your very long bridesmaids-wannabe list? SingaporeBrides has a simple solution for you: a six-step guide to picking your bridesmaids. By the time you finish reading it, you’ll be picking out bridesmaids like you were born to do so.

1. Time is On Your Side

One minute you’re engaged and showing off your ring to your family, and the next you’re punching in the numbers to your BFF’s mobile to ask if she’ll be one of your bridesmaids. That might seem like the best idea at that moment, but it really is a very bad one. Hang up and let us tell you why.

Deciding who’ll be your bridesmaids is just as important and tricky as deciding your guest list and seating plan. To begin with, how many bridesmaids you have depends on how big your wedding is. Don’t forget, you have more than just your BFFs to consider for the role of bridesmaid – there are women in your family that you have to consider as well.

That’s why you need to be calm-headed and rational enough to look at your circle of friends and family to see who is cut out for the work of a bridesmaid. So take your time and wait for that bubble of excitement to settle down before making any decisions. If you’re asked about your bridesmaids and who they’ll be, let them know that in all the engagement excitement, you haven’t had the time to think of it yet.

2. Who’s Bridesmaid Material?

If you’ve watched the movie 27 Dresses, the first 10 minutes or so should give you a pretty good idea of the kind of bridesmaids you want to be surrounded by. I’m referring to Katherine Heigl’s character in the movie, of course. Ecstatic, responsible and even willing to hold the bride’s skirts up while she tinkles away – these are some of the traits your bridesmaids should have.

Ideally, they should be someone whom you are close to and who are familiar with your temperament so they wouldn’t bat an eyelid even if you transformed into the legendary bridezilla in front of them. You should be able to completely rely and lean on your bridesmaids and draw on their strength when things become too much for you anytime between now and the wedding.

That’s why it’s so important for the women you’re about to pick as bridesmaids to possess some, if not all of these qualities. When all else fails around them, you can count on them to be standing fast and strong.

3. Stand Firm

When news of your upcoming nuptials goes around, all of a sudden you’ll be hearing from friends and distant relatives whom you haven’t spoke with in years. And once the congratulations have been conveyed, you’ll be hearing talk about some or all of them expecting to be asked “Will you be my bridesmaid?”.

Don’t let this group of people arm twist you into making them bridesmaids against your wishes, even if relatives pull out the family card. You need to be completely comfortable and familiar with your bridesmaids for this relationship to work, so don’t force yourself to make a distant cousin of yours one of your bridesmaids just to please your family.

Let them know that while you’d be happy to share your day with them, you already have enough bridesmaids. Offer them an alternative and inform them that while it is unfortunate they can’t be your bridesmaids, there is another area, such as manning the reception table, that you’d like them to help you out with.

4. Group Dynamics

Picking the right individuals to be your bridesmaids is just the first step. The next step is to ensure these individuals are able to work well and get along with others. Otherwise, you’ll be having catfights reminiscent of those you see on “America’s Next Top Model”.

That means you should never ask two feuding friends to be your bridesmaids, because that is just asking for trouble. You’re essentially giving them an avenue (read: your wedding) to engage in a silent and destructive war or dish things out with one another. The same goes for relatives or ex-colleagues.

If your bridesmaids are made up of individuals from different stages of your life (secondary school and university friends), arrange luncheons or gatherings to give everyone an opportunity to get acquainted with on another. It’d also be a good idea for you to assign each of them clear responsibilities to minimise any fighting over tasks.

5. More Than Just an Honour

Being asked to be a bridesmaid is more than just an honour; it also comes with responsibilities. If you’ve been one yourself, you’d know how important a bridesmaid’s role is in a wedding and during its planning process. You’ll also know that sometimes, bridesmaids end up being busier and more stressed out than the bride herself, especially the Maid of Honour.

6. A bridesmaid’s responsibility

Don’t think for a second that your bridesmaids’ tasks are limited to giving trusty advice during your dress fittings and on the colour of your flower bouquet; it is a list long enough to rival even your wedding to-do list. You need to be able to count on your girls to turn up at your dress fittings or bridal showers, speak to vendors and coordinate other wedding details. So be sure to pick the ones who are ready to shoulder those responsibilities to the very end.

In your search for your bridesmaids, you’ll meet some who awaits eagerly to be asked to be your bridesmaids and some, who when asked, end up saying “no”. When you do, don’t be too surprised. Don’t take their rejection too personally or hold it against them. They have their own lives too and they’re not obligated to put yours above theirs. Just be happy that they’re there at your wedding as guests.