This is one of the most exciting and important moments of your life. You expect your bridal party to make your wedding their number one priority. Hold it, Bridezilla! People have their own lives and other matters with which to worry. When the majority of your bridesmaids are in their mid-20s, not everyone’s careers are established and some may be going back to school. Here are some pointers on how to maintain a sense of reality during planning for the Big Day.
Please be reasonable with the number of girls you select in your bridal party. This is not a competition with other brides to display who has more friends. The more bridesmaids you have, the more stressful the planning and coordinating can become. Also, this weakens your ability to cover certain important costs for your bridesmaids. When your bridal party exceeds six to eight girls, bigger problems tend to arise. Remember, your friends are investing not only a significant amount of money but also their valuable time to be in your bridal party.
If your wedding is a destination wedding (requiring a plane ticket), do not plan an extravagant bachelorette party unless you plan to chip in. Do not lose sight of the other expenses your bridesmaids have – engagement gifts, bridal shower gifts, wedding gifts, airfare/hotel for the wedding, actual expenses for the bridesmaid attire. This being said, it is also a good idea to allow some time in between the bachelorette party and the wedding so your bridesmaids can recover financially. Rather than scheduling the bachelorette party one month before the wedding, maybe coordinate it to take place three to six months before the wedding. Additionally, if you have your travel agent involved handling the travel plans for the bridesmaids, be certain the agent explains all the rules and conditions prior to booking and taking deposits. In some cases, directly booking air and hotel may be best for bridesmaids, individually, versus going with the bookings by an agent.
If one of your bridesmaids was unable to attend the event and the travel plans were handled by the agent, the bridesmaid may not be able to get her deposit back. That might place a strain on the relationship.
If you are not paying for your bridesmaids’ dresses, please be kind and select a dress that is not only affordable, but something that can be worn again (no canary frocks, please). This goes for shoes, as well. If you are going to be so demanding with the height of the shoes, perhaps you can cover the cost of this or find a very affordable option for your friends to eliminate their endless search for the perfect shoe.
If your wedding does require your bridesmaids to travel, it is a nice gesture to treat them with hair and makeup. You are asking them to be a part of your big day, which includes numerous photos, so please be grateful for their effort and surprise them with these beauty treatments. This also goes for jewelry. If you are requiring the bridesmaids to wear a certain style of earrings or necklace, this could be the perfect gift for your bridal party.
Some of these pointers might sound outrageous, but I have experienced each of these scenarios in some way during my role as bridesmaid in various weddings. Remember the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” When you make requests of your bridesmaids, take a second to think to yourself, would you do this or even want to do this as a bridesmaid for one of your friends?