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There are many challenging decisions to make when you are planning a wedding, and one of the most controversial might be selecting the bridesmaids that are going to accompany you on your big day.
Here are a few solutions to some of the common dilemmas we face when choosing our bridesmaids:
This is especially tricky if you have a large family, and all the young girls, or more particularly their mothers, expect you to ask them to be bridesmaids. In this case you have to go for all or nothing and decide whether to rule out young bridesmaids altogether, or ask each and every one of them. The only exception to this would be if you have little sisters, or daughters of your own; it’s fine to have them without asking other family members.
You could ask young family members to be flower girls rather than bridesmaids, so all they have to do is wear a pretty dress, walk down the aisle with you, and pose for a few photos afterwards. There are a lot of beautiful flower girl’s dresses around that won’t break your wedding budget. If you are having young bridesmaids, make sure you have an adult maid of honour as well to keep the youngsters under control, go dress shopping with you, and organise your hen party.
The days when a pregnant woman couldn’t be a bridesmaid are long gone, and it’s perfectly fine to ask a friend who is expecting. She may not be comfortable about the effort involved, or with the idea of being in your wedding photographs with a sizeable bump, so don’t be disappointed or offended if she says no, but you should still ask.
There are a number of styles of bridesmaid dress that you can choose which will take emphasis away from the bump, such as an empire line gown, but you may want to celebrate your friend’s new found curves rather than hiding them.
You are under no obligation to ask your friend just because she asked you, but you might want to weigh up the situation. Perhaps she doesn’t have any sisters, but you have four that you want to ask. Perhaps she had a big wedding with six bridesmaids, whereas you are having a low key affair with just one or two. Maybe she got married a few years ago when you were very close and since then you have drifted apart. If you have a similarly good reason for not asking her, I’m sure she will understand. If not you should seriously consider whether you could include her in your bridal party.
Traditionally bridesmaids pay for their own dresses, unless you are having very young bridesmaids when you either pay for them yourself or ask the girl’s parents. Not all brides feel comfortable about this, however, and if this is the case there are a number of approaches you could take.
The most obvious is paying for the dresses yourself but if your budget will not stretch to that you could offer to split the cost. Perhaps you could pay for the material and the bridesmaid pays for it to be made up? For older bridesmaids consider choosing a colour and style that they will be able to wear again so they are not paying for a dress that they can only use for your wedding.
This situation can be likened to a groom not wanting to ask his mate to be best man because his speech will be too damaging. If you want to ask your sister to be your maid of honour or bridesmaid, just go ahead and do so.
If you are really worried about your hen party, sit down and talk to her and explain why you don’t want excessive drinking, crazy outfits, or a stripper. Suggest alternatives such as a spa day. Ask her to run the hen party arrangements by you before she invites anybody along. She will understand that it’s your party and she’ll want you to enjoy it as much as anybody else does.