The Bridesmaids are the Bride's right hand gal - there to help and assist before, during and after the day. Our bridesmaid guide provides hints and tips on choosing the bridesmaids for the big day.
Depending upon the preference of the Bride and Groom, the bridesmaids will have an important role to play throughout the day, and often in the build up to it as well. From carrying the wedding dress train to diving for the bouquet, bridesmaids need to be prepared to roll their sleeves up whenever asked, and help out with whatever duties are passed their way (for a full rundown of the role and responsibilities, check out our bridesmaid duties article).
Taking the extent and importance of the role into consideration, choosing the bridesmaids is no easy task. Whilst the final decision should rest with the Bride, the Groom is allowed to have some input in the process and help to determine who, and how many, bridesmaids will be present on the day.
How Many Bridesmaids?
When it comes to the number of bridesmaids, many will advise that you should have no more than eight bridesmaids present on the day. However, when the number of bridesmaids becomes too large, there is a chance that the Bride will become swamped a little. With this in mind, we would advise that you aim for a maximum of five bridesmaids (not including the Maid of Honour) for the wedding - this will help to ensure that the Bride always remains the focus of everyone's attention and the true star of the show.
How To Choose Your Bridesmaids
When it comes down to who to choose, you have a totally free choice, so make sure that you take your time and choose the best people for the job.
In terms of age range, there is no minimum or maximum age the only real bridesmaid guide is to have at least one Bridesmaid around the same age as the Bride and, if you are feeling brave, include one or two little ones (ideally aged over 8ish younger ones can serve as Flower Girls rather than fully fledged Bridesmaids) this will help to add that all-important aah factor.
Sisters (of either the Bride or Groom) are normally high up on the shortlist of candidates, whilst other relatives and close friends often follow close behind. Ideally, but by no means essentially, a good bridesmaid guide is try to choose one or more maids from the Groom's side to complement those from the Bride's.
Regardless of how many bridesmaids you opt for, there are some important characteristics you should look for in your potential maid, namely:
Confidence - as a member of the wedding party, there'll be focus on the bridesmaids at all times so avoid any shy and retiring types - especially important for those junior bridesmaids.
Well behaved - not such an issue for the senior bridesmaids (hopefully not anyway!) but an essential characteristic for any younger maids.
Cute - again an imperative for the junior bridesmaids, and whilst the elder bridesmaids should look cute on camera too, not nearly as cute as the Bride herself!
Calm - whether it's before or during the wedding, something may go wrong, so ensure that all the Bridesmaids have a calming attitude to help relax any nervous Bride.
Helpful - whether it's attaching pull bows to pews or putting together the wedding favours, there'll be a whole host of tasks that Bridesmaids can chip in with, so make sure that they're the willing sort.
Happy to be photographed - not so much of a characteristic, but a preference. Either way, they'll be snapped left, right and centre throughout the day so you'll want bridesmaids who are happy to smile for each and every photo opportunity that comes their way.
Supportive - the run up to the wedding will be a rollercoaster of emotions for the Bride - whether it's a shoulder to cry on or someone to share a laugh with, the Bridesmaids need to be there for the Bride at all times.
Cheery & fun demeanour - a sense of humour is essential, so make sure the Bridesmaids have this in abundance.
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