(Closed) Bridesmaid étiquette?

posted 6 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

It is totally okay to not have every person you’ve been a Bridesmaid or Best Man for also be one for you. Choose based on who you are closest to. However, I urge you to NOT make this decision yt. You have over a year to go, and there are WAY too many threads on here from girls who asked too early and ended up regretting their decision.

Post # 4
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’ve never heard of an absolute established etiquette – but be prepared to navigate some treacherous family and friend politics. A lot of people’s expectations depend on where they’re from and what they’ve always experienced.

Where I’m from, it’s pretty much a rule that you have to have your own sisters and your fiance’s sisters. Then the bride starts choosing friends – and there’s often a childhood friend you’re not that close to anymore but your mom makes you have because she’s still bffs with that friend’s mom (Southern etiquette is a labyrinth sometimes). I was once one of 12 bridesmaids because the poor girl had so many sisters, and friends her mom made her have, plus she wanted her two closest friends from high school (I was one of those). 

But in the end, truly, it’s up to you. If you establish up front, and openly, what your criteria are for choosing bridesmaids, and you’re careful to honor in some way your family and closest friends, people will get over it and be fine. I avoided the whole thing by having one attendant, my best friend for 12 years who basically helped me survive grad school and who is still my most trusted confidante. But I had corsages made for my sister in law (and sisters in law to be). Everyone was fine because no one felt unnoticed or unloved. 

I would say, imagine yourself saying your vows. Whom do you want standing nearest you when you do that?

Post # 5
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

As per Peggy Post’s *Wedding Etiquette*…

In choosing your attedants, consider first the people to whom you are closest. Then consider those friends and family members you an count on, who share a willingness to help.  At the same time, keep in mind that teh people you choose are Bridal Attendants, not a hired work force.  While the can HELP you have a Wedding Day free from worry, be sure to respect their own commitments and delegate duties only to those who have offered to help.

Another important consideration:  the financial obligations Attendants will be incurring on your behalf, from travel expenses to clothing bills to possible participation in parties and showers.

Also, I agree with what @Wonderstruck: said above… although Etiquette Books say choose your Bridal Attendants shortly after you are Engaged, there is no real need to do so if you are planning to have a long Engagement.  In that case, I wouldn’t make my annoucements official until at least 9 months to a year in advance.  Because as noted, there are plenty of posts here on WBee where Brides have found that earlier announcements tend to pattern a trend of fallingouts and regrets down the road as the months wear on (call it BMs who get bored from hearing all about the Wedding perhaps for an extended period of time… as has been said on here before, although a Wedding can take a long time to plan, essentially as a Bride you really only GET ONE DAY)

Hope this helps,


Post # 6
2577 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

You do not need to invite people to be in your Wedding Party just cause you were in theirs.

Post # 7
4046 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would choose the friends or relatives closest to you, and most likely to help with the wedding. You do not have to only choose female relatives, or people you have stood up for, or your sisters/his sisters.

Post # 8
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

You also dont have to choose your close female relatives just because they are family. I am probably not having my sister as a bridesmaid because I feel weird about not involving my brothers in the same way and Fiance isn’t close with them. He is an only child, so it makes more sense to us to only include close friends in the wedding party. My siblings will be recognized in other ways. I’m sure that if you decide to include them they will be happy to stand up for you. 

Post # 9
2699 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

You can have whoever you want for whatever your personal reasons are. I have 2 sisters, one is Maid/Matron of Honor, the other isn’t in the Bridal Party for example. Think about logistics, who will just be happy for you rather than demanding, who is reliable etc. You owe nothing to noone, make the choice based on who you think will just be happy for you 🙂

Post # 10
3303 posts
Sugar bee

Take your time choosing BMs. I choose right away and since then had to drop one and demote the other. If I could do it over again I would have waited a bit to see how people really felt about it as I planned my wedding.

Post # 12
1274 posts
Bumble bee

I would consider waiting a bit longer to ask like you said, but you have lots of time to think about who is the closest to you and who you would want standing up next to you and Fiance at the altar on your wedding day. If your date is correct, October 2013…I would seriously not mention it to anyone but your Fiance who you are thinking about as part of your party until you’ve decided. Too many brides on here have chosen ppl that just don’t work out or there are issues and someone leaves or gets kicked out. I’m sure it’s not a pleasant situation to have that happen, that’s why I totally encourage you and Fiance to talk about it and find out how many people he would like to stand up for him too. 🙂

That being said, personally I would let the people know at least 6 months ahead of time so they can prepare financially if they need to buy a dress, attire, etc for your wedding. You don’t HAVE to choose anyone based on etiquette – if you have sisters that you want to be in the party great, if you’d rather have friends or other family that’s totally up to you. You may have to be really delicate addressing those who aren’t in your Wedding Party if the topic comes up about who your bridesmaids will be (I had that with my 2 university roomies that I’m not as close to ask about it and I had to explain the situation).

I was a bit stressed about picking BMs, but so far I have been thrilled with the choice I made. I chose 3 friends and my cousin to stand up with me and they have been so supportive. I hope yours will be for you too! 

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