(Closed) bridesmaid/man… who and when to choose?!

posted 10 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

The bridal party can be a big stress point for many couples, so I say kudos for throwing it out there and seeing what people say. These are my humbles, so take ’em with a grain of salt. 🙂

If you’re looking for what to avoid, check out Etiquette Hell.

#1) A bridesmaid who’s been a bride can be cool; she’ll know where you’r coming from. You aren’t obligated to choose her just because you were in your wedding though, but it sounds like you’ve been friends for a long time.

#2) Not really liking this option since you haven’t seen her since 2006 and haven’t kept in contact. She might make a really cool guest though, and you can certainly invite her to all the parties.

#3) and #4) Someone who has been supportive of wedding planning so far is wonderful…sometimes that’s all brides need. I understand about not wanting people who drift in your wedding photos though. That’s why I had our bonus mom marry us, and my bonus sister stand in as my maid of honor. I was looking at my guy’s mom’s first wedding pics, and she doesn’t talk to any of her bridesmaids anymore…no fallout or anything, just drifted apart. I

‘ll tell you from experience that having one girl to dress shop for is so easy, and there’s no reason that you can’t include the other girls in wedding planning (if they even want) or other roles.

Also try to figure out what you want from your bridal party. Some brides need moral support, dress shopping buddies, DIY helpers and so on or do you just need them to show up in an outfit.

Post # 4
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

Don’t worry about thinking you don’t have close girlfriends! Quality, not quantity! I really only have four and they don’t live near me by a long shot. Choose people who will really be a good support system before and during your big day.  I know I can count on these girls to be a good time AND to help prevent me from any meltdowns no matter what happens.  To be honest, that’s all that is important!

Anyhow, you asked so here is a rundown of who I’m choosing and why:
Maid/Matron of Honor: Best friend since third grade, would have been her Bridesmaid or Best Man but she ran off to Vegas. Don’t talk all the time, but see each other at least once a year. I call her my lifelong best friend.
Bridesmaid or Best Man #1: Introduced to me by Maid/Matron of Honor frosh year of college. We hit it off right away and have been best friends since. I was an honorary Bridesmaid or Best Man at her wedding, helping her parents with things at the reception, etc. Talk on the phone at least once a week.
BM#2: Best friend since seventh grade, like my sister. Her mom is my second mom. Also my roommate at college. Talk about once a month via email or phone.
BM#3: Best friend from college. Sorority sister and roommate. We talk at least once a week on the phone {and Facebook message all day long :)}. I will probably be in her future wedding.
BM#4: "Baby" cousin {actually 21}. Our moms were bff growing up because of their closeness in age. We share a weird and close bond because of that. Her mom is my godmother, my mom is hers. She will hopefully be my first child’s godmother.
BM#5: "Baby" cousin. Sister of BM#4 who has spent a week or two each summer staying with me for the past few years. We are really alike and close also. She is in high school, so I am going to okay this with her mom before I ask her. She’s also really helpful, so I want to have her be a part of my day!
BM#6??: FI’s sister. I haven’t decided yet. We are not close, but I don’t want to upset his mother.
BM#7??: My step-sister who I really want to just watch and sit with her dad and my mom. Her children will be the only ones involved and I want her to be available for them but if I have FI’s sister, I want mine!

I don’t live in the same state as any of these people.  As a matter of fact, one lives in Virginia, two in Ohio, one in Hawaii, one in Wisconsin, one in Florida, one in Indiana. I’m in Mississippi and have friends here, but haven’t chosen to include them in my wedding party. They will be invited.

Post # 5
278 posts
Helper bee

I understand your frustration!

It’s a tough question indeed but a good point that my friends (past brides) have made is that they made sure every role was just as important as being a bm.  My friend had a dozen of really close friends but could only choose 3.  She chose the 3 that she thought would get along great and be a great team along with being a great support system to her.  She also had honorary bms that had different roles such as a reading, giving out programs, help with setting up, and signing.  At the end, everyone just wanted to be helpful.  She showed her appreciation by honoring them at the rehearsal dinner and giving them small gifts too.  It was sweet and everyone felt like they pitched in equally.

Are you considering having other roles at your wedding?

Post # 6
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

My Maid/Matron of Honor is my Boyfriend or Best Friend from grade school and the same goes for BM#1 and BM#2. BM#3 and I became Boyfriend or Best Friend in highschool. All five of us live in different states/cities but so far it’s been easy to get together. I am the only one that live in our home town so it’s beneficial for them to come visit here b/c they can also visit their family. My other 2BMs are my soon to be SIL. There were two other friends I was considering but one had financial problems and the other is busy planning her own wedding (funny she asked me to be in hers and I accepted) I think I made the right choices. 

Post # 7
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2008 - United Methodist Cathedral & historic downtown hotel in Cleveland

Honestly, I’d wait for awhile before you decide.  You’ve got a lot of time, and your friendships with your grad school friends may change.  Talk with your guy friend, and ask him, since that sounds set in stone, but there really is no need to rush into it, since the wedding is well over a year away.

I chose my best friend (who lives far away; we don’t see each other much, but talk at least 2x a month, and have been best friends for year), Mr. D’s sister, and my brother’s longtime girlfriend.  Mr. D has his best friend and my two brothers.  Originally, my brothers were going to stand up for me, and his sister for him, but for the sake of symmetry, we decided to switch it.

That’s it.  Like you, I had a lot of people that I was close to in grad school, but haven’t known them that long.  It was easier keeping the bridal party on the small side, because otherwise I’d have to expand it to 7 or 8 people a side, which would be too much.

Post # 8
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

I really think it makes people sad to feel excluded- you mentioned maybe picking 3 out of 4 of the girls.  Couldn’t you just ask them all- does it really matter how many bridesmaids you have?? I’m just speaking from experience because a friend picked 2/3 friends from grad school excluding me and the feeling really really sucked.

Post # 9
105 posts
Blushing bee

The best advice I’ve heard about choosing BM’s: ask those who you can’t imagine not standing up there with you.

 Even though you’ve tried to explain your relationships with each girl – you can’t do that in 3 sentences or less. Choose those who you want to stand with you. Choose those who are important to you NOW – a college friend may be a part of your life now, and she may not be 10 years from now. But she is NOW, and that’s what matters.

 Don’t choose/not choose based on your pictures 10 years from now – you may not speak to any of them in 10 years! But the girls in your pictures should be the girls who were important now.

Good luck!

Post # 10
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I’m with maple – and like you, I don’t have a lot of really close girlfriends.  Probably my closest live a long ways away and travel a lot, so I would have felt really bad about asking them to make the time.  They might have done it, but it would have sucked for them in so many ways, as any free time they have is pretty rare.  So I asked only the one person who I can’t imagine doing without – my sister.  She also lives a long ways away and travels like crazy, so is not really performing any traditional duties, but is offering tons of support via cell phone and email at all hours of the day and night depending on her time zone.

I only have one piece of advice about your college friends – in many years of travel and having lived all over the country, I have found that there are basically two kinds of friends.  One kind you are friends with regardless of location – and regardless of time spent together.  When you pick up the phone or get together its like no time has passed, and you make time to talk or text or email no matter how busy you are.  The other kind, once you leave town, you will never really be close with again – even if you try. I think the difference is at least partly about whether you really have something important in common with someone (that will outlast your current common situation) or whether you are friends mostly because you spend a lot of time together.  So – I have no idea whether your current grad school friends will be long term friends – although you could probably figure that out by talking with them about what happens after you all graduate.  You can certainly talk to your undergrad friend – if you can sort of jump start your friendship again maybe it would be nice to have her as a Bridesmaid or Best Man.  Hopefully you have time to figure that out before you would have to ask her.

Post # 12
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I hope this works out well for you. I moved two years ago (to be closer to my parents and Fiance, who was just the boyfriend at the time).  And while some friends from where I lived are still in my life all the time, a couple of women I thought were good friends just aren’t any more.  Happens every time, and I know that, but it is still sad to lose a close friend.

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