Photo courtesy of Katie Cassidy Photography
Ready to pick out your bridesmaids, groomsmen, bridesmen, and/or groomsmaids? Here are a few tips on making the process go smoothly!
First, before asking your friends to join the wedding party, be sure that you have a date, a place, and a time locked in (and by that, we mean contract signed and deposit paid!). This will save you some heartache later if your wedding happens to fall on a day when one of your friends is simply not able to make it. You may have friends asking you about your bridesmaid or groomsmen selection before you’re ready – just let them know that you’re still discussing the wedding party, but that finding a venue and a date is your first priority.
Second, it’s always helpful if you can give your attendants an idea of cost, up front. Generally, attendants are responsible for purchasing their own attire at your direction, as well as any travel costs. A typical bridesmaid’s dress might run anywhere from $150 up to $450. Men have it a little easier, with a suit or tux rental costing somewhere between $100 and $250. However, if you know you want your ladies wearing couture or your guys wearing custom made suits, it’s polite to give them a heads up so that they can consider their own financial situation before committing. If you are requiring your ladies to see a professional for hair and makeup, it’s a wonderful gesture if you are able to pay for at least part of these services.
Third, know that the asking process is an exercise in relationship management. You should feel free to ask the people who are important to you. They can be any age, gender, or relation, as long was they’re special to you. That may make your sides uneven, and that is absolutely acceptable! Also, it is not necessary for you to invite your friend to be a bridesmaid in your wedding just because you were in hers. That being said, prepare to have a discussion with that person about *not* being in the wedding party in order to keep your friendship alive.
When it comes to the actual asking, you have lots of options! Pinterest and Etsy have grown an entire market in personalized ways to ask your bridesmaids to be a part of your special day. Check out some cute ideas from Martha Stewart Weddings here. At the end of the day, though, a phone call or a card in the mail will do the job nicely!