A guide to bridesmaids

Everyone knows that choosing your bridesmaids can be a difficult part of planning your wedding. You don’t want to upset anyone if they don’t get picked, and you don’t want to have so many bridesmaids that it gets ridiculous.

Above images, left to right: Kelsey Rose, Ronald Joyce, Ronald Joyce, Mori Lee, Mori Lee

Here’s our Q&A’s to help answer those burning bridesmaid questions.

How many bridesmaids should I have?
This depends on whether you have any sisters, a best friend, other close friends and relatives. You could just have your best friend as the one and only, or have your female siblings and a friend together. Bridesmaid etiquette depends on how big your family is and some also choose to make it an extra special occasion by selecting one very important family member, for example, a grandparent, as their bridesmaid. Just a little bit different and extra special too!

Above images: Kelsey Rose

Do they all have to have matching dresses?
Not necessarily, they could all have the same colour, but different styles to suit their figure/age. Some older bridesmaids may not want to wear exactly the same cut of dress as your 17 year old sister, for example.

Do I have to buy my bridesmaids a gift?
You don’t HAVE TO but it’s a nice way of saying ‘thank you for being my bridesmaid’. It only needs to be a small token of thanks, such as personalised lip balms or maybe a wine glass with their name on, nothing over the top but just to say thank you.

Above images: Mori Lee

Who buys the dresses?
Traditionally, the bride pays at least a percentage of the cost for the bridesmaid dresses. But nowadays, it is expected for your bridesmaids to foot the bill for their own dress and accessories. Keep this in mind when choosing the design of the bridesmaid’s dress, as there would be nothing worse than asking them to fork out £300 each before they’ve even thought about hair, makeup and accessories. It might also create a bit of unwanted tension in the bridal party.

What is the maid of honour’s role?
The Maid of honour/Chief Bridesmaid is usually a sister or a best friend and is tasked to carry out different duties at the bride’s request. The first task is to get involved in the wedding planning, with jobs like wedding dress shopping, helping with favours or advice on choosing bridesmaid dresses. Then arguably the best part of being the maid of honour is planning the hen party; you want to make sure the bride has a fab day, but make sure you stay organised and be firm with the other bridesmaids to avoid confusion; the phrase ‘too many cooks’ springs to mind. Another fun job for the maid of honour is to create a bridal emergency kit for the bride on the day; this can include wet wipes, deodorant, lipstick, waterproof mascara, etc, that sort of thing. You will be your bride’s right hand woman for the big day, so it’s important to reassure her that you have everything under control, to leave her to enjoy her special day without stress.

Above images: Ronald Joyce

Where do the bridesmaids sit at the wedding breakfast/ sit down meal?
This is a hard one because bridesmaids may have partners and children, so it’s not really fair to have them sat on the top table with you, split from their other half and kids. When doing your table plan, try and have your bridesmaids on a table near you, so at least when giving your speech and handing out gifts, they’re close by.

Whatever questions you may have, your local bridesmaid stockist will be on hand to offer advice about style, fit and colour. Think about making an appointment before buying the first dresses you see and let them guide you in the right direction.

 

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