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I got 99 problems, but a bridesmaid ain’t one… Or is she?

When women get engaged, they are excited – as they should be. That excitement can lead to some pretty rash decisions. Namely, choosing your bridesmaids. Now, many of us have thought about it long and hard and know who we really want to be standing beside us as we take a new last name. But sometimes, the excitement can get the best of us. I can speak from personal experience. One of my besties called me as we drove to dinner right after he popped the question. Of course, Joey told me to take the call so I could share the news. This is exactly how it went, in one long run-on sentence: “HIIIIIIII!!!!!!!! Guess what?! I’M ENGAGED!!!! Will you be a bridesmaid?” I never once regretted asking her, but I wish I could have contained myself a little longer so I could have made asking her a bit more special. Needless to say, she was shocked and didn’t believe that I was honestly asking her. I made six very good choices for my bridesmaids, so I was lucky.

However, lately, I have been hearing some bridesmaid horror stories. I’ve heard of drunk ladies who have asked someone to be a bridesmaid and then never brought it up again basically, pretending that it never happened. I’ve heard of women getting upset because someone else was chosen as the Maid of Honor – so what if the person was chosen was the bride’s only sister. I’ve heard of bridesmaids backing out of the wedding with only a month to go. I’ve heard of bridesmaids who have made the whole process about them rather than focusing on the bride. I’ve even heard of bridesmaids who got into a screaming match in the middle of the reception and had to be escorted out of the venue.

With all of that in mind, I think it is important to discuss this topic a little bit before I have to hear too many more of these stories. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You have to consider everything that goes into being a bridesmaid and encourage them to do the same before making a decision. If you’ve been a bridesmaid before, you know exactly what I mean – showers, bachelorette parties, dress/gown shopping, gifts, DIY projects… and the list goes on and on! So here are a few steps that can help when thinking about who should be such a huge part of your big day.

You don’t have to ask someone just because they asked you.

I hear so many brides say, “Well, I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, so I kind of have to ask her.” NO YOU DON’T. You should not feel obligated to ask anyone to be a part of your wedding. And as I was once told, “if you’re my [wo]man, then you’ll understand.” It is crazy to me that women get so offended when they aren’t asked to be in someone’s wedding. When this is all over, just remember what it was like to have to narrow down your list of friends to those very few. I bet you will never be upset someone didn’t ask you to be a bridesmaid again.

You don’t have to ask someone just because they are related to you (or your intended).

Honestly, who cares if she’s your cousin, sister or even fiance’s sister? If you are closer with your friends than this person, then she is not someone who should be part of the bridal party. Remember, you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. And just because you are related, it doesn’t mean that you are friends. I know. I know. It sounds harsh, but I’m just being realistic. Do you want someone who barely knows you planning your shower? You might end up with the unicorns and rainbows you loved when you were in 2nd grade because that’s all she remembers about you. Think about it.

You don’t have to choose someone just to make the bridal party even.

You fiancé has 5 potential groomsman on his list, but you only have 3. So what? Nowadays, weddings are moving away from the traditional anyway. Who says you have to have an even number on either side? If you are thinking that you don’t want your pictures to be uneven, then you have nothing to fear. Most photographers can work with any number of people. If they are good at their job, they can figure out how to position your bridal party so that it doesn’t look lopsided. After all, they have done this before and are probably pretty artistic. If you are worried about that, then you have chosen the wrong photographer. We’ll save that topic for another blog post…

You don’t have to choose someone if they are unreliable.

See above comment about bridesmaid backing out a month before the wedding. I’ve even been witness to bridesmaids who were no shows for the shower or bachelorette party with no explanation or apology. Oh and did I forget to mention that she also didn’t pitch in any moo-la for either because she said she’d bring it with her and then proceeded to insist that because she wasn’t there, she shouldn’t have to help pay? Some people are just plain inconsiderate. Do you want that to happen? You have enough on your plate. Worrying about a bridesmaid shouldn’t be one of those things.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that this day is about you and your soon-to-be spouse with all of the suggestions and requests from other people. Ultimately, you need to stop and remind yourself that it IS about you. Your bridesmaids are supposed to be there to support and help you. It is up to you to choose them wisely. Or you can listen to me saying “I told you so.” The choice is yours.

What horror stories have you heard or experienced? I’d love to hear some and how you dealt with it. And just because I love them so much, here is a shot of my beautiful and amazing bridesmaids. I lucked out with this group!

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