How do I choose my bridal party?
Selecting bridesmaids can be tricky, especially if you have several close friends and a big family. If you have too many, it can get out of hand. If you pare down, you could offend some good friends. “The best ways to choose your bridesmaids is to understand that you want people who represent ‘you,’ says Toronto wedding consultant Candice Wasserstein. She suggests picking someone from your past (sisters and cousins), your present (best friends) and your future (sister-in-laws-to-be). While it is convenient to have the same number of bridesmaids as groomsmen, this should not be a factor.
The cost…and who pays?
It’s an honour to be asked to be a bridesmaid, but there is considerable cost involved in both time and money. Typically, bridesmaids are responsible for the cost of their gown, shoes, alterations and gifts for both the bridal shower and wedding. Don’t forget to budget for hair and make-up services, unless you plan to handle this yourself. And you’ll likely be asked to share the costs of hosting a bridal shower or bachelorette party.
“Being a bridesmaid can become expensive, which is why brides should be considerate and insist that her attendants not bring gifts to showers,” says Candice. “Depending on a number of factors, such as the kind of wedding you’re having and what you’re asking of your maids, a bridesmaid can probably expect to spend a minimum of $500 and up,” she says.
If a maid declines the invitation, don’t be offended; be understanding. You could ask them to help out in another role:
- Offer to do a reading during the ceremony
- Hand out programs to guests as they enter the ceremony site
- Volunteer to drive relatives to and from venues
- Make sure they are invited to the shower and bachelorette party