Getting married is a huge milestone, and it’s only natural for you to want to be surrounded by your best friends as you walk down the aisle. However, choosing your bridesmaids shouldn’t be left alone as a popularity contest. If you don’t choose wisely, you could have quite the fiasco on your wedding day, maybe even for many years. Here are a few tips on How to Choose Your Bridesmaids.

1.) Understand the responsibilities you will be asking of them. A bridesmaid has more responsibilities than they may realize. Do you have a friend with a knack for making a scene during every big event? Putting her in your wedding might not be the best idea. There’s no point in having a bachelorette party if everyone takes turns babysitting your friend the entire night. Make sure to choose people that are not only responsible enough to follow through with your requests but are also mature enough to push back any feelings of jealousy as you walk down the aisle.

2.) Pick people that matter. Everyone tends to cycle through different groups of people as they move throughout life. However, that doesn’t mean those who have been with you since day 1 should receive an automatic bridesmaid invitation. Think about which people have really been there for you through thick and thin. Just because “Becky” is a great drinking buddy doesn’t necessarily mean she deserves a spot in your wedding.

3.) Don’t choose too many bridesmaids. Just as it’s important to limit the number of people that come with you to your first dress fitting, it’s also important to have an appropriate-sized bridal party. The more bridesmaids you have, the more you open yourself to complications. You have to work with varying budgets, styles, tastes, friendships, personalities, travel arrangements, favors, and many other issues that are much easier to deal with in a small group.

And don’t worry if there are more groomsmen than bridesmaids; the world will not end if one groomsman has to walk two bridesmaids down the aisle.

4.) Consider alternatives. If, for whatever reason, someone can’t be a bridesmaid, don’t automatically write them off. They can still be in your wedding as an usher or even an officiant (anyone can get certified).

5.) Choose who you want. Just because you were a bridesmaid in someone’s wedding 6 years ago does not mean you have to return the favor. And even though including your new sister-in-law in your wedding might go a long way toward smoothing things with your overbearing mother-in-law, if you can’t stand the girl, don’t put her in your wedding.

6.) Don’t limit yourself! Guys can be on your side too (typically called bridesmen), so if you have a super close guy friend, don’t feel like you have to leave him out of your wedding. Having said that, if your husband has a super close female friend, she can also be on his side as a groom’s woman.

Using these tips on choosing your bridesmaids will help with planning your wedding.

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