Your bridesmaids will support you through the endless dress fittings, the 3am tears after a few too many lemonades on your hen do and everything in between. We know just how important it is to pick the right people for the job.
We have photographed hundreds of weddings in Manchester and across the North West and have had the pleasure of getting to know some really brilliant bridesmaids along the way. We’ve put together our seven top tips to pick the very best girl gang to support you on your big day.
Think before you ask
Brides (and grooms!) can be put under real pressure by friends and family in the run up to the big day, so it’s easy to be swayed into asking someone you wouldn’t choose for yourself. Once you’ve asked, you can’t go back, so take some time to consider. You might want to invite all of your current close friends to be a part of the big day, but try and take a step back. Ask yourself if you think you’ll be this close to them in five years’ time. If the answer is yes, ask away!
Before you select your squad, think about what sort of role you’d like them to play in the big day. Is it important they sit and tirelessly handcraft centrepieces for the reception? Or come with you to every dress fitting? If the answer is yes and you’re after a really involved wedding party, then consider where your friends and family live. It won’t be practical for friends living hours away to take time away from work or family, for instance. That doesn’t mean you can’t involve them in your wedding prep – maybe a night in stuffing invitations in your PJs with a bottle of wine would suffice?
You don’t have to choose someone who chose you
Just because your best friend from the Harry Potter society at uni asked you to be a bridesmaid, doesn’t mean you have to return the favour. It might mean an awkward conversation, but better that than looking at your wedding photographs for years to come and wondering why you asked them. If they ask why they’re aren’t involved in your wedding, be honest. Explain that you felt you should have those people closest to you at the moment by your side on the big day so there were many special people you couldn’t involve.
It’s OK to throw tradition out of the window
Don’t feel you need to stick with tradition. Your best friend is a man? No worries. Want your mum to be your maid of honour? Go for it! Maid of honour is an incredibly important job and it’s essential you pick someone who you know is up to it. They will be there to hold your hand throughout the most exciting, but also nerve wracking, days of your life. You want them to be the perfect match. Choose someone you love who you know will make your life easier in the run up to the big day.
Think about personalities
Your bride squad doesn’t necessarily need to be the best of friends, but the last thing you want in the run up to your big day is drama. Personality clashes and conflict are things you will want to avoid. If you can, opt for friends and family members who are friendly and can transition well between different groups. Weddings are filled with everyone from your great aunty Beryl to your boss, so a group that can talk to anyone will really help you out.
Consider your budget
If you have a vision of all your nearest and dearest surrounding you on the big day, you’ll need to think about your wedding budget. The more bridesmaids you have, the more dresses, flowers and gifts you may need to buy – and the less you may have to spend on your own gown. Sometimes, less really is more.
It’s OK not to involve the kids
Don’t feel obliged to have a flower girl or a page boy as part of your wedding party. If you aren’t especially close to any children, you don’t need to have them as party of the wedding party. Of course, if you do have a cute niece, nephew or godchild around, they do make cute wedding photos.
We really hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog and have picked up some useful tips on selecting your #bridesquad. Shane specialises in taking natural wedding photographs that really capture those precious moments.