Thereâ€™s no hard-and-fast rule about whom to bring along on your dress quest. But enlisting your gal pals to help you try on gowns when you havenâ€™t asked them to be in your wedding sends a mixed message: namely, that you value their inputâ€”to a point. Rather than risk hurting their feelings, go the family-only route and ask your mom, sister, or another relative to accompany you. Just remember that the more people you include, the more opinions youâ€™ll getâ€”for better or worse.
While you should invite your party to all of the extra events surrounding your wedding, the only ones they should be required to attend are those directly connected to the wedding itself: The rehearsal, rehearsal dinner if at all possible (also invite their spouses, fiances, and live-in life partners), and any pre-wedding hair-and-makeup sessions. Attendants should place a high importance on bachelor party and bridal shower as well, but they are not required to attend if they are unable.
First, youâ€™re not obligated to ask friends whose weddings youâ€™ve been in to play a role in yours. To be fair, give her a heads-up as soon as possible. Warmly express regret, and tell her the decision was hard to make; then emphasize how glad you are that sheâ€™ll be there. You can also find something else for her to do at your ceremony, or invite her to spend time with you on the morning of the big day. And dial down the bridesmaid chatter when you talk to her.
Absolutely not. Choose to have people standing up with you whose presence is meaningful and important. Ask a groomsman to link arms with two bridesmaids, task a couple of guys with escorting elderly guests, or arrange a single-file procession. Just appoint a traffic cop to make sure everyone knows when, where, and with whom theyâ€™re supposed to enter.
Before you make a formal request to your â€˜maids, youâ€™ll want to have chosen a date, a locale, and a level of formality for your wedding. You should also allow at least six months for buying dresses and banking both cash and vacation days for the event. Give them an estimate on total costs (for dresses, hairstyling, travel, etc.), and let them know how much time and energy youâ€™ll mostly likely need from them. Make sure your bridesmaids know that they can always come to you if the burden gets to be too much.
Generally, when it comes to the bridal party look, whatever you say goes. But, think hard before you begin to lay down rules on shoes and accessories. Once youâ€™ve chosen a color, consider picking a few shoe options in various styles and heights. You can ask your bridesmaids to coordinate their ensembles with other matching accessories as long as you choose some basic pieces that arenâ€™t too expensive. If pricier accessories are important to you, such as jewelry, shawls, or gloves, itâ€™s a nice gesture to provide those yourself as gifts.
Of course you can ask for their help but keep in mind that assembling favors or creating room decorations isnâ€™t actually in the job description for a bridesmaid. However, helping you with any big project is often part of the job description of a good friend or close relative. So look at the relationship you have with each of these women. Is this the sort of favor you regularly exchange? If so, request their assistance. Bridesmaids have duties, but good friends help each other, no strings attached.
You don't have to ask her, but for the sake of family harmony it's best to make every effort to include the groom's siblings. Don't think about now. Think about the futureâ€”when you're at his family's Thanksgiving, and you and his sisters have great wedding memories to share. The one exception? If the sibling strongly and vocally disapproves of your union, you may, without guilt, leave her out.
You could "fire" her, but it'll likely end your friendship, so try talking to her first. You may end up cutting her some slack. She might be so overwhelmed with work or life issues that her wedding duties are taking a back seat. Another option is to let her step down of her own accord. You could say, "I don't want to force you to do anything that makes you unhappy, so please let me know if you're not up for this. I won't hold it against you."
In this case, the decision is not yours to make. Best friends are almost like family How would you feel if your fiance didn't want your best friend as your maid of honor? For the sake of your marriage, try to learn to appreciate his closest pal. This person has probably been a part of your groom's life for a long time and is likely going to continue to be. If you still want to persuade your groom not to ask him to be in the wedding party, discuss with your fiance other ways of including his friend, such as asking him to do a reading at the ceremony.
It is especially nice with the bridal party to allow them to bring a guest to the wedding and the events surrounding the wedding. But if you cannot do this for all of your single attendants, do make sure to invite any spouses, fiances, and live-in life partners.
The first person to bring these fears to is your groom. Handle the conversation carefully, because these are his closest buddies. Be prepared with facts, and avoid slamming their character ("he gets drunk all the time"). Once you've persuaded your groom that it's wise to head off potential trouble, he should be the one to take these concerns to his friends as his issue (and not as yours). If alcohol is a likely factor in their behavior, you may want to arrange for the beer or wine to be slow to arrive at their table, and their non-alcoholic choices to be abundant. Your bartender or caterer may have other logistical solutions for you.
It's fair to ask a bridesmaid to wear her hair or makeup in a slightly fancier style than normal, as is asking someone with long hair to wear it up. Keep in mind that if you insist that your bridesmaids turn to a pro to achieve these goals, or require her to use makeup she doensn't already own, you need to foot the bill, unless she offers. So what about the bridesmaid with the tattoo, or the purple streak in her hair, or a groomsman with a long beard? Since all of these choices clearly express someone's values and personality, asking for them to be hidden or modified is asking too much. Only with the most open and sturdy of relationships can you make these requests, and even then, choose your words carefully.
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