Artistique Photography By Nicolette
Choosing your Bridal Party, Dresses and Accessories
Congratulations!You are engaged and now thinking about your Wedding Day, with lots of exciting things to plan. One of the first things you will be thinking of is who to have in your Bridal Party, how many will the party consist of.
Your Bridal Party should consist of people who you want alongside you every step of the way, in particular your Chief Bridesmaid or Matron of Honour, and of course the Best Man alongside and supporting your Groom who are usually either a sister or best friend. The Chief Bridesmaid can also be the brother and Best Man a sister. I have had a few weddings in the last couple of years where that has been the case. (A guy doesn’t have to wear a dress and a girl doesn’t have to wear a tux!) Don’t select members of your Bridal Party because you feel obliged to. Just because you were a Bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding doesn’t mean to you have to select her as your Matron of Honour. You want people who are reliable, punctual, dependable and supportive.
It’s important that you consider their life situation also; can they afford travel and accommodation especially if you have chosen a destination wedding, will they be available to attend the bridal shower, hens night, fittings for dress etc?
You will need to consider whether any of the people in your Bridal Party will have an existing conflict with another member and whether they are able to put previous differences aside and bond for your wedding?
You also don’t need to have the same number of bridesmaids as groomsmen, but avoid too much of an imbalance, one or two is acceptable.
The size of your Bridal Party can depend on what type of wedding you are planning. If you have chosen to have your wedding in an informal location, back garden at home for example, then you wouldn’t be wanting to have a large formal Bridal Party. Then on the other hand if you have chosen a large church wedding, a vineyard, or beach, you may want a few more in the Bridal Party to help with your planning and assistance.
Attendants:You may include junior bridesmaids who are usually girls aged 12 – 15. Flower girls and ring bearers are usually aged 4 – 6 yrs. If you choose flower girls and ring bearers younger than 4, then they may need assistance walking down the aisle.
Theme:You will have carefully chosen your theme/style for your wedding and you’ll want your Bridesmaids dresses to match the theme/style. For example if you have chosen a rustic look, you may want them to wear floral crowns. It is important to let your Bridesmaids become involved and have some input. If your Bridesmaids have large height differences, you would be best to select dresses that are floor length and not knee length which can look like “steps” in photographs. Choose styles that will be flattering to all Bridesmaids.
Accessories and Shoes:I am a firm believer in letting your Bridesmaids select their own accessories to suit their own personal style. Feel free to give guidance, e.g. you don’t want any of them wearing necklaces. If you do want them all to have exact matching accessories, perhaps gift this to them and of course any floral accessories such as hair wreaths or corsages are your responsibility to pay for.
I also feel it is important to let your Bridesmaids select their own shoes. I have seen too many cases where Bridesmaids find it difficult to walk in 3” high heels and even one case of a Bridesmaid falling off her shoes whilst walking down the aisle, other cases where they are clearly uncomfortable and are not interested in having photos taken because their feet hurt too much. In those cases, I suggest they take their shoes off! Perhaps ask your Bridesmaids to seek out a particular style or colour. I would also advise spending a short time in the few days before the wedding wearing them to make sure they are comfortable on the day.
Groomsmen:It is important to consider what your Groom would like also and make sure you both agree on the number of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen in the Bridal Party. The Groom (like the Bride) will want to choose guys who are closest to him, those who have been there in the good and bad times. Make sure the Groomsmen know exactly what is expected of them e.g. rehearsal, dinner, at least one fitting and of course the Best Man is responsible for the rings during the ceremony and the Best Man’s speech at the reception.
I hope this has been helpful and I will write another blog about the specific responsibilities of the Bridal Party.