You’re ready to get married, and you’d like your best girls to join you at the altar. When it comes to keeping your best girls happy, there are some seriously sweet things a great bride should keep in mind.

First, you should figure out one thing that will help keep bridesmaids happy: Do you have your girls’ back? They will surely have yours, so how do you keep the amazing ladies (or gents) in your bridal party happy and stress-free? With these thirteen ideas for respecting their time, friendship and wallets, of course!

Pick Your Girls Wisely

So who should you ask to stand by your side? You should keep in mind who might have to travel a long way. Be sensitive to the distance, but don’t automatically discount your best friend who has to travel an ocean or two to get to you. Give them a good advance if they live in a far-off land and you might be surprised who is willing to travel long-distance to be with you on this incredibly important day!

On the other hand, if they aren’t your die-hard friend and you are just trying to match the number of groomsmen on the other side of the aisle, it might be easier if they’re just a guest. Think about it before you ask certain ladies and be aware of what your motivation is.

Keep Cost In Mind to Keep Bridesmaids Happy

No matter what style wedding you have in mind, you should give quite a bit of consideration to how much it will cost your dear friend to be part of the wedding party. Make a list of all the costs that could add up to be quite expensive on her part:

  • Travel
  • Hotel
  • Dress
  • Hair & Makeup

Do these all come in at a reasonable amount? Is it reasonable for you, or for her as well? Consider her circumstances and be sensitive – keeping their expenses in mind is the best way to keep bridesmaids happy!

Have you been asked to be a bridesmaid? Here are some questions you should ask before saying yes, courtesy of Vogue.

27 Dresses and All That Jazz

If we have collectively learned anything from both the movies and real life, it’s that bridesmaid dresses can add up to a considerable amount of dough over the years. Have no fear; there are dresses that are not all that expensive. From sites like Rent The Runway to Ruffled, you can find something sincerely sweet and appropriately gorgeous for your best girls and your big day theme.

Of course, don’t discount the discount stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, and Ross ― those guys often carry designer digs for less, and you could also mix and match styles for the perfect array of dresses that fit each girl’s body and personality like a charm!

Keep Versatility in Mind

When it comes to finding the best dresses, you might keep something versatile in mind, like a dress that she can wear again. Considering your bridesmaids’ ability to wear a dress again is where we stress mix and match styles. People say “you can wear it again”, but can they really? If you want to know for sure that she’ll get her money’s worth out of the garment, make sure it’s timeless and classic and in a truly universal color.

Your best girls come in all body shapes and sizes, so it’s important to keep their best assets in mind when choosing dress styles. Get intimate with your girls and ask what styles work for them and what styles don’t do them any favors. Consult style guides on dress styles that look good on certain body types. Then talk to your girls about what style dress in which they may feel most comfortable. That’s the best way to have a happy bridal party, and a united front on the day you say “I do.”

Choosing Your Maid of Honor

Your Maid (or Matron) of Honor is the person who is going to take on a very large amount of responsibility when it comes to your wedding day and the days leading up to it. You should consider a lot of things when it comes to choosing your Maid of Honor:

  • Who is the right person?
  • Are they super responsible?
  • Do they have an adequate amount of free time to plan events like bridal showers and bachelorette parties?
  • Can they help you delegate tasks to other bridesmaids and groomsmen without being too bossy?

 Your Maid of Honor should be the one person you trust above all other bridesmaids to help you tackle your big day with ease and make sure the only thing that gets hitched are you and your groom!

Attitude is EVERYTHING

Don’t ask us why, but a lot of bridal parties can turn bridezilla well before the actual bride. The wedding is supposed to be a time of sheer joy. When it comes to keeping your best girls happy, you might want to evaluate each one and how their usual attitude is – are they demanding? Needy? If so, think about things that keep them on the calm. Make your day about you and them. They want to share in your happiness, so throw a big wedding morning brunch. Feed them, give them a cocktail and most likely ― your Maid of Honor will have enough tasks delegated to keep your bridal party on their toes until it’s time to say “I do.”

Give Them A Killer Invite

In this time of Instagram and Pinterest, it’s nice to have a thoughtful way to ask your girls to be in your bridal party.  There are so many ways from sweet notes to jewelry and all that in between. Pinterest and Etsy are wonderful places to look for cool invites to be a bridesmaid. Don’t feel pressured to make it a big presentation, though, especially if your budget won’t allow for it. They’ll be excited even if you just ask them in your own words in a hand-written card!

image courtesy via pinterest

Don’t Forget The Thank You

If you go sugary sweet when it comes to the invitation to be in your wedding party, you should probably find a sweet way to thank them for being your bridesmaid. From swag bags to personalized trinkets, thank you gifts are something that should be individual to each girl to detail all the help for which you are appreciative!

Setting Limits for Everyone

Sometimes our family and friends can get a little too jiggy with it. After all, they are celebrating you and your glorious day. Keep things in mind like, “Do you need to set a drink limit?” Sit down with your girls and imagine the day. They can help you think about all the things that could go wrong and get your plan of action set in motion for a smooth reception.

Include Family First

When it comes to asking a special girl to stand by your side: Yes. You do you have to ask family first. Of course, your cousin from another mother twice removed isn’t on the list, but etiquette says that immediate family should be first on your list of who to consider asking to take part in your big day.

Organizing Events to Keep Bridesmaids Happy

One of the biggest jobs of the bridal party is to make sure everything runs smoothly on your wedding day so that you don’t have to worry. Each one should have a special job when it comes to your reception. For instance:

  • You’ll need a point of contact for catering
  • You’ll also need to appoint a point of contact for photography and videography
  • The Maid of Honor or the Best Man can be in charge of paying the officiant
  • You’ll need a creative send-off organizer
  • Someone should have a schedule for toast and speech organization

Considering Financial Help

Do you have the ability to help your girls out financially when it comes time to get to the big day? If you know that one or more of your girls can’t afford a night in a hotel or their dress, you should look at alternative options to maybe cut a bit of cost to get them by your side.

Forget The Bridal Party & Get Jiggy

Maybe it would be easier not to have a bridal party and just let your friends party. Quite often bridal parties get wrapped up in the planning of it all. After all, this is a celebration. So, there should be no pressure on how strictly it is organized. You should be celebrating your big day, not worrying about the prepping and planning. So why not just have a small party ― for one night – and let go before you say “I do.”

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