Bridal parties play significant roles in your big day, so it's important to have the right people by your side. There's no right or wrong way to ask your wedding party, but a little advice never hurt anybody! Who should stand beside you on the biggest day of your life? How should you ask them? Here are the 10 things to consider before you pop the question. Then checkout our favorite bridesmaid proposal ideas!
Bridesmaid Proposal Ideas: 10 things to consider.
1. Think before you ask.If you have time before you have to ask, take it. You and your man need time to plan. Just because you've been asked the big question, doesn't mean you have to turn right around and ask yours. Let the excitement of your engagement soak in, and think over your options before you get down on one knee and commit. You don't want to forget about loved ones who live farther away either. Give yourself a minute (or a month) to think about all of your options.
2. What do you want?Every bride has an image of what her perfect day will look like. Pull that image forward and really think about it when it comes time to gather the troops. Do you imagine a small or large party? Do you see it being family only, or does it include friends? Will you have personal attendants and/or ushers? Know what roles you wish to have before you ask.
3. What does your man want?Yes, this is your day. But don't forget that you're sharing it with the love of your life. Have a conversation with your fiancé before you begin asking—or even mentioning—the bridal party to others. Make sure the two of you have a similar picture for the big day, and be willing to make a few compromises to give him what he wants. Wedding parties typically range from 4 to 12 individuals. Come up with a perfect number that will make you both happy.
4. Think logistics.Are you inviting a lot of guests? Then a larger number of VIP’s is possible. If it's a smaller ceremony, 12 people standing beside you might look overwhelming. Another important thing to consider is venue size. If you've got your heart set on a certain location, it's important to make sure all of your 'maids and men will have enough room to stand beside you.
5. Have honest expectations.Everyone brings different abilities and personalities to the table. When picking your people, it's important to think about these things. Are they dependable, fun, responsible, good at calming you down, eager to help, and excited for your relationship and future? If you can answer yes to all, then you've got yourself a stellar group. What about those top roles? Not everyone is detail-oriented or a “planner.” These are requirements for a maid of honor or best man. Opt for the more responsible candidate, but make sure it's someone you are close to, love to be around, and know will do everything you need on the big day. You should also set expectations for your attendants’ attendance. If you're asking someone from out of town, don’t expect them to make it to every event before the ceremony. If you're okay with that, wonderful! If not, rethink your selection.
6. Consider alternative positions.Do you have important people in your life that you want to include in the festivities, but are running out of space? Fear not! There are other opportunities for friends to get involved. Ushers, personal attendants, and readers are very common alternatives. If you really want someone to be a part of your wedding, consider what talents they have. If you have a musically inclined friend, ask them to sing or play an instrument. Maybe you've got someone who is an awesome writer? Request that they recite something at your ceremony. There are plenty of fun ways to get a lot of loved ones involved.
7. Give them an out.Being a part of the party is a commitment. Some friends may not have the money or time! When asking, it is important to allow friends and family to decline your offer. It's also essential that you remain understanding. They know their limits better than you, so don't be forceful in your proposal, and keep your cool if you don't hear the answer you were hoping for.
8. Don't focus on party linesWho says that a girl can't chose her dearest guy friend to be a part of their wedding? No one, that's who! Same goes for the guys. If you've got a BFF or relative of the opposite gender, don't feel like you have to leave them out. I also want to point out that numbers on each side don't have to be even. Maybe you and your man have a different number of VIP’s—no worries! After all, it's 2015 and anything goes. Curious? Here are the reasons why every girl needs a male bridesmaid >>
9. Don't ask out of guilt.A lot of brides and grooms-to-be worry about this one. Maybe you've been asked to be a part of someone else's party, and feel obligated to return the proposal. It's okay. Different weddings call for different measures. Don't feel forced into asking someone—it will only add to your stress.
10. Do they support your relationship?This one is big. Think about it: Do you really want someone standing next to you who doesn't fully support the vows you're about to make? If the answer is no, they don’t belong there.
The wedding party rundown.
While we've got the wheels turning, here's a rundown of wedding party roles and what they entail. Use this as you consider who’s important to you, and what duties they would do well.
Maid/Matron of HonorWho is she? Sister, bestie of a lifetime, roomie, cousin, etc. What's she like? She's honest, responsible, and fun. She's on top of planning and has the means to take care of details. She's always been loyal, maybe one of your oldest pals. She's over the moon excited for you and has all of your greatest interests in mind. What does she do? She plans the bachelorette extravaganza, the bridal shower, and any other unique activities she's got up her sleeve. She's there to help you with dress shopping, give you honest opinions, hug you when you're overwhelmed, and laugh with you when you're happy. Duties may also include: Handing you a Kleenex as she makes you cry tears of joy during her incredible speech.
Best ManWho is he? Brother, best bud, cousin, etc. What's he like? He's a fun and responsible guy. Someone that you're always happy to be around and know will be a good time. He gets along with the bride, is decent with words, and has nothing but (appropriate) stories and good things to say about you two. What does he do? He throws the bachelor party and any other sort of “man event” the boys want to have. He'll be there when your guy needs to vent if the stress gets to him. He protects your sacred rings. He gives a kind, funny speech at the ceremony. Duties may also include: harmlessly flirting with the bride and telling her how beautiful she looks in front of the groom.
BridesmaidsWho are they? Your best girls who have been with your through thick and thin. Be it college roommates, childhood playmates, sisters, cousins, coworkers, etc. What are they like? Like your MOH, they're your loyal gals. They're supportive and fun, and you know they won't complain about the dresses you decide on. They are people you can't imagine your life without. People you definitely want by your side when you say your vows. What do they do? Enjoy all the fun with you. Help with any DIY projects or advice you may need. Celebrate your love. Ease your stress and help you enjoy every bit of the ride.
GroomsmenWho are they? Your man's closest buds. Roomies, teammates, brothers, childhood friends, coworkers, cousins, etc. What are they like? Similar to the best man, these guys are fun. They've always had your man’s back, and are sure to bring that support to the wedding. What do they do? These guys have a similar role to your 'maids (they just might not be as good at DIY).
Flower Girl/Ring BearerWho is she/he? A special sweetheart or buddy to you or your man. Usually ages 3-6. Make sure he/she is someone who is comfortable in front of a crowd and the other members of the group. Nobody wants tears in every photo! What do they do? She looks absolutely adorable tossing petals down the aisle. He looks dapper in his little suit while carrying your rings. They can also stand still long enough to get a few precious pics. Tip: Be prepared for a possible meltdown, and know the tricks to calm that special kiddo.
Junior BridesmaidWho is she? Another young girl that means the world to you. Too old to be your flower girl and too young to be a ‘maid, she is usually 9-14 years old. What do they do? A junior bridesmaid plays the same role as your main girls, but doesn’t partake in the adult activities. She wears an age-appropriate dress that complements your bridal party attire. You can also ask her to pass out programs, favors, or help the ushers at the ceremony. Just see what she’s comfortable with.
Personal Attendant:Who is she/he? A trusted family member or friend who is detail-oriented and willing to help you in any way. What do they do? They are your right hand during all wedding festivities. They get you coffee, touch up your hair and makeup, hold your purse and cell phone, and carry around the survival kit. They help with setup and takedown, serve as your ceremony and reception coordinator, and make sure you remain calm and content all day long. Tip: Learn why a personal attendant should be the first role you fill >>
Got your list in mind? Here comes the serious fun.
They are so many awesome ways to ask your favorites to be a part of your dream day. I'm sure you've seen all the fun and crafty bridesmaid proposal ideas that Pinterest and our blog has to offer. A few of our favorites:
- A small memento, like an infinity charm necklace or bracelet.
- A “Will you be my bridesmaid?” box. Learn how to make one >>
- A post-proposal party!
- A personalized bottle of wine.
- A hand-written card with your favorite photos included.