What do you expect from your bridesmaids? Will simple moral support suffice, or do you expect them to be there with you throughout all the decision-making and to-dos, like addressing wedding invitations and tying tiny ribbons around your wedding favors? Either way, let your bridesmaids know what you expect of them so that you don't end up frustrated with a friend who doesn't understand (or didn't know) what you wanted them to do in the first place. ATB TIP: Just be courteous in HOW you are asking. I have heard horror stories of how these conversations have gone down, leaving bridesmaids with their jaws on the floor!
The only thing worse than a coworker who thinks she's invited to your wedding is a friend who assumes she's going to be a bridesmaid. Let it be known whom you've chosen so neither you nor your bridesmaids feel awkward about it around nonbridal party members. If you're afraid of hurting someone's feelings, remember that, as cliche as it sounds, any true friend will understand whatever decision you ultimately make.
ATB TIP: Anyone who doesn't "make the cut" for the bridal party can have a special part in readings, helping with passing out programs, or another aspect of the ceremony. Maybe you have a friend you can sing or is good at the more crafty items you need help with. Friends like helping friends and it can create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
If you know one of them would be uncomfortable in the dresses you envision, come up with a compromise. Not sure one dress will work for all your girls? Come up with guidelines (say, a color and length you like) and then let them choose the exact style. Trust us, even with different necklines or sashes, they'll still look fantastic. Remember, you want each and every one of your maids to feel beautiful (and comfortable!), so your efforts in the dress department are well worth it. ATB TIP: YES! THis is 100% true!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, part of the bridal party's job is to be your go-to gals when you need something done. But no, that doesn't mean you should be cracking the whip nonstop. Whenever you're asking one of your maids to do something -- whether it's attending your gown fitting or tying 100 miniature bows around 100 favor boxes -- stop and think: Would I do this for her? It's a good reality check to keep your requests reasonable
Try to come up with a game plan beforehand of who you need to do what on the wedding day. Then make a second mental list of who else can and has offered to help -- aunts, cousins, ushers, and so on. When little things do come up (which they will), you'll be able to rely on that latter team to help you take care of details as needed rather than overextending your bridesmaids. ATB TIP: Hire a day-of coordinator ;-)
9. They Want You to Stay Their FriendObvious, right? Sometimes when you're caught up in wedding-related drama, it can be hard to remember that there's a world outside your wedding. When you meet up with one of your girls, make a point to talk about things that are not related to the wedding. Whether it's the project she's working on at work or the blind date she went on last weekend, she'll appreciate the opportunity to tell you all about it, the same way she always has. Similarly, when you're really upset -- whether about the wedding or anything else -- you'll know she'll be there for you, right now and long after the wedding is over.