Childhood Friend Vs. Ride-Or-Die BFF From College: How Should You Go About Choosing Bridesmaids?

July 6, 2017  |  

Mere hours after my husband proposed, we started discussing who would be in our wedding and how many guests we would have. Normally, I would advise anyone to take in the moment and enjoy being engaged before planning anything, but we were too excited that night and proceeded with choosing our crew.

choosing bridesmaids


At our intimate celebratory dinner that night, we discussed certain things in detail and decided to have six bridesmaids and six groomsmen (I originally wanted five but added one more to accommodate my fiancé).

Weeks later, I sent each potential bridesmaid a cute note asking them to stand by me on our special day. Each person said yes and wedding planning continued. Although there was no question that I would include my five closest friends, I have to admit that the sixth person was added because she is a longtime friend of my fiancé and a sorority sister of mine.

This group of women was extremely helpful throughout my process, except for the sixth one. I won’t get into who did what and when, but I’ll just say that many brides truly learn a lot about their friends during the wedding planning process. Unfortunately, I learned quite a few unpleasant characteristics about my soror, which led to a rift in our friendship that is still there to this day.

But that’s not to say that I’ve always showed up and showed out as a bridesmaid, either. I was 19 years old when I was a bridesmaid for the first time and I remember not doing a thing aside from buying my dress and showing up. After the wedding, when my mom found out about my role, or lack thereof, she reinforced in me the idea that a bridesmaid is meant to actually help the bride, which I should do in the future. As she said, “It’s called bridesmaid for a reason.”

A wedding is an event and things need to get done; therefore, your friends and family should be willing and able to help in any way they can. With that in mind, should a bride choose her bridesmaids solely on the closeness of the relationship with each of them or for strategic reasons? Do you pick the friend you’ve known forever who can be a drama queen or the new friend who is always on time and on top of things?

When it comes to best friends, you know they are down for you and would do anything for you. However, you can’t always expect them to do exactly what needs to be done and based on the timeline in which it is needed. Also, you can’t expect them to dish out an exorbitant amount of money, especially if they are not financially capable.

I would suggest thinking about what you will need done during the wedding planning process, making sure that the friends (or family) you want to include as bridesmaids can fulfill those roles or tailor duties based on that particular friend’s talents and capabilities. Set your expectations early on so you won’t be greatly disappointed.

As for picking worker bee friends out of the bunch, well, it has its perks. Including people who might not be in your inner circle, but who you know will work their butts off, is great since you know they are dependable. They’ll get the job done with minimal complaints, which leaves you with less stress. However, they will take the spot of a close friend (or, again, family) who might appreciate the opportunity to stand next to you on your big day a lot more.

What’s a bride-to-be to do? I’ve seen too many friendships dissolve after the wedding is over, and some during the process of planning. So as you are gaining one important person into your life, make sure your friendships remain intact by keeping an open and honest line of communication. If you can’t choose certain people, be clear about your reasons. If you do pick others, ensure that they’re truly up for the challenge. Whatever you do, just make sure that the people standing by your side on your wedding day are individuals you will be thankful for, not women whose presence you will soon regret.

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