If you are planning your wedding, the chances are that you have given some thought as to who you might like to be your bridesmaids.
Before you start asking people, it is worth thinking about what bridesmaids are traditionally expected to do, whether that is what you want for your wedding, and who might be best suited to the job.
Bridesmaid dress shopping
Your bridesmaids will usually be expected to be there with you when you go bridesmaid dress shopping, if only to make sure that you do not dress them in something absolutely awful! While this sounds like a fun day out (and it will be!) there are also some practicalities to consider.
Your maid of honour in particular will usually be the one who organizes the actual day out. This means coordinating with your other bridesmaids to find a day when everyone is free, arranging transport, and scoping out the dress shops with you in advance so that you know the ones that are likely to have the dresses that you want.
You will want to be able to trust your bridesmaids to give honest but tactful opinions on the dresses that you pick out. You do not want someone who is likely to go along with whatever you say and then resent you for it, but you also do not want someone who is so opinionated that they will trample all over your ideas!
Helping with wedding planning
There is a lot of work involved with planning a wedding and having bridesmaids who are willing to pitch in and give you a hand can make the whole process a lot easier!
Any crafty or arty friends can be particularly useful, as you can get them involved with making wedding invitations and decorations to give your special day a really personal touch.
Bridesmaids might also do things like picking up the cake and decorations, meeting with the florist and all of the other little jobs that you will not have the time to do yourself.
Planning the hen do
Probably the first thing you think about when you hear the word bridesmaid is your hen do!
Traditionally, the maid of honor would offer to foot the bill for the hen do, but whether this happens for your wedding is up to you. Your bridesmaids will be the ones who kick around ideas for your hen do, and the ones who plan it all out for you. Some brides trust their bridesmaids completely and do not get involved with the planning at all… that is your personal preference, though!
On the day
On the day it is a good idea to make sure that you have bought your bridesmaids gifts to thank them for all of their hard work. Giving them gifts can be a really special moment on the day.
The duties of bridesmaids on the day are mostly to support the bride. They will usually get ready with her, and of course they will be there to talk her down the aisle.
You might even ask your bridesmaids to give a reading that is special to you.