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Wedding: Bridesmaids

by Meghann on April 12, 2012

If you would have asked me who I would have selected for bridesmaids in high school, I could have easily rattled off a handful of names of all my best girlfriends at the time. If you’d have asked me the same question in college, I probably could have done the same thing. Ask me right after I got engaged? I wasn’t so sure.

Selecting a group of bridesmaids was harder than I thought it would be. I have different sets of girlfriends from each stage of my life (childhood, high school, college, Orlando, and now) all made up of girls that I love and respect dearly. And even though I love them all to pieces – we’re not all as close as we used to be. Long distance relationships are tough and long distance friendships are tougher. :(

On top of all that, when you ask someone to be a bridesmaid, you’re asking a huge commitment in terms of both time and money. It’s a lot to ask of someone and could put unnecessary pressure on a friendship. Someone really has to know you well to put up with potential bridezilla moments ( not that I’m saying every bride has one, but….) or breakdowns (every bride needs to let it all out over petty things every once in a while).

So, how did I eventually select and ask my bridesmaids? Here’s some thoughts that went in the process.

The first two girls were easy. Kelly was my one and only choice for maid of honor. I know most people would assume the selection was a given considering Kelly is my sister, but it’s more than that – she’s my best friend. She knows me better than anyone else on this planet. We’re closer than typical sisters and I’m so thankful to have her in my life everyday.

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My sister-in-law Ashley A. was another obvious choice, but – again – she’s more than just my sister-in-law, she’s a great friend. I was a part of her wedding and I wanted to make her a part of mine.

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Confession… I never actually asked Kelly to be my maid of honor. I had it in my head that I wanted to go all out with a really creative, fun way to ask her, but failed to come up with anything worth pursuing. Eventually too much time passed by and it was just assumed that she was (which she is!). There’s still time though, maybe I’ll come up with something. Shhhh… don’t tell her. ;)

I also wanted to come up with a creative way to ask Ashley, but, again, failed. We were at David’s Bridal the week after I got engaged and the consultant was asking if I had any bridesmaids. I said yes and rattled off Ashley’s name as she was standing next to me, then I turned to her and was like “by the way – do you want to be my bridesmaid?” She said yes – thank goodness! – otherwise that would have been a little embarrassing. :)

I had two girls, but I needed two more. Derek had 4 guys he wanted as groomsmen (his brother, my two brothers, and his friend Steven) and I’m old fashion in the sense that I wanted the sides to be even. I know it’s ok to have uneven sides, but I wanted them to be even.

With family out of the way, who else to choose? There were 4-5 girls I had in mind, but, again, I wanted even numbers. It was hard – very hard – to narrow it down to two. In the end I went with my gut and picked the two girls that were the first girls I called after Derek and I got engaged (because they were the first ones I wanted to know!). Neither of them currently live in Florida, but both are very important to me.

When we were in Key West, I told Derek that I wanted to ask Ashley D. (not to be confused with Ashley A.) to be my bridesmaid. He was like “well, duh!” It’s funny to admit that Ashley and I met via our blogs back in 2010. She introduced herself before the Gridiron Classic in NYC and we ended up running the race together. We chatted the entire four mile run and continued to keep in touch via email after that. Derek and I even ended up staying with her and her husband in NYC following September and have traveled together many times since.

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Ashley was just one of those friendships that clicked. Over the course of the two years I’ve known her, she’s become one of my best friends. We probably see each other more than I see my friends from back home and we chat almost daily online. Duh was right.

It was more nerve racking than I originally anticipated to ask Ashley to be a bridesmaid. I felt like I was asking her to the prom and knew she could easily turn me down. I decided to ask her in January, but waited until February so I could ask her face-to-face in NYC. We were on our long run discussing wedding stuff when she asked who my bridesmaids were. Well, there’s my sister….. my sister-in-law…. and…. you? Luckily she said yes. :)

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I had the same case of nerves when I asked my final bridesmaid, Emily. I met Emily back in college. I can remember many nights when it was just the two of us heading out for a night out on the town. It was on one of those nights that she asked Derek to join us.

I had met Derek briefly a few months before (also through Emily), but it was when the three of us went to AJs that I really got to know him. Emily lost us (on purpose?) as soon as we got to AJs and Derek and I ended up spending the entire night dancing to 80s music together. Without Emily, that never would have happened and Derek and I probably would have never got together – it was fate.

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Emily lives in Philly now and I don’t get to see her as often as I once did. After weeks of trying to find the right way to ask her, I ended up sending a text (I know – bad Meghann), but it worked out because she ended up saying yes.

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So there you go, that’s the very long, rambling story behind my bridesmaids. I have four amazing girls that I can’t wait to have stand by my side on my wedding day.

Now, I just need to find them some bridesmaids dresses. ;)

How did you pick and ask your bridesmaids?

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I’m not engaged or married, but every once in a while I think about who I’d ask! I agree on having even numbers, so I think it would depend on my fiancee as well and whether he had any sisters, but there are two girls I would most definitely ask, no matter what! One from HS and one from College.

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2 Cait's Plate April 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Aw I loved this post! Congrats on getting the perfect set of girls for your special day :)

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3 Krissy @ Shiawase Life April 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Our wedding was small, but it was actually a pretty similar process for me to yours…

MOH – my younger sister (my DUH choice)
Bridesmaid 1 – my best friend from 4th grade – not as close as I wish we still were, since she lives in Austin, TX, but whenever we’re back together it’s like no time has passed
Bridesmaid 2 – my (now) sister in law

Hubs on the other hand….
had only 2 groomsmen – one of his good friends from college, plus (the twist!) and the other was/is actually MY best male friend – see, hubs and I met online, and so the very first time I met him in person, my friend Matthew said he wanted to come along to make sure that the guy I was meeting was “not an axe murderer.” Well, he definitely wasn’t, and once Matthew realized this, he told me, “when y’all get married, I am going to be the best man.” :)

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4 Jess April 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I don’t have a lot of friends. I find it hard to ‘bond’ with people. So while my partner has 4 guys in mind, I only have 1, maybe 2 girls. So we will have uneven sides, and I’m good with that. It is nice that you have so many friends to chose from.

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5 Samantha April 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

This is a great post. It’s so true for so many of us – I have really close friends from all these different stages of my life, but some live right close to me and others don’t and some drift apart even though you still love them to death. Narrowing it down is definitely going to be difficult for me someday. Oh, and I’m the same way — I know it’s OK to have uneven numbers, but I’m totally type A and want even sides :)

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6 Meghan April 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I asked my girls by sending them cards with a cute poem about not making them wear an ugly dress, pantyhose or dance with my uncle (or something like that). I had my best friend from middle/high school and my two best friends from college (who’s weddings I was in). I was supposed to have a 4th, I was her MOH but ended up having a falling out with her in October before my March wedding because she wouldn’t order her dress. I also had my niece as a junior bridesmaid, other niece and my goddaughter as flower girls. We ended up being even, I too was anal about it.

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7 Amber April 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I too have a blog friend in my wedding party! I have 5 girls – my best friend since childhood is my MOH (more like a sister to me), my soon to be sister in law, my best friend from college and my best blog friend (we’ve also met several times and traveled together) and my little cousin is a junior bridesmaid. I sent them all cards in the mail to ask them. It was kind of nerve wracking!

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8 Allie April 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I took all my girls out to lunch and asked them all together. It was really fun, and one of my BM’s was a college friend who didn’t really know the other girls so it was a good way to introduce them all!

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9 Kathy April 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

They sound like a great bunch of girls…

My bridesmaids were my 3 sisters, hubby’s sister, and a friend. The friend happen ed to be a wife of one of hubby’s closest friends who was also picked as a groomsmen. It worked….for us.

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10 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep April 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

One of my very best friends is a blog friend, and I will undoubtedly ask her to be in my wedding (if I’ll ever have one!)

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11 deva at deva by definition April 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm

I had no formula, rhyme, or reason going into picking my bridesmaids. My sister told me a while back she would be honored to be included in my bridal party if I wanted her to be, but she did not want to be my MOH. That in mind, my BFF and the one who introduced me to The Boy is my MOH. My sister and two other friends of mine are bridesmaids. One of my bridesmaids is a newer friend, but I couldn’t imagine my bridal party without her when i was thinking of who to ask!

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12 Hilary April 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

My sister is also my maid of honor. I asked my brother’s girlfriend if she would be my other bridesmaid. Since I’m not a traditional kind of girl, my two brothers will be standing on my side as well. I didn’t want to leave them out and my fiance has 5 brothers to choose from.

As far as dresses go, I let my bridesmaids choose their dress. All I asked was that the color(s) be part of my wedding scheme. I figured since I’m not the one wearing or buying the dress, it really isn’t my decision. I even told them that they didn’t have to match if they each found a dress that they liked. They did find a dress at Maurices that they both liked and I loved so it worked out well!

Good luck with the bridesmaids’ dress shopping!!!

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13 Allison @ thesundayflog April 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I have 9 bridesmaids!!!! It was definitely hard to pick them and I ended up not going with anyone from high school because we have definitely grown apart. Mostly family but we each have a few very close friends, so we ended p with a 20 person wedding party…eek!

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14 Erika@YouJustDidWhat April 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Super cute!! Very exciting time! Enjoy it all!!

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15 Hillary April 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm

My boyfriend and I talk about this sometimes, and I guess I have it pretty narrowed down: his sister and my two best friends from college. They’re the girls who would do anything for me—including watching me have a Bridezilla moment (and then they’d slap me back to reality!)

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16 Army Amy* April 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I only had one bridesmaid, and she is my bff and former college roommate. I was in her wedding and she was in mine. I can’t imagine having any one else stand up next to me. I know what you mean about being nervous to ask! I knew she’d say yes, but there was a twinge of anxiety that she might say no.*

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17 Lee April 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I only had 2. Mostly because I felt like if I had more than that, some people’s feelings might get hurt. And also my husband only wanted 2 groomsmen so it worked out. One was my sister and the other was my friend who I have known since I was 9 and we always said we’d be each others maid of honor (and we were!)

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18 Shannon April 13, 2012 at 12:16 am

I am not married, or engaged, but my boyfriend of 3 years and I occasionally talk about wedding parties when we do get married. He (who has 1000 close friends) always insists that he would have to pick a “group” like childhood friends and include everyone, even though I barely know some of them/he rarely sees some of them as opposed to picking a select few individuals from all walks of life. Hopefully he changes this philosophy because it is a huge commitment to be in a wedding party and I think it’s pretty important that these people be close to the couple. I also agree on keeping it even, I don’t know if I would want 2 bridesmaids and he had 6 groomsmen…might look like I have no friends!

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19 Angela April 13, 2012 at 9:12 am

I think you made some great choices on your bridesmaids. Its going to be a beautiful wedding party!

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20 Beka April 13, 2012 at 10:16 am

Not married yet! But I think I have an idea on who would be. They’ve been my closest and best friends for many many years. But at the point I do get married, it could totally change by then. oh boy!

FYI, I got an email this morning that made me think of this post! Ann Taylor has a sale on bridesmaids dresses today. Check it out online http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/sale/AT-Sale-Weddings-%26-Events/cat370056

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21 Maria April 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

I asked in the most anti-climatic way possible: I bought a cute card at Hallmark to ask my bff to be my moh, I plainly told my sister, and awkwardly asked my other bff over gchat.

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22 Chris April 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Looks like great picks! We did ours based on the people were are closest to and who made sense for each side – so there were my sis and 2 girlfriends on my side and husbby’s sister and a husband/wife couple we are crazy close with on his. The wife from that was also our officiant. She wore the BM dress to show she was doing double duty (I did not care what they wore, but they settled on one style and everyone picked a different color – it was pretty!)

MOH was my sister – just like you, there was no way it would be anyone else, she is my heart. Then I had my best friend from growing up (I was her MOH) and my best friend from college (I was also her MOH). For my sis, I gave her a bag of fun things for her – books, candy, etc.- even though I did not have to formally ask her since there was no way it would be anyone else. For my other two girls, I brought a 2 sided frame and put a picture of me with each of them from their weddings on one side, and did a cutesy hand drawn picture of us on the other as a placeholder until we could take a pic on the big day. I knew they would say yes, but i was still nervous asking!

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23 Lindsay April 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Hi,

I came across your blog and thought I would share the photos to my cousins wedding who was just married at your wedding venue. Enjoy :)

http://www.amandamcmahonblog.com/maryland-and-virginia-wedding-photographer-brett-and-danielle-married/

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24 Meghann April 20, 2012 at 8:32 am

Which one is your cousin? I graduated with Brett and my little brother graduated with Danielle. Small world. :)

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