Choosing your bridesmaids is an important decision – these are the girls who will stand up for you as you marry your one-and-only, and you want to be sure that they’re up for the job. While they’re only technically being asked to show up in a dress on the day-of, chances are that they’ll be organizing and hosting shower(s), bachelorette parties, and sitting up with you at 1am tying little pink ribbons to invitations. These are the girls who are willing to go through it all with you – that’s why you chose them.
So why not give back by making their lives a teensy-bit easier?
Here are three ways to include your bridesmaids while giving them room to breathe:
1. Allow for some wiggle room: This is both a literal and figurative room for wiggling. If you have your heart set on matching orange strapless minidresses, but one of your maids is less than comfortable in her own skin, consider her feelings. Giving up the minidress will be worth it when she’s all smiles beside you on the altar. The same level of comfort goes for wallet size – try not to push expensive dresses on your girls if things aren’t going so great for them financially. If only one girl is having trouble footing the bill, you might consider helping her out if you REALLY need your maids in designer duds, but it’s usually best to let it go and hit the discount rack.
**For an extra dose of generosity, think about selecting a style or color and letting your bridesmaids pick their own dresses. It might be temping to micromanage their decisions, but it will give your girls a degree of freedom (such as fitting a dress to their body type and budget) that they will thank you for.
2. Bring them along: Cake tasting? Venue viewing? Makeup trial? Your wedding day is about you and your hubby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a buddy with you to help put the pieces together. Your betrothed won’t always be there to help with the endless selections you’ll have to make, but you don’t have to do it alone. Bringing a maid or two along with you for any of the infinite number of wedding decisions shows them that their opinion matters and that you’re willing to share this experience with them. Make it a bonding opportunity, and when they’re standing up for you, they can be proud that the final picture of your day was a joint effort. Balancing power can be tricky (especially if you have a demanding maid), but it’s the thought that counts.
3. Don’t forget to give back: the job of bridesmaid can be a demanding one. If you choose to give your maids a gift, it can show them just how much you appreciate their work and unconditional love for you. The gifts don’t have to be big or flashy – consider taking your girls out for high tea at a local tea shop, or a quiet spa day the afternoon before your nuptials. Even the smallest token of your appreciation (necklaces, flip-flops, wine) will last forever for a bridesmaid who gave you her all and knows that you know it too.