The Sweet Christian Bride

How To Invite Your Bridesmaids to be in Your Bridal Party

by admin on June 8, 2011 in Bridal Party with No Comments

At my high school, asking people to dances was a dramatic ordeal.  Freshmen year, we had to start off somewhat basic because we knew we would have three more years of asking that had to be better than the previous dance.  It was a tall order.  Thankfully the girls only had to ask guys to one dance each year.  The guys had to ask a girl to three dances each year!  Anything from filling the guy’s room with balloons that he had to pop to find the note telling him who was asking him to getting the administration office to call the guy in during class, as if he were in trouble, only to be standing there with a cute note and a sheepish grin. 

I thought we were through with all that creative pressure once high school was over, but freshmen year of college we had a “Choose for Your Roommate” dance where our roommates chose our dates and created some elaborate way for us to find out who they were. 

And then engagements starting happening.  Each story seems more elaborate than the rest because this is the biggest moment in the guy’s life and he knows the engagement story will be told forever after.  Creative pressure never seems to stop. 

Truthfully, I love the ordeal!  I love the details and the energy poured into the process just to let someone know they are worth the time and creativity.  Though the pressure to “top the cake” has not subsided even after high school, I’m so glad we are still making a big deal (when it’s appropriate) out of asking someone to stand with us apart from the rest.  Weddings themselves are one, giant, wonderful display to signify that our special person is set apart from all others.

Where I have never seen creative pressure, however, is in asking our friends to be in our bridal party.  It seems like the weight of the situation warrants some creative ordeal, right?  But I have yet to hear of a bridesmaid who was asked in any other way than a conversation.

I think that’s the right move. 

Logistically speaking, there’s not much steam left in a bride or groom to spend a lot of creativity, time, money, and energy into working up some mega-scene for each bridesmaid and groomsman.  And no one expects there to be. 

Perhaps more importantly, relationally speaking, it’s not the ado that makes a bridal party invitee feel special; it’s the quality of relationship.  For high school dances, I didn’t always know the guys very well whom I was asking, and the “coolness” of how I asked him could have made a difference in his saying yes or no.  Bridal party members are not like that.  There shouldn’t be fear that they will turn you down because you didn’t ask them in a cool enough way.  They are your dearest friends.  Tell them that, and let your affirming words hold the weight.

To illustrate that further, I can still remember every conversation I had with a bride who was asking me to be in her bridal party.  Three of them were over the phone and three were in person.  There was nothing particularly decorated about the moment or the method, but I remember the conversations because there was something profoundly honoring about their words and their sentiment.  Having a chance to hear why someone had chosen me in their select few to support their wedding and marriage was deeply moving, and in some cases, even life changing.

Knowing how special I felt when I was asked, I made a point of spending time telling my bridesmaids why I was asking them.  Not only did that give me an opportunity to really affirm them, but it also gave me a chance to tell them what it meant to me that they would be my bridesmaids.  I wanted them to know what they were saying yes to.

As you consider asking your bridesmaids, set aside time for those conversations.  They don’t have to be incredibly lengthy, but make sure they aren’t cut short by other items in your schedule.  If your bridesmaids are local, try to meet up with them over a cup of coffee or on a walk so you can ask them in person.  If they are not local, just give them a call.  Hearing their voice will always be more meaningful than asking then in a text or an email.

Spend some time before you go meet them or pick up the phone to brainstorm what qualities they have and what experiences you have shared that make you want them in your bridal party.  Pray that God will speak through you to encourage them greatly!

Also brainstorm what having a bridal party means to you.  Share with them what you are expecting of them so they can truly make a committed decision.  Will you want them to pray daily for you?  Go shopping with you?  Pay for their dresses out of pocket?  Design your invitations for you?  Stay with you in the hotel the night before?  You might not know all these details, but offer them what you do know so that they won’t be set up for failure by not knowing what they are supposed to do. 

Then—the hardest part—wait for them to respond.  Though a majority of bridal party members asked will accept, some don’t either for logistical, financial, or personal reasons.  It’s never easy to hear a “no,” but do keep in mind that they are serving you better by saying no upfront than by saying yes and, in the end, not following through.


Photo © Justin Ulmer, SevenApples, featuring Lindsey and Kalen’s wedding

By Lindsay

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