My first bridezilla moment, I think, was when I thought I could tell Beyonce how many people he should have in his groom's party.
Harking back to my "dream wedding", I never really pictured a large bridal party in my big day.
More bridesmaids, more trouble. That was my mantra.
One or two, practical.
Four, a little bit silly.
Anything over that, insane and a first-class ticket to high-maintenance bridezillaville.
Future husband was sympathetic to a point, and openly negotiated on who he could bench from his ideal team. Bless, he just wanted to make me happy.
I don't know why it took me so long but a couple of days later I had an epiphany and thought to myself 'Why can't he have four? Seriously. What's my problem?'.
He has heaps of friends from stages of his life, and a brother he's close to. And here I was asking him to cut someone important out of an important role, just because in my mind my photos didn't feature four other guys other than him lining up in some awkward V-formation?
I was so stoked when I came to my senses to tell him "Oi, you know how you want four? Have four," and I knew he was rapt too.
Next things next - who am I going to have beside me on my big day? It wasn't cut-and-dried for me, either.
First up: bestie. We've been friends for more than 11 years and she knows me and my past, I can rely on her and in my "picture" of my wedding, she was always there. We secretly used to buy wedding mags at the tender age of 20 and just fawn over the picture of all the pretties. She will be brilliant.
Next: the high school friend - the one who introduced me to future husband. She's also marrying his cousin three months before our wedding date. So technically, we're kind of going to be related. Kinda. I like this!
That was going to be it. I decided I wanted to be trendy and have mismatched numbers in the bridal party. Anything goes these days and that was one of the things I thought I wanted.
Then I actually sat down and thought about what this year is going to mean for me. I'm going to rely on my bridesmaids probably more than a "normal" bride this year (more on this at a further date) and because of that, I really do see it as a serious role.
So I thought about the year that's been, and the years before that, and made a decision which, when I ran it past Beyonce, received the reply: "I wondered why you hadn't thought of that sooner."
So enter the other high school friend who at the time of writing is the only married person in the entire bridal party on both sides. Her friendship and depth of knowledge on all the details (such as: HOW do you budget alcohol for a wedding? What if we order too much/too little? Argh!) has been priceless.
And then we have the new friend. A controversial move but one I am really excited about. We've only known each other about a year but she has been a huge support to my non-conventional relationship and is head cheerleader in the support crew for our impending marriage.
My biggest tips for this process:
- Don't forget this is a job. Being in a bridal party involves commitment, time and (eek) money - in some cases, a lot. In ours, hopefully not too much! Don't ask someone who you don't think can sign up for those things - it may end in tears.
- Make sure they're a supporter of the marriage. I know of people who have "banned" their partner from having certain people in the bridal party and to be honest I kind of understand why. Wedding days aren't a day for controversy and everyone involved in the day should be as relaxed as they can be - easier said than done, I know. Wedding days are about supporting the marriage so make sure you have your best supporters there with you.
- Don't feel like you have to even have a bridal party. The wedding does actually survive without them. Also, don't feel pressured into having a set or matching number. No one will walk away saying "I can't believe HE had TWO groomsman, and SHE only had ONE bridesmaid! Oh the horror."
- Do consider family requests. And by this I don't mean bend over and let some random cousin become the best man, but if you know there's going to be someone highly disappointed, plan to "let them down gently".
- Do consider having someone from the opposite sex in your team if that's what seems right and makes you happy. It's becoming more common these days so people won't look at you as being "alternative" for doing so.
- Do try to pick people you see in your future. Imagine looking 20 years down the track, pointing to one of your wedding photos and say "Hmm, what was her name again? Lived around the corner. Nice girl. If only I could remember her name..." and try avoid that.
How did you or will you pick your bridal party? Got a set list or will you be a bit like me and see what fits the circumstances?
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