Does anyone else remember when big, huge massive bridal parties were the new big (pun intended) thing? I’m not sure anyone in my postcode would agree but if you followed those big online American wedding blogs, it sure did.
Initially I thought this was a great idea. How brilliant! We don’t need to choose! We can just have everybody that we love! I don’t need to spend hours dissecting all my relationships to see who passes the bridal party test! Then I spent months contemplating having eight bridesmaids, so that didn’t really pan out.
I am very lucky. I have many wonderful women in my life. Thankfully one decision was the easiest, as in my mind My Bestie got automatic rights to the maid of honour slot. Which she rightfully received after …. some stuff went down.
I eventually was able to come to a decision on the rest, and I’ll let you in on a secret.
There is no secret.
It really is a combination of sentiment + logistical realities + luck that you’ve chosen the right people who are going to magnify the awesome and limit the crazy.
But this doesn’t help me stupid woman! I hear you say. I freaking need some actual freaking advice that will freaking help me make this freaking decision! And I know you’re not saying ‘freaking’. I’ve cleaned it up a little. My Mum reads this dudes.
Okay. It helped me to come to a decision when I thought about these three things:
- How are we going to spend the planning?
- How are we going to spend the wedding day?
- How likely is it that we will still know each other in 20 years (also known as the “will I regret picking that girl I knew for five minutes from that web design course I did, and forever refer to her as ‘oh that girl’ when my children ask me…”)?
I had split my choice into two combinations that made the most sense to me.
Four girls a.k.a my foxy ladies already came as a package. It was all for all or… something. If it hadn’t been clear to you, let me point out that we actually call ourselves ‘the foxy ladies’. We also have a book club by the same name. Because we’re that awesome. You’re welcome world.
With two marriages and two additional engagements we were already wedding planning aficionados (the dictionary definition of aficionado being “a person who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject or pastime”. I looked it up to make sure I was using it right. Nailed it.). Enthusiastic summed us up. I knew they would be very involved in the planning no matter what, so I would kind of have the support of eight bridesmaids anyway (minus the logistics and expenses!). I also knew including them as bridesmaids would split them up from the rest of our peeps, affectionately referred to as ‘the gang’. I liked the idea of the gang all being together on our wedding day and hearing about how much fun they all had. I was pretty certain of a positive answer to the 20-year question. Although I was still aware we were in that new friendship sweet spot of being stupidly close but having only known each other for a handful of years (thus hadn’t had to ride the storm of many rough times yet).
My other three girls, we had known each other since preschool. We’d already passed the 20 year test. A lot of stuff had gone down in that time. All in a good way. In a way that brings you to the kind of friendship where you can tell someone you love them in one sentence and in the next that those jeans are really unflattering, let’s go buy you a new pair so I can be seen with you (jokes. But not really).
These ladies had always come up in the ‘who will be my bridesmaid’ game you played in your head in high school (or was I the only one who ever did that?). We had proven there was always a connection regardless of where we were at in our lives. I knew choosing them would give us some common ground to bond during a time when we were all doing different things (which I think it did). These girls had also been witness to more of my crazy than anyone else and probably would (and turned out totally did) have the right tools to help and dare I say, manage said crazy.
So maybe that’s the secret then. Choose the people (women or men) that can tame any dragon with some misdirection and an espresso martini. My girls where freaking champions.
It also turned out that two out of the four of my bridesmaids ended up getting pregnant and having babies LESS THAN 4 MONTHS PRIOR to our wedding. Go talk to someone who has had children if you don’t automatically realise how awesome that is.