It pays to put in the effort – a cheerful entourage will make your journey to the altar all the more smooth.
Make your expectations clear
Arrange a drink with your bestie to discuss whether she’d like to be a bridesmaid – before she accepts, be sure to stipulate the time and monetary costs involved: will she have to buy her own dress? Will you need her at planning meetings every weekend? Be sure to let her know this before she makes the commitment. Be sure, too, to keep your expectations reasonable – remember she has a life outside your wedding too.
Introduce them to one another
When the entire bridal party gets along well, wedding-related activities become all the more fun. If they don’t know each other, arrange a few get togethers that don’t involve your wedding as the main topic of conversation – try a pot luck dinner or a wine and cheese night.
Keep track of how much they’re spending
If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid, you’ll know all too well how quickly the costs can add up: when you’re paying for your own dress, a hen party and a wedding gift – and these are only the basics – the figure can soar well into the hundreds. Think of ways to keep costs manageable – perhaps you could pitch in for their dresses, or if they’re coming from out of town, help them find cheap accommodation options.
Farewell your inner control freak
Bachelorette parties, bridal showers – there are certain matrimony milestones that won’t be within your control. Resist the urge to micromanage your ‘maids when it comes to these events. Even if they don’t turn out exactly as you had envisioned, be gracious and do your best to enjoy yourself – it’ll make the event more fun for everyone involved.
Make them feel appreciated
It only takes a few small touches to make your entourage feel special: if you have a wedding website, introduce them to your guests with a photo and a small blurb about how you know them. Include their names in your ceremony programme, and be sure to give them a plus-one on their invitation.
Ask them what they want to wear
The better your bridesmaids feel, the better they’ll look – you don’t to give them total control over the dresses they wear, but asking for your maids’ input about elements such as sleeve style and skirt length could make the world of difference to their comfort.
Say thank you
Take time to think of a small gift that will show your bridesmaids how thankful you are. Consider buying a piece of jewellery they can wear on the big day and beyond, or a spa treatment they can indulge in after the wedding.