1. Ask them in a special way
Instead of casually asking over a cup of tea, consider asking your closest ladies in a personal, thoughtful way. Perhaps you could make them each a little gift basket with items that are significant to your friendship. They’ll really appreciate the effort you put into asking them and this will start the whole process on a positive note, with your girls knowing that you truly value them and their time.
2. Let them choose their dresses
Including your bridesmaids in dress decisions is a huge way to make them feel special. It means that you appreciate that they too, want to look and feel their best on your big day. Your bridesmaids will know their body and what works for them better than anyone else and letting them choose a dress/colour that flatters them is very caring and respectful gesture. Your girls will love you for it!
3. Give them designated responsibilities
Giving each of your girls a special task either during the preparation months or on the big day will make them feel like an integral and important member of your wedding. These might be jobs like ensuring the younger bridal party members are taken care of, or that everyone receives the correct bouquets and boutonnieres on the day.
Monsoon Bridal Collection
4. Have a special celebration just for you and your bridesmaids
Leading up to the wedding (or even afterwards), plan a special get together to celebrate your friendships with one another! Perhaps not all of them have met - this would be a great way to make introductions and have a bit of fun.
5. Keep them in the loop
Throughout the preparations there may be decisions that only really concern you and your maid of honor, but to prevent perceptions of a hierarchy, be sure to keep all your girls informed of these decisions. When you finalize your bouquet or the flower girl’s shoes – tell them! A great way to do this would be through coffee dates or even a group chat on Facebook.
6. Take them on your shopping excursions
If there are some shops you specifically want to check out for dresses, shoes, jewellery or even wedding stationary, take the girls with you! They will feel so much more included and will love seeing the items you picked together feature on your wedding day!
7. Value their opinions
When you take them shopping or if they speak up, take time to value and consider their thoughts and opinions. Be open to change if one of your bridesmaids offers something thriftier, more stylish or just all-round better! Even if you disagree with one of your lovely lady’s opinions, be respectful enough to genuinely hear it out and give it some thought.
8. Pamper together the night before
If you’re sticking to the tradition of not seeing your fiancé the night before the wedding, then consider getting together with your girls to spend the day or evening pampering yourselves! Perhaps you could hire a hotel room with movies and yummy treats and all sit around chatting, painting your nails or putting in your hair rollers! This is a great way to come together and ensure you are all ready, relaxed and on par for the big day.
9. Get ready together on the big day
Instead of getting dressed in different rooms or leaving your girls to do their makeup and other preparations at home, find a large and comfortable space for you all to get ready in together. This is also means that if any issues arise, you’re on hand to provide support or facilitation.
10. Make sure they stay fed and watered!
Weddings can be stressful for bridesmaids too and it is important that they stay hydrated and don’t get hungry. It’s surprising how much a little hunger and dehydration can push things downhill in such an epic fashion. Consider having a quiet area for just the bridesmaids and groomsmen where nibbles and drinks are provided throughout the day, as well as a couple of comfy chairs. This is particularly important during the parts of the event where food isn’t circulating or music is blaring. It could also provide a safe haven for you and your partner at times too.
11. Take single photos with each of them
It’s a sweet idea to take photos with each of your bridesmaids individually. This will be very special for both you and your ladies, as they get a moment captured in time of just the two of you.
12. Have a fun theme for your group photo
Perhaps you could take a group photo in your various states of preparation the morning of your wedding, or of you all throwing your bouquets in the air. Make your group photos fun for the girls and take on their suggestions. If one lady suggests a photo where you show off your shoes, then by all means, do it!
13. Let them choose where to sit
When it comes to arranging seating, there are two options for the bridal party: either you all sit together or they sit with their families. Talk to your girls and gauge what would feel best to them. Perhaps they want to be seated at the head table with you, or maybe this would feel awkward to them and they’d rather sit with their partners. Make seating arrangements and include their preferences in your decision.
14. Give them their 15 seconds
For all the hard work your bridesmaids will have put in, they deserve their fifteen seconds of fame. Maybe you could list them on your wedding programme, or better yet, include them in the reception speeches. Whether they stand up and say a piece of their own or you dedicate a few sentences to each individual bridesmaid in your speech, it’s up to you. Showing appreciation of your bridesmaids in front of your guests is a wonderful and meaningful way to make them feel valued and special.
15. Say “Thank you”
After it’s all over, make sure you have something special prepared for each of your girls to say “thank you” for everything they did before, during and after your wedding day. An individualized card and a little gift would be perfect. Above all, make sure that they know how much their inclusion and friendship means to you.
Anna Kidman Photography