The Guide to Bridesmaids

From start to finish-how to show your besties you love them, and feel the love and support back!


Makeup: Sarah Cox , Florals: Sweet Grace Floral, Bride’s Gown: Willowby by Watters (via Mary’s Bridal Shop) Bridesmaids gowns: ASOS

Looking for a wedding photographer? Lets get in touch!

Bridesmaids can be amazing but they can also be an added source of stress! How do you pick the dresses? How do you make sure you include all your girls and no one is left out? How do you ask them? How do you make the wedding day fun for them, and show your love while also getting the support and help you need from your besties? Heres how:

First Things FIrst:

You’ve gotta know who you want to ask. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your bridesmaids:

Most of your choices will be obvious, your best friends have probably been planning on being your maids (and you theirs) since before the groom was ever in the picture! But there’s always a tricky line to draw. Talk to your Love and try to come to a consensus on how many people you each want to ask:

  • For photos and the procession down the aisle it is beneficial to have equal numbers of groomsmen and bridesmaids, however, if it’s more important to you (or your groom) to have everyone there and it makes one group outnumber the other, that’s ok! Just decide what’s going to matter to you. If you can fairly easily make them match up without cutting your list too short or reaching at people you really wouldn’t have planned to include to match your significant other’s broad friend group, keep it even, but if you can’t—it will be OK.

If you both have large families and you want the siblings to be included you can include all sisters from your fam and his as bridesmaids and all brothers from your side and his as groomsman. You can also just include the ones that are closest to your age and closest to you in general and let the other siblings out of bridesmaid and groomsman duty.

You can also choose to keep it to only friends, no siblings.

You do whatever you want. At the end of the day—it’s who you want there getting ready with you, who you want to share your final moments as a miss with before you become a Mrs.! Pick the people you want to be by your side all day!

Pop the question:

The first step to showing your girls you love them is asking them in a fun, thoughtful way. (a detailed post with specific ideas is coming your way soon—but here’s some brief thoughts to get you started)

  • Consider taking them all to lunch, dinner, drinks etc. and ask them in person

  • If you would prefer to ask via mail, sending a sweet note or gift through the postal service is a great way to go!

  • No matter what you do make it cute and make it special. It can be as simple as a card/sweet note, or as elaborate as an exciting gift packaged up for each of your favorite girls!

Whatever you do, they will love feeling special and important to you!


Bridesmaid gowns can be one of the trickiest decisions to make. How do you pick them? And how do you get them to your maids?

There are a few different ways to do this:

As far as picking the dresses themselves go, If you want them to all be matching try to be considerate of all the body types that will be included and find something that will be comfortable for everyone. However, at the end of the day, What you want them to wear is the biggest thing that matters, and on their wedding day you’ll wear whatever they ask you to, so ultimately, decide on dresses that you love.

If you want an eclectic (everyone in different dress that compliment each other) look. You can do everyone in different gowns but of the same color, or everyone in different gowns of different colors but in the same color palate. This choice is popular because it gives more room for different body types to be flattered but it also means you have to find multiple gowns you love.

EITHER WAY. My recommendation is that YOU do the research and find the gowns yourself so that you are happy with what everyone ends up wearing. Asking your bridesmaids to find their own attire may result in people showing up with something you don’t approve of, or causing tension because you ask them to get approval and they end up having a hard time getting something you like.

  • You may want to avoid asking too many people for opinions on the dress you pick. If you don’t feel like you can make the decision completely on you own, consider asking your mom or the groom since they aren’t personally affected by the dresses you’ll select and can offer a less-biased opinion. If you do want to get an opinion from a bridesmaid I would highly advise you to seek the opinion of just one. When it comes to other people’s opinions on bridesmaid dresses, less = more.

Getting the gowns to the girls is the next hurdle. If your budget allows for it, I think the best way is to give your bridesmaids their gowns as a gift to them. It can be their whole gift or a part of it!

If it’s not in the budget for you to pay for all the gowns, the best way I’ve found/seen/experienced is for you to just send a link to all your ladies in a text that says : “Here’s a link to the dress! thanks so much for being my bridesmaid”!

  • If you choose to have them buy the gowns themselves, you may want to have the gown selected and the link sent at the same time you ask them to be your bridesmaid so they know upfront that being your bridesmaid means they have to buy a dress—try to be sensitive to what the budgets of your friends may be. Pick a moderately priced gown, and be willing to help pay for anyone’s who can’t swing the expense.

  • Also be sure to follow up a few days after you send the link to make sure everyone bought their dress. You don’t want to risk the dress getting sold out before all of your bridesmaids make the purchase!

Check out this Pinterest board for some great bridesmaid inspiration (gowns and more): Bridesmaid Inspo

Pro Tip:

  • Don’t forget the SHOES!!! pick out shoes for all your girls to be matching or tell them what type you want them wearing of their own! (i.e. don’t risk everyone showing up with nude shoes and one person showing up in black)

the day of:

  • START THINGS OFF TOGETHER: The day of the wedding you’ll want to include your favorite people all day long. Planning a place to get ready all together is a great way to start your day out in a special way. Have your makeup artist come to you— if its in the budget to have everyone get their makeup done that’s amazing, but if it isn’t, they can get themselves ready while you get primped by pros.

  • Consider getting a hotel room or Air BNB near your venue that you can all stay in the night before the wedding to have plenty of time to get hyped and have fun all weekend long! Or if your home, (… or the groom’s home, or either of your parents or any of your bridesmaids..etc..) are close ish to the venue, you could all sleep over or meet up at someone’s house to get ready and get excited!

  • YOU’LL NEED HELP: Talk to your people about what you’ll need the day of. (will you need help getting flowers set up? boutonnieres passed out? bringing you drinks? getting the dance party started? keeping an eye on your getaway vehicle? Taking your gifts home after you leave? Helping take down decorations? etc.) Figure out what you need from your girls and be sure to talk it over with them so they each know how they can be helpful throughout the day. (if you have all the wedding day prep and take-down covered by even coordinators and other vendors, then they can be there for you by just checking on you, talking to you, just BEING THERE all day for you:))

  • Having a room at the venue or hotel room nearby for the bridal party to retreat to when there is a lull or they need a break is important if you can make it happen. That way you and your friends have a place to store all your things, and touch up hair/makeup as needed throughout the wedding day.


Be sure that you make it KNOWN how grateful you are for all the love, support, time, and friendship your bridesmaids have given you. Thank you gifts are a a great idea, have them ready in the “getting ready” area before festivities begin, or have them delivered to each of your girls after the wedding is over. Even if you sprung for their dresses and are counting that as their gift, be sure to at least drop a thank you card in the mail with a personal message for each of your besties—bonus points if you send them a photo from the wedding day with it. Just show your gratitude in the best way you can. There is nothing better than good friends, so be appreciative of the amazing blessing it is to have people who have got your back always, and especially those who are there for you on your big day!

I hope this was helpful!! If you have any ideas or insight feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments! xoxo