So, you’re engaged? Congratulations! Now what? This is the moment that you have been dreaming of since you were a little girl but now there’s so much to do! One thing that has to be done is to pick your bridesmaids and maid of honor – but don’t rush into this one! It is very easy to get caught up in the moment and immediately ask ten of your closest girlfriends to be in your bridal party and before you know it, you are now committed to TEN bridesmaids! So when is the perfect time?

For some girls, they have known their entire lives who they wanted to be in their bridal party. If you are one of these girls – and your list hasn’t changed – go for it! There are tons of cute ways that you can ask those special people to be a bridesmaid. Remember, this is an honor for your friends and so it can be really fun to make a big deal out of asking. It shows them how important this day is to you and, more importantly, how important THEY are to you.

If you are not the type to have had a set list of bridesmaids your entire life, there are some important things to remember when deciding who you will ask:

  1. Is this person a “forever friend”?

Remember, this is one of the most important days of your life! Make sure that the people standing there with you are people who aren’t going to be out of your life in the next five years (a.k.a – Tina from accounting who you’ve gone out to lunch with a few times). There is no set number of bridesmaids that you need, so be sure that when you look back at your wedding photos you don’t go “who’s that?”

  1. Does your fiancé have any sisters?

Now this is someone who will be in your life forever and it is common courtesy to at least ask. There are ways around this however! If your fiancé is not close to his sister and you’ve only met her once, for example. However, if she is close in age and a fixture at family functions, better be safe than sorry. You don’t want to burn any bridges before the marriage even happens! Then again, maybe you love your future sister-in law! In that case…easy decision!

  1. Is this person someone who will be helpful during the day/planning process?

The point of having bridesmaids is obviously to be there to support you on your special day, but also to help you! Remember, when thinking of your bridal party, about the personality type of the person. Is this someone who is going to helpful and supportive throughout the planning stages or someone who is going to be stubborn and make it all about them? Remember, this is your wedding and so sometimes, they’ll just have to wear the dress you pick without putting up and endless fight. Try your best to be understanding and accommodating, but at the end of the day, this is YOUR wedding, not theirs.

  1. There are other ways to include people in your special day!

Are you freaking out because you only want 5 bridesmaids but have 10 people you want to ask? Just remember that there are other ways to make your friends apart of your special day. You can have some people do readings, be a soloist, distribute programs or greet people. There is also no written rule that says only your bridesmaids can come to your pre-wedding events. Invite them to the showers, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner to make them feel included. After all, this might be a better deal since they don’t have to buy a dress.

Having bridesmaids is so much fun. It is a group of the women closest to you, to stand with you on one of the most important days of your life! They can also help you plan and celebrate your special day. Take them to the venue you are thinking about or include them in a tasting! After all, you can get your only input from your fiancé! He’s a guy!