How to Choose Your Bridesmaids: 7 Golden Rules 

Here’s how to create your perfect wedding party 


When you’re on the journey towards the most magical day of your life, one of the biggest decisions that you’ll make is choosing your bridesmaids. The truth is that deciding on which gals will follow you down the aisle on your big day can be a little bit of a minefield. For instance, you might need to consider awkward family and friend group dynamics. So how do you make this big decision and feel fully happy with your wedding party? Here are our seven golden rules for how to choose your bridesmaids:

Rule 1: Follow your heart

Deep connections matter, especially on your wedding day when you will be at your most vulnerable, excited, and emotional. So when it comes to choosing your bridesmaids, follow your heart. Select those gals who have shared truly amazing moments with you, stood by your side through thick and thin, and truly deserve a place of honor in your bridal party. 

Don’t feel pressured to pick bridesmaids just for the sake of appearances, politeness, or family pressures. This is your decision, no one else’s.

Rule 2: Keep it manageable

As we say in the Garden State, “Keep it simple, sweetheart.” Of course, there are no hard and fast rules about how many bridesmaids you should have—if your dream is to have a fleet of a dozen ladies swishing down the aisle behind you in gold silk, then go for it. But remember that a more intimate bridal party can lead to a smoother and more personal experience. 

So pick a number that makes you feel comfortable and that you can easily manage. Don’t feel pressured to include that extra friend (or three) just because you don’t want to offend anyone. 

Rule 3: Choose friends, not frenemies

Your bridesmaids should be your biggest cheerleaders, not a source of stress. So avoid inviting any drama or negative energy into your bridal party. Choose friends who have a positive impact on your life and will help to make your journey to the altar a joyful one—not that passive-aggressive, envious, or competitive “pal” who won’t really support you, or who won’t make you the center of your big day. 

Or if cousin Isabel drives you crazy, then you don’t need to include her in your wedding day gal gang—no matter how much your pushy aunt expects you to.


Rule 4: Feature your family 

That said, family bonds do matter. So consider including relatives in your bridal party—but only include those ladies that truly connect with you. Your sisters, favorite cousins, nieces, or even that cool aunt can all make terrific additions to your bridesmaid squad. Plus you could also embrace your new family by including a sister-in-law to be.

Rule 5: Reflect on responsibility and reliability

Your bridesmaids will play important roles leading up to your big day, so make sure that they’re up to the task and reliable. After all, you’ll want to count on them for everything from dress shopping, to wedding menu selection, to organizing the perfect bachelorette party

And while it’s traditional for your maid of honor to plan the bachelorette, if your best girlfriend is a little flaky or flighty then you might want to tactfully choose someone else for that role.

Rule 6: Consider your theme

What’s your wedding theme? This is an important factor as you will have to think about how your bridesmaids will fit into the overall vibe. For instance, do their personalities and styles match your theme? If you want to create a showy song-and-dance routine wedding party entrance for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, then will your super introverted friend be cool with that?

Likewise, if you’re going with a fantasy theme, then will that fashionable pal feel happy in a quirky medieval corset? Or will your tomboy cousin be comfortable floating down the aisle in a fairytale princess dress? Remember that it might be better to pick a set of bridesmaids who will embrace your theme, rather than forcing an aesthetic on people who just won’t be into it. 

Rule 7: Trust your instincts

Ultimately, it’s your day and your choice. So pay attention to those gut feelings and only select those special gals who make your heart sing. If you’re struggling to choose then close your eyes and imagine exactly who you’d like to walk down the aisle with you. Also, who do you most want with you at the bridesmaids’ luncheon? Or supporting you on your wedding morning by pouring fizz, checking your makeup, and fixing your veil? Go with those gals. 

And if in doubt, let yourself be guided by this Richard Bach quote, “Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.” So ask yourself—who are those women in your life? Who are your true soulmates, kindred spirits, and consistent cheerleaders? Who will put all the focus on you and make sure that you feel like a princess on your big day?

Ready for Your Big Day?

Choosing your bridesmaids is a huge decision and one of the most important in your wedding planning journey. Just remember that genuine heart connections matter a lot more than social expectations or family pressures. Keep it all manageable, and choose those gals who will be positive, supportive, and reliable on your special day. These golden rules will help you to create a bridal party that truly shines.

At Il Tulipano in Cedar Grove, we offer an unforgettable New Jersey wedding venue surrounded by gardens. Our iconic space has just had a makeover and has been praised by New Jersey Bride, The Knot, and Wedding Wire. The Il Tulipano team will treat you like family, so get in touch with us today and let’s plan your dream wedding.


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