Bridesmaids – yes or no?

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

There’s no rule that says brides have to have attendants, but if you do, choose carefully! Your bridesmaidsshould be there to lend you support and help, and not add to your stress…

Should the bride have helpers and how do you choose them?

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Putting it right

Once you’ve realised that you’ve made a mistake, let your friends know as soon as possible. Leaving it to the last minute or just avoiding the subject and hoping the situation will go away will only make matters worse. The best strategy is to be completely honest about your situation and hope that your friends will understand.

‘Deciding who to drop was agonising,’ declares Rachel. ‘In the end, I simply decided on the basis of height. I said I wanted the two friends who were of similar height to each other, and shorter than me, as bridesmaids. The others were disappointed, but that way, it wasn’t such a personal rejection. They agreed that it was as good a way as any to choose.’

‘After the terrible rehearsal, we decided to lose the four youngest attendants’ explains Lucy. ‘I dreaded having to break the news, but luckily their parents were very understanding ‐‐ perhaps they were also having nightmares about their little darlings ruining the ceremony!’

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way of telling your friends that you’ve changed your mind. If you do have to lose some or all of your attendants, the best solution is to try to involve them in another way ‐ as Rachel did.

‘I felt so bad about dropping three bridesmaids that I gave each of them a role to play on the wedding day so they all felt a part of the wedding. One gave a reading, another spoke after dinner and I made sure the third caught my bouquet!’

‘My advice would be think before you open your mouth and don’t rush into things in the joy of being engaged,’ says Yasmin. ‘And don’t feel you have to ask all your friends to be attendants ‐‐ choose people who have a calm, reassuring presence and will help you through the day.’

Newly‐wed Liz suggested another solution to the bridesmaid dilemma. ‘I asked five special friends to be my personal attendants for the day. They each wore a big sunflower to mark them out and each gave a reading. That way, no‐one was offended or left out.’

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