I had so many rules about Bridesmaids before I got engaged, but after three months of my Mum listening to the in-depth analysis of each friendship… the rules went out of the window.
Unashamedly, I have a lot of friends and I’ve somehow managed to surround myself with the best of them. The problem is, where on earth do you draw the line, and how the hell do you choose one best friend over another? What’s the actual criteria for choosing bridesmaids? Are they the friends that won’t get sick of you moaning about family dramas, or showing you pictures of the same dress in 25 shades (each shade slight enough to make a difference) or is it just who had the best reaction on Facetime? (Jokes, one of them declined immediately and txt “What do you want?”).
Being over sensitive and extremely indecisive has not helped. So, in the end I just went with my gut and with the girls I couldn’t imagine not being there on my wedding morning. However, naturally every time I spend time with any of my best friends who aren’t my bridesmaids, I find myself thinking is it possible to have absolutely everyone, Franco included?
I have one Maid of honour, and four Bridesmaids. The rule I made up prior to my engagement to not, under any circumstances have more than four, totally backfired. Odd and even numbers were never a decider – I get that some people would like to have the same amount of people each side of them in a photo but I personally
A) Love unsymmetrical things and
B) Couldn’t make a decision as it was, let alone with maths involved.
I had asked my Maid of Honour separately. I met her for dinner after work one day and after 16 years of solid ‘you’ll definitely be my maid of honour one day’ friendship I still wanted to surprise her. Catching up with food involved is nothing out of the ordinary for us, so I’d put the background work in years before David ever asked the question. At any opportunity I could, I told her that I’d gone off the idea of having a Maid of Honour and that I thought everyone should be equal and so I’ll only have Bridesmaids. It was actually just me being low key pissed that her actual sister would of course trump me at her own wedding. I wrote her a card and bought her a special bracelet (which I had to ask her sisters advice on… she rests her case) and we cried together.
The truth is, a girl who’s seen you naked more times than your partner, supported you through a phase where Katie Price was your idol and taught you how to insert your first tampon means that the only decision I didn’t need to make was asking her to be right by my side.
Apart from asking my professional Bridesmaid friend (you know the one who EVERYBODY asks) if she could be arsed, I tried really hard to stay quiet about it. All of the girls were invited over to mine on a Sunday in March and I told them to come hungry. I’d created my own afternoon tea with thanks to Waitrose because baking bores me to tears and I called in some of my favourite suppliers to help me dress the table.
I’d asked the wonderful Stephanie Saunders to make me flower boxes, she couldn’t have nailed it more if she’d tried. We didn’t have a theme to go by, I just love simple flowers, lots of green and lots of white. They literally made the entire table and I still keep asking her to recreate some fake ones so that I can have one as a permanent centre piece.
I had some gorgeous individual engagement ring biscuits made by Emma at Bake my Cake, and then each place setting had a note pad (for all the notes that incidentally, none of them have written in) plus cute pencils made by a company I had found on Instagram called Maple & Grace.
To actually ‘ASK’ them the question they all already knew, I hand made some lipstick boxes with their names on and inside was a lipstick in the shade ‘Vow’, (can I just say, there are NO lipsticks in the world with cute wedding related names and I will be taking applications for investors immediately). I printed off my favourite polaroid picture for each of them and stuck them onto a blank card filled with an individual essay of why I love them so much.
I’m sure however you choose who to have as your Bridesmaids, they’ll be over the moon. I chose to do it my way for no other reason other than I love entertaining and hosting, and these ideas pop into my head usually past 11.00pm at night and there’s nothing I can do about them. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, so make sure whoever you choose to be by your side is going to be there because it’s you who wanted them there. Don’t be side tracked or feel pressurised into choosing your team just to please other people, or make up the numbers.
With all due respect, the planning hasn’t officially started and as I’m told the WhatsApp group has been more active recently, there’s still time for them to all run for the hills…