1. Take your time.Immediately after he proposes may seem like the perfect moment to ask your friends to stand up for you, but it is wiser to share the news of the engagement without raising the subject of the wedding party. Your emotions will be running high, so you may wish to wait for things to settle down before making any decisions. Should someone ask who your maids will be, say that in all the engagement excitement, you haven't had a minute to think. Keep in mind, while you can always ask someone to be in your wedding, it is not an invitation you can take back.
2. Think about your friends' life situations.Is one of your candidates already committed to two other weddings this year? She may be relieved just being one of your guests. Is another friend working three jobs to pay off her credit cards? Maybe now isn't the time to ask her to buy a pricey dress and a plane ticket. The same consideration should apply to friends, siblings, or family members with demanding schedules, and/or small children. These friends can still be included in the planning, and can be lifesavers with tasks like monitoring the guest book, or handing out programs.
3. Contemplate your maids as a group.Will everyone get along? It's wise to think about how they will work together. If two of your close friends aren't speaking to each other, don't make yourself crazy by allowing your wedding to be their opportunity to confront each other. Instead, ask one to be a bridesmaid, and invite the other to do a reading, or participate in another way. The same goes for feuding relatives, or for ex co-workers who parted under bad circumstances.
4. Remember, although being a bridesmaid is an honor, it is also a job with responsibilities.If you will need a lot of help, make sure to select one or two bridesmaids you can really count on to hold everything together. Although you love her, the friend who skipped off to Bali the night before her IRS audit may not be a wise choice.
5. Lastly, don't let anyone pressure you to include someone you wouldn't have picked on your own.Attendant spots are not guaranteed to women whose weddings you were in, nor to cousins your mother-in-law would like to see included. Your bridesmaids are your pillars of strength during the wedding planning process, and you want to be enthusiastic about each of the wonderful friends who accompany you down the aisle. Resentment and guilt have no place at the altar on your wedding day.
As you pick your attendants, follow your heart, but don't lose your head. Keeping these points in mind, you will be on your way to creating an enthusiastic, supportive, and helpful bridal party.