Despite the fact that you probably have a couple of girls in mind even before you’ve got the ring on your finger, choosing bridesmaids is not a decision to be made lightly. While family members are often the first to be selected (sisters, cousins, soon-to-be sisters-in-law), the process can prove problematic if you have a relative that you simply don’t get along with and would like to exclude. And when it comes to friends, the potential for hurt feelings can ratchet up even higher (after all, you choose your friends while you have no say over the family you get stuck with). So how do you go about picking the individuals who will stand beside you on the most important day of your life?
The best way to start is to make a list of potential candidates. Include only women who are close to you and that you share a strong connection with (that is likely to remain strong). There’s nothing worse than looking back at wedding photos and wondering: who was that lady from the office that ended up in your wedding party (and then disappeared from your life when you switched jobs)? By starting with a list of only close friends and family, you can avoid this unfortunate situation.
Next, consider the role that bridesmaids must play. Remember that they have certain obligations where the wedding (and planning) is concerned. This might make their location and their level of commitment an issue. Those who are distant (geographically) will still need to be fitted for a dress and they will have to show up early to attend the rehearsal. And you’ll likely want them present for the bridal shower and bachelorette party (if you plan to have these events). So maybe you’d be better off choosing only women who live in the area (unless you’re planning a destination wedding, which makes it a moot point).
But even worse than being far away is being flaky. You don’t need the added stress of having to track down bridesmaids for important functions. You should also keep in mind that the maid (or matron) of honor is on the hook for several duties (throwing a shower, arranging a bachelorette party, and handling a number of other details). So you’ll definitely want someone who is responsible and trustworthy to fill this role. In short, you shouldn’t worry so much about hurting feelings. Someone is going to feel neglected no matter what you do. As long as you surround yourself with women who are reliable, capable, and caring, you’ll ensure that your wedding goes off without a hitch.