Choosing Your Bridesmaids — It’s Not Always Easy

choosing bridesmaids

After reading my wonderful colleague’s post about the acquaintance of the poor chick who was branded “too fat to be a bridesmaid” by what I can only say is a very rude bride, I started thinking about choosing bridesmaids. As I suggest in the title of this post, choosing bridesmaids can be more difficult than choosing a wedding color scheme, if only because human beings have emotions. Cornflower doesn’t care if you nix it from your wedding, but your sister may be pretty pissed to find that you’re not planning to ask her to be your MOH.

Me? I chose the oldest of my younger sisters to be my MOH and The Beard’s sister as a bridesmaid, then washed my hands of the whole business of choosing bridesmaids. There were certainly friends that I could have chosen, but we were getting married out-of-state and I wasn’t sure that friends would be able to make the trip. As it was, weather turned into canceled flights, and at least three invitees were prevented by circumstance from attending. In that sense, I chose wisely, but I still wonder if my bridesmaid experience would have been less fraught with stress if I’d asked friends to be bridesmaids.

With that in my mind, I thought it was high time for a poll so readers could see how other readers chose their bridesmaids. I set it up so multiple selections are allowed, because there’s a good chance you didn’t (or won’t) choose bridesmaids based on a single criterion. So give us your answer(s) and, if you’re so inclined, tell us in the comments how your choice worked (or is working) out.

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22 Responses to “Choosing Your Bridesmaids — It’s Not Always Easy”

  1. rabrab February 8, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    None of the above.

  2. Carol February 8, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    None of the choices really applied to me – I chose to have my sister as my only attendent. Mr. Carol and I are both over 50 and this was the second marriage for both of us so we didn’t want fuss or matching dresses. We kept it very simple and informal and had a lovely time.

  3. Sarah G. February 8, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    I ended up with only one bridesmaid. She is a dear friend and was the one who introduced us. It was a no brainer and since it was a smallish wedding I felt no need to choose anymore (thus sidestepping any hurt feelings).

  4. Deanderthal February 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    None of the above for me as well: because of the non-traditional nature of our wedding, neither of us had any attendants :D!

  5. Lou February 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    I had my best friend as my only attendant and my husband had his two best friends (a married couple) as his “best couple”.

  6. Kai Jones February 8, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    First wedding: I chose my sister, his sister, and my best friend. Second wedding: my sons (ages 8 and 12) were our attendants, all they did was stand with us during the ceremony.

  7. KESW February 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    My husband has one brother who he wanted for his best man, and then didn’t want anyone else. This actually made it a little easier for me, because I would either have to have chosen the one girl I did, or if I had more, 5 or more, some of whom wouldn’t have made it probably. I chose her because unlike some of my other friends, we had a one-on-one relationship as opposed to a group one, she was the first person I told when I started dating my husband, and we kept in touch much better than my other friends.

  8. Gina February 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    My MOH is my sister. Two of my bridesmaids are my SO’s sisters who I’m excited to call my own sisters very soon and my other two bridesmaids are two of my closest friends that I’ve known for at least 10 years who feel like sisters and who I know will be in my life for the rest of our days! It’s working out great! I found a dress that flatters each of them (that they all love!) and comes in a few differrent shades that flatters each complexion. I am very lucky!

  9. Nona Yobiz February 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    i was forced to compromise and have bridesmaids because my SO wants groomsmen. the compromise is that i’ll have my sisters, he’ll have his brother plus one, and nobody is wearing any matching anything. his bro and the older of my little sisters will sign the register, punto final.

    the joys of planning a wedding between a non-traditionalist (me) and a traditionalist (him)!

  10. Less February 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    No one chooses bridesmaids based on a single criteria, because “criteria” is plural, dammit. The singular is “criterion.”

  11. Never teh Bride February 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Good catch, Less!

  12. Kayla February 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    From the way things stand now, I’ll be having three-four attendants. (My husband-to-be has a large cache of friends, so he’s fine choosing as many or as few as needed.) It would be my bio-mom, since I want her involved. My *real* mom is going to be walking me down the isle. The second will be my oldest half-sister, who will almost be 18 by the time the wedding happens. My MOH will..well, not be a maid, but a man. My best friend in the entire world has always been a dude. After that, I may have a couple more bridesmen, depending on who keeps in touch over the next few years.

  13. Rubiatonta February 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    No bridesmaids for me. One witness each, because Mr Rubi and I are the keep it simple type of folks.

  14. enygma February 9, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    I have a lot of females in my family so my bridesmaid selection will be limited to them.

  15. Ripley February 9, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    I have no sisters, wasn’t close enough to TTMR’s (The Talented Mr. Ripley) sister, so I picked three of my closest friends. My three friends were my three most mellow friends, which this Type A, bossy lady needed on her wedding day.

  16. Blossom February 9, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    My choose was easy, i looked at my two younger sisters and said “yup you and you”. It was not until later that i thought about my friends and i hadnt of thought about them straight away is becase two of them lived way out of town and my third friend would have throttled me for just suggesting to wear a dress (she’s a jeans a tee kind of girl). There was my sister in law who started demanding i make her a bridesmaids but after a lot of no’s and a lot of looks from my sisters she stopped. Its not that i dont like her she just better in very small doses.

  17. Toni February 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    This is one of those things that is so dependent on a myriad of factors that everyone is going to have slightly different dynamics at play. I have no sisters (or siblings, for that matter) so I didn’t have that to consider. Therefore, choosing his sister made more sense for me. Plus, I had one BEST friend, and had to either choose to keep it simple with just her (and my SIL) or to open up the net much wider. I’m glad I went with the former, because it made things much more simple.

    I had a rather long engagement (18 months) and in that time, other friends asked me to be bridesmaids in their weddings. Where appropriate, I decided to reciprocate by having them participate in my ceremony in some other way, like by having them give a short reading. That seemed to make everyone happy.

  18. Michelle February 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    Well….I actually chose my sister to be my MOH and then the remainder were friends/family who I knew could afford it. There was no point in me choosing someone who I knew would be strapped for the cash to be a part of the day. Anyone else I wanted to be a part of the day was delegated a reading or something of that sort.

  19. Giggles February 14, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    Our fathers were our witnesses. We didn’t have attendants.

  20. La BellaDonna February 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    My bridesmaids ranged from 5′ tall to 6′ tall, tiny up through Amazonian, and each of them looked SPLENDID. They were my sister and my friends, and although we’ve gone separate ways, I was VERY happy with …. most of them. I was dreadfully unlucky with Maids of Honor, which, considering I didn’t really expect anything of them … I got less than that. o_O I was truly fortunate in one bridesmaid; she was tremendously helpful to me, and I asked her to sign as my witness, rather than the maid of horror.

    NtB: Just FYI, the post above from “Ella” is an ad FROM Romona etc. Let her buy an ad or ask you to review her designs like an honest woman, for pity’s sake!

  21. Never teh Bride February 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Good catch, La BellaDonna — noted and deleted!

  22. Amy February 23, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    I know I’m late to the poll, but I won’t have any bridesmaids/attendants). I know I’d have some hurt feelings no matter who I picked (I don’t have a sister and I’m not close to my brother – no easy out there) so I figured to nix it altogether. Plus I don’t like the historical roots of bridesmaids/groomsman.