You’re engaged! YAY!!! Now you have to decide if you want a bridal party, and then if you do, you have to pick the bridal party (ugh!). Picking Indian wedding bridesmaids should be a fun process but if you don’t take the right steps, it can be a stressful process.
There are a bunch of decisions to make in choosing your bridal party, but if you’re smart about how you make those decisions, you’ll be on the right track to having the best bridal party fit for you. I’ll show you how to pick your party to prevent a meltdown!
First, let me start by saying that you’re having an Indian wedding. You don’t even NEED a bridal party if you don’t want one. Traditionally, in a Hindu wedding, the groom would have an older brother or cousin as his best man, and the bride would have her sister or older/married female cousin as the maid of honor.
Besides having duties during the ceremony, they didn’t do too much else. Today, it’s a much different ball game. You can practically do whatever you want. If you want bridesmaids for part of the wedding, you can do it. If you want bridesmaids just so you have an entourage walking down the aisle before you, you can do that. Whatever you decide, it’s what you and your fiancee want to do.
There are many misconceptions when it comes to selecting a bridal party. Just because you were your friend’s bridesmaid doesn’t mean you have to pick her as your bridesmaid. You shouldn’t feel obligated (although you might). Another misconception is that if the groom wants 7 groomsmen, you have to have 7 bridesmaids.
The numbers don’t have to match. Do whatever you feel like doing. One guy can walk down the aisle with two girls, no big deal. The reality is that you can’t pick everyone from your sister to your 2nd cousin’s wife. Make the decision for what works for you.
Before you go and ask your girls to be your Indian wedding bridesmaids, think about it first. Choose who wants to be in the wedding, not by obligation, like I was saying before. Who will actually help you and be proactive with helping you? Who is capable of doing the job and who will willingly do what the job entails? Take your person into consideration – will she have a 2 week newborn at your wedding?
Her life might be in utter chaos at that time, having just given birth – she might be a good person to lean on for pre-wedding duties, but is she the right person to be a bridesmaid – someone you really need during the wedding? Another consideration is that keeping it small might make your life easier. There could be more going on if you have a wedding party of 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen. It will take longer to take photos, and there might be a little drama here and there. But, if the 7+7 will make you happy, do it!
If you end up not picking a friend who you really wanted to pick, give her another job or assignment during the wedding. You might not be able to think of it right away, but make sure she knows that she is needed and she will have responsibilities during the wedding. It’ll make her feel more included throughout the process. At the end of the day, you want your bridesmaids to have fun — not whine and moan about not wanting to be a bridesmaid.
In choosing bridesmaids, pick the right person for the role. Each bridesmaid will have a different strength. Let each of them be responsible for something they’re good at. If one is great at planning events, let her plan the bachelorette (but get help from the others). If another friend is really good at DIY projects, let her help you come up with ideas for favors. People like to feel needed and involved. They feel special if you make them feel special.
Once you have your bridesmaids in mind, outline your expectations (on paper or in your mind). This part sounds a little like a bridezilla, but it’s really not. You want to be a “Bride chilla” (@Bridechillapod has coined the term!). Laying down and communicating expectations can eliminate lots of potential drama and stress. You should be clear about what they might pay for (bachelorette, bridal shower etc). You might have other plans in mind – like your sister might be hosting the bridal shower, so the bridesmaids wouldn’t have to pay for much.
While discussing expectations with your bridesmaids, you should list out what you might want the bridesmaids to be responsible for. Some of these are good assignments for your non-bridesmaid VIP helpers too. If all of your bridesmaids live in one place (doubtful but I’m optimistic), you could always have them gather in one place and go over it at the same time.
- Overall support and motivation: This is the most important job of all of the bridesmaids – keep the bride calm and stress-free throughout wedding planning and especially during the wedding weekend. We all know that with Indian weddings, there’s always random people or things that might throw off the day, so they are your barrier!
- Bachelorette Party & Bridal Shower: Of your bridesmaids, think about who is good at planning. Not only that, who will be accountable and proactive about planning. This doesn’t mean that they have to do it themselves. All of them should be responsible for helping plan, but it’s important to have one or two point people.
- Random Opinions: Indian wedding planning is overwhelming. You need some peeps who you can use to bounce ideas off of (who aren’t the groom or your parents). Bridesmaids love this! Involve them as much as you want or can. You can even set up a group Pinterest board and have them contribute ideas. I know some brides are protective of their ideas and boards, so it’s only a suggestion!
- Point Person: By default this person might end up being your maid of honor, but it should be someone you can rely on (chances are you’ll be able to rely on any and all of your bridesmaids). This person should also be the person who keeps in contact with the Groomsmen point person over the course of the wedding weekend).
- Cheer Squad/Bride Brigade – AKA get ready with the bride, pump her up, whatever you need to do to make it her day
- Speech / Dance / Performances: With Indian weddings, it could be any combination of these things. It’s always fun to have the wedding party do some kind of performance since they are the closest friends (and family) to the bride and groom. Speeches are your call. If you want all of them to speak, you could do that, or you could axe it and only have your siblings and/or the Maid of Honor and the Best Man speak.
- Screen Phone Calls: Minor task, but they have to do it! Sorry brides.
- Eat properly, Stay Hydrated: This is self-explanatory.
- Bathroom Duty: Speaking of drinking water, don’t drink too much water because you’ll have to find your way to the bathroom in your wedding lengha. Any of your bridesmaids will know to help you with this.. but just in case.
- Emergency Kit: You can make your own emergency kit, but you can also have (one of) the bridesmaids carry your lipstick, makeup and other touch up/emergency items as you make your way through the wedding weekend. It’s nice to have that lipstick right there when you need it. I’m not a fan of brides carrying clutches (even for photos) – just have someone else carry it for you – you’re allowed to, it’s your wedding!
- Social Media Entourage: Alongside the Groomsmen, your Bridesmaids should be shooting the wedding – being the storytellers of the wedding via your chosen method of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, anything else…). It’s a nice way to showcase candid shots of the weekend in a fun way. Check out the post on How To Use Technology For Your Wedding for more tips.
- Coordinate: Find ways for the bridesmaids to coordinate – it could be makeup, hair, or even the same kind of shoe – let them make some suggestions – ultimately it’s your wedding, but it’s a fun way to come up with ideas
- Random duties: There are probably a few other duties I haven’t mentioned, but bridesmaids should know that they could be asked to take on any random duties (including anything the bride’s mom asks for)
Ok, I know this looks like a laundry list and sounds like a lot, but that’s why you need to pick bridesmaids who you know will happily take on this duty. If you expected a friend to say yes and she doesn’t, don’t be offended. Give her another assignment if she’s up for it. Or, If you picked someone and she seems unhappy, figure out why. Maybe she doesn’t want to make a speech. You don’t want your bridesmaids to be unhappy about their duties. Like I said before, it’s all about having fun!
Check out the post Get Off To The Right Start With These 3 Planning Steps where I talk about making a decision and sticking to it — this is where you can apply it! If you choose to have a bridal party, do it right away. If you don’t choose a bridal party, don’t go back on the decision to have a bridal party a few months from your wedding date. You’ll spend more time stressing out about what to do.
TIP: Communicate your schedule to your wedding party so they’re aware of the entire weekend’s schedule – even if they are not a part of the events.
How to Ask your Bridesmaids to be Bridesmaids: You want your bridesmaids to be excited and feel special about being your bridesmaid. So why not ask your bridesmaid to be a bridesmaid in a fun way? If you’re into DIY, this is a great time to DIY an invitation. If not, there are plenty of other creative options
- A nice card with an invitation
- Custom wine label on a wine bottle
- “Bridesmaid” custom wine glasses
- Message in a Bottle
- Bridesmaid box with personalized items (mini-champagne, mini-lipstick, jewelry, chocolate, photos, nail polish)
- Ring Pop Proposal
- A ring in the shape of a knot (that they can wear at the wedding)
- Necklace with message card
At the end of the day, like any bride, you just want your friends to be there for you, and they will!
–> Check out our Bridesmaid Gifts Pinterest Board for links on to how to make and where to find these gifts.
–> Gey my free guide here: The Ultimate Bachelorette Party Planning Guide
Photo credit above: D Park Photography Blog
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