Bridesmaid Etiquette Q & A


What is the best way to let a friend know she won’t be a bridesmaid?

Eek. This is never a fun situation. If you have more potential bridesmaids than you do spots next to you at the altar, consider yourself blessed to have so many close friends! That said, this isn’t an episode of the bachelor. You don’t need to let every potential candidate know they haven’t been chosen. Most girls will understand that you only have a few spots and that you can’t realistically parade every single friend down the aisle.

If you really feel the need to explain, just be direct and honest, and suggest another way you would like to incorporate her into your day…readings, guest book, toasts, etc. She may have her feelings hurt, but will surely appreciate your being upfront.

Should you pay for a bridesmaid’s attire if you know she can’t afford it?

Traditionally, bridesmaids pay for their own dresses. They also pay for their own hair and makeup. It’s the costly reality that comes along with being a part of someone’s wedding party and most bridesmaids, when they accept an invitation to be a part of a wedding, expect this expense.

If you know being a party of your bridal party will cause some financial hardship for one of your maids, however, you may consider chipping in to alleviate some of the expense. As long as you the bride can afford it, sharing the cost is a gracious gesture. I would recommend having the conversation in private, ask if the price of the dress is ok with her and mention your willingness to chip in.

Above all, if your maid expresses concern about the cost you should be flexible, be understanding and if necessary, allow your friend the opportunity to gracefully decline your invitation.

Do all my bridesmaid dresses have to be the same?

No! Some of the prettiest collections of bridesmaid dresses are not identical. Just be sure to line everything up together beforehand to see that the dresses coordinate nicely.

Complementary colors and similar lengths are the key!

mismatching bridesmaids2


mismatching bridesmaidsvia


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