Choosing flowers, centrepieces and dresses may present a challenge for any bride, however the element of planning your wedding that may just push you over the edge is choosing someone to be your chief bridesmaid. It can be a decision fraught with stress as you struggle to make a choice between family members, colleagues and old friends, and trying to avoid causing offence can be like negotiating a minefield. So, how do you choose the perfect chief bridesmaid without having tears and tantrums? Here are some helpful tips.
What is A Chief Bridesmaid?
Usually, the bride chooses one of their sisters or perhaps their oldest friend to be their chief bridesmaid, and their duties can be many and varied. Before the wedding itself, she will be responsible for arranging the hen do as well as helping the bride to choose both her own dress and those for the bridesmaids. She will need to attend the wedding rehearsal and generally offer support throughout the entire stressful time. On the big day itself, she should help the bride to dress, run any essential last minute errands, help with the page boys and young bridesmaids, help the bride out of the car and do any last minute adjustments to her hair, dress or veil before she walks down the aisle, and hold her flowers during the ceremony. Depending on the bride’s wishes, she may have other tasks too, such as decorating the bridal suite, dancing with the best man or liaising with the venue’s staff during the reception. As you can see, it’s a pretty important job!
How to choose your chief bridesmaid?
Although choosing your chief bridesmaid might sound like a simple task, in fact it can be a lot harder than it looks. Even if you think your sister or best friend is an obvious choice, you need to consider whether or not she has the skills to take the job on. Can she plan a great party? Can she be relied on to do all of the little jobs that fall within her remit? And most importantly, does she really want to take such a major role in the proceedings? Make sure you check all of these things out before you make your final decision – the most important thing is that you choose someone who is trustworthy, responsible, fun, and, above all, supportive.
Don’t Be Railroaded
Remember that the final decision lies with you, so don’t let anyone talk you into choosing someone that you aren’t 100% comfortable with. Even if your parents are putting pressure on you to choose a family member, you shouldn’t feel that you have to go with their preferences. Unless your chief bridesmaid is someone you can get on well with, the arguing and conflict that can ensue from making the wrong choice can ruin your special day.
Give Clear Outlines
Setting down some ground rules is pretty important, especially if your chief bridesmaid has never done the job before. You need to let her know exactly what you need her to do and how much involvement you want her to have in the planning process. If you only want help with the small things, you need to let her know this in advance. On the other hand, if you’re going to make huge demands on her time, it’s pretty important to make her aware of that as early as possible too. If she has a thorough understanding of everything that’s expected of her from day one, there’s less chance that things will go awry.
Make Sure It’s All About You
This may sound obvious, however it’s surprising how many chief bridesmaids start to take control as soon as they get the first sniff of trying on dresses and tasting menus. While you need to rely on her opinions and support, you don’t want a chief bridesmaid who tries to foist her ideas on you and tries to bully you into choosing things that you don’t really want. It’s your special day, not hers, so don’t be afraid to take a stand.
If you take this helpful advice and go with your gut instincts, you’re sure to choose the right person to be your chief bridesmaid, whether that person is your sister, cousin, oldest friend or closest work colleague. However, in the unlikely event that it all goes wrong and you end up coming to blows, don’t forget that you are well within your rights to tell her calmly that you need to choose somebody else to replace her so that you can stay friends. She’s sure to understand if she’s truly your friend – not everybody is cut out to take on a job of this magnitude, and she may well be happy to step down. To read more about hen parties, please click here.