History of the Bridesmaid
Using bridesmaids in your wedding ceremony dates back to ancient Roman times. It was believed that evil spirits would try to kidnap the bride at her wedding. Friends of the bride would dress very similar to the bride to confuse the evil spirits. It was thought the spirit wouldn’t be able to figure out who was the bride, so the bride was safe from evil at her wedding.
In the Saxon times in England, the senior bridesmaid attended to the bride before the wedding. She became the maid of honor, meaning attendant to the queen. Her duties included the dressing the bride, decorating the tables at the wedding feast, and making her bridal wreath out of flowers. The other bridesmaids helped the maid of honor.
Today, the maids are there to support and help out the bride with wedding chores, host a wedding shower and hold her hand. They are there to join in the wedding celebration and toast the couple.
Choosing Your Bridesmaids
You’ve probably made pacts with friends that you’d be in each others wedding. Now its time to choose your maids, and you are torn between the pact you made years ago and reality. You’ve gone different ways, your mom thinks you need to include a cousin, your groom wants his sisters included, your best friend lives a thousand miles away. What to do?
Think before you ask someone to be a bridesmaid.
- Don’t jump the gun because you are excited.
- Don’t ask in the rush of excitement of the engagement.
- Don’t be pressured into asking someone to be in your wedding.
- Take it into consideration before you make any decisions.
- Ask people who mean something to you and are willing to “go the distance” with you.
- Don’t include someone who means nothing to you today but you “promised” years ago.
You’ll first need to figure out how many maids you want in your wedding. Once the number gets to be six or over, you go into the problem territory of keeping everyone happy. Too many maids make it hard to manage. Think about your wedding photos. Take into account the size of your church, altar or wedding ceremony site. You don’t want it to look too crowded.
The decision is ultimately yours as to your maids, but sometimes compromise is needed. If your groom wants his sister in the wedding, you have to weigh the consequences of keeping her out of the wedding or including her.
If you want to include people in your wedding but you can’t ask them to be a bridesmaid, ask them to be a part of the wedding. You can honor them by having them do a reading during the ceremony, handing our programs or being the guest book attendant.
Problems With Bridesmaids & How to Solve Them
Pregnant Bridesmaid: One of your bridesmaids is pregnant. If her dress has been ordered, contact the bridal salon and let them know. You may have to order to extra fabric from the manufacturer to have a seamstress put a gusset panel put in the sides of the dress to make it fit. If the dress hasn’t been ordered, confirm with your maid if she wants to still be in the wedding. If the answer is yes, shop for a dress that will accommodate her pregnancy. There are maternity bridesmaid dresses, but the truth is that they look matronly and differ in style. A bridal salon can advise you on what style will work for her. Note that alterations will be necessary. If she is uncomfortable being pregnant in your wedding, ask her to do a reading or be the guest book attendant so she won’t have to buy a special dress.
Financially strapped bridesmaid : One or more of your friends are going to be financially strapped and too proud to admit that they can’t afford to be in the wedding. If they are having financial problems BEFORE the wedding, ask them if they will be able to afford to be in the wedding and if they say no, accept it gracefully or offer to pay for their dress yourself. If they have financial problems after they’ve put down the deposit on their dress and are not paying off their balance or having their alterations completed, its time to have a talk with them. They’ve committed to being in the wedding. If they absolutely can’t afford to follow through, find a replacement for them who can wear the same size dress or offer to pay their balance. Chances are they are embarrassed and are dodging you and the wedding. Note: Once their dress has been ordered, the maid is legally liable to pay for it.
The Maidzilla: She’s done nothing but gives you a bad time. She has problems with everything in the wedding. She’s critical, she’s a pain. Its time to take control. Take her out to lunch and ask her what is really going on. She may be jealous, she may think your friendship will suffer once you are married. She needs reassurance that your friendship won’t change. For more information, go to the Maidzilla test and see what’s really happening in her mind.
Out of town bridesmaids: Nearly every wedding has bridesmaids who are all over the country. It’s time to choose a dress, what to do? Email them pictures of the dress and let them know the style, color and price. Line up a bridal salon that carries the dress and has your bridesmaids phone in their measurements and deposit. The bridal salon can ship the dress to them when it arrives so they can have alterations done locally. The bridal salon will ask them their normal dress size and height, and as long as the measurements are accurate, they can order them the
right size to fit them. Ordering in one place works best because it insures that all your maid’s dresses are ordered on time and will arrive at the same time. It also insures that the dye lot of your dresses are exactly the same.
Bridesmaid that is MIA, missing in action. It happens, your maid has had a job transfer and can’t be in the wedding. Or your maid has been in an accident and can’t be in the wedding. Or she suddenly gets sick. Whatever the reason, you have a space to fill because your maid dropped out. You have two options: replace her or not. It’s OK to have extra groomsmen. But if it’s important to have someone wear the dress, find someone similar in size to fill in.