There are a lot of people you interact with on your wedding day, from family to friends to vendors. And while all of them are there for you, there’s one group that’s especially important: your bridal party.
They’re the people you hand selected to be closest to you on your big day because of how meaningful their relationships with you are. They get to see you every step of the way during wedding planning, deal with any bridezilla moments you might have, keep you calm when the nerves get the best of you, and pump you up when you’re getting excited. They literally celebrate you for MONTHS, and they’re more than happy to do it because they’re your people, and you probably wouldn’t be who you are without them. While I have no doubts that they’ll enjoy your big day, if you’re anything like me you’ll be trying to find ways to make their experience even better. You’ll want them to not only have the most fun possible at the wedding itself, but also be looking forward to it throughout your engagement (and wishing you could do it all over again long after you’ve made your grand exit). Like I always say, happiness is contagious, and what better way to ensure your wedding day will be a great one than to surround yourself with your best people enjoying themselves to the fullest?
As a bit of a backstory, my bridesmaids came from multiple different areas of my life and most of them didn’t know the others. I didn’t even realize it until after my bachelorette party (more on that below) but they thankfully blended very well and are all friends with one another now. With that said, though, they are all very different and it’s important to think of how many different personalities are involved in your wedding party. They all love you, so there will be something they can connect on, but you can help ease that transition.
Whether everyone is already friends, nobody knows one another, or somewhere in between, here’s how to ensure your bridal party has the most fun ever at your wedding.
Create a text group
Creating a text group with your bridesmaids (and another one for your groomsmen) is an easy way to connect everyone together, especially if they don’t all know each other already. Aside from the fact that they can all talk in there and have everyone else’s contact information, it’s also a place where you can easily plan wedding events and send out pertinent information.
One of the greatest ways you can ensure your group is happy is to get their input on things. While it is your wedding, there are a lot of decisions that you can have them help you make (or at least get their opinion on), especially if it relates directly to them. Things like what style of bridesmaid dresses, ties versus bowties, where to have the bachelorette/bachelor parties, or where everyone wants to stay the night of the wedding are decisions you can include your crew in if you’d like to. Beyond that, though, it’s also just really important to keep everyone informed. Once you have scheduled hair and makeup times, if there are certain things they need to buy/bring, where they need to go the morning of the wedding, etc. You’d be surprised how often people go into a wedding weekend knowing almost nothing.
Plan Pre-Wedding Events (but be flexible)
Planning pre-wedding events is a great way to get your group together and let everyone establish friendships before the wedding. Whether it’s bridal showers, casual get togethers, the rehearsal dinner, or the bachelorette/bachelor party, they’re all great ways to interact and can be a lot of fun. If you have people coming that don’t know anyone else though, be sure to give them some extra info leading up to it so they feel more confident. I made a big oops at my bachelorette party because 4 of my girls walked into it not knowing a single other person, but thinking they were the only one who didn’t know anyone else. We laughed about it afterwards, but they would have been so much more comfortable if they already knew they weren’t alone ahead of time. You can even tell your friends about the other friends so they feel like they know one another, even if they don’t. On the be flexible note, though, understand that not everyone will be able to make it to every event (or any of them aside from the wedding, depending on what their life looks like). Don’t make them feel guilty, because that will just put a damper on the events they can attend.
Make things simple
The more you can simplify things for your group, the better! Whether it’s how they order their wedding attire or providing things for them (like the jewelry they need), everyone is happier when stress levels are lower. Another way to simplify things for your bridal party? Have appetizers and drinks delivered to them while they’re taking photos with you after the ceremony. It’s a small touch that allows them to start celebrating quicker and not miss out on the start of cocktail hour.
Bring everyone together
One of my favorite things we did with our bridal party was book everyone to stay in the same place together. While we covered the rooms, it’s by no means something you have to do to achieve this. Whether you find a house large enough for everyone, a small hotel that you can book out, or a larger Flagstaff hotel where you can create a room block, we had so much fun with everyone together the night before and of our wedding. Wherever you stay, try to make sure there is one main area everyone can gather in to relax and hang out.
If you want to invite 40 people to your party, organizing transport can be difficult. You would need multiple cars or MPVs, and would need to coordinate them so that they all depart and arrive at the same time. This is a problem that you don’t really want to deal with on a night that is supposed to be all about fun. Hiring a party bus rental solves that problem for you: one vehicle can carry all of your guests. All they need to do is get to the bus and you’ll all arrive together.
Give a plus one
If it works with your guest count, it’s really nice to be able to give your bridal party members a plus one. Whether it’s their significant other, a friend, or their mom, it’s always nice to have their person there for them. It’s especially nice if that person can be included in other wedding weekend events, like coming to the rehearsal dinner or staying in the same place, that way they get to know the other dates and have a built in group to hang out with while the bridal party members are otherwise occupied.
Show your appreciation
While gifts for your bridal party have become pretty customary in recent years, showing your appreciation beyond gifts is incredibly meaningful.Once a grandfather gifted his wife with customized writings as 70th birthday gift on her 70th birthday which was overwhelming.Similarly,make sure to write a personal handwritten note with your gift(s) to let them know just how much you love them.Thank them for being there to celebrate with you. Text them in the weeks leading up to the wedding letting them know the weekend wouldn’t be the same without them there. Be happy to have them at every event they show up for. Love your friends and let them know.
One of the easiest ways to ensure your bridal party won’t have a good time at your wedding is if you’re miserable the entire time. They want you to be happy and have a good time! If you’re super stressed out, nitpicking every single detail, giving people a hard time because their highlights weren’t the right color, or sitting with a scowl on your face, they’re going to be super flustered trying to figure out how to make your day better. On the flip side, if you’re smiling for selfies in the bridal suite, sharing funny stories, and spending time on the dance floor, they’ll be right beside you doing it all.
In all honesty, even if you did none of the other things, if you’re enjoying yourself at your wedding your bridal party is going to enjoy themselves more too – they want it to be your best day. When I was looking at Valeria and Drake’s wedding party, I knew I wanted to include their photos in this blog because I don’t know who the people surrounding them are or if they were already friends before the wedding, but I do know that they all look happy to be their with their bride and groom. The dresses are beautiful and the guys look sharp in their tuxes, but more than that everyone is interacting with one another. There’s laughter and movement and love. You don’t have to do a lot of extra things to make your bridal party enjoy themselves on your big day, but if you want to, a little effort can transform into something so much more. These are the people who will get ready with you. They’ll sit by your side during your first married meal and dance the night away with you. They’ll send you off to your happily ever after, and support your marriage in the years to come. These people are so very special and it’s why you chose them. Keep that in mind as you enjoy your entire engagement and wedding with them by your side.
Valeria and Drake Cannon’s Vendor Spotlight:
Photography by Ashley Medrano Photography
Catering by Got it Covered Events
DJ by Azem Event Group
Photo Booth by MBP Photo Booth
Bartending by Margarita Madness
Cake by Creations Cake Shop
Hair and Makeup by Lola Beauty ATX