With all of the hustle and bustle that comes with being a bride, it’s easy to forget things here and there. Maybe you totally forgot to buy stamps for your save-the-dates or completely failed to remember to book those hotel rooms for your guests. Either way, there’s one important thing NOT to forget during the wedding planning process - your bridesmaids! Asking your girls to be a part of the wedding doesn’t just have to include them standing by your side at the alter or smiling pretty for pictures. In fact, there are plenty of great excuses to hang out with your bridesmaids while still checking things off of your wedding planning checklist! From bonding activities to assigning cute job titles, learn some fun ways to get your 'maids involved in your wedding plans!
Photo by Tandem Tree
Why your bridesmaids should be included in the wedding plans.
One of the biggest reasons that brides don’t ask their girls for help is because they feel like they’re being a burden. In reality, your friends want to help. They’re practically begging you, but you just aren’t hearing it! Whether they just want to be kept updated on the wedding plans or actually get their hands dirty on some DIY projects, the level of inclusion can totally vary from girl to girl.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and not every girl is going to be so eager to lend a helping hand. However, most ‘maids will be more than willing to help out. In fact, it’s part of the whole experience! Being a bridesmaid can be a title and a job - one that comes with tasks and responsibilities. If this seems like some daunting, new idea to you, let me break it down a little further for you, ladies.
You asked them to be a BRIDESMAID. Brides. Maid. The word literally means that they are the maid of the bride! You shouldn’t feel bad about asking them to help out with things here and there, because more often than not, they’ll be ecstatic to participate.
Keep in mind, these are you friends that we’re talking about - not your slaves. Of course you can ask for their help, but asking too much of them will only cause a strain in your relationship. So rather than making the tasks seem like work, put a fun spin on the project to make it more of a bonding experience! If you’re struggling for ideas on how to include them in the wedding plans, I’ve gathered the following ideas that you and your girls will love.
8 Productive Bonding Activities:
Dishing about wedding details at weekday happy hours and Sunday brunches isn’t the only way to get your girls together for some pre-wedding bonding time. In fact, they probably would love to be a little more hands-on during the planning process. With these 8 ideas, your next get-together will be fun and productive!
An Invitation Stuffing Soiree
There’s not much worse than having to stuff and address 250 wedding invitations between you and your fiancé. Instead, gather your girls together, pour some champagne, and create an invitation assembly line that will not only be faster, but way more fun! Between all of the giggling and gossiping, you won’t even notice all of the paper cuts you’ve accumulated. And ladies, for the love of beautiful wedding invitations, I beg you not to spill that champagne!
A Signature Cocktail Tasting Party
If this doesn’t sound like the most exciting wedding planning experience then I don’t know what does! We’re all familiar with the trend of couples serving the bride and groom’s signature cocktails at the wedding reception, right? Why not take the tasks of taste-testing drinks and hanging with your besties and turn it into an evening of pure fun...and drinking. It might even be a good idea to get the entire wedding party in on this type of event. You can either assign different people to bring various ingredients or have each person bring their favorite cocktail to sample.
This one is kind of a given, but seeing as it’s probably the most important bonding activity, it still should be included on this list. Going shopping with your girls to pick out their dresses or shoes is serious fun! After you’ve gone through the stress of trying on dress after dress, you get to lay back and watch your ‘maids pick out the dress of their dreams! …or at least the one they’ll tolerate for that day.
Also, consider bringing the bridal salon into your bedroom! With the At Home Try-On program, bridal parties can order a limited number of samples to try on in the comfort of their home. Gather your girls, blast some music, and have fun trying on dresses in a fun, stress-free environment.
A PJ Playlist Party
Think good music, good friends, and a rockin’ good time! Grab your girls and have them help you create the wedding reception playlist of your dreams. (I also think PJ’s and champagne would be 100% acceptable in this type of environment!) You’ll spend most of the time giggling and reminiscing over high-school favorites, but between everyone’s ideas and taste in music, you’ll be amazed with how great of a setlist you all come up with!
A Craft and Cocktails Brunch
DIY wedding favors are a huge trend that can be super affordable, but tirelessly time-consuming. Rather than forcing yourself to come home everyday after work to make 200-some favors of homemade candles, gather your girls for a Sunday afternoon of brunch, cocktails, and crafts! It will be fun, laid-back, and way less stressful than had you tackled the project on your own.
An Afternoon of Bouquet Arranging
We’re seeing the trend of girls going to local farmers markets, craft stores, or flower shops and creating their own stunning, unique bouquets. Now, unless they are fake flowers, this isn’t a project to do months in advance. Get your girls together the night before the wedding and enjoy yourselves while you create some gorgeous floral arrangements.
A Pre-Registry Get-Together
Right before you hit the endless aisles of Target, invite your friends over for an evening of collaging. I know it sounds super old school, but I think you'll be pretty thrilled with the end result! Grab a bunch of magazines, print off images from Pinterest, and have each of your girls come up with an awesome list of items that are totally worth registering for. You'll be amazed at all of the things they think of that totally would have slipped your mind.
If your comfortable with the idea, rather than dragging your guy to Macy’s and arguing over every single plate and linen set in the store, grab one (or more!) of you girls, preferably who have somewhat similar style as you, and do what you do best - shop! This might not seem like “the norm”, but how many times have you heard a man complain about having to go register for the wedding? If you could see me, I’m raising my hand like a hundred times!
A Thrift Shopping Affair
Vintage and rustic-chic weddings are popping up all over the place lately. If you’re doing an array of painted vases, tableware, and/or decor, take your girls for a fun day of thrift shopping to help you scope out some great finds for your big day! Don't forget to include a delicious lunch and some lattes in there.
Photo by Bryan Striegler
Including your out-of-town ‘maids.
It can be extremely hard for brides when one of their best friends is out-of-town during the engagement. To avoid them feeling excluded from all the pre-wedding activities, make sure to create easy communication amongst the whole group of ‘maids. Luckily, social media makes this whole communication gap a heck of a lot easier and is a great way to get your out-of-towner in on the fun!
Creating a Facebook group is a quick and easy way to better the communication amongst your girls. You can use this group to post ideas, event details, questions, pictures, or just about anything you feel may be necessary.
An easy way for your out-of-state bridesmaids to participate in the planning is to have all of your girls pin ideas onto a shared Pinterest board. Give them a general idea of your plans for the big day (venue, colors, theme, etc.) and they can pin ideas, inspiration, and anything related to your vision.
Also, don’t forget the power of your camera phone. Skype, FaceTime, or send pictures to your out-of-town friend(s) whenever possible! They’ll love being able to see the action taking place in real-time.
Assign fun titles to your bridesmaids.
Not all girls are going to be the best at helping you with every task. More than likely, you already know what areas your girls thrive in and should plan their responsibilities accordingly.
For example, if one of your friends is more shy and laid-back, she’s probably not the one to put in charge of ensuring that the other girls hit their deadlines on time.
To liven up the whole “bridesmaid” title and to relieve some pressure from the Maid of Honor, I’ve come up with some fun nicknames to give your girls that can help break up their different duties.
“The Enforcer” - This is the girl who knows how to get s*$# done! She’s not afraid to lay down the hammer and keep the rest of your girls on track. Besides, the bride shouldn’t constantly have to feel stressed wondering if her bridesmaids have ordered their dresses by the deadline - that can be The Enforcer’s job, now.
“The Party Starter” - This is your go-to girl(s) for fun! While this is mainly going to be a day-of-wedding task to keep people on the dance floor, she can be in charge of keeping the bridal party upbeat and excited throughout the whole planning process.
“The Organizer” - She’s the party planner, the type-A, the girl who’s constantly making lists and itineraries to the point of annoyance. Put her in charge of planning the events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Obviously, all of the other girls should have input and a hand in it as well, but The Organizer can be in charge of tracking RSVP’s, calling caterers and venues, and handling the heavier logistics of the events. She also would be great at keeping track of all the gifts given to the bride at the various parties.
“The Stylist” - We all have that one friend who we go to for advice on anything style-related. Pick her. She can help you scope out accessories for the other girls such as shoes and jewelry and pick out possible hairstyles that would look good with your dress. Also, keep her by your side on the wedding day (especially during pictures!) to help with any makeup touch-ups, obnoxious fly-aways, or wardrobe mishaps.
“The Supporter” - Sometimes, as the bride, you just need a really good vent session. Dedicate one of your girls, who you know to be a great listener, to sit and endure your wedding horror stories, problems, complaints, etc. Most likely, if she hasn’t seen your ugly cry by now, she will soon.
A quick note for the brides.
At this point, hopefully you have some good ideas of how you can include your bridesmaids in the next few steps of planning. But brides, don’t forget that this day is about you! You can include others as little or as much as you are comfortable with and you shouldn’t feel pressured otherwise. As much as you should be considerate of the feelings of your friends, they should be just as considerate (if not more!) of your own. Ultimately, nothing should get in the way of your happiness because guess what, girl - YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!
Share your thoughts.
Brides: How do you plan to include your 'maids? Do you have any other ideas on fun ways to make them a part of the planning process or do you prefer to do the work yourself?
Bridesmaids: How were you included in the wedding that you were in? Do you wish you could have been included more or less during the bride’s engagement?
Leave your comments below! We’d love to hear your opinion on the matter.