Congratulations! He proposed, you said yes! Your head is now permanently lodged somewhere between cloud number nine and a champagne induced bubble of happy fuzziness. You can’t stop smiling and your eyes keep wandering down towards the new bit of bling adorning your finger. Enjoy it while it lasts because just around the corner of this blissful period of celebration is an avalanche of decisions, arranging, organising, co-ordinating and… if you are lucky, delegating. That’s what the bridesmaids are for - to help you through the whirlwind of wedding planning! This hand-picked group of women will be your elite support system for the next few months so to help you choose them well, here is our top ten tips for how to navigate the battlefield of selecting your bridesmaids.

1. Select your number and stick to it:

It may seem obvious but the first decision you have to make is how many of the leading ladies in your life you want as your bridesmaids. Too few and you may end up running last minute errands when you should be sipping champagne, but on the other hand, too many cooks spoil the broth! Rumour has it 12 is the limit, but it’s also worth keeping in mind the activities you want to do on your hen weekend. A river cruise in Krakow might have a minimum requirement, while Go Karting in Budapest might have a maximum capacity.

2. Pick the people YOU want not who OTHERS want you to pick:

The pressure is on. Choosing your bridesmaids is like labelling your favourite people and rejecting the rest, but don’t cave in to peer pressure. You don’t have to choose your siblings, and do you really want your future husband’s sister around when the stripper comes out on your hen night? The choice is yours and yours alone – make it wisely.

3. Take Your Time:

This is a big decision. One that will not only affect your hen experience, your pre-wedding build up stress and your big day itself, it will also affect your memory of the event and will be captured forever on camera, so don’t be hasty, take your time, mull it over and make a calculated decision.

4. Consider Group Dynamics:

Don’t forget these girls won’t only be at your wedding but also at your hen event so consider how all your potential bridesmaids will get on with each other. If five girls want to go quad biking in Prague and one isn’t up for it, you’ll have a problem. If ten hens are up for a boozy night of cocktail making or vodka tasting in Krakow and one is Tee Total, you’re in trouble!

5. Choose Somebody who will Always be in your Life:

These are the women who will stand next to you on one of the most important days of your life, so make sure they’re the ones who will be around to reminisce for the rest of it! Don’t pick someone you feel will drop of the radar.

6. Predetermine Roles and Responsibilities:

In the early days it feels simple. All you’ll need is people, food, music and booze right? WRONG, as the day draws closer you’ll suddenly need ribbons for this, lace for that, Auntie Mildred doesn’t want dairy in her meal, and Uncle Geoff needs to sit near a toilet. And then there’s the all-important hen’s do. Pick people who suit the tasks that need doing.

7. Take Characteristics into Account:

A newly wed recently told me the most important advice she had was to pick someone cool calm and collected for when you have those bridezilla moments. Select your organised, reliable and responsible friends because you will end up relying on them for important wedding tasks and emotional support. For a guaranteed fabulous hen experience full of pole dancing, Absinthe drinking, Boat parties and dancing in buses pick someone fun and adventurous!

8. Think about Their Financial and Life Situations:

Although your wedding day is the centre of your universe, not everyone feels the same way! People have their own lives and issues and taking these into account is an important factor. Can you’re unemployed friend afford to travel to Paphos for your hen weekend and does your friend with the new-born really have time to address envelopes?

9. Pick People you Trust:

They’ll help you shop for the dress, they’ll advise you on how to wear your hair and what make up looks best. These HAVE to be people whose taste and opinion you can count on and trust. You don’t want to go down the aisle looking like a sugar plum fairy do you?

10. Location Location Location:

Are you the kind of bride that wants a second opinion on everything from the dress to the font on the invitations? If you are, you may want to consider how far your bridesmaids are from your beck and call. If they live far away or in another country they may not be able to rush to your side for every little “emergency”!

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