It’s finally 2017, which means Harley and I have been engaged for 9 months, most of our wedding has been planned for the past 4 months, and festivities like my bridal shower and bachelorette party are within reach. Soon we’ll be asking “Where did the time go?” as our wedding day quickly approaches, but for now I’m excited that wedding tasks are beginning to pick up again!
We’re attending the tasting at our venue this weekend and deciding on bridal party attire was a hot topic over winter vacation, so I figured what’s more appropriate to write about on the day my first bridesmaid buys her dress than the lovely ladies who will be standing by my side as I marry me best friend?!
I’m not going to lie. Choosing bridesmaids was not the easiest part of wedding planning. I’ve got a family full of girls, have maintained amazing friendships since middle school, and was in a sorority in college which has brought me lifelong friends, so it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone I know that I will be having 11 bridesmaids!
Bridesmaids from a past Florida Jewish Wedding lovingly blogged on Smashing The Glass
Harley always picks on me for the Buzzfeed Quizzes I enjoy taking, so of course all of my wedding decision-making started with these fun quizzes. I initially took one to help me narrow down my bridal party, which included a point system with equations such as (“You’ve been BFFs forever: +1 for every five years you’ve been close” and “She was a bridezilla at her own wedding: -3 points”), but then I realized that our wedding it not the Hunger Games and to me, more truly is merrier.
“Family: A Link to our Past and a Bridge to our Future”
As mentioned, my family is full of girls. I’m just lucky enough to actually like them all! Family members in my wedding party will be my sister and Matron of Honor Jill, my stepsisters Aimee and Ashley, and my cousin Carly.
I am the third sister in our family to get married within a year and a half of each other, so we’ve all been pretty busy planning each other’s bridal showers and bachelorette parties. This also means our formal wear wardrobes have quickly expanded and we’re all about to go on our third bachelorette cruise together in May.
Carly is my younger cousin who has always been my mini-me, until she decided to grow one summer and became one of the tallest people in our family. Asking her to be a bridesmaid was definitely one of my favorite wedding planning moments so far because of how excited we both were. Thank goodness for iPhones…tears and shrieks of excitement filled the room during our Facetime session, and I got it all on camera!
“If you Have Nothing in Life but a Good Friend, You’re Rich”
Many of my friends often say that I’m the friend they stay in contact with the most. In a world full of sometimes artificial Facebook friendships and text communication, I still consider myself “old school” and like to spend quality time with friends who live close by and catch up with those who live far away on the phone regularly. One of the most frequent wedding party recommendations I read when I was beginning to plan our wedding was to only ask people who you could see yourself still have a relationship with 10 years down the road. Taking this recommendation to heart, I’m so happy with the lifelong friendships I’ve built and am comfortable with the fact that I have known each of my bridesmaids for many, many years…14 years on average, in fact!
Kim S. – My Lilly Pulitzer-loving friend who just won Middle School Teacher of the Year for her entire county! She recently told her students that she will be a bridesmaid in my wedding and that they, too, may stay best friends with some of their current classmates.
Emily – Emily and I met at Kesher, a Jewish after school program in 8th grade. We remained friends but never actually went to the same school together until college, when she literally tripped on me at our Freshman Orientation.
Shelley – My “Fashion Guru” and friend since 10th grade student government. Last year, we had to remind ourselves while getting ready for her wedding at her parent’s house that we were really getting ready for her wedding and not just another homecoming!
Kim E. – My sorority “Big” sister who made sure nobody ever had a chance to call me their “Little!” Dozens of vacations and hockey games later, I can’t wait to celebrate another milestone with her.
Simara – The Ron to my Sammie! Simara and I met living in the same dorm during our freshman year of college and became great friends when she joined my sorority sophomore year. We’ve traveled to Israel together twice, and she is the only person I know who sends out handwritten cards for EVERY holiday. 🙂
Christina – My sorority “Little” sister. You know somebody loves you when they “leave you everything in their will” because they know you will share! I was the Maid of Honor in Christina’s wedding, and I’m so excited to have her by my side now that it’s my turn.
Katie – Katie and I met on our first day of graduate school. I had just moved to Jacksonville and basically decided she looked like she would be fun, so I sat next to her in our first class. The rest is history!
Will You Be My Bridesmaid?!
In the Pinterest-inspired wedding industry, it has become customary not only for a groom to propose to his bride, but for a bride to “propose” to her bridesmaids. This can range from a simple phone call to an extravagant Bridesmaid Box. Being the practical gift giver/bride that I am, I opted for a customized bridesmaid hanger asking my girls to “hang with me” on July 9th, 2017. This way I could ask them in a fun way, but they can also use it to transport their Bridesmaid dresses on the day of the wedding. I did the same for my mom and flower girls because I love personalized everything!
As much as I wish everyone I asked could participate in all of the wedding festivities, I think it’s extremely important for brides to be cognizant that your bridesmaids do have their own personal lives and expenses outside of your wedding. For instance, some of my bridesmaids will not be attending the Bridal Shower and/or Bachelorette Party, and one of my very best friends of 13 years had to decline being a bridesmaid after months of consideration. As much as I wanted to help find solutions in all situations, I had to be grateful that these friends felt close enough to be honest and am just thrilled that they will all be attending our wedding. Now let’s hope one of these girls can handle the most difficult bridesmaid task…bustling my wedding dress!