Five Things to Remember When Choosing Your Bride Tribe // A G & G Wedding

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Four months guys.... FOUR MONTHS!

I can’t believe I’ll be married in four months to my love & best friend. It seems like it was only last week that Gedalya and I took our first trip to San Diego together and got engaged. Fast forward 11 months later, and we are still wrapping up details of our wedding. We have a lot of things done now, which is nice. I really appreciate my future husband because he’s super organized and wanting to be involved with the planning process. He's even had his groomsmen picked out for months now, while I have been having some difficulty in this particular area.

Personally, I really struggled with picking my bridal party.  I put off the decisions for months. Eventually, I knew I had to make a decision otherwise, it would be Gedalya, his groomsmen and best man on one side of the alter and me by my lonesome on the other.

But how can I pick?
How many should I pick?
What's the best way to make this decision?

These were the questions that spiraled in my mind. If you're currently a bride stuck in the same predicament and find yourself as stumped as I was, here are 5 things to remember when choosing your bride tribe:

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1. Without thinking of anyone's feelings but your own, who would you pick for your bride tribe?

I remember back in January of this year when I still hadn't decided who I wanted to be part of my bridal party. I went back and forth in my head with various names. I even did a Daniel Fast to ask God for guidance on who would be the best people in my life to give me the support I needed for this whole process. I was so anxious to make a decision because I was so focused on not hurting anyone's feelings. I spoke with a girlfriend of mine on this particular issue and she gave me the best piece of advice, "Pick who you want, don't worry about anyone else's feelings." Once I let that sink in, I realized that I had blown up this whole situation in my head. Although making this decision is a huge one, it shouldn't be that complicated. Being as honest as I could possibly be with myself, I was able to make a quick list in my head of who I would wanted in my bride tribe. I ended up picking ladies who have been great friends, great mentors, and have consistently been present in my recovery the last few months, a decision I felt confident and peaceful with.
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2. What are your expectations from your bride tribe? 

The main duties of a maid/matron of honor & bridesmaids are to be the support of the bride throughout the whole wedding process. Generally, the maid/matron of honor's role is to be the bride's right-hand woman before and on the day of the wedding, while the bridesmaids assist the bride and maid/matron of honor with any wedding activities. For me, I don't have any huge expectations for my bride tribe; Ultimately, I just wanted a group of women to be supportive and loving during the months leading up to the wedding, while occasionally helping me come up with ideas for decorations and other crafts for the big day. I asked myself the following questions about each person I chose:

a. Will this person aide my support over the next few months leading up to my wedding?
b. Does this person have any current lifestyle situations that may hinder them from being completely present in their role?
c. Do I envision this person bringing any sorts of drama on my big day?
d. Will this person be financially stable enough to take their role as part of my bride tribe? (As a bride, you have to factor in expenses for your tribe, whether they live near or far, such as travel, hotel, dresses, hair and make-up, etc.)

Each of the ladies on my list are supportive, are present in their roles, are drama-free, and financially stable in their own ways. If I felt  compelled to ask about anything that may seem to hinder them from being invested in the wedding, I simply talked to them about it. Luckily, they all lovingly are willing to help with whatever I need and are excited to be a part of the big day!
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3. Figure out the best way to ask your ladies to be part of your bride tribe.

This is such a big day for me, but I wanted to make sure that the ladies I chose felt special and appreciated. To celebrate them, I purchased these super cute mugs & gift boxes on Etsy from Lumber & Letters. I also created these quote books with my ladies' names on them. Inside, I added a letter explaining how much each person meant to me and wrote quotes that either reminded me of them or reminded me of our friendship. I gave my ladies their gifts, and the reaction from each person was so genuine and full of excitement!

To me, this was the way I wanted to ask my ladies to be part of the big day. Other ways would be to gather your girls for dinner and ask them altogether. Another way would be to simply ask them without a gift. No matter what you decide to do, as long as it's in the way you find most authentic and genuine, do it!
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4. Remember, not everyone you ask will say "yes".

Personally, I haven't encountered this, but it's a possibility that one of the ladies you ask to stand beside you on your big day will say no to your request. Truth be told, I recently had to bow out as bridesmaid for another wedding this year. On my end, I didn't think I was fit to be in the position to support someone who viewed our friendship differently than I did. Although it hurt the other person, I think it would have been unfair for me to accept a role I wasn't entirely invested in. I'd much rather prefer having her replace me with someone who genuinely could support her in the way she needed.

I can see it would be tough to be on the receiving end, but if in the case one of my ladies decides to bow out, I wouldn't be offended. I would realize that it wasn't meant to be and I wouldn't get the support I need from that person if they had said yes. Although this is important to me, it may not be a priority to them, and that's perfectly okay. 

If in the case you choose a friend who is unable to accept your request, always have back-ups in mind and move forward. Maybe your friend can't handle being a bridesmaid, but maybe she can help out with other aspects of your wedding, like helping plan the bachelorette party, decorating the reception, greeting guests, ushering, or helping you get your make-up and dress on right before the big moment. 
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5. No matter who you pick, people will be disappointed.

The reality is, you can't pick every person in your life to be part of your wedding. Chances are, people will be hurt that they didn't get picked and will be upset. You may be confronted about it or you may have to hear it through the grapevine from other people. You may make decisions that won't be agreeable to other people, but it doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. Here are some other things to keep in mind in this scenario:

// Real friends will understand that a title in your wedding isn't as important as the friendship you carry with them.

// If a friend reacts negatively to not being chosen, use that as an opportunity to explain to them about your final decision. If they still don't understand and have a sense of entitlement to a position, try to be compassionate. However, the hurt they feel is inevitably something they will need to work out on their own. And being as real as I can, real friends won't make you feel like you owe them anything, especially with something like a bridal party title. 

// Don't feel guilty for making your own decisions. This wedding is about you & your fiancé, not anyone else's.
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Lastly, shout-out to Lumber & Letters for my mugs! I absolutely love them and thought they were the perfect touch to making my moments with my ladies that much more special. <3

Xo