Choosing your bridesmaids

 Choosing your bridesmaids - Belle Bride Fiona

For a long time, I wasn’t sure if I wanted bridesmaids for my wedding, let alone how you go about choosing your bridesmaids. Although times might be changing, in France you would have flower girls and page boys, but no adult bridesmaids. Additionally, as lovely as it looks having coordinated bridesmaids in photos, I was never quite sure what the point of having bridesmaids was.

I know that traditionally it had something to do with confusing evil spirits as to which girl was the bride… and that in modern times the joke is that bridesmaids are there to help the bride with her dress when she needs the loo! But otherwise, I didn’t really get it and so told Barry I was thinking of not having any.

Barry really surprised me and told me i couldn’t not have any bridesmaids. He seemed genuinely shocked and so it got me thinking. I didn’t rush into anything and gave it some more thought.

Around that time, I happened to be reading a book, which included the following paragraph:

[…] a wedding isn’t just about you and {Gianluca}. It’s about family. All of us show up in our best clothes and promise to be there for you in the years to come.You need the people you love to make a vow to you, as much as you need to make one to each other. […] You have to welcome him in your family and he has to welcome you into his. There are no lone wolves in the family structure- and there shouldn’t be. It’s the community of your heart, your allies. You need them even though you think you might not.You don’t know what the future holds, but your family will be there to hold you when you need them.

This quote really stayed on my mind… I also noticed that my friends were really excited about our engagement, as well as talking about the wedding itself. And so, I slowly started “getting it”. I was already worrying about certain aspects of the wedding: where to get married? who to invite? what dress would suit me? Being able to discuss these with Barry, but also with my nearest and dearest, definitely helped me calm down about it all from the start. It was therefore decided, I would be having bridesmaids after all! Now to choosing them…

There was never any doubt as to who my Maid of Honour would be… My best friend and superstar little sister, Chloe. I think this was confirmed rather rapidly after the engagement! I was also her maid of honour over Christmas so I can’t wait to have her by my side at my wedding this Summer.

Choosing your bridesmaids - Belle Bride Fiona

When it came to choosing bridesmaids, I am blessed to have a good number of beautiful, loving friends in my life. I chose Laura, one of my best friends who I have known since our first days at university, and another, Kerry, who I met through Barry and who has since become one of my closest friends too. We are all part of a very close-knit group and truly support each other in good and bad.

Choosing your bridesmaids - Belle Bride Fiona

I remember inviting the girls round to talk weddings one night, while Barry went out his best-man-to-be. I had prepared little cards for the girls (having a 4 year old means you are never short of glitter and cards!), which included a little personalised poem inside (all sourced via free templates online).

Choosing your bridesmaids - Belle Bride Fiona

While getting ready to sit down for a drink, I gave the girls the envelopes… I remember Laura knowing immediately what it was, but she waited for Kerry to realise too before saying anything. However Kerry was in the middle of telling us the “most amazing story ever!”. She was so excited about it it took a while for her to complete her story (which involved Gary Barlow calling his dog Hugo…my son’s name seems popular as a pet name!).

When she eventually looked at the card (I think Laura might have begged her to look in the end!) there were lots of tears, laughter and hugging. And so I knew I had made the right decision. These three very special ladies will undoubtedly keep me on track during the wedding planning and the wedding day itself, but also after the wedding has taken place. I believe we now have the bridesmaids outfits sorted too, and they just need to find some shoes. I am so happy, I can’t wait to see them all dressed up on the day!

Aside from bridesmaids, I am also keen to try and involve other family members and friends in the wedding and day itself…

One of our joint friend has agreed to do my makeup on the day, and so she will be there with the bridesmaids and me on the morning, which is great as she’ll be involved even though she’s not a bridesmaid.

Another friend has agreed to film the wedding for us as he is a talented photographer with cameraman experience, perfect!

We also need to decide who our two witnesses will be, and as of yet haven’t decided!

I know one way to include guests is by asking them to do a reading. I really like this idea, but as we are having a rather administrative, 15 minute long ,ceremony at the Mairie, I am not sure whether this would be possible.

Yet another option would be to invite guests to make a speech at during the dinner. Barry and I are not really ones for tradition, and I made a speech at my sister’s wedding (admittedly I cried through most of it so no one actually heard it!). So I like the idea of having of having different people make a speech if they want to. But in terms of logistic, I am not sure how much time we will have during the dinner as Barry and I would like to disappear off around 7pm for photos in the sunset and we are already attempting to fit in a lot of food in a short period of time…

Finally, I also want to find a way to include my brother in the wedding prep, as he didn’t make it as a bridesmaid! But as with my sister, he is truly unique and special to me and would love to include him more somehow. Just not quite sure how yet…

I’ll make sure to update you when we have found ways for the above to work. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you and how you included non-traditional and traditional roles with your wedding guests.


Fiona x

Don’t forget you can follow  Hollie C and FIona as they plan their upcoming weddings, and you can find all the Belle Brides past and present here.

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