One of the crazier wedding trends sweeping the USA at the moment is “renting” a bridesmaid. Well, why not? After all, your wedding is only one of the most unforgettable days of your life! Why wouldn’t you want a complete stranger standing next to you?
So what on Earth does renting a bridesmaid involve and why would anyone in their right mind even consider doing such a thing? Believe it or not, it’s not just a service for the lonely brides or the friendless Bridezilla. This service has taken off in the US, offering brides a guardian angel to quite literally help lighten the load and take away some of the stress involved with planning your wedding.
Because let’s face it: weddings are stressful. For some, choosing a bridesmaid is as easy as throwing a bouquet. For some, it’s a hard choice between sisters, BFFs, high school friends, university mates and cousins. With all those girls on the longlist (as well as your gay bestie or “bridesmate”), it’s starting to look pretty crowded.
If you don’t want to rent a bridesmaid, how do you ensure that you choose the right people to literally have by your side on your big day?
Here are my top tips to help you navigate the murky waters of bridesmaid selection.
1. Pick your biggest cheerleaders
Choose bridesmaids who have been there for you and your fiancée and those who support your marriage through and through. Even if you feel some kind of pressure or obligation, there is little to no benefit having people by your side who aren’t 100 per cent supportive of your wedded bliss. And if you can't find someone who will stand by your side with no stress, maybe there is something behind this whole rent-a-bridesmaid thing.
2. Seriously consider the cost beforehand
It might not sound very romantic, but in reality a wedding can be a very expensive event. If you want five bridesmaids, make sure you have the budget to allow for five. If you plan to ask the bridesmaids to pay, make sure those five can actually afford to be by your side and you aren't putting them in an awkward position. If not, it’s better to settle for a smaller number. So many brides put their bridesmaid dreams above their real budget and get caught up in the excitement of allocating their ’maids.
3. Consider the location
If you’re getting married in your hometown and your bridesmaids live there, then all is well and good. But if you’re one of the many brides who opt for a destination wedding, then be sure to either budget for the fact that you’re going to have to fly your bridesmaids to your tropical location, or be upfront with them and let them know that you’re escaping to Fiji to tie the knot so they can plan ahead.
Don’t be offended if someone turns down your destination wedding bridesmaid invitation; it happens surprisingly often!
4. Avoid the burnout
If you have a friend who is in the midst of giving 27 Dresses a run for its money, then she may not be up for another wedding. Let her know that you’d love for her to be involved but understand if she’d like to attend as a guest. If she’s exhausted her wedding quota for the season then she won’t be in the zone, and you don’t need that stress on your wedding day!
Your wedding day should be one of the most exciting days of your life; this celebration is a day of fun with family and friends and one you’ll look back on for years to come. Ensure that the people you choose to be by your side are the ones who will be there until the end.