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Will you be my bridesmaid? Popping the question.

 

I got married two years ago and the way I told my friends they were bridesmaids was a phone call... Am I bad person? It seems these days there is as much pressure on the bride to ask their friends to be bridesmaids as there is for the guy to ask the girl to marry them! There is now usually a gift involved and a special gesture like a dinner out, picnic, brunch. It is a big deal people!

Long boozy lunches and gift ideas are one thing but the first step, is picking your bridesmaid and that is the really hard part. It can be simple, you have sisters? Just keep it simple and drama free and choose them. You have 2 or 3 really close friends? Pick them. But what if you have sisters and then you want friends but you have a massive group of friends? I have a friend that told a friend of hers she wasn't a bridesmaid and she cried her eyes out in front of her! So ultimately the goal is to not cause any rifts between you and your friends but you also don't want to have 20 bridesmaids. I mean, you can if that is what you're in to. Like I said, it is sometimes not as simple as it sounds. It becomes complicated because this is one of the biggest days of your life so you want the right people who are not only beside you at the end of the aisle, but someone who you want by your side to help make big decisions and calm you down when things (inevitably) go wrong. They are also going to be in pretty much every photo you have of your wedding for the rest of your life. 

So how do you pick them? Here is some more advice to add to the list of advice everyone gives you... Do not pick your bridesmaids too early! There is no rush and trust me things can change a lot, especially if you are having a long engagement. My engagement was 18 months and things did change a lot during that time. Friendships changed and relationships changed, I probably changed. About 3 months after getting engaged and 4 months before my engagement party ( I was wearing a Big Blue sling for my engagement party... Awesome) I had to have major shoulder surgery. I went from training 12 times a week, travelling all the time and it was a really hard 12 months for me having to adjust to the rehab, pain and frustration. During that time I really did learn who my true friends were, only problem was I had chosen four of my bridesmaids about a week after being engaged and I couldn't exactly drop bridesmaids left right and centre! James on the other hand waited until the final hour to pick his groomsmen. I think woman feel this sense of urgency because there is so much to do, that picking bridesmaids just ticks something off the list. But really, bridesmaid dresses aren't like wedding dresses. They do not need to be custom made, you could literally order them off ASOS and have them within 3 days if that is what it came down to!

In case you did pick your bridesmaids too early, that is fine too. There are no rules on what you should or shouldn't do. For example, as I said earlier, I picked 4 bridesmaids right out of the gate, but one of my beautiful friends Jana stepped up, not as a bridesmaid but as just an epic person and friend. Jana, is one of the most beautiful people alive, I am sure she was upset she wasn't a bridesmaid but she just gave me the most gorgeous little wedding organiser and said even though she wasn't a bridesmaid, she wanted to help me however I needed it (she also put her hands up to do my Hens night, as she was in the hospitality industry). About 6 months from my wedding I spoke to James and said I needed Jana as my bridesmaid, I just wouldn't feel right getting married without her by my side. It took a lot  effort to find another dress, I had to get an extra table for the bridal table, extra flowers, a bigger wedding car, you name it! I have to say it was the best thing I did. My wedding really showed me who my real friends were and it made us closer than we have ever been. So no, this was definitely not traditional but who cares! You have to block out the 'noise' and listen to your gut. She is recently engaged and I am one of her bridesmaids and we have so much fun planning her wedding and I can promise you, I will do whatever I can to make her wedding as special as she made mine. 

I do not want to bombard you with too much advice, so now I will move on to how to tell your nearest and dearest they are bridesmaids. It is becoming big business and something that can add even more stress to your wedding day. I was out to dinner with some of my girlfriends and one of the girls had just become engaged. It was so exciting sitting around talking about her engagement and wedding and then the subject of bridesmaids came up. One of the other girls was going to be her bridesmaid so when she went to the bathroom we started quizzing the new Fiancé about how she was going to 'pop the question' to her bridesmaids. I thought it sounded amazing. She was taking them out for a beautiful long boozy lunch and giving them an orchid in a gold vase as a small token. Perfect right? Well... bridesmaid came back from the toilet and we began talking about it and she started to tell us how her soon to be sister in law sent marble boxes (WTF) with candles, expensive jewellery, champagne, and brief bio's of all the other bridesmaids, so they could get to know each other. I swear to you Fiancé looked like she wanted to sink in to her chair and never be seen again! She was so excited and thought her idea was perfect but then this new game of popping the question to bridesmaid is becoming quite competitive. Obviously everything went without a hitch and all the bridesmaids were so excited and honoured but I can't help but think Fiancé would not have been as excited thinking maybe she was being compared and not quite measuring up!

There is no such thing as the perfect way to ask your friends to be bridesmaids. It is such an honour and if your friend realise what a big deal it is for you, they will not care a single bit about gifts or lunches or marble boxes.... 

I came across Luxury Gift Hamperswhen I first started my The Little White Wedding Guide Instagram account. I loved all of her photos and the gift sets she put together, they definitely aren't your average hamper.  After hearing these stories from my friends and then finding these Hampers online, I just thought what a great gift it would be, to send little (or big) hampers to your friends as a way to ask them to be your bridesmaid. A hamper is a no brainer and you can take the stress out of finding the perfect token and gesture for your bridesmaids. If I walked to my door to see a beautifully presented package with fantastic products inside, I would be so grateful and so excited! You can spend as little or as much as you want and it is something to show your friends and family how much you love them. Things such as bath bombs, candles and little soaps are so fun and they can use it to pamper themselves or go home after meeting with you for 5 hours while you talk about your wedding... 

 Annabel from Luxury Gift Hampers in Melbourne had a quick chat with me and she gave us her thoughts and advice on how to pop the question to your friends.

If only I could turn back time and send a beautiful hamper to all my amazing friends and give them something to heal them from the Bridezilla that may/may not have come out during my 18 month engagement... 

If you had to choose your bridesmaid now how many would you pick?

Probably 2 bridesmaids.

How would you navigate through the murky waters of picking some friends and not others?

I would ask friends that I am closest to - friends who openly share laughs, fears, tears and joy with me - friends that champion and support each other.

What would your bridesmaids wear on your big day? 

I love the soft pastel colours - peach, sage, dusty pink - and flowers always look beautiful with these colours.

What is your wedding style?

Elegant, flowing, soft, timeless (not ultra trendy)

How would you tell your friends they are bridesmaids?

I would send them a gorgeous gift with lovely products to spoil and pamper them with a note asking them if they would do me to honour of joining in our wedding as my bridesmaids.

What are some of your favourite items you put in your Luxury hampers and why?

For the bridesmaid hampers - I love to include some beautiful body products (scrubs, oils), a luxurious robe/kimono, scented candle or a gorgeous purse for their lipstick and a photo frame to remember the fun they had together on the day.

For the groomsmen - I love to include a bamboo coffee flask, solid cologne (an aftershave that can fit in their pocket) and some luxe socks to wear on the wedding day.

I also work with a specialised jeweller - who can create unique and stunning jewellery specifically for the bridesmaids and also cufflinks for the groomsmen, which make great gifts.

How do you make your Hampers unique for each bride and bridesmaid?

Once the client has provided their brief - I source unique and contemporary items to suit their specific style and occasion and then develop a detailed proposal within their budget.  The proposal will include a couple of options - so the client can decide which option they prefer.  In addition, the aim with Luxury Hampers is to Give Further - therefore, for every hamper sold, Luxury Hampers donates $5 to a chosen charity.

Can the groom get in on this Hamper idea for his groomsmen?

Sure can.  We have some magnificent gifts for men, including grooming products, leather goods, journals.  Our gifts for men are a little different to the traditional engraved hip flask (although - I can source those too if needed!)