After I got engaged, I quickly took my maid of honour bridesmaid-dress shopping (the price of those things rise the longer you wait!) The experience was short and sweet: I saw a pretty dress, she tried it on, we both liked it, and we ordered it. “I see a lot of bridesmaid drama in here,” the store owner told us as we paid for the dress. “One bride changed her bridesmaids three times!” My friend and I gasped in chorus. How could someone ask her closest friends to join her bridal party only to change her mind again and again? Back then, this situation sounded nasty.
But now, I kind of get it.
I’m not one to label my friends “best friend”, “second best friend”, or anything like that. Hence, electing just two friends to walk down the aisle before me was an awfully difficult task. I don’t have any sisters, I’m not yet wonderfully close to my fiancé’s sisters, and all of my female cousins and childhood friends live overseas. Instead, I’m grateful and lucky to have a group of awesome girlfriends in my life. Even after I chose my bridesmaids, I constantly questioned if I’d made the right decision. Have I known this person long enough? Do we spend enough time together? Are they able to write and deliver a nice speech at the reception? Will we still be friends in ten years? Would I look back and wish I’d chosen different friends?
I started to notice every annoying little thing about them and would ask myself, ‘Should I choose someone else?’ And to top it all off, my other friends, my mother and even my beloved fiancé expressed their belief that I had made a questionable choice. I now utterly understand why some couples choose to go solo; selecting a bridal party is another stressful decision with too many options, plus the possibility of offending anyone who isn’t included. But my fiancé and I made the decision to have a small bridal party, so instead of wishing I could go back in time and change my mind, I need to remind myself of something…
No maid of honour is perfect. No bridesmaid is perfect. No friend is perfect. No one is perfect. My friends are all equally loving, caring, thoughtful, loyal, fun and important. But they are also all equally human, broken, and frustrating at times – just like I am! I could change my bridesmaids time after time, but in the end all it would result in is pain. I’d just be tarnishing a beautiful, potentially lifelong friendship. I chose my bridal party for a reason: because I love them and they are a meaningful part of my life. And they love me.
I write this not to shame or judge anyone who has ever changed their bridesmaids. I’m certain that there are numerous valid reasons for why this could be necessary – like if those bridesmaids are no longer the sweet and supportive friends that they were before you got engaged. Rather, I write this for other women who have experienced unnecessary doubt about their bridal party choices: just remember that ALL of your loved ones will be a special and significant part of your wedding day, bridesmaid or not, and those who are bridesmaids feel honored to be so!