Popping the Question…To Your Bridal Party

Karen Bussen, Celebrity Wedding Planner & Author First there’s your fiancé’s question: “Will you marry me?” Once that one has been answered joyfully in the affirmative, there are many more questions to ask and answer, none of which is more important than who will be a part of your bridal party.

Whether your bridal party is made up of friends, family, or a combination of the two, these ladies (and sometimes gentlemen—hooray for ManMaids!) will support you and help you all the way to your Big Day. Here are some of my favorite ways to honor and delight those most dear to you as you invite them to be a part of your bridal party.

One-on-one. Take a moment to have coffee or lunch with each of your potential bridesmaids. Give them a handwritten note on a pretty card (hey, sometimes a text or email just isn’t enough!) about all the reasons they’re so special to you. Then, tell them personally how much it would mean to you to have them with you throughout the weeks and months leading up to your celebration.

Bag it. Take the whole group out for swanky cocktails, high tea, or a divine dinner, and present each one with a personalized tote bag. I love these quilted monogrammed totes for stylish shopping. Tuck a festive card or a computer-printed “invitation” to your bridal party in the adorable little side pocket, and voila! Simple stunning style and substance.

If your celebration has a more rustic feeling, look for something more outdoorsy and casual, like these Go-Everywhere Tote Bags, and fill them with flip flops, sunglasses, or a t-shirt you design at www.customizedworld.com reading,“Will you be my bridesmaid?”

Sweet treats. I love small presents to mark special occasions, and you can achieve a delicious effect with mini-boxes of chocolates, cookies or candies from your favorite patisserie, accompanied with a note reading, “Life would be so sweet if you’d be my bridesmaid!”

Ring-ring. If you have a faraway friend or family member whom you want to include, box up your little gift and add a note that says, “As you know, I already got one ring from the man I love. Next, I hope for a ring from you—I’ve got something important to ask!” When they call, you can pop the bridal party question in a personal and heartfelt way.

Dude, where’s my bridesmaid? If you do want to include a guy as one of your attendants (and I’m all for it!) choose a unique little gift just for him. Cufflinks, a special edition of a book he loves, an MVP sports jersey or a bottle of bourbon—whatever suits him. The rest of the advice applies, no matter the gender.

As you can see, I really think a lot of a handwritten note and a personal touch for such an important moment. These are the times you’ll remember forever, so take the time to find something special for those who are most special to you. Think about what best reflects your style and the spirit of your celebration, and keep your ladies’ and gents’ tastes in mind as you create your own one-of-a-kind way to invite them along on your beautiful journey down the aisle.

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