Weekends are for Weddings: Asking Your Bridesmaids

Weekends are for weddings!  If you’re like me, with 9 weddings each year, the weekends are, quite literally, for weddings (attending them, that is).  Also if you’re like me, the weekend is a time to think about planning your own wedding.  Lots of people carve out a certain time each week for  to wedding planning (Wedding Wednesday seems to be very popular).  It ensures the wedding doesn’t take over their whole lives; however, I find that confining wedding planning to a specific time is too pressure-filled and bicker-prone.   I plan my wedding when inspiration strikes.  Weekends, in particular, offer the time to let my mind roam and plan my own wedding in a stress-free environment.  In this series, I’ll take you through some of my major planning steps – hopefully this will help you plan your own wedding!

One of the first things you do when planning a wedding is picking your bridal party.  My beau thinks girls are crazy in that they always ask in some over-the-top manner with butterflies.  He took the typical dude approach of asking his friends to be groomsmen while drinking beers. (“Yo.  You wanna be in my wedding?  Cool.”)

There are plenty of fun ways to ask your bridesmaids, but it doesn’t need to be anything crazy.  Years ago, I probably would have planned something more elaborate.  When I was already talking to my best friends everyday in the sorority house or at work, I would have felt the need to do something to stand out so it was clear this wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill conversation.  But as a 30 year old, with most of my friends spread out across the country and deeply entrenched in their own lives, I felt a heartfelt note would be more appreciated than a ring pop in a box of confetti that costs a ton to ship and only gets thrown away after getting your house messy.  A note also gave me the opportunity to tell each one of my friends why I wanted them standing up there with me.

Of course, I wanted to do something cutesy, but i didn’t feel the need to go nuts.  That’s why I sent them each a bottle of nail polish with a tag that said “Will you help me paint the town?  and be my bridesmaid?”  It’s cute and something they’ll probably actually use.  And the name of the color was Bachelorette Bash – how perfect!


Another thing: it’s cheap.  A bottle of Essie nail polish is $8.50.  When you have 8 people in your bridal party, all gifts add up quickly.  You have to keep in mind that you’ll be spending money on bridesmaid gifts later, so don’t blow your wad so early in the game.  I included a nice card with each nail polish and either hand delivered or mailed them.  The nail polish + tags + boxes (from the Container Store) came to a total of $69.

Something else I had to keep in mind: I have a Man of Honor.  My best friend happens to be my first cousin and a guy.  If the whole point of bridesmaids is to surround yourself with your besties, I didn’t feel the need to omit the one person I’m closest with just because he’s a boy.  I couldn’t very well give him nail polish so I found a DVD of that awful Patrick Dempsey rom-com “Made of Honor” ($14 with shipping) with a post-it that read “Just do a better job on my wedding day than this did at the box office.  Will you be my Man of Honor?”

man of honor

I can’t speak for my bridal party, but I was happy with how everything turned out.  The note let them know how important they are to me, but the gift itself is just a fun gesture that sets the tone for the wedding that we’re not going to take ourselves too seriously.   And all for almost exactly $100, including postage, just like I wanted.

FYI – If I had a smaller wedding party, I would have been willing to spend a little more on the gifts.  I liked these XO earrings and would have presented them as the signature to the question, as in “Will you be my bridesmaid?  [earrings], Tess.”  I also liked this moon necklace and would have incorporated it into the question, as in “I love you to the [necklace] and back.  Will you be my bridesmaid?”  Both pieces of jewelry could be given in the form of cuff links to ask the Man of Honor.  Fewer people means these executions could also be done for under $100.  Just in case you’re looking for more ideas…