Bridesmaid Proposal Guide
“Will You Be My Bridesmaid?”
You already have an amazing fiancé, a gorgeous engagement ring, and maybe even some preliminary ideas for your special day. But you can’t say ‘I do’ without your closest friends by your side! When it’s time to put your wedding party together, make the moment memorable for the besties who will become your bridesmaids. A bridesmaid proposal is a fun and thoughtful way to let your friends know how much you value their support as you plan your wedding. Here are some creative ways to propose to your maids, plus tips for choosing your bridal party.
How To Choose Bridesmaids
Before you get to your bridesmaid proposals, you have another important task: deciding who your bridesmaids will be! We’ve answered the most common questions that brides have about etiquette as they assemble a wedding party.
Q: How many bridesmaids should I have?
A: The size of your bridal party is a matter of personal preference; you can have a dozen bridesmaids, or none at all (more on that below!). If you’re unsure about the right number of bridesmaids, consider the overall size of your wedding. An expansive guest list can dictate a larger party, while you may prefer just a single maid for an intimate ceremony. Ultimately, your party can be any size that allows you to include the people who matter to you the most.
Many couples also stress about having an even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, but modern wedding etiquette doesn’t demand a perfect match! If you go with an uneven number, work with your wedding planner to get creative about how to pair up during the processional and photos.
Q: Who should I choose to be a bridesmaid?
A: A bridesmaid can be anyone who will be there to help you prepare for your big day! If you have a sister or sister-in-law, she’s likely to be at the top of your list. Many brides also include their best friends, college roommates, cousins, and other close family members.
Q: Is there a minimum age for bridesmaids?
A: Brides commonly draw the line at age 21 for bridesmaids; this allows everyone to join in the bachelorette festivities and makes sure all your maids are prepared to take on the responsibilities of the role. If there’s a younger sister, cousin, or family friend you’d like to include, consider adding a junior bridesmaid to your party. This title is ideal for teens and tweens who can take part in many aspects of the big day but aren’t quite ready to be a bridesmaid. For the littlest ladies in your life, the role of flower girl is most appropriate for girls under eight.
Q: Do I need to have any bridesmaids?
A: There are pros and cons to foregoing a wedding party entirely. Couples planning an elopement or surprise wedding often choose to skip the bridal party; similarly, a large group of bridesmaids and groomsmen might feel overwhelming at a very small ceremony. However, your maids offer a ton of assistance and support during the wedding planning process! Before you decide against a bridal party, consider whether you’re ready to take on all the responsibility of planning on your own. You could also ask a few close friends to take part in your wedding prep less formally; for example, joining you for wedding dress shopping and a bachelorette party without the official title of bridesmaid.
Q: What if all my BFFs aren’t women?
A: You no longer need to divide your wedding party strictly by gender! Many couples now include a mix of men and women on both sides of the aisle. Feel free to include brothers and male friends as “brides mates.” You’ll have a great time coming up with mix-and-match outfit options for your bride tribe.
Q: How do I choose a Maid of Honor?
A: As the title suggests, it’s a big honor to ask someone to be your Maid of Honor! However, this role also comes with the most responsibility. Most brides choose a sister or best friend to serve as Maid of Honor; whoever you choose, she’ll be by your side during all the highs and lows of wedding planning. There’s no difference in duties between a Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor; the “Maid” title is given to an MOH who’s not married, while “Matron” is traditional for married women. P.S. Your MOH doesn’t have to be a maid or a matron at all. If they’re closest to a brother or male friend, some brides choose a Man of Honor instead!
What To Know Before You Pop The Question
Just like a marriage proposal, a bridesmaid proposal usually isn’t a complete surprise! Before you pop the question to your BFFs, chat about the responsibilities and costs of being a maid. Weddings can be an emotional time, so asking these practical questions ensures that the lead-up to your wedding day is a smooth process with no hurt feelings.
Talk about your expectations together
When talking to your maids about these topics, be clear and decisive! Ultimately, decision making for the big day belongs to the couple getting married. As the bride, planning will be easier if you’re open and honest about what you want.
Events: Outline which pre-wedding events you’d like your maids to attend, and which ones they’ll be responsible for planning. Consider your bridal shower, bachelorette party, engagement party and rehearsal dinner, as well as less formal occasions like bridesmaid dress shopping and making favors.
Costs: Money is always awkward to talk about, even with your closest friends! However, you never want your bridesmaids to feel overwhelmed or blindsided by wedding expenses. Be sure to talk about a comfortable price point for bridesmaid dress shopping and tell your maids as soon as possible if you’re planning a destination wedding or bachelorette party. Finally, let them know if they’ll get a plus one, so they can budget for any additional travel expenses.
Other Responsibilities: Give your maids a heads-up if you’ll be relying on them for other parts of the wedding planning process, like picking a color scheme or tasting cake flavors (definitely a perk!). Decide which members of the wedding party will give speeches, and who will take on day-of tasks like ushering wedding guests to their tables or making sure the guestbook gets signed and collected at the end of the night.
How To Propose To Your Bridesmaid
You’ve picked your maids, you’ve asked the tough questions...now it’s time for the fun part! There are lots of sweet and inventive ways to propose to your maids; here are a few of our favorites.
1. Deliver a balloon or flower bouquet to each maid, along with a personalized note. Bonus points if the bouquet offers a first glimpse of your wedding color scheme!
2. Gift a Ring Pop in a keepsake box. Who could say no to candy?
3. Create custom champagne or wine labels to pop the question. Afterward, you can open a bottle and toast your party!
4. Gather all your girls for a mani-pedi date, so they can enjoy some pampering before they help you start planning.
5. Host a dinner party at your place or take them out for brunch. This is also a great way for your maids to meet and mingle, if they come from different parts of your life.
6. Attend a workshop or class together. Flower arranging, cocktail making, painting—pick a class that’s lighthearted and will give you plenty of time to chat!
7. Send bridesmaid boxes for a long-distance proposal. If your maids are far away, a thoughtful package is a great way to pop the question and say thanks in advance for all their help. Pick a theme or color scheme, and then fill a box with little gifts like lip balm, nail polish, jewelry, pajamas, champagne flutes, hair ties, or a clever custom t-shirt. You can also include a personalized note and a favorite photo of the two of you.
8. Just ask! If you’re a laid-back bride, simply find time for a one-on-one chat with each maid and pop the question. (More tips below on exactly what to say!)
What To Say
We’ve covered lots of ways to ask, now all you need to decide is what to say! Whether you jot it in a card, print it on a wine glass, or speak from the heart, there are two approaches to the big question.
Clever & Funny
Be playful with a rhyming phrase or a pun!
“I can’t say ‘I do’ without you!”
“Only best friends get promoted to bridesmaid.”
“It’s my turn to pop the question!”
Sweet & Sentimental
If you’re more of a “from the heart” gal, no need to think of a rhyme to explain how you feel! Instead, take a chance to reflect on why your friendship is meaningful, and why you want her by your side on the big day.