First, list everyone in the running, then narrow it down keeping these things in mind.
Pros: Siblings (even those of your fiance')
You've been BFFs forever
Being around her, just makes you happy
You'd trust her opinion in any dressing room
You were a bridesmaid at her wedding
She has enviable DIY skills
She works in the beauty, fashion, or bridal industry
You could call her to bail you out of jail at 3am
Cons: She was a bridezilla at her own wedding
Next, find something for them to wear.
You hold in your hands the power to make your friends look like a bouquet of coordinating loveliness - or a herd of headache inducing taffeta. So choose something flattering - A-line silhouettes, ruched bodices, and chiffon gowns are favorites.
Or set more flexible parameters and let them rock their own styles - just pick the color(s) and your bridal party will be beautiful.
Make sure you can afford them.
Since you will have expenses for them as well (bouquets, gifts, shoes, etc.) Keep in mind that you may not want 14 bridesmaids.
Know who pays for what.
- Bridesmaid's attire
Who pays: Bridesmaid (But if you require them to wear a particular accessory, like shoes, it's your obligation)
- The Shower
Who pays: Your MOH and bridesmaids, unless there is a ricj aunt who can hel pout
- Hair and Makeup for the Wedding
Who pays: Bridesmiads if it is optional, the Bride if it is not
- Bachlorette Bash
Who pays: Entire bridal party. The MOH should see that drinks, food, entertainment, and travel are split evenly.
Micromanage Their Toasts - Just a Smidge
To prevent reception carnage, ask sweetly that certain topics be off-limits, like exes and sex. Don't ask someone who is terrified of public speaking.
Here are some guidelines:
- Do It Alone. You don't need backup. You're a grown-up and the crowd is on your side.
- Keep It Short. A toast shouldn't take longer that it takes to make actual toast.
- Be Specific. Don't say, "These two are perfect for each other." Back it up: "They're perfect because they spent their first date exploding Mentos and Diet Cokes on the sidewalk."
- It's ok to get Emotional. But if you find yourself sobbing into the mic, rein it in.
- When in doubt, follow this formula: Introduce yourself > funny story about your friend and why you love her > why the spouse is such a great match > larger sentimental thought, and "Cheers!"