7 Bridal Party Rules of Etiquette

Communicating with bridesmaids can be tricky business. To avoid tension and meltdowns, learn the proper etiquette when dealing with sticky situations between you and your bridal party. Whether you are unsure of the proper protocol or you don’t know how to deal with a certain situation, we want to give you a guide for getting through the showers, fittings, and rehearsals leading up to the big day.

Asking for Participation

When asking some people to help out with your wedding day—for instance, your long-time friend—you know you will get an automatic confirmation. However, there may be some people, such as your future sister-in-law, who give you a vague answer.

When someone gives you a less-than-enthusiastic answer, don’t feel slighted. Perhaps you two are not that well acquainted yet, or she's low on cash. Do your best to communicate kindly and openly to get to the heart of the issue. Make sure you get a definite answer either way, and move on.


Since your bridesmaids do a lot to make your big day a success, you should always try to gift them with something special. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and if you are on a budget your bridesmaids will understand; just something thoughtful to show your appreciation is enough.


While deciding on a dress can prove to be a difficult task, there are no real etiquette guidelines on how involved you should or shouldn’t be. You may want to give your bridesmaids guidelines and a color/style to go by. Or, you may want them to choose their own dresses.

What is important is that every bridesmaid feels comfortable in her dress. You want each bridesmaid’s opinion to feel respected, especially if you are making a group decision on the dress.

(For more bridesmaid dress styling tips, check out the Colorful Colorado Weddings blog post, "5 Bridesmaid Trends for Modern Weddings".)

Pregnant Bridesmaid

Just because a bridesmaid may be showing by the wedding doesn’t mean she can’t be in it. There are plenty of dress options, like an empire waist, that will fit over her belly without drawing too much attention to her.

Order of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Ordering your attendants can get tricky. You may want to line them up by height if you are worried about that sort of thing in photos. Be warned that if you want to line your party up by relationship to you (“you’re closest to me so you go first …") you may hurt some feelings. To avoid ruffled feathers, you might consider allowing your bridesmaids and groomsmen to choose the order of lineup themselves.

Uneven Number of Groomsmen and Bridesmaids

Just because you don’t have the same number of groomsmen and bridesmaids doesn’t mean you should host a casting call for stand-ins. It is completely acceptable to have an uneven number. Have two groomsmen escort a bridesmaid down the aisle, or find creative ways to take photos with the odd number of attendants.

Plus Ones for Your Wedding Party

It is a nice gesture to allow all your bridesmaids and groomsmen to bring a plus one to the wedding. However, if you cannot allow every single attendant a plus one, at least extend the invitation to spouses, fiancés, and life partners.

Today's tips are brought to you by Ron Burg of The American Wedding, which has been a family-owned business since 1919. As a USA-based company, you can expect the hardworking staff to meet your high standards of quality and value by creating error-free processing according to your specific needs. 

Visit The American Wedding for all your wedding invitations, stationery, tableware, party favors, and more!