Choosing your bridesmaids is no easy task, they’re a huge part of your big day and you only want the best of the bunch – so where do you even start? Samantha Merritt reveals all… 009Mr&MrsPaxton

Keep it in the family

Sister? Aunt? Cousin? Asking a family member to be part of your bridal party means both sides can be completely honest with each other. If you don’t like one of her ideas then it’ll be a lot easier to say something than if she were just a friend!

Who’s helpful?

Think about who’s really going to help you throughout the whole planning process – and on the actual wedding day as well. Aka which friend isn’t going to have a problem attending countless cake tasting appointments or will be there when you need your dress lifted just so you can go to the bathroom. True friendship. Wedding!!! Suzy 869

Odd numbers sometimes work best

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If you only want a few bridesmaids then try to stick to odd numbers – one, three, or five of your best friends will work really well, and if your groom picks the same amount on his side it’ll make the photos look even more amazing. Who doesn’t love a bit of symmetry?

Don’t be too hasty

So many brides make rash decisions because they feel pushed for time – they’ve booked the venue, got the food sorted but who’s going to help them with the never ending task list? Think carefully about who you really want by your side through everything and don’t feel like you have to make a decision straight away.

Don’t pick them because they picked you

You may feel obliged to ask someone to be your bridesmaid, purely because they asked you! Their wedding may have been a few years ago and while you still talk, are you really that close anymore? If the answer is no then don’t feel like you have to ask them, even if you did make that bridesmaid pact when you were both 13…

Think about their current situations

If your wedding is the same weekend that your heavily pregnant friend’s baby is due then maybe don’t ask her to be your maid of honour. Trust us, she’ll definitely have other things on her mind! JoanneAnthonyWedding-400

Ask your groom his opinion

Yup, we said it – it’s time to talk to your hubby to be about who should be in your bridal party. It’s also a good idea to know who he’s thinking of asking to be his groomsmen and which of your best girls would get on well with them. You don’t need any added drama of people not getting on while you’re trying to organise one of the busiest days of your life.

Will you still be friends 10 years down the line?

No? Then cross that friend of the ‘maybe’ list ASAP! Think about when you’re looking back at photos from your special day in 10 years time and who you really want to see there. Childhood friends and family members will be your number one choices! SWP-20140913-Wedding-Claire&Lee-10014

You value her opinion

Above everything you know what your friend is saying to you is the absolute truth. When it comes to being honest about hating the dress you’ve picked out for her you know she’s only saying it to help you and you completely value that about her. Best friends for life!

If your bridesmaids are misbehaving, find out how to deal with a bad bridesmaid!