One of the most satisfying things about a wedding is getting the chance to bring your favorite people together. And this chance to bring everyone together in one place couldn’t be for a better reason—celebrating you finding true love.
The bridesmaids you choose usually make up sort of a “this is your life” group: your childhood BFF, your college roommate, your bestie from work, your future sister-in-law. The only problem is that they don’t know each other—yet.
You need their support, but you want them to enjoy the wedding, too. Help them find some common ground with these brilliant ways to help your bridesmaids bond.
Set Aside Some Time
Set aside time specifically to be with your girls. Although you’re busy planning the wedding, don’t forget to put the “party” in “bridal party.” These women are not your backup singers. They’ve invested time and money to be part of your big day, and you all deserve to relax and laugh together. Whether it’s a night out or a destination weekend, work some quality time into your schedule. Savor this opportunity to spend time with your favorite people.
Make the Introductions
Don’t just rattle off names the first time everyone meets in person, especially if you’ve put together a large lineup for your bridal team. Establish a group text, Facebook page, or some other central way for everyone to communicate. Then, share the reasons each of them is there. You can write an email with a paragraph about each member, or if you want to bring everyone together at an in-person event beforehand, you can introduce every bridesmaid by sharing some details about your background together and what you really love about them.
Plan a Night In
If you want a low-key way for your bridesmaids to get to know each other, invite them over for an informal gathering. They won’t feel as awkward if the event is casual and less structured, and it won’t be too loud for them to actually speak with each other. These activities should get them mingling:
- Put the movie “Bridesmaids” on in the background. It sets a lively tone for laughing as a group, and it never hurts to remind yourselves of what not to do.
- Enlist their help creating a signature cocktail for the reception. Lay out different liquors, mixers, and garnishes, and have fun experimenting. Keep sampling until you reach a consensus.
- Practice makeup looks on each other. Perfect their wedding day palettes or get carried away with goth, clown, or zombie effects.
- Ask everyone to suggest songs to put on your reception playlist. Even better, ask them for songs that remind them of how they got to know you. Bonus points if you can dance to it.
Plan a Night Out
The bachelorette party is probably going to be a blur. Make some memories by going out on the town for some more wholesome entertainment. The possibilities are limitless, but one of these ideas might inspire you.
- Go on a food crawl. Ask each bridesmaid for a local restaurant recommendation, and go to one for an appetizer, the next for the main course, and so on.
- Take a painting class together. Serve some wine along with the instruction to create some truly unpredictable and unique results.
- Schedule readings with a psychic. These readings can be fun one-on-one sessions, pairings between the bride and each bridesmaid, or a group reading. Keep the vibe light, though, and record the readings as a memento.
- Throw axes and destroy large appliances at a rage room. Even the most angelic brides need to blow off a little steam!
Include the Groomsmen
This is optional, of course, but gender may not define who you choose for your bridal party anyway. You can spend quality time with everyone, which will help loosen everyone up for the wedding day. It’s also a great opportunity to get some photos of your loved ones truly being themselves.
- Take a cooking class together. Put the bridesmaids and groomsmen in pairs so they’ll have something to giggle about when they’re walking down the aisle.
- Go bowling. Mix things up and make it a disco theme, or make it easy on yourselves and put up the gutter bumpers. Order appetizers and beer and forget about keeping score—just have a good time.
- Spend a day at the beach. Play volleyball, take surf lessons, bury each other in the sand, or plan a scavenger hunt. Top it all off with a bonfire.
- Plan a men vs. women competition. It’s a brilliant way to help your bridesmaids bond if you keep in mind their interests. Depending on the group, this could mean anything from love-themed Pictionary to a bracketed Jenga tournament to a rowdy flag football game. You can even strategize a Dungeons and Dragons campaign if that’s more your speed.
It can be tough to balance all the personalities in your bridal party, so do your best to be respectful. Some bridesmaids may want a wild time, while others might prefer a quiet spa day. If it’s too difficult to come up with a creative activity that suits everyone, take a step back and try not to overthink it. Invite all your ladies to brunch, and don’t forget to toast them with delicious mimosas. It’s not easy being a bridesmaid, so make sure the special women in your life know how much you appreciate them.