How I chose my bridesmaids

MeetTheAfolabis

Wedding planning in so many ways is fun, and in other ways is so stressful. So, from the outset I knew that picking my #BrideSquad was something to think carefully about. 

During the wedding process, I’ve realised there are so many areas you need to negotiate and compromise on but your bridal party shouldn't be one of them!

So, since sharing with you how I asked my bridesmaids, I've had a lot of questions about how I chose my girls. So before I explain why I chose each of them, I thought I’d share 3 bits of advice on how I pick your bridal party.

HOW TO DECIDE

  1. Give yourself time - So even before I got engaged, deciding on my bridesmaids was something I thought deeply about. The wedding planning processed can feel very pressured so it was helpful in the calmness before getting engaged to think about who could be beside me on the special day. And even from when we got engaged, I didn't jump straight into organising a bridal party.

  2. Choose friends who have supported you as a couple - On both sides, our bridesmaids/groomsmen are family to both of us. As we look to start life as a married couple, choosing friends who love us both and together was really important to us. Also being on the bridal train means that there will be a significant amount of time spent around us both so this helped in our decision making. 

  3. Understand that being on a bridal train is a true labour of love - This was something Ayo told me often as he’s been a groomsman a number of times. Being on a bridal train isn’t just about turning up and looking nice on the day. It’s about dealing with you at your worst/most stressed (or being a bridezilla!), it’s about sacrificing money and annual leave, and then turning up on the day to take a number of responsibilities. Especially being Nigerian (and having multiple events!) and having a destination wedding we were asking a lot from our bridal party so I knew it was really important to choose girls who really loved me and would make the necessary sacrifices.

INTRODUCING MY GIRLS (Left to right)

Melis - Melis is a case in point of what happens when you love your fiancé’s friends so much you steal them as your own! One of Ayo’s oldest friends from school, we first met at her birthday a few years ago and hit it off since then. Melis is one of the most passionate, cool and interesting women that you’ll meet. Her own wedding almost two years ago was one for the books. With impeccable taste I know she’ll make this wedding so memorable.

Mide - I’ve always wanted a sister and although it’s taken almost 30 years, I now have an official one! She’s much more than Ayo’s sister - she’s my friend, my stylist, my DM meme partner and gist partner. I am (& Ayo!) forever indebted to her as she really encouraged Ayo when he first met me to pursue me and make it official. And like the rest of the bridal party, dancing is something she takes very seriously so you know there will be more than one Afolabi to watch out for on the dancefloor.

Victoria - What can I say about Victoria? Our daily DMs of memes from our favourite humour accounts brighten up my day. We’ve been friends for almost seven years and have so many memories together. Like OJ, she takes dancing very seriously and always brings me out of my shell which I need! She got married two years ago, so also has experience I can learn from and her and her husband really are like family to me and Ayo.

Dolly - For anyone who follows me on Instagram, you’ve more than likely seen LOTS of Dolly and for anyone who knows her she really is a ride or die friend. We’ve been through so much together and she knows me to a T. She knew she’d be part of the bridal party but had no clue she’d be a maid of honour (Ayo spoiled the surprise but I’ll leave you to hear from him how he did)! We have run so many events together that I can trust she knows the details that I’ll love like the back of my hand.

OJ - OJ is my oldest friend on the bridal squad and the ultimate dancing queen... We met when we were 17 - we went to rival schools and everyone told us that we’d get on really well, so one day we just decided to meet up and we’ve been friends ever since. She's a friend who is loyal, unbelievably intelligent and always the life of the party. As Ayo believes the #turnup is the main part of the wedding, I know OJ will make sure that as a #bridesquad our dancing is ON POINT!

Yosy - My beautiful cousin Yosy will be my second maid of honour. She’s two years younger than me but we’ve grown up like sisters. She’s my cool, creative and intelligent cousin and I know she will bring that edge to all the celebrations. She too had no clue she’d be a maid of honour but I think she was pretty relieved (as she knows me well!) to find out she wasn’t the only one.

Carla - My beautiful Italian sister Carla. We met through our guys (who are like brothers) and she is just a gem. As she lives abroad, I had to call her to tell her that she would be my bridesmaid, and she was so emotional which made me very emotional. We spent a weekend together in Rome a few years ago, then last year in Dublin and she is just so full of life, so warm and kind and loves to dance, so I know we’ll have the best time.

WHAT I'M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO

So as we near the next bridal events - from the hen do, to the bridal shower, I'm excited to continue to create memories I'll treasure for a lifetime with my girls!

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