Gal Pals, Girlfriends, Besties, BFF’s, Soul Mates, Your “Person” - we have so many names for the women who just get us. No matter how you met, whether it was in the second grade, high school theatre class, college, in line for camp, or the little league basketball team, we have our people, our friends, some might even say our tribe.
A “Tribe”, as defined by Webster’s, is “a group of persons having a common character, occupation or interest”. We are all part of one, whether you like it or not. It can be a tribe of coworkers all slugging the daily grind together, a family, a community or in my case, my bridesmaids.
My parents always told me that “you become like the people you hang out with the most.” We seem to adopt the traits, characteristics and mannerisms of the people we are around, my friend Devin called this “shadowing” - for example, when you stand next to someone and realize you’ve been mimicking their stance - it’s apparently a way for us as humans to subconsciously try to connect with others.
I’ve been very lucky to have a fantastic community around me. My parents raised my siblings in the church, where we made and kept beautiful family friendships. I was also pretty outgoing as a kid, and making friends wasn’t too difficult throughout middle school, high school and college.
When it was time to choose my bridal party I knew it was going to be tough. I had so many influential women in my life that I wanted to stand with me on my big day. So - I had NINE bridesmaids. NINE! Plus a house party with women who had also positively impacted me, and helped me grow throughout my relationship with Jacob.
My bridesmaid gifts to me:
Casey - Forgiveness
Paige - Honesty
Amanda - Faith
Devin - Prayer
Sarah - Laughter
Kirstie - Patience
Bella - Family
Juliet - Selflessness
Lizzie - Loyalty
The gifts and the women associated to them each have a specific story where I was graciously allowed to practice each quality with them. These qualities are the things that made me the women that Jacob decided to marry and I can confidently say that without these women, I would not be who I am today.
A very common complaint I hear and read about from brides is their frustrations over choosing their bridesmaids. Our culture has a stereotype of what the “ideal” bridal party should look like.
“You definitely need to have the “quiet” one, the “party girl”, the hometown best friend, the new sister-in-laws, and the “new” BFF who replaces someone and starts a whole string of d-r-a-m-a.”
-What the World’s Idea of the best Bridal party is
Honestly - that sounds miserable. So why do we continue to put up with it?
Here’s a new thought - you have grown up, surrounded by so many people who have shaped you into the woman that your spouse loves. Why don’t you celebrate those people by asking them to stand with you on your big day? Why don’t you create a bride tribe, who all have the common interest of loving you?
Each one of my girls had shaped me into the woman that Jacob loved - they each gave me a gift that would help me in marriage that wasn’t a new vacuum or new bedsheets.
I encourage you to not just choose someone because it’s what is “expected”, but put extra care and consideration into the qualities that these women have given you as your prepare for your big day - trust me, you’ll be using those gifts long after your wedding day has happened and you’ll be thankful that your bride tribe was there to support you every step of the way.