Posted by Talley Sue Hohlfeld, Etiquette Expert
How soon after your engagement did you ask your friends and family to be in your wedding party?
I only ask because I can't tell you how many threads I've seen on our reader forums over the years about bridesmaid relationships that have gone awry. Suddenly the bridesmaid is acting like a pill, or the best man has essentially disappeared from the groom's life, and the couples wish they could "fire" them—but they can't, really.
It often happens that these "teams" have been recruited very early, in the burst of enthusiasm that follows getting engaged. But giving yourself a little time to think about what you want from an attendant, and giving your friendships time to "settle" in the aftermath of the engagement, would help you head off a lot of those problems. (It will also buy time for you to figure out how to handle pressure from parents about who "has to" be in the wedding party.)
How early *should* you ask? People need time to save up for clothes and travel; you all need time to find/buy/order dresses (tuxes usually take less time and trouble). Six months ought to be enough time.
What do you think? Should you ask sooner or later? And if you chose sooner, have your friendships changed after you got engaged?