Out etiquette queen, Candy Girl, answers: Do I have to reciprocate a bridesmaid invite?

Photo: Katelyn James Photo: Katelyn James

Almost as much as you cannot wait to be a brand-new Mrs., you are giddy at the thought of your best buds standing up with you, holding your flowers, handing you tissues and pretending not to notice you getting all blotchy with happy crying. But as you fall hard into the gently curated arms of Pinterest in search of the perfect way to ask your girls (classic boozy brunch date? Box full of treats and a handwritten note? Singing telegram?), you remember Jenn, whom you don’t really see anymore, but whose wedding you were in a few years ago, and who’s, like, totally sweet. And your cousin Lisa, whom you get along with just fine and who really, really would love to be there for you. And your college roommate Annie, who made you wear that taffeta monstrosity on her wedding day despite assurances that she loves you like a sister. And, and, and… You are now drowning in obligatory wedding party invites that dwarf your guest list. For advice on who should make the cut, Candy Girl turned to Meghan Streit, owner of Shindig Weddings & Events.

Like most of the best advice, it’s pretty simple: “Only select a maid if you can’t imagine your day without her by your side.” Your party, Streit says, should be your present-day nearest-and-dearest, with whom you cannot wait to share all of your wedding day joy. And, just as important, whom you can count on to help with the pre-wedding prep.

“Think of [a party invite] as not only an honor,” Streit says, “but as work, too. Which of your ladies will be willing to craft with you late into the night, or save up for all of the expenses entailed with being a maid?” Which indeed! Certainly not Lisa…