Between your sisters, cousins, childhood friends, university bezzies and book club pals, you're going to have to choose some and leave others out.
How do you pick your bridesmaids?
1. How many do you want?
If you have a big group of friends, it can be tempting to make them all your bridesmaids. After all, who doesn't want a bit of an entourage on their big day?
Just be aware that the more people who become involved, the more potential there is for complications. Trying to get two women of different shape and size into matching lilac dresses and keep them happy may be painful; imagine trying to dress ten.
2. Family matters
Chances are, your sister will expect to be a bridesmaid, so don't disappoint her.
Not only will it make your parents happy, but you'll appreciate the symbolism of having someone you're related to standing up at the altar with you on a day that's all about family.
3. Be considerate
If you're planning a big wedding, be aware of what your potential bridesmaids can and can't afford to pay.
Weddings can be super expensive for the bridal party, once the hen party, clothes and accommodation have all been paid for. If you have your heart set on designer bridesmaid dresses, you may have to be the one coughing up for them.
Also consider the time that your bridesmaids will have to take off work - especially if you want your wedding to be a week-long extravaganza in the Bahamas.
4. Break with tradition
A bridesmaid doesn't have to be a woman. If your best friend is a guy, there's no reason why he can't play a special role at your wedding. The goal is to be there with someone who supports you - no matter their gender.
5. Don't feel obligated
Just because someone asked you to be their bridesmaid doesn't mean that you must have her in yours. And don't feel you have to ask people from your past.
Your best friend from school who you Facebook occasionally or your former colleague won't mind not being asked. You want your special day to feel meaningful, not dutiful.
6. Make sure your partner is happy
Yes, we know bridesmaids are your thing, but do the polite thing and keep your hubby-to-be in the loop. He may have promised his sister that she could be a bridesmaid (say yes to keep the peace) or be feeling miffed that you've chosen someone who's never been his biggest fan.
It's important you both feel happy and comfortable on your big day, so have this conversation first before you formally ask your friends to be a part of it.
Got some bridesmaid dramas to share? Tweet us @handbagcom
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