You're in shock. You're looking down at the ring on your finger and you can't believe he just popped the question. You're going to be a bride! This, of course, means it's time to plan one of the biggest days of your life, and you're going to need your best friends and closest family members by your side when you say "I do."
One of your first tasks is to choose your bridesmaids. These are the gals who you'll pick out matching dresses for and will throw a shower and bachelorette party for you. Most importantly, they'll be part of your wedding party and will help plan your big day. But what if one or more of your most trusted girlfriends is over 30? Does she really want to wear the matching dress and go on crazy pub-crawls with your 20-something friends?
The answer to the first question is "yes." If she's a true friend or close relative, she'll want to be there for you on your big day, and age shouldn't play a part in that decision. Being a bridesmaid can strengthen the bonds of friendship and family, bringing the two of you closer together and giving you a shared experience like no other. Besides, the concept of older bridesmaids -- and brides -- is becoming more commonplace. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age of an American bride has climbed to 26.5 years old, compared to 25.1 at the beginning of the new millennium. In the U.K., most brides wait until they're 30 before they get married. So it's only natural that bridesmaids may be older, and thinking that the role is reserved for younger women is now antiquated.
Of course, older gals might not be gung ho about stepping in to (and paying for) a matching dress that more closely resembles slinky prom gear than a traditional bridesmaid gown, and they may not be too excited about playing the "suck for a buck" bachelorette party game. But don't worry; there are things you can do to make your older bridesmaids feel included and, well, not old.