The bridesmaids are usually selected from among the sisters of the bride, or her cousins or friends. The head-bridesmaid is ordinarily her most intimate friend. Occasionally the sisters of the bridegroom assist as bridesmaids, but the bride's own sisters should always be given the preference.

The number of the bridesmaids, of course, must be governed by circumstances. Six is a usual number, though more are frequently selected. An even number must always be chosen.

The dress of the bridemaids is usually of some light white material. They frequently wear wreaths and veils, but of a lighter and less costly character than those of the bride. Bonnets are often worn instead of veils. It is desirable for them all to be dressed as nearly alike as possible.

In this country the bridesmaids either provide their own dresses or may accept them from the bride.