Planning a wedding is anything but easy. Good thing you have your closest friends and beloved sisters – your bridesmaids, involved in your wedding. Your bridesmaids will help you tackle the stress of the ‘big day’ by helping you every step of the way – whether you want some assistance in buying your wedding dress or need someone to coordinate with the vendors. But how many bridesmaids should be by your side?
When it comes to your bridal party, you will want to strike the perfect balance: not too large and not too small.
The size of your bridal party actually hinges on a variety of factors. Your guest list, the formality of the wedding, and the ceremony location will all be considerations. Of course, the number of sisters, female cousins, or good friends that you have will also come into play when choosing your bridesmaids.
1. Size and style of your wedding
If you are inviting 350 guests to a black tie wedding in a cathedral, you can accommodate a much larger bridal party than if your wedding is in front of 80 people in a local restaurant. More formal weddings will typically have more bridesmaids than casual ones. The largest weddings can accommodate up to ten attendants, including bridesmaids, the maid of honor, the flower girl, any junior bridesmaids, and perhaps a ring bearer. Just be sure that the venue is large enough to accommodate them all!
A medium sized wedding, say about 150 guests, would be better suited for about six attendants. Too many more than that and you will start to look like you are surrounded by a dance troupe. By the way, it is not mandatory for the bride and groom to have an equal number of attendants, even if they often do. It is better to ask only those that are special to you than to invite casual acquaintances to be involved in such an important rite of passage.
Small weddings should have a limited number of bridesmaids. One witness is really all that you need, but you could have up to three or four bridesmaids. A good way to decide is to ask yourself if you will have almost as many attendants as guests. If so – cut down the size of the bridal party (before you have asked them, of course!).
2. How many bridesmaids can you afford?
Each member of the bridal party will need to be given a special gift, and there will also be a luncheon in their honor. Pearl bridesmaid jewelry makes a wonderful gift for a bridal party of any size. The great thing about pearl bridesmaid jewelry is that it can be as affordable as it is beautiful, which makes it an excellent gift idea for brides with very large bridal parties.
3. Logistics of management
If they are coming from out of town, the bride usually provides somewhere for them to stay – often with a local bridesmaid or a relative to help defray the expenses the attendants must pay. Being a bridesmaid can be a very costly undertaking, so if you intend to invite a friend who you know cannot afford the expense, plan to graciously offer to cover some of her costs, such as the bridesmaid dress or a hotel room. On the other hand, you can easily find a wide range of gorgeous yet inexpensive bridesmaid dresses online.
If you find yourself in a position of having more good friends than bridesmaid spots – first of all, consider yourself lucky to have so many special people in your life. But having them in the bridal party is not the only way you can include them in your wedding. Have your favorite cousin or future sister-in-law do a reading during the ceremony or be in charge of the guest book. There are plenty of ceremonial positions at a wedding.
Bridesmaids are an important part of any wedding. They provide support to the bride, help pick out the perfect wedding gown and plan the event, and add a decorative element, as well. The key is to choose the right number of attendants and to ask only those friends who you think will make your wedding more enjoyable for you.