Is there a rule of thumb for the appropriate number of bridal attendants is a question I was recently asked. The answer – not really. But here are some things to consider when choosing your wedding party:
There is no required number of attendants.
The size of your wedding party should be appropriate to the size of your family, social circle, and the size of your guest list. You don’t want attendants outnumbering guests!
Perhaps the most important thing to think about is the size of your church or ceremony location. How many attendants can comfortably fit into the space? There is no rule that says attendants need to stand up front during the ceremony. It is perfectly acceptable, and becoming quite common, for attendants to walk in the processional then sit in the front pew and have only the maid of honor and best man stand with the bride and groom.
An equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen is not necessary.
Do not exclude people, or ask people you don’t necessarily want, simply to create symmetry. One groomsmen can escort two bridesmaids; bridesmaids can walk in pairs or walk alone.
I don’t want hurt feelings.
Sometimes our social circles are bigger than we realize. It quickly becomes apparent you can’t ask your whole pledge class to be in the wedding – and you don’t have to. Ask only your closest friends, or maybe your closest family members – a sister, aunt or even a grandmother. I have seen all of these choices made.
Friends can play other roles besides bridesmaid. Ask a friend to be a hostess at a pre-wedding event; ask one to read scripture or poetry; another to lead a prayer before you walk down the isle. There are plenty of ways to involve a lot of people.
The bride as CEO.
In a sense, a bride must be the CEO and manage the wedding party. Perhaps that sounds odd, or a little harsh. But simply consider the task of choosing a dress 10 girls will love, or begging 10 men to please go get fitted for their tuxes!
Hold those blooming costs in check.
I hate to even bring this up, but it always emerges quietly in the background. Brides cannot understand why their flower estimates come in so high. I frequently have to point out, “You have a big wedding party.” When you start factoring in 12 bridesmaids’ bouquets at $95 each, boutonnieres and flower girl pomanders, numbers quickly escalate.
Consider pre-wedding hustle bustle.
Traditionally, the bride spends the morning getting ready with her attendants, her mother, and perhaps some close family members. Do you want to be surrounded by a bustling crowd, or would you prefer a calm morning shared with only your sister, your mom and a best friend? Anticipate starting your wedding day surrounded by the number of people you have in your wedding, plus a handful of extras!
Often a bride and groom are so excited, they pick up the phone and start asking people to be in the wedding. Remember, there is no rush. Take some time to think about it. Once you have decided, give them as much advance notice as possible – at least six months if you have it
PHOTOGRAPHS | Honey Heart Photography
Images are our own sweet Lauren & Gordy!