OK: it’s time to ask bridesmaids to be in your wedding + start celebrating. But how many bridesmaids are too many? Let’s discuss it! And for goodness sakes, subscribe already!
Hi, lovelies! Your Ask Emmaline questions keep rolling in (and we’re lovin’ it, so keep it coming!) and many of them pertain to bridesmaids. Simply put, Nicole wants to know: “How many bridesmaids are too many?”
Nicole is wondering the same thing many brides wonder when we start planning: how many bridesmaids should I have? How many bridesmaids are you allowed to have? Or we’ve even been asked, how many bridesmaids is normal? :) Your wedding = your rules!
How Many Bridesmaids Should I Have?
Well, first things first: as a general rule of thumb, there is no set number of bridesmaids you should have. If you’re wondering how many bridesmaids you should have, or how many bridesmaids there usually are standing up at a wedding, the answer is, on average, three to five bridesmaids.
This number can vary greatly depending on the formality of your wedding. Formal or extravagant weddings with big guest lists tend to have larger bridal parties; on the other hand, more casual and laid-back weddings may have only one attendant on either side (the Maid of Honor and the Best Man).
If you have eight extremely close girlfriends in your circle, then perhaps you’ll have eight bridesmaids. Or 10. Or 4.
Or you just have 2 best friends and you’ll cap it off at that.
One real reason to have a bridal party attendant? To sign your marriage certificate! That is one actual reason why you need a bridesmaid or groomsman (but if not, anyone who serves as a witness can sign it instead).
Can I get a witttttnessss….? :)
Other than that, there’s no rule that says you have to have a certain number of bridesmaids.
For our wedding, I chose four bridesmaids, and Andrew chose four groomsmen. You do not need to pick the same number of attendants on either side, but it helps for processing and photographs since everything is more balanced.
We simply chose a number to have a large enough wedding party — without feeling like it was too big.
The difference between having a giant wedding party and a smaller one is the cost.
They are fun costs — but they are costs to consider. For instance, each bridesmaid will receive a gift from you as a thank you for standing up.
More bridesmaids = more gifts to buy.
Secondly, it is proper wedding invitation etiquette to invite a plus one for each attendant.
More bridesmaids = more guests to invite.
And finally, if you are planning wedding transportation for your wedding party, how many can fit inside the limousine or party bus you’re renting? The bridesmaids AND groomsmen, plus you and your partner, will all be traveling together… can you all fit? If not, you’ll need to rent TWO vehicles, and the costs can also add up there, too.
More bridesmaids = more transportation costs.
This isn’t to discourage you to have bridesmaids, but to look at the reality of having an extremely large wedding party. I guess the answer to how many bridesmaids are too many is, really, what are you comfortable spending?
And keep in mind the more bridesmaids you include also means more arrangements required for dress fittings, room in your getting-ready suite, the size of your bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and bridal shower, since all bridesmaids are invited to all of the above.
And in addition, a large bridal party means longer time for hair and makeup the morning of the wedding, additional bridesmaid bouquets to purchase, and more seats at the head table.
I loved having four bridesmaids. It felt like a comfortable, close-knit group, yet we were large enough to feel like a “party” when we were hanging out pre- and post-wedding.
We rented a limousine and we had the time of our lives, all of us piled in there with a total of ten. It worked out beautifully.
Gifts were pretty easy, especially because there were only eight gifts to purchase. That may seem like a large number, but considering I was a bridesmaid in a wedding with THIRTEEN bridesmaids and groomsmen on both sides — yes, a grand total of 26 people, not counting the bride and groom! — I considered it the perfect size for us.
So, is it OK to have 10 bridesmaids? Of course! If you want to, and you’re able to cover the costs mentioned above, go for it!
– Can you have just a Maid of Honor? Sure thing!
– It is OK to have 5 bridesmaids? Certainly!
– Can you have zero bridesmaids? Whatever works for you!
– Can you have 30 bridesmaids? No, now you’re just being ridiculous. :)
It’s funny, no one really tells you about how everything adds up with each bridesmaid until you really give it a second look. Even when you add the bridesmaid’s guest, that means an additional meal, favor, place setting, table card, invitation… ay yi yi! It can add up, but don’t let it get you down.
I think we mentioned a lot of CONS related to the cons of having too many bridesmaids, so let’s tell you a few of the PROS.
I’ve always loved being a bridesmaid. I have been a bridesmaid many times over, and have also had the honor of being a Maid of Honor twice.
Being a part of a bridal party, especially when it is a family member or close friend, is a treasured time in life that you will always remember.
The excitement of the engagement, sharing in the festivities of the engagement party, and details about the wedding as everything is fresh and exciting is all very fun. Seeing the plans progress, trying on dresses, being a part of the bachelorette party and bridal shower, and then the wedding day itself? It is really quite an amazing experience.
So, if you do have a few family members and close friends with whom you’d like to enjoy the big day — and everything leading up to it — please ask them to be a bridesmaid. Don’t worry too much about the costs, just make sure you pick people you love and that love you back.
There’s a quote I saw once that said, “Find your tribe and love them hard.” I think that’s where the idea of the ‘bride tribe’ came into play. These are your people! This is an exciting moment and, of course, you want to share it with them.
So, maybe having bridesmaids isn’t so crazy after all.
Actually, it is the best thing ever.
Perhaps you just shouldn’t have, ya know, 15 on both sides. Maybe that’s the answer to how many bridesmaids are too many. ;)
Hope it helps as you pick your wedding party! If you have more questions, ask away: our form is always available!
Happy Planning + Bridesmaid-Choosing!