You’re ready to pick bridesmaids, but you may be wondering: how many bridesmaids is too many to have?
In this blog post, you will learn the perfect number of bridesmaids you should have so you can plan ahead for bridesmaid proposals, dresses, and gifts, travel, meals, and your guest list. You’ll also discover the average number of bridesmaids most brides select for a wedding.
How Many Bridesmaids You Should Have
The perfect number of bridesmaids to have — based on couples we’ve worked with, personal experience as a bridesmaid many times, and national averages — is no more than 6 bridesmaids. On average, most brides choose three to five bridesmaids to be a part of their wedding.
♠ Is it OK to have 10 bridesmaids? Totally! If you are set on 10 bridesmaids, go for it.
♠ Is it OK to have just 2? Absolutely! Maybe you and a crew of two is perfect for you, in which case, do it!
If you are the type of bride who loves a giant squad, and you want to go for it, no one can tell you it’s too many to have (unless you can’t afford the costs, of course).
The normal number of bridesmaids is however many YOU want to have. Each bride is different: there is no rule, no mandate, and no handbook on this. You can’t go wrong, unless, of course, you can’t afford them all.
The best way to figure out your amount of bridesmaids is to consider these two factors: 1) who you want to ask and, 2) what your wedding budget breakdown reveals about how much you realistically can afford.
The Cost of Having Too Many Bridesmaids
The number one rule when deciding how many bridesmaids you should have is… cost.
I know, boring! Cost sounds stodgy to bring up, but it is such an honest answer, something you can always depend on from me. :)
To put it bluntly, each bridesmaid in your wedding costs more.
A large bridal party will bring up your overall expenses: there are pre-wedding festivities, the wedding day, and the rehearsal dinner.
The cost increases with each bridesmaid you ask: you’ll need to pay for a meal, drinks, transportation, and a gift, given as a thank you. You will also need to purchase additional bridesmaid bouquets, figure out transportation, and arrange for more head table seating. These expenses, while fun, can add up quickly.
So, while a squad 15 bridesmaids hanging out the morning of the wedding sounds like an absolute blast, that size might be best suited for your bachelorette party. Having 10 or more bridesmaids on the morning of the wedding is a logistical nightmare. ;) And an expensive one!
On the other hand, a tiny crew might feel too lowkey for you, and that’s totally understandable. That’s why I recommend 2 to 6 bridesmaids. It’s the ideal wedding party size: it is not too big, and it is not too small.
There are three major costs that add up with each bridal party attendant: gifts, guests, and transportation.
More Bridesmaid Gifts to Buy
More bridesmaids = more gifts to buy.
There will be…
More Guests To Invite
More bridesmaids = more guests to invite.
Secondly, it is proper wedding invitation etiquette to invite a plus one for each attendant.
And you will pay for…
Additional Transportation Costs
More bridesmaids = more transportation costs.
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 in? If not, you’ll need to rent TWO vehicles, and the costs can also add up there, too.
This isn’t to discourage you to have bridesmaids, but to look at the reality of having an extremely large wedding party. So, then, the answer to how many bridesmaids are too many is what are you comfortable spending?
How Many Bridesmaids Are Too Many?
Is there such a thing as too many bridesmaids? Absolutely. Some brides regret asking too many bridesmaids due to arguments and problems that arose; however, I haven’t yet heard a bride complain about not asking enough bridesmaids to be in their wedding. ;)
Tips on Asking Bridesmaids to Be In Your Wedding
Here are some of the best, tried-and-true tips BEFORE you ask bridesmaids to be in your wedding party.
KEEP IT SMALL
When in doubt, keep it small.
WAIT BEFORE YOU ASK
Wait to ask your bridesmaids until you’re 100% sure you want them to be a part of your wedding party.
And most brides wait at least 2 months to ask, so don’t put pressure on yourself to figure out the number of bridesmaids on Day One. Give yourself enough time to think it over.
ONLY SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE ALLOWED
If someone isn’t 100% supportive of your marriage, don’t ask them to be a bridesmaid. Period.
STRESS LEVEL ZERO
And if someone adds a lot of stress to your daily life — may give unsolicited advice, complain, give you trouble about itineraries — skip them. You don’t need to add that to your stress load. Invite her or him as a wedding guest and leave it at that.
♦ 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. :)
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.
Why Having Bridesmaids in Your Wedding Is Awesome
I have the honor of being a bridesmaid multiple times, as well as the Maid of Honor twice. Being a part of a wedding party is a lot of fun, whether you’re with your sister or a close friend, a family member, or a favorite pal. It is a time in your life to remember.
The excitement of the engagement and sharing in the festivities, trying on dresses, being a part of the bachelorette party and bridal shower, and then the wedding day itself are all quite fun. It is an amazing experience to share with your closest family member and friends.
So, if you do have someone in mind — or a handful of people — with whom you’d like to ask, do it! Invite them to be a bridesmaid.
Note the costs, sure… but don’t obsess over it to the point that it takes away the fun and you don’t invite anyone to be a bridesmaid.
There’s a quote I saw that reads, “Find your tribe and love them hard“. I think that’s where the idea of the whole ‘bride tribe’ idea came into play. These are your people! Let them be there for you. This is an exciting moment and you should want to share it with them.
So, maybe having a bunch of bridesmaids isn’t so crazy after all.
Having bridesmaids in your wedding is one of the best things ever.
Perhaps you 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: my email is always open to my readers! :)
Happy Planning + Bridesmaid-Choosing!