Uh-oh: do you have three bridesmaids and only two groomsmen? What about seven bridesmaids and two groomsmen? What should you do? We’ll tackle the wedding etiquette question of how to make an uneven bridal party appear more balanced. Be sure to subscribe for future tips to your inbox!
Asking your wedding party attendants to stand by your side is an exciting time. But it can be wrought with some stress, too. For instance, what if you have close friends but your partner does not have many? In this blog post, we’ll tackle the uneven wedding party. Is it OK to have a different number of bridesmaids and groomsmen in your wedding? And if so, how can you make it appear more balanced? Let’s get started!
No Longer Evenly Paired
According to wedding etiquette expert Emily Post, another change in tradition is that the wedding party is evenly paired. That’s not necessarily the case, and so it’s absolutely acceptable to have an uneven wedding party.
Can You Have an Uneven Bridal Party?
YES! As a rule of thumb, it’s best to have an even number on either side of groomsmen and bridesmaids, but that doesn’t always work out. For instance, if your partner is going to ask three groomsmen and you only have two besties, why come up with a random third just to pair them up?
Instead, embrace the uniqueness that is an uneven wedding party and go with it. It’s better to choose someone to be in your wedding as a bridesmaid or groomsman because you want them to. Don’t ask an attendant simply because they will help to make your wedding party even. ;)
Extremely Uneven Wedding Party Group
Typically, no one will really notice if you have a slightly uneven number of attendants at your wedding. This happens often at the last minute if a bridesmaid or groomsman must back out at the last minute (due to an emergency or sickness). It happens! You just learn to roll with it. In most cases, guests won’t even notice one or two members not in attendance.
Compromise on the Total Number of Attendants
If, however, you plan to ask seven bridesmaids and your partner only has two groomsmen, you may want to have a discussion to come to a compromise with the total number of attendants. Maybe you should try to make the party smaller and ask for fewer attendants. This way, your total crew won’t appear so vastly uneven in photographs and in the ceremony.
How to Make Uneven Attendants Less Noticeable
The only time a guest will notice there is an uneven number of attendants is when they’re walking down the aisle, standing at the ceremony, in certain photographs, and during a special dance. If you want to mitigate the unevenness of the bridal party, do the following things.
• Avoid having a procession in pairs
You can have bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle solo, or in threes, in certain cases where there is an uneven bridal party. Instead of thinking of everyone as a “pair”, they will walk in a trio or as individuals, making the total number appear even in photographs and videography.
• Ask attendants to sit or stand at chairs vs. at the altar, chuppah, or place where you’re reciting vows
If everyone stands next to the soon-to-be wedded couple, it will be obvious you have an uneven bridal party. But if they sit or stand in a row of chairs instead, and you’re at the focal point, no one will notice the vast difference in the number of groomsmen vs. bridesmaids.
• Nix the Grand Entrance of Attendants
If you don’t want anyone to have to walk out solo, you can skip the grand entrance where each wedding party attendant’s name is announced. Instead, simply have the grand entrance with your new partner. In lieu of this, you can introduce the wedding party at the head table prior to the toasts. By doing so, guests won’t notice an uneven bridal party number, nor will they mind.
• Have your photographer balance the snapshots
Your photographer will have some ideas on how to make the wedding party portraits look even, regardless of how the bridal party attendants are paired. They may have different poses that aren’t paired together (i.e. bridesmaids on one side, groomsmen on another) versus bridesmaid/groomsmen pairing.
• Avoid a wedding party dance
If you don’t want to make the dance awkward — or leave anyone out — you can skip the bridal party dance altogether. It’s not a mandatory part of the reception. Instead, you can invite everyone to dance with you immediately following the First Dance instead of signaling out the bridal party attendants.
These are just some ways to make an uneven wedding party appear more balanced and cohesive. Remember, it won’t matter to guests and most won’t even notice if you decide to go ahead with the above items anyway. Who cares? It’s your wedding, so you should always choose attendants to stand up based on your relationship with them and their support of your marriage. Don’t ask someone to be an attendant simply because they’ll make your wedding pictures look balanced. That’s great advice no matter where you stand on the decision!
I hope it helps!