The latest question just came in to our Ask Emmaline inbox from bride-to-be Alyssa: how many bridesmaids should I have? Read on to find out the answer!
Hi, loves! Emma here. I wear lots of hats in my day-to-day life (as a mom, wife, business owner, author, wedding planner, sandwich maker, hide-and-seek master, diaper-changer, bedtime-story-teller, etc.), but when it comes to weddings I’ve worn several hats as well. I’ve been a bride, a bridesmaid, a Maid of Honor, a Matron of Honor, a wedding planner, and a guest, allowing me to be a part of many weddings and see everything from various points of view.
One particular inquiry — how many bridesmaids should I have — is a frequently asked question by brides pretty soon after the engagement. So when Alyssa sent us her question — short, but sweet — we wanted to address it immediately. Since bridesmaid proposals (i.e. will you be my bridesmaid? gifts) are a trend right now, you probably want to lock down your bridal party ASAP, am I right? (P.S. A quick note on that: you don’t have to give a gift, you can also just ask!)
So, how many bridesmaids should you have? That answer varies depending on your circumstances, but one thing always rings true: when in doubt, start SMALL. And here’s why.
How many bridesmaids should I have?
I have seen it all: couples asking 15 (yes, FIFTEEN!) bridesmaids (and groomsmen) on both sides versus couples with just two attendants on either side. I have also seen the latest trend of just a Maid of Honor and Best Man as the entire bridal party. To be honest, the more chaotic and expensive weddings had huge bridal parties, while the laid-back and relaxed groups had smaller bridal parties. And that makes sense, since a large group consists of more people, additional costs, logistics, gift-giving, etc.
Here’s how many bridesmaids to choose
So, what is the magic number? How many bridesmaids should I have? The perfect group seems to be around four to six (which I consider a good maximum) bridesmaids and the same number of groomsmen. A wedding party of eight people (ten including the couple) to twelve people (fourteen including the couple) is what I like to call a “happy medium” and will make wedding planning easier for you in many aspects.
A medium-sized wedding party is ideal for the following reasons:
- It is easier to transport a smaller group to and from the ceremony, photos, etc. in a limousine or limo bus
- The seating for the head table is easier to plan with 10-14 people versus 20 or more
- The procession at the ceremony is easier to plan, there is more room for everyone to stand at the altar / chuppah / focal point
- Your cost of wedding party gifts is less (you need to buy a groomsman gift and bridesmaid gift for each attendant and costs can really add up)
- There are less people to coordinate travel accommodations for the bachelor / bachelorette parties
- Scheduling tuxedo rentals and bridesmaid dress fittings is easier with a smaller group
- Coordinating schedules for wedding events (i.e. the wedding shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, etc.) is simpler with less people
- Photos take less time, since there are less people to arrange in portraits and candid shots
- Getting ready in the morning is faster, since hair and makeup appointments for 12+ bridesmaids would take a looooong time
When you choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen, consider close family members first; next, choose best friends; finally, select anyone else you’d like to be a part of the festivities. I recommend not asking anyone to be in your wedding party unless you (and your significant other) are absolutely, positively in agreement. After all, once you ask, you can’t take it back. :) Awkward.
Sometimes, how many bridesmaids you choose is going to be large, simply to include everyone. For instance, if you have a large family with many siblings or you are blessed to have many best friends then go for it. Perhaps you like the idea of an expansive wedding party — and there’s nothing wrong with that. The perfect number of how many bridesmaids and groomsmen to have is just a suggestion; it really comes down to what works best for you and the wedding you envision.
Hope it helps!