Tips for determining the size of your Bridal Party.

Social media is littered with dozens of smiling, perfectly coiffed ladies clad in matching silk pajamas huddled around the bride, but is that reality?  It sounds ideal to have every one of your friends there for every moment of your wedding, but there are many unexpected consequences to asking all your besties to be in your party. 

This is your day so surround yourself with those who are the most supportive and meaningful relationships you’ve treasured throughout your life.  Just because you were in your friend’s wedding, it doesn’t mean she has to be in yours.  And, don’t worry about any rules regarding how many should be in your party or that you have to match the number your partner has.  According to Priceonomics Data Studio, the average wedding party in America has 4.39 bridesmaids, so if you have four you are below average and if you have five you are above.  There are so many things to consider when deciding on your party.

Things to Consider…

  1. Size of your wedding.  Whether a large or small guest list, a good rule of thumb is limiting your bridal party to less than 10% of the attendees.  It looks a little ridiculous to have seven bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, maid of honor, best man and ring bearer and two flower girls when there are only 54 guests sitting in chairs.  Seventy-five people at a wedding is a lovely size, but 28% of the guests at the alter is a bit overkill. Even with 100 people, that’s 21%! You can always invite all your besties to your bachelorette party or bridal shower.  Find ways to include them such as have them do a reading, help you with a DIY project, have them be responsible for decorating your reception tables or have them seat your guests. Your true friends will want to celebrate in ways that they can and not be bitter or disappointed if they aren’t in the actual wedding party.  
  2. Personality.  This is your day, so let your personality shine.  If you were the social center of your sorority, then it would make sense that you would have a larger than normal wedding party.  However, if you are more of a self-assured, strong personality, it is absolutely all right not to have anyone in your bridal party.  Surround yourself with as few or as many people to make yourself confident and relaxed on your wedding day.  
  3. Budget.  When developing your overall budget, budgeting for each individual attendant often goes overlooked.  Consider how much you are going to spend on each person in your party to cover hair, makeup, accessories, bouquet, matching pajamas, and any additional bridal party gift.  These items add up quickly when you start multiplying per attendant.  
  4. Competition.  Weddings will bring out the best and worst in people and there is no way to predict how your friends and family will react.  You want to believe that your loved ones want the very best for you, but there is a reason why there have been many successful comedies about bridesmaid competition.  Each of your bridesmaids will be vying for your attention and trying to prove their worth and love to you. While most of this is done with the best intentions, it could leave you in the position of diffusing battles and worrying about how each of them can feel special.  The more bridesmaids you have the greater potential for drama.   

There are so many variables to consider, so choose carefully.  You want that photo that captures your last moments as a single lady to be full of authentic happiness and of course, Pinterest worthy!