Choosing your Bridal Party – Know this before you ask

Tell me – How are you going about choosing your bridal party?

Choosing your bridal party - large or small
Choosing your bridal party – large or small

Choosing your bridal party – You know all those lovely maids in a row – smiling for the camera, wearing matching dresses and bouquets?  Do you see yourself surrounded by 6 or more, or just you and your best friend/sister? Before you think about asking (and I do seriously mean THINK BEFORE YOU ASK), make a list of the people most important to you that you would like to have with you on the journey to your wedding day.

Does that list include:

  • your sister,
  • your H2B’s sister,
  • current best friend,
  • child hood friend you still see on Facebook,
  • a favourite cousin or two, former roommate,
  • friend from work,
  • a friend you were bridesmaid for,
  • OH MY! I could still add a few more. How do I choose you ask?

Don’t sweat. I’m here to help you figure out what the right number of bridesmaids are for you and your wedding.

Before we delve into the whole – how many bridesmaids are too many? story, let’s look at some past wedding history.  For many, many years most couples chose another couple to be their witnesses and given the title of Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honour. Other than royalty, who had scores of people in the bridal party and mostly on the bride’s side, the bridal party has been fairly limited. 

However, as the population grew, people had more family and friends, travelling became easier, weddings got larger and so did wedding parties. And in some cases now, wedding size has diminished but wedding parties have not.  The average number for bridesmaids is 5. The average wedding guest list is 100. Add your groomsmen in plus the bride and groom and your have 10% of your wedding is the bridal party. Another metric people use is 1 bridesmaid for every 50 guests. 

The number of ladies you pick when choosing your bridal party is entirely up to you. But let’s take a moment and look at what those numbers can mean for you and your wedding day.



Large or small – choosing your bridal party – the pros and cons


– A larger bridal party means no one feels left out, and these are your besties after all. It’s a great way to honour them and show how much you appreciate them. They have been a big part of your life and you want them close to you as you take the plunge

– Think of all the wonderful pictures you will have, lots of people milling around the happy couple. A imaginative photographer can get some really neat and quirky shots that will make great memories.

– If you’re thinking of doing some DIY projects, there’s the added bonus of more hands to help you with them. You’ll also have more support when choosing your bridal gown, organizing showers, parties, helping with your to-do list and all that comes with a wedding. And did I mention, the day of and all the fun and emotional support that goes with getting ready and down the aisle?

– You’ll have a great turnout at your pre-wedding events. All those ‘maids’ and their partners mean a good time at your engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette, and other events is pretty much guaranteed.



– The more the merrier they say, but also the more cost. While many bridesmaids are expected to pay for their own dress, the bride usually picks up other costs such as hair and makeup, bouquets, attendant gifts. If your budget is limited, you may want to really think of where you want to put your money. You want your friends around but is there some other way they can participate that won’t cost you as much.

– With more people comes more attitudes, personalities and sometimes conflicting advice. You may get along with all your ‘maids’ but will they get along with the others in your party. The last thing you need is refereeing or soothing hurt feelings. You have enough to worry about.  And everyone has an opinion of how things should be done.

When choosing your bridal party girls, think about how they will all gel as well as how they will ‘behave’. 

When choosing your bridal party, see who can help you on you with your dress.

Dress Drama – The joy or not of many bridesmaids is finding a dress style that suits not only your theme but also the different body and personal types that each of your girls brings. If you’re open to the challenge of different colours and styles of bridesmaid’s dresses, then it will work. If not, it could be a nightmare and one you’ll want to avoid.

Keeping everyone organized on the day-of could get a little crazy. Scheduling for hair & makeup, getting dressed, down the aisle, photos, you need to appoint someone to keep everyone in check.

How NOT to hurt anyone’s feelings

You’ve written down all the people that you would like to be in your wedding party.  The number is a bit higher than you want. Now the problem – how do you reduce that to a manageable number and not hurt anyone’s feelings. I’m afraid you may not like my answer: there is no way. It’s a wedding and people’s expectations and excitement may cause them grief.

How you handle it though could make all the difference. Explain to those that didn’t make the ‘cut’ that you couldn’t afford or choose everyone but there is something you would like them to do as that is what they are good at.

It could be doing a:

  • reading,
  • organize the bridal party to get down the aisle if there isn’t a planner,
  • pin boutonnieres,
  • they could sing or play an instrument – you get the idea.

And then remember to thank them either with a small gift and a shout out at the reception.

Choosing your bridal party - do you want a large one?

The bottom line here is that there is no right or wrong number of bridesmaids or for that matter bridal party that you should have. It’s entirely up to you and what you can afford and manage. There’s nothing to say you can’t have guys on your side and girls on his side. I’ve had more than one wedding where this was the case.

And there’s nothing wrong with having more on one side than the other. It’ll make for more interesting photos. Or you can opt to go with none as long as you have 2 witnesses to sign the license or register.  It’s your wedding and your vision.

Choose people who will support you, make you comfortable and above all make you glad you have them by your side. But the main thing is to think it all through before you ask anyone.

There are 2 ways you can work with me:

# 1 – Wedding Basics package – a starter package for the DIY Bride who wants to get her planning in order and done right.

# 2 – Wedding ‘SOS’ package – I’ll work with you to flush out your dreams and develop a plan that will be easy for you to follow and put in place.

Click below to learn more about each and book your spot: 

Nancy Curtis

Nancy (that's me) is a Kickass Virtual Wedding Planner whose goal is to give every bride the opportunity to plan their wedding with as little stress as possible. Is that something you would like to do? Step by step, I show you how to plan the wedding of your dreams without having to spend countless hours or put yourself in debt. I believe with the right plan for your wedding, you can have that special day you've been dreaming of and enjoy every step of the way. Would you like more information about HOW I can help reduce the stress and overwhelm in your wedding planning? Drop me a line with your details using my CONTACT FORM HERE and I'll follow up with your promptly. And in the meantime, while you're waiting, get started with your wedding planning by Downloading my FREE 6 Simple Steps to Get you Down the Aisle and Keep you Sane Planning Guide to avoid the overwhelm in your wedding planning. Happy Planning!

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