Determining the size of the wedding party is important for the bride- and groom-to-be. Also, selecting the best candidates for the wedding party, particularly the bridesmaids, is worth serious consideration. Here are some tips for the bride to help decide the size of the wedding party and for choosing her bridesmaids.
1. Wedding Size & Style
A general rule of thumb is: Large weddings have large wedding parties and small weddings have small ones. Small wedding parties are composed of two to six wedding attendants, including the maid of honor and best man. Large weddings can be anywhere from eight to 12 wedding attendants or more. A standard ratio used by wedding planners is one pair of wedding attendants for every 50 guests. The goal is achieving a comfortable proportion of guests to wedding party members. For example, a large wedding party of 10 may feel disproportionate to a small wedding of only 50 guests. The wedding party could overwhelm the event, particularly at the reception in the receiving line and at the head table. It doesn’t look or feel balanced. In contrast, a large wedding of several hundred people and a wedding party of only two or three might seem equally disproportionate.
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The style of the wedding should also be considered. Formal weddings typically have a larger wedding party than smaller ones. A casual wedding on the beach, for example, might seem overdone with more than two or three bridesmaids, including the maid of honor. By contrast, a formal church wedding with 300 guests would be fabulous with eight to 10 wedding attendants glidng down the aisle and would create a beautiful focal point sitting at the head table.
These guidelines are based on the look and feel of the wedding from the perspective of the guest. They can be used as a starting point, but the number of wedding attendants is a personal choice.
2. Wedding Budget Considerations
When determining the number of bridesmaids for the wedding, one factor to be considered is the cost associated with having a large wedding party. Since the bride is responsible for the cost of bouquets and gifts for her bridesmaids, this should be considered when deciding how many people to include in the wedding party.
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3. Who to Ask
Sometimes, social or family pressure can weigh heavily in the decision-making process. Brides can feel obligated to ask friends or family members for reasons other than a true desire to have those individuals participate in one of the most important days of her life. This is no time to acquiesce to other people’s expectations or demands. The bride should choose the people she wants to include. There is no rule that brides should reciprocate with friends or family members who asked them to be in their wedding parties. There is no obligation to ask the sisters of the groom or even her sister. However, it might be a peace-keeping gesture to do so. The key consideration is who will be an excellent bridesmaid.
The best people can be relied upon to fulfill their responsibilities as bridesmaids. Bridesmaids participate in the wedding planning process, the rehearsal and the wedding day activities. Brides should choose people who will work well with her and the maid of honor in executing bridesmaid duties, such as selecting the bridesmaid dress, showing up for fittings, participating in the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and planning the bridal shower. Selecting cooperative, positive people who will be responsible team players will make the planning process and wedding day much more enjoyable for the bride.
These are guidelines for determining the size and composition of the wedding party. Brides have the freedom to make decisions based on their personal preferences and budget. They should feel free to use their creativity and good judgment to plan the wedding of their dreams.