You’re engaged, congratulations! Now it’s time to make sure that your best friends will be by your side as you take the plunge and tie the knot. Choosing your bridal party can be be stressful. You don’t want to offend any of your friends or have some think others “outrank” them on the friend totem pole. It can be tough making anyone feel like they didn’t make the cut. Remember the time back in the day during sophomore year of high school when your friend got cut from the basketball team and went home in tears – just imagine how they would react to not being in your wedding party! But by now all your friends have matured and understand that life isn’t always fair. And to be honest, more isn’t always merrier either.
As the amount of bridesmaids goes up, so will the chance for complaints. Planning wedding events or choosing bridesmaids dresses ends up becoming a task more than an adventure. Each bridesmaid will have differing opinions on which dress is more flattering to their body type and you will ultimately be the villain when you choose a dress that a couple of friends weren’t fond of. And good luck gathering up all your groomsmen for pictures while they are reliving the good old days- shotgunning beers and putting off responsibilities for the next twelve hours. Rowdiness comes in numbers and on your wedding day it would be nice to keep it somewhat classy until at least the pasta course.
Try your best to pick family members first (brothers, sisters, sister-law etc…) and then a couple of close friends. Keep in mind it’s perfectly fine to have an uneven amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen. There is no law that states your bridal party must be symmetrical, you can have multiple bridesmaids walk down one groomsman (or vice versa) and you can even have someone walk down the isle alone, worst-case scenario. 5 to 7 groomsmen bridesmaids is ideal. It’s large enough to have a great time, but small enough to keep it civil and ease the stress during the planning process. 8-10 couples is a little more difficult to coordinate, but doable. More than 10 will be difficult to coordinate photo ops, rehearsal dinner, meetings and everyone agreeing on certain things such as the bachelor/bachelorette party destination and dresses/tuxedos etc.
Ease the pain for the friends who didn’t make the cut and just explain to them it isn’t personal; that it just isn’t in your budget (gifts, limo accommodations, etc) or that you simply wish to keep your bridal party very small. Some of your friends may even be relieved as it diminishes their financial obligations. If you have two or three friends getting married within a year- year and a half, the financial obligations can get rather high (depending on the bride).