The Right Number of People for a Wedding Party

My husband and I attended a wedding a few years ago that – besides the bride and
groom - included 27 people in the wedding party! Yeeeeikes! We had four. But as we found
out, huge wedding parties are standard for some people. But if you are like us and don’t think
you even have enough friends to have a wedding that size AND still have guests at your
wedding, read on.

The first question, of course, is who do you want in your wedding party? Your best
friend? Sure, but she’s working in Antarctica right now. Your fiancé’s sister? You don’t really
like her but it would be a nice gesture. Your oldest cousin? Absolutely! You adore her and
spent many summers together. Your mother? No! BIG, ABSOLUTE, HARD NO – no matter
how much she wants to be in the wedding party! Your step-sister’s second cousin’s next door
neighbor? Yikes! The list goes on. But the answer is quite simple. Include the people in your
wedding party that you want standing up with you.

The second question on your wedding checklist is how many attendants do you want. I
checked a few sites and found the information about size was pretty standard. For formal
weddings of 200 or more people, six to ten bridesmaids and groomsmen, plus a ring bearer
and flower girl are recommended. But couples have been known to have up to 12
bridesmaids. (That is a lot of hairspray.) For semi-formal weddings, it is acceptable to have
between one and six attendants. But again – it comes down to how many people you want.
Large wedding parties can be a lot of fun. There is always someone close by who can
help you out and you don’t run the risk of hurting anyone’s feelings by not including him or her
as an attendant. But, as Nina Calloway pointed out in The Spruce, large wedding parties are
more expensive, less intimate and can be ‘like herding cats’. In other words – unruly and
unmanageable. It’s one thing if one of your three bridesmaids doesn’t like the color of her
dress. It’s quite another if five of your seven attendants are not happy with their dresses.

The final point to keep in mind is that almost every rule is made to be broken. And just
because something has been done a certain way for decades, does not mean it needs to be
done that way forever. A friend of mine, deeply in love with her fiancé, had a male friend as
her “maid of honor’. Some couples opt for very intimate ceremonies and have no attendants.
I have attended wedding ceremonies where the number of groomsmen was not equal to the
number of bridesmaids. So what? The couple’s still married.

Your wedding is just that. Your wedding. How many wedding attendants do you want?
Make it so.

How many attendants did you have OR are you planning to have at your wedding? Post a
comment. We’d love to hear from you.

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