How many is too many?

Find the right number of bridesmaids for you

When one woman from the United Kingdom couldn’t decide which of her dance students would be bridesmaids in her August 2013 wedding, she made sure there would be no hard feelings — by inviting all 74 of them to be in her party.

While a supersized wedding party worked for dance instructor Katie Dalby, it’s not a very feasible option even for the most popular bride. Choosing who will receive the honor of being a bridesmaid can be a tough call, but it also can be done with grace so that you and your loved ones are satisfied.

There are no set rules when sizing a wedding party, but some guidelines can keep you focused.

“An ideal rule of thumb is usually to have one pair of attendants (one bridesmaid and one groomsman) for every 40 to 50 guests,” says David Tutera, the wedding and entertainment expert and star of the new wedding-reality show “David Tutera: Unveiled.” “This is a great jumping-off point and just a general suggestion of things to consider when making this decision.”

Christina Friedrichsen, founder of IntimateWeddings.com, offers similar advice:

“Most small weddings have small wedding parties,” she says. “Some brides who have intimate weddings chose not to have any bridesmaids — only a maid of honor. I think that there is no magic number when it comes to bridesmaids. Do what you feel is right.”

She also notes to keep the size of the wedding in mind when choosing members of the wedding party. “If you are only having 30 guests, chances are you aren’t going to have 10 people in your wedding party,” she says.

Beyond Bridesmaid Duty

And remember that while being a bridesmaid is a huge recognition, it’s not the only way to contribute to a wedding. Maybe a friend passed over for a bridesmaid role would be great at helping plan parts of the party or helping design and decorate the space.

“Be open and honest with your friends about why you may have chosen to keep your party a little smaller and perhaps ask them to help with your wedding in some other capacity so they still feel included,” Tutera says.


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