Post # 1
Okay, so I’ve been wondering about this so I had to ask because I can’t find anyone who has had a similar question. ((I’ve been given permission by SO to start SLOOOWWWLLLYYY planning out the wedding.))
How important is the number in the bridal party versus the number of guests? We are thinking about have somwhere between 40 & 60 guests, including the bridal party. However, when we look at our numbers and do a chart, our Bridal Party is at least 14, up to 17 people. So that means that we are looking at, essentially, 16 to 44. That’s almost a 1:3 ratio. So…. is that okay, etiquette wise and also just in general or will it seem awkward? Should we cut it down?
Thanks for any advice!
ETA: Not sure if this goes into etiquette or bridesmaids.
Post # 3
@Booknerd: Congrats on starting the planning process. I have to say 16 Bridal Party sounds huge!! I’d think about cutting it down. although it can be hard to choose just a few people, when it comes to buying gifts for maids, including them in all events… you’ll be glad to have a smaller Bridal Party
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
I would definitely say cut it down… the ratio does seem very skewed.
Post # 5
@ivoryowl: Thanks! Getting the go ahead without the ring is scary, but we are slowly getting there.
@ivoryowl: & @elysion: I was afraid of that. How do I cut it down, though?! Gah!
Post # 6
I have seen people have 50 guests and 12 attendants and people have 400 guests and 6 attendants… imo it just kind of looks weird when the bridal party is almost as big as the number of guests. HOWEVER everyone around here always says your bridal party isn’t to be considered part of your wedding decor so I guess you shouldn’t worry about that. Do also remember you’ll have to invite them to every wedding event, pay for hair/makeup, get thank-you gifts (and imo, I think for being in your wedding nice thank-yous are a must and you shouldn’t cheap out on them… though I see many people doing so, but we’re spending $200ish a person), PLUS it’s just more people to coordinate. My fiance and I picked only our siblings and really long term bffs only. Our criteria was roughly “Are we absolutely certain this person will still be in our lives in thirty years?” If yes, they’re in! If we weren’t sure, they were out.
Post # 7
@distracts: Yeah, the problem is that all but one I want is family and his are families and super BFFs that he’s known for a decade or maybe a little less, but could not say no to.
Post # 8
@Booknerd: if you feel fine with it, then don’t cut anyone.
Personally I”ve heard the rule of thumb of 1 attendand per 50 guests, 9same for ushers)
BUT if all these people are special, could you move then to another special role, a reader, or guest book attendent or something like that, rather then a wedding party role?
Post # 9
I’ve heard that you only need to have one bridesmaid per fifty guests. That way they can help you set up, plan, make favors, etc.
At the end of the day it’s totally up to you though. It’s just a rough guideline.
Perhaps consider getting some of the people you’d like to have as attendants do something else? Ushers for the men, or readings for women…
I’m sure some of these people would be thrilled to help out, even from behind the scenes. (And then they can wear whatever they’d like and go without all the costs associated with being in a wedding!)
Trying to have 17 people in the same place at the same time for clothes fittings, rehearsals, set-ups, and appointments sounds like it would be as easy as herding cats.
To make your life simpler, I would cut down your list considerably. If it were me with your guest list size, I wouldn’t have any more than 3 bridesmaids and three men, though I’d probably go for one or two. Good luck with planning! 🙂
Post # 10
We invited 194 people.. and are having an 18 (9 Bridesmaid or Best Man and 9 GM) person bridal party! So we’re obviously not following the “1 person to 50 guests” rule.. and I don’t care! lol There’s no law that says how many you’re allowed to have.. I think 17 might look a little odd if you’re only have 40-60 guests.. but just because it looks odd doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Do whatever makes you happy.
We’ve gotten some odd looks when people hear how large our bridal party is.. but we’ve had zero problems so far.. so I guess it just depends on your people. Everyone’s dress was ordered on time — no problems picking a dress, the tuxes were fitted for the guys with no issues, everyone gets along great.. and it’s going to be awesome having so many close friends there with us all day!
Post # 11
@Booknerd: Some advice from someone with a big bridal party… plan things WAY in advance & give people plenty of notice (and reminders) about events they need to be at (dress shopping, favor making, rehearsals etc). I always send out an invitation to things, so people physically get something in the mail to hang on their fridge to remind them.. and it’s worked great. Like for making favors about a month ahead I sent out a simple invitation (just printed it up on my computer) and mailed it to the girls, everyone had plenty of time to take off work if necessary and to clear their schedules. Everyone seems to appreciate being kept up to date on wedding related things, and likes that I’m so organzied and keeping everyone on track and clued in.
Post # 12
Way to many and the drama factor will be off the charts–we’ll have to a whole new section just for you and your bridal party.
The way you pick your bridal party–who would you call if you woke up with a dead hooker in your bed LOL. Meaning, who could you call at 3am, help you bury the body and keep the secret. Those are the only people you should have in your Bridal Party. They will have your back and put your interests above theirs.
Post # 13
Thanks for all of the advice and stories, ladies!
We talked about it and we cut it down to 10 plus 1 usher. So, 11, technically. The main problem was his best friends and also that I HAVE to have my nephews and niece in the Bridal Party. Like, from the moment each has been born, I can’t imagine them NOT being up there with me. So we have it at this now.
MoH; Best Man
2 BM; 2 Groomsmen
1 Jr. BM; 1 Jr. Groomsmen
Flower Girl ; Ring Bearer
And then 1 Usher, mainly for the parents and grandparents and maybe to pass out programs? What exactly does an usher do? I can’t NOT have him do something important and we haven’t figured out what kind of ceremony so for readings and stuff, I’m not sure what I want. But I do want the Usher (my closest cousin) as an Usher or in the Bridal Party.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Booknerd: That is a huge bridal party compared to the guest list. I would say most people expect 5%-10% of guests to be in the bridal party max. Once you get to a bridal party of that size you are going to have logistical issues with getting pictures and I think as a bride you seem a little drowned out in the sea of bridesmaids. I think you could do 3-5 attendants each and still look okay but more than that and where are they all going to stand during the ceremony? It’s just going to look awkward. I would think that you asked everyone you ever knew to be in your bridal party rather than close friends and family.
The most recent post with 5 each looks perfect!
Post # 15
@Booknerd: Your last post seems about perfect.
Post # 16
I think your cut down list is fine. We’re having ~90 guests and 9 in the Bridal Party (four Bridesmaid or Best Man, 5 GM). Had I not put a limit (5), Fiance would have had 20 GMs to my 4 BMs.