Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC
I have a massive number of friends from various stages in my life that I would want to ask to be bridesmaids…at least 8 and at most 13. Fiance and I are considering keeping the guest count small due to budget, and I really do not want to have to deal with a bridal party of 16-20 people. I think it would be awkward to have such a large party, particularly bridesmaids, and I don’t want to deal with fights between girls who have a history of friction and the dreaded “I have to ask C because she’ll be so upset if I ask A and B and not her.”
A friend suggested having a much smaller number of bridesmaids and somehow honoring the other who were not asked, by having them wear the same color dress or a corsage or something similar. It would work out well as between Fiance and I we have 3 sisters and 3 brothers. We could keep the bridal party family-only and honor our good friends somehow. I’m not exactly all for the idea of making my guests wear some particular outfit, and I don’t know that as a female guest I would want to be toting a corsage around all night, but I would love to get them the same small piece of jewelry they could wear that day to stand out a little. This would also help the photographer know who our VIPs are and make sure they get some nice pictures of them.
Fiance hates this, mostly because he wants all of his friends standing there. I really get it, and I’m torn too (which is why I’m posting here)! My mom and sisters seemed to like that idea.
Is this tacky? Rude? Would you be offended if someone did this? Should we write them in the program too, or is that total overkill? One second I think it’s the best way to keep the bridal party small while honoring everyone we love and I think people would understand that we’re having only siblings, the next it feels tacky and classless. We’re getting married in the south and I know tons of bridesmaids are normal, but 13 is A LOT. I can’t think of how to honor all of my best friends somehow. Thoughts?
Post # 3
CarolinaPeach13: I agree with the family only ideaI’ve been in two weddings where the bridal party was 9 on each side. Sometimes the bridal party gets out of control (numbers wise), especially if it’s a small wedding. A couple of my really good friends stuck to family only and while some friends here and there were a bit disappointed at the beginning, in the end, no one really minded and it worked out for the best. They still had girls helping them do all the bridal stuff, going with them shoping for dresses, etc. The bach was still the same and so were the showers.
As far as the bach parties for the guys… I’ve heard some stories, so it didn’t seem to put a damper that the Bridal Party was restricted to family.
Post # 4
The smaller the bridal party, the better. It’s nice if you want to get the others a corsage or something but not required. Anyone who gets bent out of shape over not being in the bridal party is acting like a child. Absolutely do not ask the non-bridesmaids to wear any specific color or style. That’s like saying you like them enough to make them match in your photos but not enough to call them a bridesmaid. Names in programs is weird and awkward.
You and your fiancé both should try to remember that your wedding isn’t as important to your friends as you think it is. most people don’t mind not being “honored” and most people are perfectly happy to attend as a guest.
Post # 5
CarolinaPeach13: I don’t think it’s fair to force your fiancé to do this also. He should be able to have whoever he wants on his side and you can limit your side to family only.
Post # 6
We really don’t need to ask all of our friends from various stages in our life to be a bridesmaid. It’s good to leave someone to be in the pews.
Especially if you are considering a small wedding, a huge bridal party can look a little silly- like you are so scared of offending anyone that you asked everyone. In that case it’s not much of an honor.
I think asking them to wear a certain color dress or wearing a corsage is also unnecessary.
Post # 7
Your fiance should have as many or as few people standing with him as he wants. That isn’t something you get a say in. I wouldn’t ask non bridesmaids to wear a specific color. If that happened to me I’d take it as “pretend to be a bridesmaid and do a bridesmaids job [“helping” the photographer] even though you’re not. “
Post # 8
I think it’s totally fine to limit the bridal party. People have to make cuts for all sorts of reasons in weddings and most people understand that if everyone you’re friends with is a Bridesmaid or Best Man, there would be almost no one watching! I think it’s really nice to honor your other close friends too, BUT- buying a matching dress is most people’s least favorite part of being a bridesmaid. It’s like giving them all the cost and work with none of the fun. Could you ask them to do a reading together in your ceremony? Or include them by giving them the same Bridesmaid or Best Man gift as the others? And I definitely think inviting them to the bachelor/bachelorette parties would be nice! It’s your wedding and you should have whoever and however many people standing beside you as you so wish!
Post # 9
CarolinaPeach13: I don’t like it. I certainly wouldn’t want to be told what colour dress to wear. Giving out corsages, and naming friends in the program, seems to divide guests into 1st and 2nd class.
It’s already an honour to be a wedding guest. Then you can further honor them by including them in the bachelorette, and doing some special “friends’ photos” at the wedding. You could even invite them to get ready with you in the morning, though I think there are too many to do that.
I agree also that small wedding parties are good.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC
Thanks for the advice. The reason I wanted a small wedding party in the first place was because I don’t want a small amount of guests and no one left in the pews, so that’s not the issue. Fiance was extremely against a small party and wanted ALL of his good friends up there with him. I was trying to avoid that. My problem is that I don’t know how to honor those who have been really supportive of my Fiance and I through our relationship and who have been excited for us and genuinely want to be involved. Maybe some of the girls I’m thinking of don’t care as much as I think they do, but there are definitely several who are expecting to be bridesmaids and I don’t want them to think their help, love, and support has gone unnoticed.
gamerlover: I’m not forcing him to do anything. I brought it up as just an idea and he had such a strong negative reaction that I wondered if I was really wrong. And while I’m not all about even sides, I do think it’s weird for him to have 8-10 people on his side and I only have 3.
julies1949: these are friends I’m still very close to, I just meant friends from different groups and areas of and not that I had 13 BFFs from my college sorority that just all had to be bridesmaids. Some are sorority sisters, but there’s a couple friends from my hometown who I still see regularly, a couple girls I’ve ridden horses and been close with for many years, and a couple I’ve known literally my whole life.
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC
And again, I’m against the telling of what color dress to wear or giving of special corsages.
I really just wanted to give them all a bracelet or necklace. Not only so they know I appreciate them, but so that if they choose to wear it at the wedding the photographer could be on the lookout for them and make sure to get some nice pictures. I don’t have to write them in the program, that was just something brought up at one point.
Post # 12
I breathe a sign of relief when I find out I don’t have to be a bridesmaid, I just get to be a guest.
I’d say keep your side small, family only, maybe your one absolute best friend too. Let your fiance do whatever he wants.
People can still witness, celebrate and vow to support your marriage as a guest just as effectively as if they were in the bridal party.
Post # 13
I attended a wedding recently where my 2 sons were both good friends of the groom. One was asked to be a groomsman and the other an usher. They only chose 3 groomsmen and bridesmaids. The groom used his friends who weren’t groomsmen as ushers and the bride asked her friends that were not bridesmaids to all wear the same color which they did. It was cute! They were very supportive and seemed to feel like a special part of the wedding.
Post # 14
My friend had her siblings only in her wedding party, but my friend and I threw her bachelorette party and as a thank you she bought us floral robes and invited us to get ready with her the morning of her wedding. We got to be in the getting ready photos, didn’t have to buy a pricy dress, it was the perfect scenario
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
I would do familly only in this situation.