So you are finally engaged and are in the process of making decisions revolving around your big, special day. You have decided on a venue, a caterer, a cake, your colors and the menu. Your fiance is waiting on you to tell you how many groomsmen he needs. Uh-oh, this can really present a problem, especially if you have a bunch of friends and you are close to all of them. The last thing you really want to do is hurt someone's feelings or lose a friendship.
First of all, if someone gets mad at you and stops being your friend because you don't make them your maid of honor, matron of honor or a bridesmaid, then their friendship is probably one that you don't need in the first place. Sometimes people have more friends than open spots in their wedding.
So How Many Is Too Many?
When you are planning your venue, take a look at the alter or stage or where ever it will be that you are standing. Obviously if the area is small, there will be limited space. One of the first rules in helping you chose how many bridesmaids is appropriate for you is to think about the size of your wedding party and the place it is going to take place. It isn't going to be easy to choose four of your closest friends if you are having a small affair, but if the venue is small, then your party needs to be also.
Consider How Formal the Wedding Is
A great second rule is to think about how formal the wedding is. Traditionally speaking, formal weddings can have well over six bridesmaids, not counting the maid of honor or the matron of honor. So if you plan on having a huge gala then by all means have as many as you want, however, remember, if you or someone close to you is footing the bill, the dresses can get rather expensive. You also run the risk of your intended not having the same amount.
Going with a Smaller, Intimate Affair
If you plan on having a smaller, more intimate wedding, then typically customs range from one to three. One maid of honor/matron of honor and then two maids. While this may be a little easier on the budget, it might get a tad uncomfortable or frigid when you go to the beauty shop. Don't worry about them and you can always soothe ruffled feathers by giving people other jobs.
Don't Overthink Your Decision
There really isn't any law or rule book when it comes to choosing your bridesmaids. There are rules on etiquette and such, but if you or your family really isn't into all the proper stuff then you don't have to worry about it. The majority of the bridesmaid selection is purely a decision based on what the couple in love has to say and possibly the people that may be helping foot the bill.
Cost Is a Factor
Traditionally speaking, bridesmaids buy their own dresses, however the brides often feel obligated to at least help with the costs if not completely pay for it themselves. The ladies you have at your side should be ones that you really want to stand up there with you, not because you feel obligated but because they are special to you and you want to share this event with them more than just having them sit in the crowd.
There Is No Ultimate Rule to Abide By
Your wedding day should be a happy event full of love, laughter and great memories. There really is no rule saying how many bridesmaids are too few or too many. Remember when you are getting ready. Too many bridesmaids flitting about can get stressful and even more so if they don't all get along. Sometimes jealously may ignite and things can get pretty catty.
So, the decision to have as many or as few bridesmaids rests solely on you. Don't fret about what others will think. You make this day special for you and the love of your life. The rest of the small details will work themselves out.