How Many Bridesmaids Are Too Many Bridesmaids?

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Photo by Julia Fenner

Figuring out how many bridesmaids to choose (let alone who to choose) can get stressful. Sometimes choosing bridesmaids can feel like you’re the captain of the kickball team looking at a crowd of eligible players, trying to choose the top 5 or 10 for your team. But just because you have a lot of close friends or family members, doesn’t mean they all need to stand by your side on your wedding day. They can be there for you in other ways that don’t require a hand-picked chiffon dress or a rehearsed gallop down the aisle. If you find yourself breaking out in a stress sweat over how many bridesmaids to choose, remember these four rules for choosing your bridesmaids.

4 Rules for Deciding How Many Bridesmaids to Have

  1. There’s No “Right” Bridesmaid Number

You don’t need a certain number of bridesmaids. You don’t have to choose an odd number or an even number or a certain number, like five, because you’ve seen that most people on your Facebook timeline have selected that amount. It’s not a numbers game and there’s certainly no rule of thumb you should abide by when it comes to how many women (or men) to lead the way for you down the aisle.

  1. Don’t Feel Pressure to Have the Same Amount of Bridesmaids as Groomsmen

You also don’t need to have the same number of bridesmaids as your fiancé has groomsmen. The only time anyone will notice that you have less bridesmaids than he has groomsmen, is when it’s time to walk down the aisle. Which, by the way, no one really pays much attention to because their sitting their fidgeting with excitement, waiting for you to walk down the aisle. If you’re nervous about your pictures looking off with an uneven number, ask the photographer to stage different setups and poses for the pictures so that it’s not just a straight line of people standing beside one another.

  1. Just Because Someone Chose You as a Bridesmaid Doesn’t Mean You Have to Choose Them

If you’re picking your bridesmaids based on who has picked you in the past, you may have over 20 bridesmaids (this is a shout-out for us “always-a-bridesmaid” girls). You don’t have to grace someone with the bridesmaid honor just because they graced you. If you’re still close with them, go for it! If you haven’t spoken in two years, it may be a little awkward rekindling your friendship during your wedding adventure.

  1. It’s Okay to Not Have AnyBridesmaids—Or Include a Bridesman Instead

You absolutely don’t have to have any bridesmaids at all. There’s no cardinal rule about how many bridesmaids you should have. It’s just an age-old tradition, and you can still have a booming bachelorette party and invite all your gal-pals—they may even be happier in the long run that you saved them from having to shell out a clump of cash to buy a bridesmaid dress they are never going to wear again! On the other hand, have a guy in your life that you can’t imagine leaving out? By all means—bestow the “bridesman” title upon him and add him to the group.

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Lauren Methia Photography

You’re the social butterfly of your clique and always like to keep a gaggle of girls (or guys) around you to ham it up with. Your motto in life is to work hard, play hard and that you do! After a long day at the office, you can either be found partaking in happy hour, meeting up with your meetup group or hosting a dinner party with your besties and their significant others too. You’re charming and utterly irresistible so it’s no wonder people are naturally drawn to your bubbly energy.

7 to 9 Bridesmaids

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Photo by Ashley Caroline

You’re a modern day nomad with besties scattered all across the country. Some may say you’re indecisive, but your friends mean the world to you, and there’s no way you could picture saying I do without them all standing by your side. You jump at the chance to take girls’ vacays and enjoy gossiping about everything from celebrities to fashion to fiancé with them. Others would describe you as outgoing, fun to be around and even the life of the party from time to time.

4 to 6 Bridesmaids

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Piper Rastello Photography

While you love socializing and hanging out with your friends, you also like your alone time and can get overwhelmed when there’s too many people around at once. Your bridal party most likely consists of your sister or or sister-in-law, your BFF since childhood and a few other ladies you’ve know for years and are currently still close to. You may have been a dancing machine in your single days, but now you enjoy drinks and dinner (and brunch, of course) with the girls on the weekend.

1 to 3 Bridesmaids

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You couldn’t decide between your group of girls so you simply opted to ask only your bestie or your sister (or both) instead. That doesn’t mean you won’t have some of the rest of your squad stop by for a quick champagne toast before the ceremony, or hit the dance floor together at the reception. You’re fiercely loyal, all about family and would do anything for the people you love in your life. In your free time, you like nothing more than hitting up a local museum, going to an art show or even checking out your favorite up-and-coming band at a dive bar. On the other hand, you’re also completely happy having a movie night in with your man.

No Bridesmaids

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Melina Wallisch Photography

You march to the beat of your own drum, and as far as tradition goes, you’re certainly not afraid to break with it. Of course, you have several close friends you could ask, but your wedding is small and you really want the focus to be on you and your fiancé. That’s not to say you like being the center of attention though; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Small talk totally isn’t your thing, as you much prefer deep conversations to mindless chitchat.

 

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Your daughter is getting married!

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Your daughter is getting married! This is a momentous time in your life, a beautiful and awe-inspiring occasion for both of you. You are witnessing your little girl step into the full bloom of her womanhood, watching her as she stands on the precipice of an extraordinary transformation. Where has the time gone? Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was taking her first steps, then trotting off to school, going on her first date, graduating from high school, and finally leaving home? The beauty and challenge of motherhood is that as tightly as you would like to hold on to your precious one, you continually need to let go. And with each letting go, you watch her step further into the unique woman that she is, embracing her strengths, challenging her weaknesses, learning what it is to be human. And now she is getting married.

How to Have a Wedding Morning That’s All Chill and Zero Drama…

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Jenny Fu

Have food figured out.

Don’t wait until you’re half made-up and hangry to send someone out in search of snacks (vending-machine Peanut M&Ms are not going to have you feeling like your best self, protein notwithstanding). Whether you’re getting ready at a hotel or at home, eliminate any guesswork and hassle by pre-ordering breakfast/brunch for delivery or to be picked up by a family member; pay when you place the order to nix one more day-of logistic. You could assign out food strategizing to a reliable bridesmaid. Either way, “this will alleviate a lot of stress,” Keegan says. “It’s so important that everyone, including the couple, eats before the day really gets started.” Planning what you’ll eat beforehand also allows you to choose foods that will keep you energized even if you’re too jittery to eat later on—ideally, something with protein and complex carbs. Pre-think your drinks, too: Janelle had plenty of snacks on hand for her MVPs, as well as Rosa Regale sparkling red by Banfi, which, at 7 percent alcohol by volume, is light enough that everyone can enjoy a glass or two before walking down the aisle.

Have these items at the ready.

Speaking of headaches, don’t forget to have your wedding emergency kit at the ready, packed with items that will help avert mini disasters during your busy morning. Think tampons, Advil and Pepto, garment tape, a blister stick, safety pins, instant stain remover, a sewing kit. Assembling it is a fun scavenger hunt you could assign to an eager bridesmaid or mom. Two more potentially life-saving items to pack: a hand-held steamer and a power strip, for when 52 phones and hair appliances need to be plugged in and your hotel suite has 6 outlets.

Hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.

Even if you’re having a destination wedding and getting ready at the hotel, your door needn’t be open to every relative and long-lost friend who’s eager to say hello. “The only people we suggest having access to the ‘getting-ready room’ are those getting hair and makeup done,” Keegan says. “It can be too overwhelming and stressful if other friends and family come in and out. You should feel free to maintain a relaxing and stress-free environment in the morning, as the rest of the day is going to be quite overwhelming.”

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Jenny Fu

Set the tone with the right music.

Don’t underestimate the power of a great wedding-morning playlist—it’s the best way to get everyone in the mood to celebrate and help keep the happy vibes flowing, even when someone’s hair tendrils won’t cooperate, or a strapless bra goes missing. Think upbeat but non-distracting (this is no time to deplete your energy/voice by belting out power ballads). With so many pre-mixed playlists to stream, you don’t even have to spend time creating your own unless you’ll enjoy that. “On Spotify I love Yacht Rock or Budda Bar, depending on what mood everyone is in—both are fun yet easy listening,” Keegan says.

 

Off-Day Weddings Offer Advantages

Traditionally, Saturday is the most popular day for weddings. But competition for sites and services is making so-called “off-day weddings” more attractive. Even if you don’t marry in September or October, traditionally the two most popular months, a Saturday wedding can be hard to arrange. Many wedding ceremony and reception sites are booked a year or more ahead of time.

To make matters worse, it’s even harder if there’s one particular site you’ve set your heart on with your wedding planning. If there’s a conflict, your only options are to postpone or switch dates. For many couples, an off-day wedding— perhaps a Friday or Sunday wedding ceremony—is more appealing than delaying the ceremony. This is especially true for if you don’t have a lot of time for wedding planning and preparation, or if a sudden job move or other unexpected event makes you advance your plans.

The anniversary factor can also have you setting up an off-day wedding. When a particular date (like the one-year anniversary of his proposal) is more important than a Saturday time frame, you should not let tradition stand in the way of significance.

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Every decision from your attire to the design of the cake is a reflection of your personal style. Not the least of which is your First Dance song.

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Perfect Wedding Guide entertainment vendors across the country are some of the best in their markets, and an excellent resource for picking music that sets the tone for your wedding.

Here are the Top 10 Most Popular First Dance Songs, according to Spotify.

  1. Perfect – Ed Sheeran
  2. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  3. At Last – Etta James
  4. All of Me – John Legend
  5. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley
  6. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  7. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagna
  8. I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
  9. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
  10. Perfect Duet – Ed Sheeran & Beyonce

What is your First Dance song?

The Walk Down the Aisle

As my daughter and I walked down that aisle together, I felt like I was reliving every minute we had ever shared all at once. I had dreaded that moment for years, but now that it had arrived, it was perfect. I kissed her and gave her hand to her life partner and moments later they were united in matrimony. May happiness and joy to be with her always.

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