How Many Bridesmaids Do I Need?

Posted by Mark Atkinson on

Group of bridesmaids


Join the Club!

So you’ve started compiling your potential bridesmaid list and it includes your best friend from juniors, the girl you hitchhiked around Europe with before uni, your sister, your future sister-in-law, your best friend from senior school, the slightly weird friend who you haven’t seen for ten years but promised faithfully when you were both drunk one night that she could be a bridesmaid at your wedding…and your second favourite cousin who has a slight lisp and you feel a bit sorry for.

If this sounds kind of familiar, then join the club because that’s what most brides-to-be’s lists read like. But never fear, because here at Elegance of Elena we want to help you whittle your list down, if that’s what you want?

What's the Average Number?

In the UK, the average number of bridesmaids is three, although an astonishing 20% of couples have more than five. Five is the average number of bridesmaids at American weddings, which perhaps isn’t all that astonishing.

Remember, the more bridesmaids you have, the more likely it is that something else will be need to be cut back to compensate for the extra cost. If you do need to make some cuts to your burgeoning list, don’t forget that the majority of your friends will be happy just to be present at your wedding, and won’t be mortally wounded if they’re not asked to be bridesmaids or groomsmen, for that matter.

So, we advise you to trust your gut and make yourself your number one priority. After all, this day is all about you and not about the number of bridesmaids you have.

So How Many Do I Really Need?

This is the very first question you should be asking yourself, given that the bridesmaids that you make part of your wedding party are there primarily to make your big day extra-special. So, if you absolutely cannot choose between family members and close friends, don’t become stressed about it. After all, it will be fantastic to be surrounded by so many loving people at your wedding!

A larger wedding party may mean that:

  • Nobody will feel left out or hurt if they’re not chosen. Let’s face it, you can’t choose everybody, but you can have a pretty good go!
  • The photographs will be absolutely amazing. Just think of the veritable sea of happy, smiling faces!
  • There’ll be more people around to help with all the preparation. Many hands make light work, and there’s always plenty to do on the big day!
  • All your pre-wedding events such as engagement party, bridal shower and hen party will be guaranteed an excellent turnout. 

How Many Are Too Many?

Of course, a very large wedding party isn’t always the best option, and having more bridesmaids than necessary can lead to avoidable stress. Bridesmaids are simply there to help your wedding day run smoothly, so if you’re worried about your list becoming too large, do your best to cut down the numbers. Try to choose only your very closest friends, or include only immediate family.

Try to think about which of your bridesmaids could help you with specific planning needs. There’s nothing wrong with being practical and pragmatic, and close friends and family will appreciate that you need their help to organise such an important event.

Having too many bridesmaids might mean that:

  • The wedding becomes very expensive, especially if you’re paying for bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes, hair styling and make up.
  • Things could become quite tense, if a large number of bridesmaids each wants their opinion heard and advice taken.
  • The number of potential “dress/hair/make up dramas” is multiplied by the number of bridesmaids!
  • Traditional bridesmaid’s jobs such as planning the hen party become really stressful, with everyone having a different opinion about how things should be done.
  • It becomes difficult to keep track of them all on the big day. This could mean you spend half your wedding day chasing down bridesmaids for those all-important wedding photos.
  • You end up spending an absolute fortune buying thank you gifts for all of them.

All-in-all, having to choose between close friends and family is an unenviable task that no-one really enjoys. But if the worst comes to the worst and you really can’t decide who to choose and who to leave out, you could always ask your groom to do it and you choose his groomsmen. Then, at least, you’ll both have plausible deniability and be able to blame the other!

We Want to Help!

Here at Elegance of Elena it’s our mission to help as many couples’ weddings go as smoothly as possible. So, if you need to have a chat about any aspect of your engagement or wedding, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0116 462 5347 or e-mail your enquiry to us at: info@eleganceofelena.co.uk

Or, if your query’s fairly simple, you could always check out our comprehensive FAQs page!


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