The people who are standing to your left on your wedding day are almost as important as the person who is standing to your right. Friends and family all want a part in your special day, but you need to ask yourself: does size matter in picking a wedding party?
First of all, if you’re footing the bill, consider the cost. One bridesmaid dress, matching shoes, jewelry, hairdo and manicure already rake in a hefty bill. So if you double, triple or quadruple that number, it will definitely cut into your other spending. Think about how much it will cost before you promise eight of your loved ones a spot down the aisle. This big issue becomes a smaller point if you’re planning to ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to pay for their own expenses, but expenses such as limos, the rehearsal dinner and bridesmaid and grooms gifts still fall to the couple getting married and will be higher the more people who are in the wedding party.
Another thing to consider with wedding parties are the pre-wedding festivities: your bachelorette party, wedding shower and primping time. Trust me – the old saying “too many cooks in the kitchen causes somebody to get burned” can be true for a wedding, too. Having people help you can turn into too many people hovering about you.
Another question to ask – does everybody get along in your wedding party?
Finally, the larger the wedding party, the less emphasis that goes on the bride and groom. Pictures stretch to a panoramic view to fit in the whole group. Is there a mass of bridesmaids in the same dress drowning out your wedding gown? At the reception, there will be tricky issues with seating arrangements. Do you plan to have a head table? If so, the table can quickly become longer than you can see the end of. Are you planning on having round tabletops? You’ll likely only be able to fit 8-10 people at each table.
But of all the advice about choosing your wedding party, the most important is that you include people who you love and cherish. You’ll be asking these people to give a lot for your wedding – both in terms of the expense and the time committment – so be sure that it’s people who would want to give so much to you and your groom. You also want people who know you well and on whom you can rely – five minutes before you walk down the aisle and you’re trying not to cry, you need someone who knows your favorite jokes to help you keep a smile on your face.
And if that means that your wedding party has 20 members – at least you know you’re well-loved!