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How Many Bridesmaids Can You Have?

How many bridesmaids should I have?

A popular question and a question that has no direct answer. 

Now that you are engaged, the next step is planning a wedding. 

And part of the wedding planning process is to pick a few closest friends and family that will stand by your side on your big day. 

They are usually referred to as the wedding party or the bridal party. 

It’s your right to choose people that mean the world to you and can support you emotionally as you take the next chapter of your life. 

Bridesmaids play an important role as they typically plan fancy parties for you, wear cute bridesmaids’ dresses, and stand by the bride’s side on the wedding day!

I am sure you want your best friend from kindergarten, your future husband’s sister and even your good cousin from Australia to be part of your day. 

But what about the cousin’s sister?

Yes, I am sure everyone would be part of your bridal party if you had a way.

So how many bridesmaids can I have?

And how many bridesmaids are too many?

Yes, you are in the right place if you are trying to figure out how many bridesmaids you can have at a wedding. 

Trying to decide among your top 5 or 10 friends can be tricky. 

So how do you choose the number of bridesmaids to have?

All great questions!

We will be answering a few bridal party questions from our readers:

  • How to pick a bridal party

  • What an excellent bridal party size is

  • And whether or not your numbers should match the groomsmen

But before you even get to that, you first must determine the little things. 

Ultimately, this is your big day, and you can have a few, many, or none. 

We want to break it down for you and simplify the process. 

So, how many bridesmaids should you have?

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History of having bridesmaids

Before we can determine how many bridesmaids you should have in your wedding, let’s look at the brief history of bridesmaids.

This way, you can choose the bridesmaids in your bridal party and determine how many you should have!

You will be surprised to know that, back in biblical times, bridesmaids were not necessarily friends or relatives of the bride-to-be; they were domestic workers who catered to the bride’s every need during the wedding day.

Their jobs back then were not as glamorous as it is now. 

And in some places, it was customary to have small girls rather than grown women run around catering to the bride. 

As the years progressed, we started seeing larger bridal parties. 

This is because, in Ancient Roman times, the law required you to have 10 witnesses for your wedding {whereas now, it’s two – depending on where you are!}

The 10 witnesses started the whole bridal party tradition. 

And now bridesmaids and groomsmen have become a regular part of the ceremony tradition. 

It is believed that it was uncommon for the bride to travel a long way to the town where the groom lived to get hitched; she needed a pack of people to help protect her. 

So a group of women dressed in beautiful similar outfits accompanied her, making it difficult for “rival suitors” or bandits to get at the bride.

Life was hard back then.

The number of bridesmaids you can have is really up to you and the size of your wedding. Generally speaking, it's common to have between three and eight bridesmaids. However, some couples opt to have more or fewer depending on their preferences. Ultimately, the decision is yours and you should choose the number of bridesmaids that makes you and your partner feel most comfortable.

How many bridesmaids should you have?

Now it’s time to determine how many bridesmaids you can have at a wedding. 

The answer is not that straightforward, but we have a few things for you to consider. 

The first step is to take a good look at your wedding vision. 

Have you always wanted a big bridal party?

Maybe because you find yourself constantly surrounded by big groups of friends? 

Or maybe you have no friends and feel stressed about navigating this bridesmaids situation.

The role of your bridesmaids is to support you and make your day special!

Because this is your big day and you have a set vision, you can choose to have no bridal party. 

My husband and I walked each other down the aisle and back after our emotional first look. 

It is common to see bridal parties on average of 3 to 5! 

But I have also seen big bridal parties of 12 and onwards of 24 people! 

What to consider before deciding the number of bridesmaids to have

As you can see from the previous point, you can have a big or small group of bridesmaids. 

But before solidifying that number, you need to consider your budget, venue space and the dynamics of the group. 

Starting with your wedding budget, you might not be footing the bill for their dresses, shoes or even hairstyles and make-up, but their other expenses you will need to be responsible for!

For example, their bridal bouquets and corsages. 

Flowers are not cheap, whether fake or not or if you plan to DIY them. 

These wedding expenses do add up, and if you look at the bigger picture, the more people you have, the more money you spend. 

Guests for your bridal party.

Many brides have personal opinions about this, believing no plus ones are allowed. 

If you follow etiquette, allowing your bridal party a plus one is recommended unless they have been dating for less than 6 months before your wedding comes along.  

Especially if they are married, engaged or cohabiting.

The more bridesmaids you have in your bridal party (or on his side), the more you will need to pay.

This can significantly increase your wedding guest list. 

You want to thank your bridesmaids for standing by you.

So keep the cost of bridesmaids gifts in mind when budgeting. 

Lastly, if you are at separate locations, you might need more cars or limos to transport your bridesmaids to the venue. 

These wedding expenses do add up quickly!

How Many Bridesmaids Can You Have? If you want a small bridal party go for it! If you are planning to have all your friends as part of your bridesmaid squad, I cheer you on! There are no rules. So How many bridesmaids should I have? How many bridesmaids should you have at a wedding?

Quick tips for choosing bridesmaids

The great thing about having bridesmaids is that you will spend your special day surrounded by friends or family you love the most.

They will cheer you on and calm your nerves, especially before the wedding ceremony. 

Having this kind of support is needed. 

In this case, you shouldn’t be asking how many bridesmaids you should have!

Instead, you want to choose supportive bridesmaids who can all get along. 

Weddings can be overwhelmingly emotional and stressful. 

Here are a few quick tips on how to choose bridesmaids:

  • Choose bridesmaids and maid of honour based on those you see and talk to frequently. 
  • You don’t need to pick your best friend from high school if you have grown apart.
  • Choose to surround yourself with those that support your relationship
  • Large groups can be stressful to manage (dress shopping, differences in opinions, scheduling issues) 
  • And if you are having a ring bearer and flower girl – there are costs associated here too
  • You don’t need to have a bridal party because society expects it
  • Don’t make someone a bridesmaid just because they made you one
  • Having odd numbers is okay – You don’t need to have the same number
  • Don’t choose bridesmaids because you NEED to have even numbers
  • Think about personalities – if women clash, things might not turn out well (too many opinions will cause conflicts)
  • Having siblings or family members doesn’t automatically mean that they are part of the bridal party
  • The same goes for other family members (cousins, future sisters-in-law, etc.) – They don’t need to be part of the bridal party

How many bridesmaids can you have at a wedding? We have given you all our tips!

The number of bridesmaids you choose to have by your side on your special day is entirely up to you. 

Are 6 bridesmaids too many, or is 7 a lot? 

Or maybe you feel that 15 bridesmaids are too many. 

The average number of bridesmaids is usually between 3 and 5, but you must do what you feel is best for your day. 

If one person is enough and this one person means the world to you, then have just the one. 

And if 20 bridesmaids need to be by your side, get them all if the budget is no issue. 

A wedding without bridesmaids is just as beautiful. 

It’s not a numbers game, and there are no rules to how many bridesmaids you should have at a wedding. 

Just choose the number of bridesmaids that feels right for you. 

How Many Bridesmaids Are Too Many Bridesmaids

Please share with us in the comment section.

How many bridesmaids do you have?

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How Many Bridesmaids Should I Have? You Will Be Shocked!