By Jen Glantz, Elizabeth Mitchell. Photos: Charles Schiller.
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.
2. 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 fiancÃ© 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.
3. 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.
4. It’s Okay to Not Have Any Bridesmaidsâ€”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-palsâ€”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 polyester 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 meansâ€”bestow the “bridesman” title upon him and add him to the group.
Here’s What Your Bridesmaid Number Reveals About You
The number of girls you choose to include in your bridal party can reveal a lot about you as a person, as well as your likes and hobbies. Whether you’re going big or keeping it super small, find out what your bridesmaid number says about you.
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
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 fiancÃ© with them. Others would definitely describe you as outgoing, fun to be around and even the life of the party from time to time.
4 to 6 Bridesmaids
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 partymost 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
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.
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 fiancÃ©. 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.
This story originally appeared on Brides.