Making the important decision to get married can fill couples with joy and excitement as they imagine spending the rest of their lives together. Naturally, brides- and grooms-to-be are anxious to share the good news with others and include family and friends in the festivities. One way couples exemplify inclusion is by asking their closest acquaintances to be part of their wedding parties.
Being asked to serve as a bridesmaid or groomsman is an honor. Some couples may be tempted to ask every friend, sibling or cousin they have to be in their wedding parties, and some do. In fact, ancient Roman law required 10 witnesses to be part of the wedding ceremony. However, the larger the wedding party, the more people couples have to coordinate and the more personalities they must manage.
While large wedding parties are in style, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all formula to decide which size party is right for a particular situation. Trends vary based on geography and culture. These tips can help couples decide on the size of their wedding parties.
n Match it to scope and style. Wedding planners may use a standard ratio for a proportion of guests to wedding party members. That ratio is one pair of wedding attendants for every 50 guests. This creates a balanced feel where the more people in attendance, the larger the wedding party and vice versa.
n Consider your expenses. Wedding party members may be asked to spend considerable amounts of money to be in the wedding, but the couple will have certain expenses tied to the wedding party as well. These can include limousines to ferry people between the ceremony and reception, photography costs to arrange and photograph large wedding parties, the cost of boutonnieres and bouquets, attendants’ gifts, as well as extra mouths to feed at the rehearsal dinner. Small wedding parties can be easier on couples’ budgets.
n Know your expectations. Couples should discuss what they expect from their wedding parties. Do couples want their loved ones to be very hands-on or waiting in the wings? For those who want a lot of input from their wedding parties, asking distant friends or family to be included may be impractical.
n Select reliable, easygoing people. Wedding party members should be people couples can rely on, and it only helps if wedding party members are not prone to overreacting. Choose a wedding party that can be trusted and people with whom you get along.
Wedding party sizes are up to the couple, but bigger isn’t always better.