How Many Bridesmaids?

Posted at 03:04 am Thursday September 1st 2011
Tradition dictates that the number of bridesmaids or attendants you have is determined by the number of your guests, and what type of wedding you're having.  If you're having a small, intimate family gathering, for example, 10-12 bridesmaids is certainly going to be a bit much.  But if you are having a large number of guests then several bridesmaids might make sense.  As well, it depends on how many friends/family/inlaws you may be "obligated" to include.
Ushers: General rule of thumb is one usher for every fifty guests - to show people to their seats and hand out programs. Usually the groomsmen are also the ushers, but if you're only having one witness each, you can have other friends help seat people.
Formal wedding: If you're having a large wedding (200+ guests) then 6-10 bridesmaids is not out of the question.  As well, you'd have 6-10 groomsmen and a flower girl and a ringbearer.  

Semi-formal weddings: 1 to 6 bridesmaids, 1 to 6 groomsmen and sometimes a flower girl and/or ring bearer. 

Casual wedding: Sometimes just a maid of honor and best man, sometimes one or two additional groomsmen. Typically no flower girl or ring bearer.

Second wedding or late-in-life wedding: Many older brides choose not to have attendants or perhaps just a witness.  Parents often decide to have their children walk them down the aisle and act as their attendants.
Another thing to consider is cost.  Having a large number of attendants means more gifts to buy, more meals (rehearsal and wedding) and more hair and makeup expenses.
All said, do what you feel comfortable with. Do what makes you happy. After all, Prince William and Kate had hundreds of guests, but only 2 attendants and flower girls.  Do what's right for you and what makes sense for your budget.
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