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 five 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 the bridesmaid selection process, remember these four "don'ts" when it comes to who to choose to stand beside you on your big day.
First, 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.
You also don't need to have the same number of bridesmaids as your fiancé 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.
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.
One more thing! You absolutely don't have to have any bridesmaid. There's no cardinal rule about this, just age-old tradition. You can still have a booming bachelorette party and invite all your gal-pals — 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!
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.