How Do I Decide Who to Ask to Be in My Bridal Party?

Choosing your 'maids can be challenging!

Bride in Dress

Photo by Caroline Lima Photography

One of the first things you’ll decide when you start planning your wedding is who will be in your bridal party — that way you can give your girls plenty of time to get ready for your big day! Choosing your bridesmaids, however, can be challenging, especially if you have a large group of friends and can’t imagine leaving anyone out. What’s a bride to do? Our experts have a few ideas.

When a bride with a large group of friends is picking who will (and won’t) be in her bridal party, she has a few options, as well as a few things to keep in mind. Whether you decide to go big or keep it small, you’ll want to be aware of where the boundaries in your friend groups are. If everyone is friends with everyone, picking between friends could be tough, whereas if you have a few smaller friend groups, you might be able to narrow it down a little further. If there is a group of four friends, for example, and you invite three of them to be bridesmaids, you may want to invite the fourth, too — having one more person in pictures is much easier than the hurt feelings that could result from one friend feeling excluded!

Size-wise, your first choice is to simply have a huge bridal party. Sisters, childhood friends, college roommates, and your coworker-turned-BFF? Invite them all! The more the merrier (and the better those mismatched dresses will look!). Of course, a huge bridal party comes with challenges, too. Bouquets can be expensive, and it’s a lot of girls to keep track of. It does also run the risk of creating drama, so if that big group is prone to it, you might want to think twice.

If you have a few smaller groups of friends, you can narrow your bridal party down to the closest friends in each group. Closer to your college friends than those from when you were little? If you’re still planning to invite them to your wedding, there won’t be any hard feelings (and you’ll save them the expense of being a bridesmaid!).

And of course, you can always keep it really small. Ask your sisters or future sisters-in-law to join you, and turn to just your closest friend or two. The rest of your friends will easily see how you made your decision, especially if it’s along family lines!

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