It’s your bridal party and of course you can ask as many girls as you want to be in it. However, before jumping the gun and immediately declaring all 15 of your besties bridesmaids, you may want to read this list of things to consider first.
1. The added costs
The bigger the bridal party, the bigger the bill! Wedding planner Marilisa Schachinger of Martel Event recommends considering the cost and how each additional bridesmaid could impact your overall budget of the smaller festivities. “From the bridal luncheon to thank you gifts, rehearsal dinner guest count, as well as providing hair and make up services and meals the day-of, there are many details that will become more expensive with a larger wedding party.” Not to mention flowers for all of your girls! “If your hope is to to truly ‘spoil’ these honored guests, outline a specific budget you need to keep in mind as you select the number in your bridal party.”
2. All those cooks in the kitchen
The more ladies you have in your bridal party, the more ladies who will have opinions on the style or fit of the bridesmaid dresses, which could become quite the headache, warns Samantha Gieseke, owner of Plan Our Day Houston. You’ll then have to ensure the bridesmaid dress are all ordered and paid for in time, she adds. “Depending on the dress or designer, this needs to be done 6-8 months from your wedding day.”
3. The hassle of trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules
Having a large bridal part can often feel like herding cats, says Erica Taylor, co-founder of NYC-based event design and planning company Tinsel & Twine. “Even just coordinating schedules for bridal showers, brunches and bachelorette trips can become a big task.” Ouch! Our heads hurt just thinking about it...
4. A cramped bridal suite
You’ll need to consider the bridal suite, where everyone in your bridal party will get ready together on the big day. If it's an off-site hotel suite or bridal/groom suite at your venue, be sure that it can accommodate a bigger bridal party with plenty of mirrors, outlets, room to sit and restrooms, advises Schachinger. “The last thing you’ll want to feel on your special day while getting ready is cramped with everyone on top of each other!”
5. Your personality
If you don’t thrive in a chaotic environment, wedding planner Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques, suggests keeping your bridal party small. “There’s no way to avoid a little bit of stress and drama when there are eight women getting ready for a wedding together. Brides who prefer a calm, serene environment on the big day should think about sticking to as few attendants as they can get away with.”
6. The inevitable drama
With a big bridal party, there’s a bigger chance for drama and cattiness amongst at least a couple of the girls, points out Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. “There's always that one person that you have to constantly remind to get fitted, the person who doesn't get along with another member of the party, the person who wants to be the boss over others, etc.” It can cause some unnecessary stress.
7. Why you want a big bridal party in the first place
Think about it: what’s the real reason you want a big bridal party? If you’re doing it because of politics, it's a big mistake, cautions Jenkins. “If you're doing it to compete with Princess Diana's wedding, it's also a big mistake. If you're doing it because your mother or mother-in-law has a vision for a big bridal party, again, it's a mistake.” However, if a big bridal party is your style, then he says to go for it.