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Shannon S.
Master March 2011

Advice for Brides Considering a Large Bridal Party

Shannon S., on September 14, 2011 at 1:08 PM Posted in Planning 0 50
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...don't do it. Keep your attendants to five or fewer on each side.

Here's why:

1. BUDGET: For every BM or GM you add, you pony up for another plate at the RD (more if they have SOs), another bouquet/bout (not cheap), another gift, another round of hair and makeup, another plate at the bridal luncheon (if you're having one), and an even bigger head table (which is usually more decorated than other tables).

Plus, say you find a great deal on shoes, and snap them up for $40 a pair and ask the BM's to pay you back. With three girls, you're out $120 and have a few people to track down. With eight? You're out $320, and if they don't pay you back right away you're eating ramen for a month.

2. WEDDING PARTY BLOAT: I'm not talking about the sodium from all that ramen you've been eating. I'm talking about, "Well, if I asked Sleepy, I should ask Dopey, and if I ask Dopey, I should ask Doc." Before you know it, all seven dwarves are prancing down the aisle to Canon in D. (more)


50 Comments

  • MekMek
    Master June 2012
    MekMek ·
    • Flag

    Amen!!! Just sent this to my FH who I am fighting with because I want 4 and he wants 7. I've broken down the cost he is adding for each of his GM and he just smiles and says make it work my love.

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  • Shannon S.
    Master March 2011
    Shannon S. ·
    • Flag

    So, keep your party to the essentials. People will get over not being asked.

    3. MO' BMs, MO' PROBLEMS: The more BMs you have, the more people you have with a vested interest in your wedding. That means wanting to pick the dress, wanting to complain about the dress, wanting to bring that guy she met at the Jell-O wrestling match to your wedding. Or more people to cause drama at your wedding. It's one thing if a guest gets crazy drunk and starts slobbering over anythign with a wiener. It's quite another if Slobber Sister was just standing up for marriage and fidelity an hour before.

    4. THE HASSLE FACTOR: Remember, weddings are very chaotic days and bleed time all over the place. People involved in weddings tend to be highly excitable and disorganized. It's like toddlers on meth. How many people do you want to organize for photos, find out are stuck in traffic, shove into limos/cars, match to their bouquets, and have pepper you with questions? Ten? (more)

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  • Shannon S.
    Master March 2011
    Shannon S. ·
    • Flag

    Or how about twenty? Plus, it's not just the wedding party who will be bouncing like hyperactive popcorn and wandering away during photos. Don't forget parents, siblings, and Grandma. The more people you have, the more likely it is that your ceremony will start late (thereby royally ticking off your guests, who just want to get off that scenic hillside, out of the sun, and straight toward the bar).

    Ultimately, your wedding does NOT need to look like it was organized by the Little Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe. But if you MUST do it, keep things organized. Budget accordingly. Send out detailed timelines to EVERYONE a week in advance. Hire a DOC. And whatever amount of time you think it will take to get ready, take photos, etc...double it.

    What do y'all think?

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  • Shannon S.
    Master March 2011
    Shannon S. ·
    • Flag

    Mek - Ask him if he really wants that many hard-to-wrangle people in the after-ceremony photos, keeping him from his dinner!

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  • Tracy
    VIP September 2011
    Tracy ·
    • Flag

    Dude. Agreed. I wanted three or four on each side to begin with, ended up with two on each side, and that's been more than enough. Sure, we may look like friendless dweebs (especially me since one of the two is my sister), but seriously... I'm okay with that.

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  • Maria
    Expert August 2011
    Maria ·
    • Flag

    WELL SAID!!! I agree 110% I only had 3 BM and 3 GM but honestly if I could I would've only done a MOH and BM!! And yes unless you have limitless amounts of money be prepared to fork out extra $$ ... wish I would've known this before ...

    Please take the advice bride-to-bes!!! You don't think about the costs til you get closer to the END of the wedding planning (and it's already too late to change your mind because it's only 2 weeks til the wedding lol and they already bought their dress/paid for the tux) because that's the times you are buying gifts, paying for their hair/make up or whatever, paying for rehearsal dinner ...

    • Reply
  • KT
    VIP October 2011
    KT ·
    • Flag

    We have 5 BM, 4 GM, 1 FG and it has been 100% drama-free!!! However, our lives tend to be drama-free, so I think it's a reflection of that as well.

    I think huge wedding parties are ridiculous.

    • Reply
  • kk
    Devoted June 2011
    kk ·
    • Flag

    They do nothing but cause stress. I had 5 and would tell anyone that they should only have 1 or 2.

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  • Shannon S.
    Master March 2011
    Shannon S. ·
    • Flag

    Kk - I remember all the drama you had with BMs not getting their dresses on time. Which leads me to another thing:

    If you have more than four BMs, let them wear a black cocktail dress of their choice. Or give them a color and fabric and let them go to town. Getting two women to agree on a dress is a UN effort. Eight? Forget it!

    • Reply
  • Rae
    Master October 2012
    Rae ·
    • Flag

    AMEN!!!

    I'd like to add: Don't choose your BMs too early. -_-

    I'm about to smother my baby sister and we've only chosen the color of the dress so far. She is a nightmare.

    • Reply
  • MekMek
    Master June 2012
    MekMek ·
    • Flag

    Shannon - He looks at it as returning the favor, he's been in 7 wedding in the past year.

    • Reply
  • HRH Mags
    Master March 2014
    HRH Mags ·
    • Flag

    Good points and hilarious comparison!

    Mek- At least the guys are a little cheaper- you dont normally have to do their makeup and hair lol.

    I think another good piece of advice a previous bride said was directing people at the wedding was like herding cats Smiley laugh

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  • Anonymous
    VIP October 2012
    Anonymous ·
    • Flag

    I love all the advise on this discussion... But I think I might have 1 MOH and 4 BM's and maybe 5 BM's (if I have my FSIL stand up). It's too hard to choose. I'm really close with 4 of my friends though, like super close and they all get along for the most part. I hope eveything will work out! ***fingers crossed***

    • Reply
  • Maria
    Expert August 2011
    Maria ·
    • Flag

    Rae- YES!!! Totally true! Don't jump the gun as soon as your engaged and ask girls to be your BM or MOH. Give yourself some time to think it over and be sure it's who you really want part of your special day! Because it's a lot easier to NOT ask someone to be in the wedding then asking someone to step out of one! Yikes!

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  • MekMek
    Master June 2012
    MekMek ·
    • Flag

    100% agree with you Rae. I've only asked my MOH because I want her to select the dresses. She's a BM professional with 20 weddings under her belt : |

    • Reply
  • Shannon S.
    Master March 2011
    Shannon S. ·
    • Flag

    I don't think you have to reciprocate for every time you were in a wedding...heck, once you're married you know what a hassle it is to be in a wedding. I never go to a wedding and think, "Gosh, I sure wish I'd spent $300 on shiny seafoam taffeta." I'm always happy to just be a guest and have a blissful evening of champagne and dancing.

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  • MekMek
    Master June 2012
    MekMek ·
    • Flag

    Mags - our guys cost as much as my BMs. He wants all of his guys to wear chucks (we are buying), we wants to give them all sunglasses (we are buying) matching argyle socks (we are buying) and flask (also we are buying). He feels since most of them are still in grad school that they can't afford little details along with travel expenses.

    • Reply
  • Amy
    Super June 2011
    Amy ·
    • Flag

    I just had a MoH...it was marvelous and totally stress-free!

    • Reply
  • SnowAngel
    Super April 2012
    SnowAngel ·
    • Flag

    I so agree with you all, but as a member of a huge family and marrying a FH with 7 siblings (fortunately most men) and ALL of them and I are close one to another, it kind of became necessary. I always thought I'd have 4 or 5 and that would be it. Then, I found my birth father's side and became extremely close with my sisters. So, we are a larger party. They do know that I will start without them if they are not on time. Not a doubt in my mind, but they've all been amazing thus far!!

    • Reply
  • Patricia
    Master December 2011
    Patricia ·
    • Flag

    Believe it or not, some people can pull it off without any of these issues, 2 of my friends did it last year, I was a BM when I asked her how many of us were in the BP, she said 12, in my head I was thinking 6BM, 6GM, turned out she had 12/12 plus the kids, the jrs, the 2 bestmen, 2MOH and 1 best woman, all together there was almost 30 poeple, there was no drama at all throughout the planning. And the day of went very smooth, picture taken and everything else was well organized, so yes it can be pulled off.

    Another friend of mine had almost 50 people in the BP, I sat at the church when they were coming in, and I was counting and counting and counting, I thought that was crazy, but from what I saw and what I heard when I asked her sisted how she handled all these people, she said they had no drama and everything was again well organized.

    I am having 7BM, 7GM, 2FG, 1bible bearer, 1 princess, 1 bestman and 1 MOH, so all together 20.

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