Personal choice. Would you want to match number of groomsmen as well?
I mean I guess there isn’t really a too many number - I’ve seen weddings without any wedding party at all and loved it and have seen some with 10 on each side ! Lol I’m personally having my MOH and 2 BMS - I didn’t want a big wedding so FH and I are compromising
That all comes down to personal preference and your budget. If you want tons of BMs, can you afford to get them thank you gifts and host them and their SOs at a rehearsal dinner? Personally I had 3 girls and that was perfect for me.
This is a personal choice. There is technically no such thing as too many, but there are different things you might want to consider before asking anyone to be in your wedding. Cost, time, and drama. Below I have broken down different costs that are associated with having a bridal party. As for time, the more bridesmaids or groomsmen that you have the more time it is going to take for them to get ready. If they getting hair and makeup done, it will take longer for that which means the earlier you have to start. If the guys are getting ready together and plan on using one shower or one room the more time that will take as well because they will have to share the accommodations. My girls and I went and got our nails done the day before and planning that was definitely harder because of time and making sure the salon could accommodate all of us. It will also take longer for the processional, recessional, and grande entrance. Drama is another huge thing I would consider. Everyone has different personalities and the more people you have the more likely there is going to be drama. While you may love certain people, some personalities are bound to clash which will make planning a lot harder. For instance, my husband's female best friend was a groomswoman in our wedding. My husband wanted her to wear the same dress as the bridesmaids which meant she was invited to go with my bridesmaids and I to look at dresses because I wasn't going to force her to wear a dress without having her try it on. She drove everyone crazy. She is not my favorite person to begin with and she made the experience less than fun. After we went shopping, we grabbed lunch and she was the first one to leave after we finished eating. The rest of us stayed to talk and they were so happy when she left because she just caused unwanted tension with her snide remarks and unwillingness to play nice.
Typically, the bridal party and their significant others are invited to the rehearsal dinner. For example, if you have 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen that would be 40 people if each bridesmaid and groomsman brings a date. That doesn't take into account other people you might invite to your rehearsal dinner like your siblings if they aren't in the bridal party, your parents, the officiant, etc. We had 5 bride's people and 5 groom's people. Not all of them had dates so we ended up having approximately 30 people at our rehearsal dinner. My mother-in-law paid for our rehearsal dinner and it was right around $1,000 for 30 people without alcohol. If you aren't the one playing for your rehearsal dinner, just keep in mind that the more people you have in your bridal party the more the person that is paying will have to spend.
Invitations to Rehearsal Dinner
Sending invitations to a rehearsal dinner is also pretty common so that everyone invited has all of the information they will need for the day. The more people you have in the more invitations you will need to buy.
Some couples elect to make proposal boxes to give to each bridesmaid and groomsman when they ask them to be in the wedding. This was something we didn't do, but they can be rather expensive. I have seen ones on Etsy that range from $40-65 per person. It all really depends on what you include in them, but the costs can add up really quickly.
Often brides and grooms will purchase gifts for each person in their bridal party as a thank you gift. Depending on what you buy, you could be spending a small fortune. My husband's gift to his groomsmen was $60 per person.
Normally, bridesmaids will carry a bouquet and groomsmen will have boutonnieres. The average cost for bridesmaids' bouquets is $65-100 per person and the average cost for boutonnieres is $15-35 per person. We also had corsages made for our mothers and boutonnieres for our fathers. Our flower girls also threw petals. The cost can significantly range depending on where you live, the type of flowers you select and if they are in season. I wanted all real flowers which made it more expensive. Artificial flowers are generally cheaper, but for good quality artificial flowers you are still going to spend a good amount of money.
Robes, shirts, etc.
A popular trend is to buy bridesmaids matching robes, shirts, pajama sets, etc. I bought my girls' robes with their names and roles on them. They were surprisingly rather expensive. I thought I would be able to find some for under $10 a person, but I quickly found that wasn't the case. While these are definitely cute and make great pictures, they are definitely expensive. I didn't get nearly as many group photos of my bridesmaids in their robes because I lost my jewelry the morning of my wedding and after finding it there just wasn't enough time. If you like the idea of matching getting ready outfits, then go for it just know you will spend more if you have a larger bridal party.
Hair, Makeup and Nails
If you are requiring your bridesmaids to have their hair, makeup or nails professionally done then you should cover the cost of those things. For my wedding, it was an optional so my girls paid for these services themselves if they wanted them. Some brides aren't as flexible so if this is something you have strong feelings on then you should be prepared to cover the costs as it isn't fair or right to expect a bridesmaid to pay for something she may not want.
Generally, the bridesmaids know they are going to be expected to pay for the dress that they will be wearing in your wedding. However, if you happen to fall in love with a dress that is crazy expensive or out of your bridesmaids price range then you should be prepared to cover the additional cost. Before you ever start looking, I would have an open and honest conversation with each girl privately on what she can afford to spend and I wouldn't even look at dresses that are more expensive than what any of the girls can afford. Dress shopping can also be where a lot of the drama comes in because you will get everyone's opinions that might conflict with what you want. If you want all of them in the same dress, getting so many different people on the same page will be difficult. If you want them in different dresses, you could still have problems because you might not like what someone picks or you might have girls that disagree on who should wear what.
Like with hair, makeup and nails, if you have certain accessories that you want them to wear then you should cover the cost. Personally, I think it is overkill to require your girls wear certain shoes as not everyone is comfortable in the same shoes, but I have heard of some brides enforcing this. I asked my girls to just wear silver shoes. I didn't require any specific jewelry. When asked I said silver would probably be best just because that was what color shoes they would be wearing and silver was one of our accent colors, but I didn't enforce it.
Some brides also like buying hangers with each girl's name on them. They make really cute pictures, but aren't cheap. Etsy has a ton of different options that range in pricing. I choose not to do this because my girls wore strapless dresses and I didn't think it would look good.
Our ceremony, cocktail hour and reception were all at the same hotel just in different locations within the hotel so transportation wasn't a concern for us. However, a lot of people have the ceremony one place and the reception at another. If you ceremony and reception are at two different locations, then this is something you will have to take into consideration. My brother's wedding ceremony as at a church and his reception was somewhere else so they rented a Trolley to transport the bridal party, their dates, and parents of the bride and groom. My brother had a very small bridal party so it wasn't a problem fitting everyone, but if you have a larger bridal party transporting everyone could be an issue so you'd have to come up with a practical solution.
Night Before Accommodations
If you plan to spend the night in a shared hotel suite/Airbnb with your bridesmaids the night before your wedding, then you should plan on covering the cost. Your bridesmaids may have already split a room with their significant other/date for the duration of their stay, and they shouldn't have to pay for yet another room.
Getting Ready Space
If you plan on having everyone get ready together, then you are going to need a space for that to happen. A small hotel room won't work if you have a large bridal party. My husband had talked with his best man about renting an Airbnb. The best man, my husband and two of my husband's other friends (not groomsmen) were going to rent one. The one friend ended up backing out so my husband, the best man and the one friend decided just to rent a hotel room and get ready there instead. After looking at the photos I wish they had rented an Airbnb. My husband, his four groomsmen, my dad and brother, my husband's one friend (not groomsman), and our photographer all crammed into one hotel room to get ready which meant there were nine guys in one hotel room. It would have been more practical for them to use a larger space. Our hotel had "suite" for us to use that I rented to get ready in with my girls. It wasn't a hotel suite, but rather two large rooms that were connected with a bathroom and small bar area also attached. There was plenty of space and on one felt crammed. I would highly consider renting a space to get ready if you have a lot of people getting ready together.
Breakfast and Lunch while Getting Ready
Our wedding was in the evening, so while the bridal party was getting ready we bought their breakfasts and lunches. For my bridesmaids, I bought donuts and bagels. Drinks were provided by our venue. For lunch, I bought pizza. My husband handled purchasing breakfast and lunch for his groomsmen as well. This is something nice you could do for your bridal party to make sure that everyone is still getting food otherwise you might end up with moody bridesmaids and groomsmen.
I have seen cute photos with different props that bridesmaids and groomsmen have used. For our wedding, I saw a photo on Pinterest with the bridesmaids and bride throwing confetti. I loved this idea so I talked to my photographer and she thought it was unique and cool. Because this was a prop used for our wedding I bought it. At our rehearsal dinner, my husband and his groomsmen and groomswoman did a skit where they dressed up in long wigs with fake tattoos. My husband purchased the props for that. Our friends bought sunglasses that said bridesmaid, groomsman, bride and groom for their wedding which they bought. Things like these you guys should definitely purchase.