Picking the bridesmaids for your wedding can quickly turn into a sticky wicket.  The only way to avoid this task is by eloping and most brides probably aren’t in favor of doing that. How many attendants should you have? Who are you ‘required’ to include in the bridal party? Can you have two maids of honor? Who pays for what? Do they all have to wear the same dress?

Firstly, consider how many people are attending the wedding. Ideally, there should be one bridesmaid and one groomsman for every 50 guests. If you are having 300 guests, you can have six bridesmaid and groomsmen. Of course, this rule isn’t carved in stone but do realize the bigger the bridal party the bigger the headache and expense.

  • Yes, you can have more bridesmaids than groomsmen. You do not have to achieve symmetry in the bridal party, although some brides prefer that.
  • Just because you were in someone’s wedding, five years ago, does not mean she has to be in yours, particularly if you haven’t talked since the wedding.
  • Some brides choose a man to be their ‘maid of honor’ or, more aptly, their man of honor, best person or honor attendant.  He wears the same thing the other groomsmen wear. Yes, this is unusual but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
  • It’s completely acceptable for a bride to ask her mother to be in the wedding party as the matron of honor.
  • Bridesmaids ordinarily pay for their dresses, s hoes and jewelry. If you know this is going to be a financial hardship on someone, talk it over with them and then decide.
  • No, your sister doesn’t HAVE to be your maid- or matron of honor but be prepared for a fight. Pick your battles carefully.
  • If you don’t want the groom’s sisters in the wedding party, perhaps you can incorporate them into the ceremony in another way. They can read a passage or sing.

No, the bridesmaids do not have to wear identical dresses. In fact, many brides are allowing their attendants to choose their own dresses. The mismatched bridal party can look absolutely awesome.

However, the bride should lay down a few rules. Tell the attendants what color or colors you want, length of dress and fabric preferences. Suggest that your bridesmaids get dresses in the same color but in different shades or similar dresses featuring different necklines. You can mix long and short dresses but most prefer to stick with the same length for uniformity.

The bridesmaids carry the same flower bouquet so this ties them together visually even though their dresses are different, and it is a cohesive and beautiful look. In fact, it is a lot more interesting than six attendants wearing the identical long, orange gown that flatters some of them and looks horrible on others.

The advantage of proceeding in this fashion is that a large woman is not forced to wear a dress that only looks good on a size 2 or vice versa. You don’t want your bridesmaids to feel miserable (and look it) on your big day. Consider their comfort and happiness.

The origin of the ‘everyone dresses alike’ concept began with a law dictated by the Romans where the 10 witnesses at the ceremony had to dress as closely a like as possible to baffle and scare away malevolent spirits.

Sit down and talk to your intended. Discuss your preferences as well as his regarding the wedding party. Keeping things on a manageable level reduces stress.

Elena Lang works with the finest jewelry at Primestyle. She sells engagement rings at a low cost and helps women find the perfect wedding sets.