The average number of attendants has risen from 3 to 6 since the year 2000. Six bridesmaids is a lot to manage. Statistically, you will probably have at least one who is married, one who is pregnant, one who is difficult, one who is struggling financially, and one who has issues. In addition to planning the wedding you will also have to keep a watchful eye on bridesmaid gown orders, shoes and and at the very least be aware of when the gowns arrive, the fittings, etc. You will have to be sensitive to each of them and at certain times flexible so keep that in mind when it seems like a good idea to have 8 bridesmaids. Ask yourself, “Do I have the patience to handle this ( x 6)?”
Of course, you may feel like you have no choice. The groom has a sister or two, you have a sister or two, there are a couple of BF’s and all of a sudden you are up to 8 of your dearest and closest friends. At this point, you must simply prioritize.
#1 – Appoint a very reliable maid of honor, a ‘Bridesmaid Manager’ of sorts and keep the lines of communication open. The MOH should be able to oversee all of the scheduling, act as a buffer (between you and the difficult one, anyway) and communicate with everyone so there are no misunderstandings. Without her, you will be drowning in drama. Have a heart to heart talk and tell her your expectations and remind her that you are counting on her to help things go smoothly. If she flinches, you need to pick someone else.
#2- See #1
You can have a many or as few as you like. One per 50-60 guests is a good guideline but it is not a hard and fast rule. The record? Jill Stapleton of Ohio had 110 bridesmaids at her wedding in June 2010. To be fair, you should not have more attendants than guests.
You can have an uneven number of bridesmaids.
You don’t need to have a groomsman for every bridesmaid.
They don’t have to wear the same dress, or the same color, or the same anything anymore. It is whatever you want it to be!
No matter how many bridesmaids you choose, the end result should be a happy experience. In this case, less might just turn out to be more enjoyable…. for everyone.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago