Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Should I limit my number of bridesmaids?


I recently stumbled across your blog and I love it! I appreciate your candor and general badassishness. That being said, I have two questions for you:

I am having a simple backyard wedding with my man who I've been with for 5 years. He isn't much of a man's man, so he doesn't have a lot of guy friends to be groomsmen and I'm one of those anal people who think that the number of guys on his side should match the number of girls on mine. So far, we haven't invited anyone to be in the wedding party officially, but I have at least 4 or 5 ladies who I love and want to be a part of our wedding while he only has two guys to include. I have three brothers that could be added to his side, but I'd prefer they weren't, even though I was in their weddings. They won't mind, in fact, I think they'd rather not have to get a suit/tux and stand up front. I don't want to just throw somebody we don't care about on his side to make them equal, but I really would like our numbers to match.

The girls on my side know and love him just as well as they do me, so I could send a lady over to him, would that be weird? Or should I just limit my number of bridesmaids? I don't want to give these girls other stupid roles like candle lighting or poem reading, that just seems like a pity-invite. Am I being completely ridiculous and just let the numbers be uneven? Is 4 or 5 too many bridesmaids for a small backyard wedding? What do you think?

My second question is simpler. I love all the girls on my bridesmaid list, but none more so than another. I don't have any sisters or anyone who stands out as MOH material. Do I have to have a maid of honor? Do you have any suggestions for how to choose a MOH without offending the other girls in the bridal party?

Bridal Party Confused


1. Yes, you are being ridiculous. And 4 or 5 is not too many bridesmaids. ELEVEN is too many bridesmaids.

2. No, you don't have to have a maid of honor.

p.s. It's actually "baddassedness." Unless you meant to imply that my badass was "ish." Which I know you didn't.

Photo by SAGA SIG via Charles Hall


  1. I simply have to say, esb, that without your blog I might not get through some days.

  2. If those girls are important to you then have them all stand up with yall. The sides don't have to be even (you can redistribute for pictures if you're worried about those looking uneven).

    The husband of one of my best friends had the same issue about choosing a best man. He flat out refused to do so, saying all 3 guys were important to him and not one more than the other.

    Also, the church ladies wouldn't let him hold his wife's wedding ring (it was a little ridiculous), so the first guy in line got to hold it.

  3. Embrace the asymmetry.

    Although if it's a true backyard shindig please don't match them all.

  4. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "how horrible was that bridesmaid-to-groomsman ratio?!"

    It'll be fine.

  5. @Abernacky My fiance also has three best men. He absolutely did not want to choose between them. I have three bridesmaids and no maid of honour.

    Having said that... you may want to have an unofficial maid of honour. Someone who has a handle on everything, knows how everything is supposed to pan out and has all the relevant numbers programmed into her phone. (this is what I am doing) There is no need to choose this person based on them being your bestest friend out of all your bestest friends. Just choose the most practical, organised, with it girl. The most reliable. The one who always has a spare tampon, aspirin and an umbrella.

  6. Don't over-think it. Include your five bridesmaids; let your man stick with his two groomsmen. Please don't throw your brothers or friends over onto his side, just for the sake of symmetry. He deserves to stand next to the people who matter most to him. Also: Don't worry about selecting a maid-of-honor if you don't want one. Just make sure you delegate responsibilities to your ladies, especially if you aren't hiring a day-of coordinator. (I didn't hire one.) We had a backyard wedding. I had four bridesmaids; my husband (my then-groom) had six groomsmen. I had no interest in pulling in two relatives or two extra friends to stand by me. To hell with symmetry. Good luck. xo.

  7. My friend kept adding girls because her groom kept adding guys, and soon they were up to 8 on each side. Luckily, the church had a limit, so he had to stop, but it seemed silly that she felt the need to add people just because he did.
    I know my current BF would only have 2 people to put up with him, and I have 3, so I figure we'll just be a little off

  8. It's your wedding do what you want. Since it's in a back yard you won't have to bother with the processional match up (though seeing the guys with a girl on each arm could be fun- for them at least) If you have everyone walk up from the sides instead of down an aisle the unevenness won't matter. It will make your center aisle entrance more dramatic if you have one.

  9. Wish I had seen this earlier (or thought to write myself)... my guy wanted more groomsmen than I wanted bridesmaids (actually it's all mixed-gender, so he wanted more people than I did), but instead of thinking it through I asked a couple of people who now I wish I hadn't - not because they're not close, but because they're not *as* close and also don't have much spare time to help with the preparations.

    Also, I have no MOH: which I don't regret except that since none of them are take-charge decision types, I hear through the grapevine (...my fiance) that it has caused some frustration among them as far as who is in charge of planning things etc. And the last thing I want to do is trouble them, so maybe that wasn't the best decision. So I second clemmieblue.

  10. At the last minute (i.e. the rehearsal) I made my brothers stand up on my side, making everything totally uneven and mixed-gendered and it was awesome. At your wedding you're just going to want people who love you and support you, and you won't care about symmetry or numbers or any of the rest of it.

    Regarding a MOH and who's supposed to do what, get your wedding party together or send them an email and let them know what you want. I didn't care about a shower, so there was no reason for everyone to freak out and plan one. If it's important to you, you better speak up or not pout if no one steps up to plan it. They can't read minds.

  11. It is ridiculous, and none of your guests will care if the sides are uneven.

    That said, if you're worried about it because it is going to drive YOU nuts personally (I have a friend who can't stand anything to be asymmetrical and it actually makes her fidgety) then let a lady go over to his side, if he's okay with that.

    Just don't make him pick out random friends in order to fill it out.

  12. What about you have the ladies come up and do 2 to a side and then have the men come up and round it out..with one guy on each side? If the ladies & gents are equally both your friends then I think this would work....also I think it would look good for photos.

  13. I had 5 ladies and my husband had his 3 brothers. No one noticed.

    Whatever you do - don't have TWO maid of honors like a friend of mine did. That just turns into a competition, or one feels she's doing more than the other.

  14. Maid of honors? I meant maids of honor.

  15. I called my wedding a dys-symmetrical wedding. Take that how you want to - either way, I had 5 bridesmaids, he had 4 groomsmens, it was intended to be a casual outdoor wedding. I embrace dys-symmetry, though.

  16. who cares about matching? have the people that are important to you stand next to you and the ones that are important to him stand next to him. and then move on with your life. people will compliment you on being so "not anal" about it. and you can pretend like that's true. :)

  17. my fiance was in a wedding where he was one of 4 groomsmen and there were only 2 bridesmaids and he'll be in another wedding this year where it will be opposite. it's no big deal! why bother putting people up there just for the sake of it!
    and you really don't need a MOH- i'm still confused what their purpose it but that's coming from someone who isn't having a bridal party at all.

  18. EFF the symmetry and "the rules". Especially if that means either one of you two putting someone up there you don't reeeally value standing up there with you.

    And as previously mentioned, none of your guests will care if it's even and screw em if they do.

    I say there are no rules to any of this stuff at all. For my upcoming wedding, I have 2 maids of honor (my sisters), my gay of honor (my best obviously gay dude friend) and my 3 closest lady friends. He has a best man and 4 groomsmen. Eff symmetry and balance.

  19. All your girls on your side. His boys on his. Symmetry is overrated, and really, are you worried about photos? The photos of symmetrical bridal parties aren't better than those with a 4:2 ratio. And no, I don't think it's necessary to appoint a MOH, just let your girls know they're all very important to you so you're nixing the titles.

    Dang, did I miss like 3 posts in one day, WTF?

  20. I had my two best friends - one from primary (elementary) school, the other from high school. It was a no-brainer - I didn't need any more best ladies than those two! My husband had your dilemma - a group of 4 friends practically from birth, each of whom he is equally close to. Plus his awesome little brother. So we went asymmetrical and had two best ladies and one best man. They walked in separately as obviously they couldn't do pairs, and they stood girl-boy-girl to one side of us (mine, but not for any particular reason). The poetry readers came and stood on the other side to do their readings. Symmetry is over-rated! Have the people you want and don't worry about numbers. PS My little bro in law was v stoked to have a pretty lady on each side of him btw!!

  21. Sorry - left out a crucial line - my husband didn't have the four guys in the end - he decided just to have his little bro and not worry about symmetry. The four friends made speeches or did other things instead and were not at all fussed about not wearing suits or having to do wedding chores!

  22. Actually, I would say it was 'badassery', but whatevs.

    And yes, ridiculous.