Tag Archives: bridesmaids

January 14

Ask Etta: Choosing Bridesmaids

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Stephanie asks…

I have been very torn with the decision of picking bridesmaids. I am lucky to have many wonderful friends, plus a big family. I have been in several weddings, and many of my friends are recently also just getting engaged. I would like to have a smaller wedding party, but I also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

If I was in a friend’s wedding or if a friend asks me to be in her wedding, am I obligated to ask her to be a bridesmaid? If I end up picking everyone, how many is too many?

Etta says…

Choosing your attendants can be tough when you are lucky enough to have a large group of friends and close family members. But you are never – and I mean never! – obligated to ask someone to be a bridesmaid, even if you were part of their wedding. Remember, relationships evolve over time. When selecting your bridal party, the best advice is to follow your heart. Choose the friends and family members that will make you feel the most comfortable on what is sure to be a very nerve-wracking day.

There is no hard and fast rule for how many bridesmaids are too many. Past etiquette called for one attendant per fifty guests, but adherence to that number has declined. Instead, think about the number that you couldn’t do without. You should have no regrets about your bridal party, both for who you choose to be a part of it, and who is not.

If you think that a friend may be hurt to not be asked to be a bridesmaid, I suggest that you be upfront with telling her the news. Let her know, carefully, that you are keeping the bridal party small. Try to find another role for your friend. Perhaps she could do a reading during the ceremony, or give a toast at the rehearsal dinner. This way, you are still incorporating her into your special day while also having a bridal party that feels comfortable to you.

I hope this helps, Stephanie!

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Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and she’ll post an answer for you.

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