Selecting your bridal party is one of the early tasks that falls on a couple once they announce their intentions to get married. Choosing the “who” and the “how many” is often complicated mostly because you are often eliminating who not to choose.
Nowadays there are about as many brides who are paying for their bridal party’s attire as not…but if they are paying for them, the costs can mount quickly with each added person to your list; i.e. from dresses to tux to gifts to bouquets.
For sure – it can turn into a mini-production on wedding day when the farmhouse is crammed full of 6 or 8 or 10 bridesmaids PLUS the bride PLUS a flower girl PLUS hair/make up artists PLUS a mom or two or three. It is more than just packing and stacking them into the farmhouse – it is the orchestrated positioning of who gets make-up first second third and so on. It is finding room for all of their belongings, their food and drinks, extra chairs, curling irons times six, etc. Not a good or bad thing – just a more complicated thing.
One area that you don’t always thinking about is the time by the photographer that is also required when you have an extra larger bridal party. First – it just takes more time to stage and pose a bunch of people over a handful. Then, typically, there are the photos individually of each bridesmaid and then each bridesmaid with the bride – and so on. So, for each extra in that bridal party – it does begin to add up and take away from your timeline. One more challenge is the logistics of placing a large bridal party in the ceremony area. In one wedding this year, we actually double stacked them – with two slightly off-set rows just to get them all in the photo. Again, this is not a good or bad thing – just a more complicated thing.
Whether it is a trend or not, we have seen many weddings with either no bridal party or very few in the bridal party. Maybe some of those were military weddings where the couple had officially gotten married earlier and now the “real wedding” is taking place. Some brides just want it less complicated.
In actuality – you do not need any bridal party. No need to sign a marriage certificate as a “witness” since the paperwork generally is signed only by the pastor/officiant and the bride & groom. So whether you go with none – few – several – or extra large….this falls into that category of a tradition that you can take a fresh look at and “do it your way.” No need to feel compelled to to have everybody in your sorority but to take in the information, weigh your options, and make a choice that is right for you – one of the beauties of being married today is that there is great freedom to script your wedding day like you wish it. Happy planning to you!