How Many Bridesmaids and Groomsmen You Should Have

Shot of the wedding party after the ceremony
Getty Images/pixdeluxe

You may have wondered how many bridesmaids and groomsmen you're supposed to have in your wedding. Ultimately, the number of attendants in your wedding is a personal decision that largely depends on whom you want to stand by you on one of the biggest days of your life. That being said, there are some guidelines and trends that may help you get a better idea of how many people you want to be in your wedding.

Wedding Bridal Parties

Formal weddings with more than 200 guests typically include six to 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen each. Formal weddings also often include a designated flower girl and a ring bearer. A traditional and formal wedding in a large cathedral might have as many as 12 bridesmaids, although that is rare. Semi-formal weddings, on the other hand, can have anywhere from one to six bridesmaids and groomsmen each, and sometimes they have a flower girl and/or ring bearer. While semi-formal weddings typically follow formal wedding guidelines, you can get away with having a fewer number of bridesmaids and groomsmen overall.​

Make It Memorable

Regardless of the type of wedding, keep the same number of bridesmaids to groomsmen. This will balance out the look and feel of the ceremony, and is even more important for large wedding parties. There are many fun party photo ideas you can incorporate for big parties, whether classic or silly.

If you decide a formal wedding is not for you, a casual wedding keeps it simple with just a maid of honor and a best man. Sometimes one or two additional groomsmen are included in casual weddings, but there is typically no flower girl or ring bearer.

The Rule of Thumb for Ushers

For every 50 guests, it's recommended to have one usher.

This allows an appropriate number of ushers per ratio of guests, so that they may show guests to their seats and distribute wedding programs. Typically, groomsmen double as ushers since most of the duties are needed the day off. Whether you have a small or a large wedding party, you can ask other attendees or friends to fulfill the duty of an usher.

Ushers should be aware of any wedding rules and updates needed the day of the ceremony. This will be useful as a reminder as they are ushering guests to their seats or answering questions. For example, certain items may not be permitted at the wedding, someone may need directions to a certain area, and guest issues may arise.

Second and Late-in-Life Weddings

If this is your second wedding or late-in-life wedding, it is not the norm to have a traditional wedding. In fact, older brides tend to opt for not having any attendants at their wedding at all. Additionally, parents sometimes choose to have their children present at the aisle, but it is not mandatory. Ultimately, going big or small is a personal decision. You can choose to keep the same bridesmaids and groomsmen or change it up depending on your current relationship.

If you want your second marriage to have a memorable wedding for all your guests, going all out for the celebration again is perfectly fine.

Alternatively, you can get creative and incorporate unique customs like choosing an intimate location or having your parents read something at the ceremony rather than walk down the aisle. With an encore wedding, you can get the stones in your ring reset, have your children help with costs, or wear a simple cocktail dress instead of the traditional big one.

Make Personal Decisions

While the suggestions above may be helpful in carving out your personal wedding decisions, these rules are made to be broken. It's important for you to create the wedding that you envision by doing what feels right to you. Depending on the size of your family and social circle, you may decide that a formal wedding or a casual wedding is more up your alley.

Don't be afraid to mix and match suggestions, get new ideas, or use traditional customs.

You may already know that you want a flower girl, but not a ring bearer, for example. Ultimately, you can always hire an official wedding planner to help guide your decision if your budget allows it.