How Many Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Should You Have?

The Appropriate Number of Attendants for the Size and Style of Your Wedding

Shot of the wedding party after the ceremony
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Have you ever wondered how many bridesmaids and groomsmen you are supposed to have in your wedding? The truth is that 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.

Rule of Thumb for Ushers

For every 50 guests, the recommendation is 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, but whether you have a small or a large wedding party, you can ask other attendees or friends to ​fulfill this duty.

Bridal Parties for Formal Weddings and Casual Weddings

Formal weddings with more than 200 guests typically include six to 10 bridesmaids and six to 10 groomsmen. Additionally, formal weddings often have a designated flower girl and a ring bearer. A traditional and formal wedding in a large cathedral, for instance, 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, one to six groomsmen and sometimes has a flower girl and/or ring bearer.

While semi-formal weddings typically follow the formal wedding guidelines, you can get away with having a fewer number of bridesmaids and groomsmen overall.

If you decide a formal wedding is not for you, a casual wedding often 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.

Second Weddings and Late-in-Life Weddings

If this is your second wedding or a 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. Parents sometimes choose to have their children present at the aisle, but it is not mandatory.

What's Right for You?

While the above guidelines may be helpful in carving out your personal wedding decisions, these rules are made to be broken. It is 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, whether big or small. For example, you may already know that you want a flower girl but not a ring bearer. In our modern age, weddings are flexible to your personal needs. Plus, wedding planners are professionals that can help guide your big day decision making, if you are seeking additional assistance.