How to Choose Bridesmaids for Your Wedding

Whether you have dozens in your bridal party or a single maid of honor, they are the ones that you want closest to you on the most important day of your life.  However, many brides to be frequently stress over exactly who will play the roles of bridesmaids for their wedding. If this is you, don’t worry because there are a few effective techniques that you can apply that should make choosing your bridesmaids a walk in the park!

Family over Friends

When in doubt, always choose your family over your friends. Now, this will usually play out in a case-by-case basis but should always be the rule when you are stuck between choosing between a family member and a friend. This is always a good move because the last thing you want to start when planning your wedding is unnecessary conflict. If someone does get offended by being excluded from the bridal party, then have a heart-to-heart talk with that individual and let them know why you made that particular decision.  Chances are they will understand and support your decision (just as good friends are supposed to).

Yes, even the 'K' family used our 'Family Over Friends' Rule of Thumb

Yes, even the ‘K’ family used our ‘Family Over Friends’ Rule of Thumb.  Photo from Popsugar

Costs and Location

What you are expectations regarding your bridesmaids? Do you envision for them to help you with the planning process and hopefully remove some of the workload and stress from your shoulders? Or, are you simply expecting them to be the ones standing there when you are walked down the aisle? Do your bridesmaids even live in the same town as you?  You should always be thinking about the logistics of the situation for each individual (i.e. where your bridesmaids live).

If someone you select as a bridesmaid does live outside of your area, you should first do them the courtesy of asking them if they would like to be involved (instead of simply assuming that they will).  They may be forced to decline due to the physical distance between you (from being unable to plan various aspects of the wedding to being unable to afford an extended trip, etc).

Wellheeledblog has a pretty accurate breakdown of the financial costs involved for bridesmaids in an easy to read infographic. You can read the full article HERE.

Bridesmaid Costs

How Many Bridesmaids?

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is, “How many bridesmaids do I need?”   Bridesmaids (and groomsmen) are typically chosen in relation to the amount of guests who will be attending your wedding, so larger weddings with many guests usually require larger wedding parties.  As a general rule of thumb, you should have at least one bridesmaid for every 50 guests who attend your wedding.  Also: keeping your finances in mind, it will cost you quite a bit more money if you are planning on having a small wedding with a larger (10 or more) bridal party.

Using our rule of thumb, there should be roughly 1000 guests attending this wedding!

Using our rule of thumb, there should be roughly 3300 guests attending this wedding!

You Can Choose Guys

Believe it or not, a bridesmaid does not have to be a woman, and there is no reason for why you can’t choose a man as your bridesman.  This is a growing change in wedding tradition and something that most brides don’t realize as it does go against popular beliefs and customs. In fact, more and more brides are choosing men to join their bridesmaid party than ever before.  If he is to be an honor attendant, he will be called ‘Man of Honor’.   BTW: Men can also choose women to be a groomswoman. Although you are required to take this step, it is something that you can and should consider when choosing your bridesmaid party.

Spread the Word

Once you have your bridesmaids finalized for wedding, make sure that you spread the word about it- fast. The only thing that is worse than having someone assume that they were invited to your wedding is having them believe that they were going to be one of your bridesmaids. You would be surprised by how much better people take it once you’ve already made your selection(s) versus when you are still in the decision making process. Be considerate to everyone, but don’t be afraid of hurting anyone’s feelings. Remember, this is your special day and you should enjoy it as much as possible.


As you can see, choosing a bridesmaid doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable ordeal. By following the tips and techniques above, the process should be a breeze.

Have you had to make the difficult decision to not have someone as your bridesmaid?  If so, what was the reason?  Did the bride address the issue in a respectful manner?  Do you have any tips about the bridesmaid selection process that you would like to add for future brides to read?  If so, comment below!