Trend Report: Pros + Cons of Having a Big Wedding Party

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Ashley’s Trend Report: Big Wedding Parties


If you asked 10 brides, “Did you think about who you wanted by your side on your big day before you even got engaged?”, I bet at least half of them would answer, “Heck yes!”. In fact, I’m going to guess that it’s one of the most common things brides-to-be think about before they get the bling-bling. And I totally get it! Half the fun of getting married is celebrating with the people you love most!

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If you recently got engaged (keep reading, but also check out our 20 things to do when you get engaged blog post), or you’re in the small percentage of people who didn’t already plan out your bridesmaids, I think oversized wedding parties are becoming more of a fad! Don’t get me wrong, it’s so fun to be surrounded by all of your gal pals on your big day, and if it’s necessary, girl do what you gotta do!

But if you’re asking yourself, how many bridesmaids should be in a wedding party? Or what is the average size of a wedding party? Stop right there! Don’t add more people to your wedding party just for fun because the more people, the more expensive everything is. And you know that here at Forever Bride, we’re alllll about finding ways to save you money on your wedding day! (Sign up here to save BIG!) Like $250 off and a complimentary engagement session when you book Kelly Reeves Photography, who shot the wedding below!

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Keeping your wedding party small may be easier said than done, but this week, I wanted to share a few pros & cons to large wedding parties. And be sure to keep reading until the end, because I also want to give you advice on where to start!

Pro: Mismatched Bridesmaid dresses


I wrote about this trend, that in my humble opinion is here to stay, a few weeks ago. And if you’re someone who is having a larger bridal party, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to have your girls wear mismatched bridesmaid dresses. Or, if you'd rather do an All White Bridal Party, check out our blog!

Con: Too many opinions can get overwhelming


When preparing for your big day, you do not need or want a million unsolicited opinions thrown at you. To avoid this, pick your closest (or the most honest) people for your wedding party and let them be your go-to’s for wedding planning. That way you don’t have a laundry list of people to run every decision by! Gosh that sounds exhausting! But seriously how cute are those mismatched bridesmaid dresses below? Captured by the one and only, Royal Hart Studio, who will give you 100 4x6 prints of your wedding day for free for mentioning Forever Bride!

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Pro: You don’t have to say no, or decide between two people


If you’re a people pleaser, you might as well accept the idea of having a big wedding party. But that’s okay! Because sometimes, the stress of picking who will stand up for you does not outweigh saying no. If you want to avoid hurting feelings or deciding between two people, this is the way to go. But remember, it’s your (& your future spouses) big day, and if someone’s feelings get hurt, that is okay. It’s life and (hopefully) people understand! If you aren’t going to ask someone that may be expecting it, the best advice I can give you is to be sure to talk to them beforehand, so it’s not a surprise and they know you value their friendship, but had to draw the line somewhere! Bonus tip – remind your friends often that you value them, no matter what the occasion! It’s always a day maker when I hear it from my girls.

Con: The more the merrier…right?!


Although I love this cheeky saying for parties, it’s not always true. Especially not in this case! The more members of your bridal party, the more personalities you will have. And we all know what can happen if there’s too many cooks in the kitchen… If you are obligated to have a particularly difficult or dramatic person in your wedding, cough, cough your sister, have a point person for them, someone to answer their questions and keep them busy and off your back! Also, make sure you keep tabs on the group, it helps so that problems get resolved before it turns to chaos – keeping an eye out is the perfect role for your MOH to play!

Are you loving Kristen's Sophisticated Garden Wedding below? It was all photographed by Brett & Janelle Photography!

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Pro: So many helping hands!


Let’s say, you have 8 bridesmaids and he has 8 groomsmen, UTILIZE them! His groomsmen can go pick up his aunt, that’s not something you as a bride should have to worry about! Are you struggling with getting all of your favors put together? Are you able to set-up your gorgeous venue space ahead of time? Make a day out of these activities and invite your bridal party to help you out. Better yet, just ask them to do it. No need to worry about being bossy, it’s okay to ask for help! Most people are expecting to help you out! Best of all, with a big wedding party, you don’t have to plan any events! Let your maid of honor and his best man plan all of the pre-wedding shenanigans. If you want to drop some inspo into your MOH inbox, send her this past trend report.

Con: It’s tough to organize


Having so many people trying to find attire, book a flight or simply be somewhere at a specific time is hard. Scheduling is hard. Planning the little things and making sure that your 12 bridesmaids are free can really tough. But this is why you need the perfect maid of honor or best man, someone that is a great planner and has good people skills. Plus, maybe one or two other people to help your MOH out, because she is going to have her hands FULL.

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Pro: Getting ready!


I already kind of referenced this before, but imagine you and your best friends in those super cute floral robes, drinking mimosas, and getting your hair and makeup done the morning of your big day. Music playing, snacks galore, everyone’s laughing and complimenting the heck out of you. How fun, right?! You can kiss those pre-wedding jitters goodbye if you have a room full of encouraging, awesome people! And who doesn't want that kind of reaction (picture above)?! Captured by the wonderful, Steena Anne Photography!

Con: Sticking to a schedule


The scenario above is possible! Buttt, quite a bit of preparation is required beforehand in order to make that happen. Here’s some ideas on how to stick to your schedule. One, make sure your wedding planner or maid of honor/best man/personal attendant/most organized bridal party member has sent out a wedding day timeline to all the important people on your big day, yes that includes your future mother-in- law! Two, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on a second makeup or hair stylist. Most hair and makeup artists offer that option and it’s really not that much more, but oh so worth it! That way you aren’t falling behind schedule because 3 of your 8 girls don’t like their hair. Three, make sure you have food and drinks around, there is nothing worse than a hangry bridesmaid and nobody has time to make a run for food! Just look at these beautiful ladies, captured by Tonya Hjort Photography (who offers Forever Bride brides a complimentary engagement session!).

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Now that I’ve spelled out some pros and cons to going with a big bridal party, you might be wondering, “but where do I even start?” It’s totally okay if you weren’t one of those brides that knew exactly who was going to be in your wedding party. Here’s my two steps on how I decided who was going to be standing next to me when I was planning my wedding.
1. Siblings should be in the wedding party.
2. Choose your closest friends.
The people who have been by your side through life’s biggest moments and have supported you and your hunny’s relationship. Boom. That's it! Now, let's move on to a few things that people make a big deal about but really aren’t worth stressing over...

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Obligation.

Do not feel obligated to ask someone just because you were in their wedding. They will understand. Also, don’t add the person you used to be close with that you may have casually mentioned (back when you were close) that one day, you’d totally want them in your wedding someday. Time goes on, relationships change. You want those you feel most comfortable and happy with surrounding you, espeically so you get super fun pictures like this one below! Photographed by A Sister Collaborative. Mention Forever Bride to receive $100 your wedding package!!

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Uneven sides.

Again, pick the people that are truly near and dear to you. If that means you have one or two more people on your side than he does or vice versa, who cares?! Someone can easily walk down the aisle alone, or two girls to every one guy. The important part is that your #bridetribe is up there with you.

Maid of Honor(s)?

Not sure who to pick? Too many choices? Have two! Or don’t have any at all. I’ve seen it all, and I promise it’s okay with whatever you go with.

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So, whether you already had your maids “picked” before reading this blog post, are just starting the process, or have already asked some ladies, hopefully this post has helped you navigate what can be a sensitive and tricky space. Just remember, keep it simple and keep in mind you can’t please everyone and that’s okay. This is YOUR big day!

Comments & Reviews

Elizabeth Garcia, said on
Thank you! This is so helpful. I've ultimately decided to have a large(ish) bridal party. It would be helpful to see tips on how to best organize a large group of people. We decided to rent a couple of cabins next to each other and put timelines in each room so everyone knows where to be when so we're all on the same page. I'm crossing my fingers that it works!

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