How Many Bridesmaids Should I Have?

As an introvert, one of my biggest fears was how many bridesmaids I would have for my wedding being that I literally have two girlfriends. Finding and choosing your bridesmaids sounds fun in theory, but watching my extroverted sister-in-law struggle, dawned upon me just what a logistic nightmare this process can be.

Choosing bridesmaids is one of the first tasks you need to lock down as you start planning for your wedding. You may be stuck wondering whether your bridesmaids need to be part of the same friend group, or whether you have to use your family members. How do you not offend anyone, or have them feel left out? 

In this article, we will explore the great bridesmaid debate and help you determine the right number of bridesmaids for your wedding.

History of bridesmaids

A bridesmaid is by definition someone you choose to help your maid-of-honor with her big wedding planning duties and offer additional help to the bride as she would need. Traditionally, bridesmaids were the brides' lookalikes not just dressed in a uniform. 

This was done as a way to protect the bride from evil such as bandits or evil spirits. Many brides were kidnapped for ransom hence the bridesmaids were an extra layer of protection. 

Romanal law required at least 10 witnesses for any marriage to be considered legitimate. This tradition has then been infused with different cultures bringing about the bridal party. Another tradition kept alive is that the bridesmaids were meant to tend to the bride and thankfully, that one has remained. 

How to choose your bridesmaids

Examine your relationships


Your bridesmaids can be close family members, sisters-in-law, and close friends. These are people you can rely on emotionally as things get hard, and they definitely will, and if need be, they can help financially.  Ideally, you will want people who will remain close to you even after the wedding.

Consider the depth of your relationships as you cannot take back asking someone to be your bridesmaid. Being surrounded by people who wish the best for you is what every bride needs for her wedding. Choose people you can depend on and who is responsible for the duties that you allocate to them. However, remember to be realistic with what you expect from them to avoid conflicts and potentially ruined relationships.

Determine the number of bridesmaids


Since Roman tradition asked for 10 witnesses for weddings, it became a norm in modern times to have 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen. Millennials however are known for breaking traditions and defying the norms. Brides are opting for larger numbers of bridesmaids, some are going for fewer while others do not have a bridal party.

Your personal preference is all that matters. Therefore, there is no correct number of people for your bridal party.  Even or odd numbers, you are right. This was the great realization that I came to as I did my research. You can do whatever makes you happy, choose whoever makes you happy. 

Consider your venue  

How many bridesmaids will be able to fit in your chosen location? The size and layout of your wedding and the ceremony will determine the number of your bridal party. Weddings that are held in a registry office would only need one or two people, while if it is held in a larger space, you could go with a larger number.

Leaving people out

Unfortunately, while choosing your bridesmaids, you are bound to break a few hearts. First, there are the people who asked you to be their bridesmaid. You are under no obligation to invite them to your wedding. You have to make decisions good for you and only you regardless of whether you come off as rude.

You also do not need an equal number of bridesmaids to groomsmen which makes it even easier for you to just have whoever you want. You may also have family members who would feel bad when not included. That is okay. You can have them do other things to help out so they feel useful. 

Alternatively, you can also have no bridesmaids especially if you are not feeling up to it. Many people have eloped and had weddings without a priest, any attendants, groomsmen, or bridesmaids and we’re perfectly happy!



It is your wedding and you are the only one who gets to decide on how big you want it. There are no rules set in stone on choosing the number of bridesmaids you would need. This is an entirely personal decision, whether you prefer a small and intimate bridal party. We only hope that you find bridesmaids who will be a value add, and who you would want around you.


NEXT: How many Groomsmen Should You Have?