Culture and Lifestyle Weddings Bridal Party Can You Have Too Many Bridesmaids? We Say It's Not About the Number Always the bridesmaid, never the bride…until now. By Southern Living Editors Updated on March 12, 2023 Fact checked by Jillian Dara Fact checked by Jillian Dara Jillian is a freelance writer, editor and fact-checker with 10 years of editorial experience in the lifestyle genre. In addition to fact-checking for Southern Living, Jillian works on multiple verticals across Dotdash-Meredith, including TripSavvy, The Spruce, and Travel + Leisure. brand's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email According to a Priceonomics survey, the average number of bridesmaids in the United States falls somewhere between four and five. Perhaps that number sounds accurate to someone who lives in New York or Kansas, but for me, an Alabama resident with consecutive years on the wedding circuit, that number seems awfully low. Clearly, the survey did not take into account all the Southern weddings I’ve attended in which the bridesmaids numbered a baker’s dozen. (And it definitely didn’t take into account the wedding in which my coworker is one of 22 bridesmaids.) Of course, though plenty of Southern brides opt for larger wedding parties, there are just as many who choose to keep it small. And while we’d love to hand you a bridesmaid calculator to keep it simple, there’s no method to the matrimonial madness. Instead, here are a few things to consider as you draft your bridal squad. Nazariy Karkhut/Getty Images You are not obligated to have any ‘maids at all. Aunt Sissy might throw a hissy fit, but you’re entitled to a bridesmaid-free ceremony, if you so choose. Consider reserving special seats for your first ladies at the ceremony or incorporate them as greeters or readers instead. Remember, too, that you can include close friends in engagement parties and bachelorette weekend festivities even if you don’t ask them to stand by your side on the big day. (And they’ll likely appreciate the opportunity to celebrate you without having to shell out the money for a bridesmaid dress.) You may have as many ‘maids/matrons/attendants as you wish. If you’ve been blessed with both quantity and quality in the friends-and-family department and want to include every last one of them in the ceremony, do it! This is your day. That said, it’s important to be mindful of your budget. Consider that the wedding party is traditionally invited to the rehearsal dinner; and it’s also in good taste to give your attendants plus-ones for the rehearsal dinner and wedding. So if you were hoping to keep the rehearsal dinner cozy and intimate, having 20 bridesmaids (plus their guests, plus the groomsmen and their guests) doesn’t make much sense. The number of bridesmaids does not need to match the number of groomsmen. Unless you count symmetry as a virtue ranked right up there with patience and charity, there is no reason that you and your partner must have the same number of attendants. You shouldn’t have to phone-in an old neighborhood acquaintance just so your groom’s friend Bobby has a gal to walk down the aisle. He’ll be fine. Be gracious. Regardless of the number of bridesmaids you decide to have, be thoughtful about the demands you make of them, from the cost of their dresses to makeup-and-hair requests. On the other hand, if you’re suddenly regretting asking 17 people to be bridesmaids, behaving like a total bridezilla is a surefire way to shrink your squad from 17 to zero. Whether you're part of the bridal party, a wedding guest, or even the bride or groom, addressing these common faux pas will help prepare you for your next celebration. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. Team Recurrency. The United States of Bridesmaids. Priceonomics.