When too big is too much
Hi, it's a new year and a new blog.
So when is too big too much? Here I'm talking about one thing that can make you happy or make you nuts on your wedding day: the bridal party. Oh I know, it's your (her) day and you want all the friends in your bridal party - both girls and guys - and God forbid if you leave someone out and hurt their feelings. Well, for the guys, it almost impossible to slight a friend's feelings by not asking him to join into the groom's group. Unless it's the brother of the bride or groom, or a very close friend, chances are, he'll be fine with just being invited. Guys are like that, many would rather be on the sidelines having a good time.
The touchy part of course is how many of your girlfriends, cousins, future sister-in-laws, or best friends at work do you consider asking to be part of the bridal party?
I repeat: it's your day so you'll have the final say.
This might help you decide on when enough is enough:
Money: Yep right off the bat, consider the cost involved for each of your bridesmaids to buy the dress and shoes. Be realistic because what might not seem like a lot of money for some of those you want to ask, it could be for some of the others. Remember, people tend to keep their personal finance to themselves, you may not know what financial shape they're in. If your friend is in a tight spot financially, it could be very hard for her to say to you " I just can't afford the cost right now what with day care, the car payment, etc. " And I'm not even getting into the cost for an out of town friend to travel and get a room. Doing some hard thinking now could save you and maybe a friend or two some hurt feeling later.
Size: Of the 35 weddings I shot this season, only a handful had bridal parties of less than eight. Do you really need 10, 12 or 14? on each side? Here's the problem: When you get a group of 20 or more together, your plans and schedule will fall apart. It's too big a group to keep on track. Time will be lost and it snowballs into "hurry-up time" and missed photo opportunities. You'll never be able to interact and pay attention to everyone in a giant-sized bridal party, no matter what you think now. And that's before you get to the reception and those 200 guest all waiting to see and talk with you. Simply put, the time your photographer has to either stand around waiting for members of the bridal party to join the planned shot or trying to keep all the bridal party focused on what is important, is time lost.
Feelings: You may be surprised to know that even if you have a huge group of friends to choose from for your bridal party, many of these people will not have their feeling hurt if they aren't asked to be part of the bridal party. And if they know they aren't the only one's not asked to join, well that's all the better.
It is an honor to be in the bridal party but also a responsibility and one that not everyone wants bestowed on them. Many of your friends will be delighted just to be invited as guests.
Benefits: By keeping your bridal party limited to those who are absolutely your closest, oldest friends, and if necessary, siblings, you'll enjoy the company of this six or seven (each side) far more than you possibly could with 10 or more. Your day will be more relaxed, you'll be able to interact with each of them more, spend time doing the photography you planned on and having the best experience of your wedding day.
Remember this; your wedding day will be a very busy, emotional day for you. By keeping the size of your bridal party reasonable you'll reduce the amount of heightened tension, stress, chaos and time lost that accompanies large bridal parties.
So invite all the friends you can afford to and choose your bridal party with care and consideration.
I'll end by saying that some of the best, most relaxed, fun-filled and photo productive weddings I've shot all had bridal parties of not more than six aside.