1/ Only choose those you know you can rely on
Image by Sposto Photography
The closeness of your relationship tends to be the main deciding factor in choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but you should always weigh up their reliability and temperament too. This may seem less important in a larger bridal party (as there are more people to pick up the slack), but if the person in question is more likely to need support than to offer support or has been known to court drama, you could save money and stress by assigning them a less vital role and shrinking the bridal party!
2/ Let go of perfection
Image by Kylee Yee
The more people are involved, the more complicated decision-making becomes. (It’s harder to find a dress style that will keep six or more people happy than just two or three!). Come to terms with the fact that it’s impossible to keep everyone happy all the time and try not to let that worry you too much. Resolve to be decisive about what’s important to you to avoid straightforward decisions disintegrating into unnecessary scrutiny and debate.
3/ Have a go-to person for the group
Image by Jen Dillender Photography
For coordination and communication, assign someone as a ‘go-to’ point of contact and wrangler. This will release you from the planning minutiae of, say, finding a dress shopping appointment to suit everyone, rallying people to volunteer for various tasks or ensuring everyone has their outfits on time. It can also help minimise hassle on the day to have someone in charge of sharing information and keeping the group focused, in the right place and on schedule.
(Note that it’s a good idea to assign this task to someone other than the maid or matron of honour (or best man) since they will likely have their hands full with a variety of other wedding responsibilities.)
4/ Think bigger for locations
Image by Jessica Lorren Photography
It sounds obvious, but make sure you allow for ample space any time you want your bridal party gathered together. It can be chaotic enough getting ready for a wedding without having to jostle with others in a cramped room! Some examples include:
- Where you’ll stand for the ceremony
- The head table at the reception
- The room(s) you’ll use for getting ready
- Settings for the wedding portraits
- Transportation to and from the ceremony/reception
5/ Keep per head costs down
Image by Christy Cassano-Meyer
Though the bridal party usually covers attire, there are plenty of things that you’ll have to pay for that will increase with the size of the party (for bridesmaids this includes bouquets, professional hair and makeup, bridesmaid gifts, transport and potentially even pre-wedding accommodation).
Make sure your budget can accommodate this multiplication of costs or investigate areas where you can compromise and keep costs under control. Consider forgoing the beauty professionals or perhaps having bridesmaids hold something less expensive than a bouquet (matching parasols, lanterns or clutches can all fulfil a similar role!).