On a whim, I decided to write at the Buckingham Fountain today instead of sitting at the Bean again. And guess what I saw?
Like last Tuesday, the weather is what most brides dream of having on their wedding day. The breeze off the lake is a little chilly, but I’m sure the groomsmen in their dark black tuxes appreciate it.
Their bridal party isn’t particularly large. Other than the bride and groom, there are a handful of groomsmen and a ring-bearer. The only other women in attendance are the maid of honor and the mothers of the bride and groom.
This is by no means unheard of. A lot of couples opt for much smaller weddings, which in turn means having smaller bridal parties. This could be due to many reasons, such as budget and personal tastes, but the most appealing factor is that smaller bridal parties are typically easier to coordinate, especially when it comes to the wedding photos.
According to a survey done by The Knot and WeddingChannel.com, the average size of bridal parties in 2011 was around 10-12 people. This was broken down by 4-5 bridesmaids and groomsmen, plus a flower girl and ring bearer.
Obviously, this may differ from culture to culture, but in terms of the mainstream American wedding, the etiquette for establishing your bridal party is based on the style of wedding you’re going to have. For example, an extremely formal Catholic wedding may have 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, whereas a destination beach wedding where everyone is barefoot may only have two or three of each.
When it comes to my future wedding, I’ll probably end up with an above-average number of people in my bridal party, no matter what style of wedding I choose to have. I know I’m going to struggle with keeping my bridesmaid count low, since I have so many close girl friends – hopefully my future fiance will be outgoing and have enough groomsmen to match!
Do you want to have a small bridal party, or a larger one? Do you know who your maid of honor or bridesmaids are going to be? If you’ve already had your wedding, how did you choose your bridesmaids and other members of the party? Did the style of your wedding going to affect the size of your bridal party?