Wedding Party Rules

I have two really amazing sisters—we’re only a year and a half apart, each. Here’s a picture of us:


Personal photo

Oh wait, this picture is from Halloween over 17 years ago! Apparently, I was a bride and my two sisters were my bridesmaids—that’s Sister E on the left and Sister A on the right. I love our bouquets and hair bows, but clearly the best part is the turtleneck underneath my frilly dress. Halloween in Wisconsin is cold!

I tried to find some more recent pictures of us, but somehow all the pictures of us either involve hiking or running. For real, I have dozens of pictures of us in the Blue Ridge Mountains, doing 5Ks, off on training runs, etc., but nothing formal. Here’s one shot I found from Christmas a few years ago. Sister A (the youngest) is the tallest on the left and Sister E is on the right. Oh, and that’s my little brother creeping in the background. Classic.


Personal photo

This is my favorite picture of us, taken this Christmas while running in Minneapolis. Bonus points if you can recognize where this picture was taken!


Personal photo

Why yes, we do like to rock matching neon jackets, especially when running on busy roads or at night. Safety first!

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that obviously I was always going to include my two sisters in my bridal party. Beyond that, though, I wasn’t sure. I always wanted a small bridal party, but Mr. Lemur has two sisters and I have several close friends…and to be honest, the numbers just started to add up.

I struggled with this for awhile. But you know what? There are no “wedding party rules.” You don’t have to include every best friend you’ve had since kindergarten, although what’s really awesome is that if you want to include twenty girls, heck, go for it!

What worked for me is to just invite my two sisters to stand up with me as I commit to Mr. Lemur for life. Mr. Lemur will have his two brothers standing up on his side. So yes, it’s “even,” but more importantly, it’s comfortable and right for us. We’re including our other family members and friends in other ways in the ceremony and reception, and I couldn’t be more excited!

How did you choose your bridal party? Did you go the “traditional” even route? Have sixteen girls stand up with you? Have guys stand up on the bride’s side or girls on the groom’s side? I want to hear about it!


Mrs. Lemur

Greenville, South Carolina
Wedding Date:
May 2013
Gallery of the Day
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  1. mssquirrel Member
    mssquirrel 276 posts, Helper bee @ 8:01 am

    Yea….we kind of went in the other direction. We each have 10 people. Don’t worry, I am judging myself haha. Like you said, the numbers just start adding up and ultimately I didn’t want to ‘cut someone’ just because of ‘rules’. Who cares!

  2. Member
    shaynapunim 654 posts, Busy bee @ 8:06 am

    We’re not having a bridal party – not traditional at all, ha ha!! 😉

  3. Member
    kit_kath 1327 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:12 am

    I will end up with more girls that I originally planned, and our sides will likely be uneven. I’ve gotten closer to certain friends in recenent years and dont want to cut anyone just to have even numbers or something.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    futuremrshockey, Guest @ 8:17 am

    My numbers came from my fiance from the moment we started talking about marriage he wanted his 6 best friends. I started freaking out because I have two really close girlfriends, luckily I also have 4 younger sisters. So all in all it worked out. Hoping it all works on the day my youngest bridesmaid will br 13 and his youngest groomsmen will be 23.

  5. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:31 am

    Similar to you, I knew my sisters would be my bridesmaids, but I have a lot of friends. I was afraid of having it get out of control, so I opted just to have my 3 sisters (2 sisters from birth, and future SIL, who I already consider to be my sister!), and one friend. My older sister and friend are the two Matrons of Honor, but it was most important and easiest for me to just keep it close-knit and simple. My other friends probably appreciate saving the time and money and just getting to come enjoy the party anyway!

  6. Member
    BrideLawyer 31 posts, Newbee @ 8:31 am

    On my side, I will have my identical twin sister as my Matron of Honor, my 11 year old daugther as my Maid of Honor, and my 15 year old son as my Man of Honor (he will also be walking me down the aisle). On my fiance’s side, his best friend is his Best Man, but his two 20+ year old sons will be his Groomsmen. We wanted to make sure our kids played an active role in our wedding.

  7. Member
    drod 107 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:12 am

    We are each having four. I have no sisters so I’M having my two cousins who are like my sisters and two of my closest friends at this stage of my life. I have other cousins and other friends from my teenage years but we did not want a huge bridal party so something had to give. FI has no brothers so he is using two cousins and two friends as well, so it all works…….except my FSIL who has informed me that she IS in the party…but in my mind she is not. But then again, what is a wedding without a little family drama?

  8. Member
    courtoni 177 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:18 am

    Ours is small. I’m having my sister be my Matron of Honor and he is having his Father/Stepfather be his best men. We both have lots of fun but being in our 40s it just seemed silly to have a lot of people.

    Plus I’m at the age where most of my friends are over being in weddings and buying bridemaid dresses. One of my good friends even said to me “if I really am a friend, you won’t have me in your wedding!” Ha

  9. Member
    courtoni 177 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:19 am

    I meant to say we both have lots of friends….fun too though!

  10. Member
    hma812 368 posts, Helper bee @ 9:24 am

    I am very envious of your relationship with your sisters. My sister and I are 19 months apart but not close at all. I’m not having a bridal party but if I were she wouldn’t be included anyway.

  11. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 9:42 am

    I totally agree with you: there are no rules! I have six girls in my wedding party, one of which is also the officiant, and my FI has five guys. It worked perfectly. We have a very close-knit circle of friends and we knew our day would not be the same without them.

  12. Member
    SoonToBeMrsDonnieW 202 posts, Helper bee @ 9:47 am

    I am having two female friends and one guy friend on my side. My FI is having his best friend, my brother and his brother. I agree- no rules!

  13. Member
    brooklyn55 743 posts, Busy bee @ 9:49 am

    I didn’t have the sister thing to worry about but I had a hard time choosing among my friends. I ended up choosing my 2 closest friends from college and my cousin who has been much like a sister to me. I struggled with whether to ask my FSIL but decided not to. My FI has 3 also, his brother, his childhood best friend and best friend from college.

  14. Member
    MissSpark 180 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:53 am

    I’ve got three bridesmaids and a man of honor, my fiance has three groomsmen, one of which is also acting as our officiant. So, we’ll be lopsided and mismatched! Regardless, it’s what works for us. I’m glad you found what’s going to work for you!

  15. Member
    mkendrick 833 posts, Busy bee @ 10:00 am

    Minnehaha Falls?

  16. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:10 am

    Aww you three are so cute :) I’ve always wished I had sisters. I chose 3 BFFs, my two SILs, and one groomsmaid to stand up for me, and it worked out really well. I agree, there are no rules! I had two MOHs, and there were 6 total BMs but only 5 GM – we weren’t too concerned with traditions or having even sides haha

  17. mstreasure Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:01 am

    We had 2 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen, so I am totally with you on breaking the rules. Honestly, these days, I don’t think anyone bats an eye if you have uneven sides or mixed gender wedding parties or have mismatched dresses. The wedding party is all about having your nearest and dearest up there to support you, and it sounds like that’s what you’re doing.

    If you’re looking for a way to include your friends, I invited mine to get ready with me the morning of the wedding. It was an absolute blast and one of my favorite parts of the day.

  18. Member
    fronkinzankinsbride 46 posts, Newbee @ 11:18 am

    My brother is my best man and her sister is her best woman and that’s it. Super traditional. 😉

  19. mslemur Member
    mslemur 616 posts, Busy bee @ 12:19 pm

    @BrideLawyer: I love this! So sweet to have your whole family involved :)

    @hma812: To be honest, we’re not always close. My middle sister & I have a ton of differences—but I’m still thankful to have them in my bridal party.

    @MissSpark: It has to be about the individual person, you know? There is no “right way” to choose a bridal party!

  20. mslemur Member
    mslemur 616 posts, Busy bee @ 12:19 pm

    @mkendrick: Yes! Are you from Minneapolis? My grandma lives just a few miles from there so we ran there from her house. It was so cold but really beautiful. We stepped over the “closed” sign to get closer to the falls 😉

  21. mslemur Member
    mslemur 616 posts, Busy bee @ 12:20 pm

    @Mrs. Treasure: I really love the idea of having my friends come get ready with me. I have no doubt that’s how it will work out—for sure Mr. Lemur’s sisters will be there and a few of my friends are coming to help with hair/makeup/set-up too!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Elaine, Guest @ 4:09 pm

    I had 3 BM and 3 GM in my wedding…very traditional. But nowadays anything goes!

  23. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:23 pm

    You and your sisters are so cute! I think it’s perfect to have your sisters standing by you, just like they always have.

  24. Member
    plotboxe 34 posts, Newbee @ 10:03 pm

    my brother and his brother!Super traditional.

  25. Member
    chris.trib.37 7 posts, Newbee @ 2:31 am

    Wow, you could be tripplets

  26. Member
    staceykate 54 posts, Worker bee @ 6:31 am

    We have 7 bridesmaids (my sister, FSIL, 4 college friends, and one ex-roommate… I actually found her as a roommate from Craigslist, so that is a running joke between us! haha) and my fiance has 7 groomsmen (his brother, 5 college buddies, and one work buddy). I was initially going to add one more childhood friend, but she lives in Australia and is in the middle of her Master’s degree and won’t be able to make it to the wedding anyway. I think my fiance would probably have had 6 groomsmen, but he added one more to make the numbers even. I wouldn’t have minded if it was uneven! We also have my son as ring bearer. :)

    Is anyone having a “house party” (e.g. ushers/usherettes/readers)? We were thinking about doing that too but it just seemed like way too many people to manage!! Just wondering if that was a common thing or maybe just in Texas? My friend who recently got married had 5 bridesmaids, but then she also had a “bling bearer” (adult female ring bearer, the groom’s sister) and 3 female house party members, plus I’m not sure how many ushers etc.

  27. mslemur Member
    mslemur 616 posts, Busy bee @ 7:45 am

    @chris.trib.37: We’ve totally gotten that before! More when we were younger. And at school (we all go to the same university) we still get mistaken for each other. Although now no one has any idea who is older—especially since both my sisters are taller than me!

  28. mslemur Member
    mslemur 616 posts, Busy bee @ 7:49 am

    @staceykate: Hmm I’m not sure what you mean by house party—maybe that’s just a Texas thing? I’m doing something similar to what you mean by house party I think though. My brother and my sister’s boyfriend are ushering, my two future sister-in-laws are playing strings (they’re AMAZING!), and two of my friends are helping set-up. I’m including all of them in the rehearsal dinner, gifts, morning of getting ready, etc. Does that make sense?

  29. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:40 am

    I think it’s amazing you are so close and you git to include them.
    The background of that last pictures is breathtaking.

  30. Member
    spanglbee 77 posts, Worker bee @ 5:39 pm

    We are having 5 people stand up with each of us. On my side, I have my 2 sisters, my 2 best friends, and my little 13 year old brother as a bridesman. Then my FH has his 4 best friends and his brother in his party :) ages range 13-33

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