Making a list of your bridesmaids is exciting and fun. Asking each girl to participate, then getting caught up in the magic of it all is just a part of the planning fun. Then, suddenly, your list is out of control. Unless you want a rom-com wedding with 27 bridesmaids cascading down the aisles, you have to stop yourself from going overboard. If you have already asked too many girlfriends to stand beside you on your special day, there are ways to move forward without ruining friendships and while still having your dream wedding.
Go with Family and Closest Loved Ones
It’s a delicate process to decide who makes the cut. Don’t just close your eyes and point to a few names. Those closest to you should get to stay in the line. Remember, relationships grow and change as the years go by, so focus on those people that you know will always be close to you. It might be easier to keep sisters, sister-in-laws, or female family members in the wedding party so that you can use the simple excuse that you’re just keeping the wedding party to family. Think about those that have the strongest connections to you in your life. Choose those people that will still be standing beside you at your 50th anniversary wedding party.
Give Them All Jobs
Getting cut from the bridesmaid team doesn’t mean getting cut from the entire wedding. There are so many little jobs that your loved ones can help with during the wedding. You can even make up some jobs just to include someone in your big day.
There are jobs for greeters that stand by the guestbook, smiling friends that hand out programs, an old friend to read a poem at the podium, and loved ones that cut the cake to serve to guests. There’s a place for everyone. Make sure they still feel special to be included as part of the wedding, even if they aren’t standing beside you at the altar. You can even make someone your special assistant to help you throughout the day.
Tell the Truth
Breaking the news about being cut from the bridesmaid list could hurt some people’s feelings. Don’t stumble over the words; don’t ramble; and don’t come up with a bogus lie about your mother-in-law making you cut down the list. Just tell the truth. If you’re overwhelmed that you’ve chosen 10 bridesmaids and just can’t seem to fit them all in the ceremony—tell the person. If your budget isn’t going to allow that many bridesmaids, be upfront about it. The girls will respect the truth and might even feel relieved to not be under the pressure of being the “perfect” bridesmaid anymore.
You’d be surprised at the hearts and minds of your friends and family. They may feel a bit hurt, but they will understand if you’re just upfront and explain why you can’t have so many bridesmaids. If one of your friends gets catty for some reason and asks why another friend made the cut and she didn’t, just tell the truth. Maybe the other girl has been your friend for decades, or you just have a stronger connection. Stick to the truth no matter what the reasons, and the girls will better understand and respect your decisions.
This term may sound crazy, but honorary bridesmaids are actually a pretty genius idea. They don’t have all of the duties of everyday bridesmaids, and they won’t stand beside you at the altar, but they will symbolize love and friendship at your wedding. These women can all sit together and wear the same color as your bridesmaids. You can give them a special piece of jewelry or a corsage to wear that represents the couple. Make sure these women are included in all pre-wedding activities like bachelorette parties and showers. They feel included in the wedding and the stress is off of you to include them, so everyone wins.
Go With Your Original List
If you can’t figure out a way to cut down the list and it’s stressing you out, just make it work. You don’t have to balance out your fiancé’s side. Let the groomsmen walk with multiple women on their arms and let the group pictures be filled with beaming women. It’s your big day, so make it as big and crazy as you want. Too many friends is a much better than having no friends at all.