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Help! I have 13 girls I want to be bridesmaids!!

So here is my dilemma, I have a lot of very close girlfriends and family. In most circumstances, this is a blessing, so please don't think I'm being a brat. This circumstance is proving problematic for my wedding however. So I have my BFF (will be MOH), my 2 oldest friends from childhood, my 4 college girls (who I talk with everyday and was in all of their weddings), my FI's sister, my 2 really good friends from after college, and my 3 cousins (who are like sisters to me). I have tried configuring and cutting every which way, but nothing feels right! These girls are all very important people in my life and I want them all there, but I know how ridiculous 13 people. My fiancé hates the idea of having a massive amount of attendants, which I totally get, but I can't seem to come up with a better solution. I saw something a while back about having a "bridal brigade" which includes people who aren't actual maids, but how can that be really special? Any ideas? I feel totally stumped.
Shawn41
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Re: Help! I have 13 girls I want to be bridesmaids!!

  • Well the money isn't really an issue. I understand it'll be costly. I've been asking myself the "10 years" question a lot, but when I go to eliminate, it almost gets political. Like 1 of the college friends we've grown a bit more a part, but that could rekindle next month. And then if I only eliminated her out of the college girls, it seems hurtful. If I choose only one cousin, how will the other 2 feel? I'm not particularly close to my FI's sister, but I definitely think she should be a bridesmaid. I feel like this shouldn't be so confusing.
  • alehayde said:
    Well the money isn't really an issue. I understand it'll be costly. I've been asking myself the "10 years" question a lot, but when I go to eliminate, it almost gets political. Like 1 of the college friends we've grown a bit more a part, but that could rekindle next month. And then if I only eliminated her out of the college girls, it seems hurtful. If I choose only one cousin, how will the other 2 feel? I'm not particularly close to my FI's sister, but I definitely think she should be a bridesmaid. I feel like this shouldn't be so confusing.
    Then have her stand on your FI's side. My brother was an usher (and musician and reader) at my wedding. He and DH are friendly, but I would never have expected DH to make him a GM just because he's my brother. 

    If you're really worried about sides and being political -- have your BFF and two oldest friends. Then none of the college girls are excluded at the expense of the others, and none of the post-college girls are excluded at the expense of the others, and none of your cousins are excluded at the expense of the others. 

    And then you only have three attendants. Problem solved. 
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    doeydoPrettyGirlLostjenna8984mamacass1515
  • Rebl90Rebl90 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2013
    alehayde said:
    Well the money isn't really an issue. I understand it'll be costly. I've been asking myself the "10 years" question a lot, but when I go to eliminate, it almost gets political. Like 1 of the college friends we've grown a bit more a part, but that could rekindle next month. And then if I only eliminated her out of the college girls, it seems hurtful. If I choose only one cousin, how will the other 2 feel? I'm not particularly close to my FI's sister, but I definitely think she should be a bridesmaid. I feel like this shouldn't be so confusing.
    It's really not that confusing. Don't ask the friend you are not close with anymore. An engagement is not a good time to work on "rekindling" a friendship, it's only going to make you feel stressed and pressured to move things along quickly instead of naturally.  Don't ask your FI's sister. If you're not particularly close with her (as you have clearly stated) then you have no business asking her to be a BM. Your bridesmaids are supposed to be your closest friends at the time, it has nothing to do with how long you've known someone, I've only been friends with my MOH for about 5 years, but she's much closer to me than my "life long" friends. Also, it doesn't matter how many attendants your FI has in relation to you, he doesn't need to ask 11 guys to make it even to your 11. 

    Edited: spell check.
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  • I agree with previous posters that you should pick the people who are closest to you now. It doesn't mtter if you were in their wedding or not. Also about FSIL I would try to determine if she actually wants and is expecting to be a bridesmaid or not. In some families it can cause a lot of drama not to include FSIL, but it other cases such as mine SIL told me she rather not be a bridesmaid and so she did a reading instead and everyone was happy.

    If your cousins are really like sisters and you are close with them, I would be tempted to pick family over friends as most people understand picking family and there may be less hurt feelings. But if you feel closer to your friends and can't imagine them not up there pick them. Also sometimes it is way nicer to just be a guest and get to pick your own dress. Your friends (or cousins) may not be so anxious to be a bridesmaid as you think, especially if they have been bridesmaids many times before.
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    melbelleupjenna8984Shawn41
  • melbelleupmelbelleup member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited December 2013
    I would do family over friends so cousins and Fi's sister. You can have the college ones or some of them be readers too. Depending on the type of ceremony you're having there could be 3 readers.

    ETA: Think of the people who will be there when you're 40-50. Would all of them still be there? This is how I picked mine.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • So the cost of 13 bouquets, 13 thank you gifts and 26 seats at your RD pose no issues with your budget?  The wedding party really is a line item in the wedding budget and as long as you are prepared for that you are good to go.

    Now, if I were the person who was going to be paying for your RD and you had 13 and your FI decided to have 13 we might be looking at Happy Meals for dinner.  If you each had 13 attendants that is 52 seats at the RD and that doesn't include family!  Each of those people needs to be able to bring a date to the RD so please keep that in mind if someone else has volunteered to pay for that for you.

    I do think it looks insane to have so many people up there but you are the ones who need to feel right about the choices.  Are these 13 girls ALL people you could call at 3 am to help hide a body?

    OliveOilsMomMGPjenna8984
  • It seems like the easiest thing to do with least hurt feelings is to have your BFF as MOH and your cousins as bms. All your girl friends can still enjoy your day with you as guests. Just don't give them fake jobs.
    aRachel21princessleia22antoto
  • I'd either keep it family, or just do a MOH. One of my best friends is getting married next summer. She's in my spring wedding, but I'm not in hers. She's been in 17 weddings and couldn't begin to wittle down the list. So, she's simply having an MOH. None of us took it personally, and all of us are helping her out in anyway we can from helping her go dress shopping to throwing her a local shower (not required of course, but offered and accepted). So going very simple is certainly an option.
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • Thanks for the ideas everyone. I'm just processing, and trying to figure out what sounds right. Keep throwing out ideas. I'm trying on each idea for size right now.
  • I'd either keep it family, or just do a MOH. One of my best friends is getting married next summer. She's in my spring wedding, but I'm not in hers. She's been in 17 weddings and couldn't begin to wittle down the list. So, she's simply having an MOH. None of us took it personally, and all of us are helping her out in anyway we can from helping her go dress shopping to throwing her a local shower (not required of course, but offered and accepted). So going very simple is certainly an option.
    I second this - good advice!  Either just family, or simply a MOH. 
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  • I think the best way is family only. Its a clear cut line that friends will just have to understand.
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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm having only a MOH. And honestly, it's freeing. I was so worried about who to choose, who would get their feelings hurts. So it's just my best friend and that's it. 

    jenna8984Shawn41
  • If you really need to draw a line, i'd use the cousins and FSIL (assuming your FI's family is the type to be upset if she's excluded) as BMs.  Your BFF can still be MOH.  That gives you 5 i think, and is a pretty clear cut line.  You never know what friends will still be around in 20 years, but you will continue to be related to these people - so that's probably the safest bet.

     

    Don't worry about hurt feelings - honestly i think the bride and groom get way too worked up about this stuff.  I'd love to just be a guest at a close friend's wedding - i can wear whatever i want and not have to prep to smile in pictures for hours upon hours or go to the rehearsal, etc.  there aren't that many people who would be hurt to NOT be in a wedding (though i have learned from these boards that those people do, in fact, exist for some unknown reason).

  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    OP, there are two things I don't know about you that I'd take into consideration.

    a) When are you getting married? Can you just wait this out awhile longer until it's absolutely necessary to pick dresses? As you've probably noticed on the boards, a lot of relationships are strained during wedding planning. See who's still supportive 6 months out, maybe? See who really steps up and wants to be there for you?

    b) Are you a younger bride? I had way more "friends" at 23 than I do now at 30; but at 23 it's easy to think all these people are going to be there for you for the next 30 years.

    Ideally I would have had 7 attendants given the closeness of the few strong relationships I have, but then I'd have no friends actually watching the ceremony, haha. I chose my sister as MOH, my lifelong best friend (28 years and going strong) and my current best friend (10 years and going strong). 
    ________________________________


    jenna8984
  • Why not just have BFF and family members (cousins) only? You could still invite your girlfriends to get ready with you or attend pre-wedding events like the rehearsal dinner if you wanted.

    Could your FI's sister stand on his side instead of yours, to cut down on your number? I'm all for dividing the wedding party by relationship rather than gender.

    Maybe I'm just antisocial, but I'm genuinely impressed by people who have this many close friends. I could never keep up with that many--too much work. :)
  • Here's an idea my sister in law is doing. They are also having alarge amountof ppl on both sides.
    There are probably about 10 girls and 10 guys.
    We can all wear whatever we like, no color choice but tea lenght or shorter. We will either have a corsage or flowers in our hair. Her MOH is walking down the aisle, thats it. Everyone else is just involved in some way, either a reading, candle lighting, officiating etc.
    I thought it was unique, but a nice way to have all her friends share a part.
  • Who would you call up at 3am to hide a dead body?

    I agree that a good line to draw is family vs. friends (plus your MOH). However, I wouldn't ask FSIL just because you think you have to. Better yet, she can stand up on FI's side. 

    It is OK if you pick one out of the 3 or 4 people in the group of friends. Only way I would feel slighted if you picked everyone but one person. 

    You could also pick a bridal party of ~4-6 (or whoever you feel closest to) then have 2-3 ceremony readings, ask one or two to light a candle, have one present the rings to your officiant, and have 2 sign the marriage license as witnesses (witnesses do not have to be your bridal party). That will cover your 13. 

    I struggled a bit as well, because I also felt bad about picking one school friend but not the others, one friend from my hometown but not the others, etc, but if I picked everyone then we wouldn't have any friends sitting in the seats! I ended up picking one MOH, and one BM, and asking FSIL to perform a reading. 
  • I agree with SP29;you should have those one that are 100% ready for you, cause this is a special day to have special girls supporting you during all this day..
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    Shawn41
  • This sounds so much like my situation. I have 3 cousins (one is my MOH), 3 lifelong friends, 4 college friends, and my FI's cousin (who's like his sister). I've just limited it to my cousins, his cousin, and 2 of my friends. The friends I didn't ask completely understand that it's hard to choose, and that mostly my family came first. They'll probably have even more fun not having to worry about anything!
  • I'm in a similar situation. We have 12 bridesmaids, granted 5 are sisters. At first I was mortified because each one assumed they would be in my wedding and I realized I would have to hurt some feelings to cut it down. Oddly enough my DJ changed my perspective. When I informed him of my bridal party I quickly started to justify it but he stopped me and told me that when that many people want to be bridesmaids it says something about the bride that so many people love her. Ultimately I decided to let all 12 be in my bridal party. I am having all but 2 sit in the front row during the ceremony so the pictures during the ceremony are just 2 on each side. I figure at the end of the day if money isn't an issue and that many girls want to stand with you while you marry your best friend then who cares! You are loved and it's YOUR wedding! If you want to cut the list then you have decisions to make. If you are more worried about what people will think having so many just remember it's your day, you don't have to justify anything to anyone.
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    jramm13 said:
    I'm in a similar situation. We have 12 bridesmaids, granted 5 are sisters. At first I was mortified because each one assumed they would be in my wedding and I realized I would have to hurt some feelings to cut it down. Oddly enough my DJ changed my perspective. When I informed him of my bridal party I quickly started to justify it but he stopped me and told me that when that many people want to be bridesmaids it says something about the bride that so many people love her. Ultimately I decided to let all 12 be in my bridal party. I am having all but 2 sit in the front row during the ceremony so the pictures during the ceremony are just 2 on each side. I figure at the end of the day if money isn't an issue and that many girls want to stand with you while you marry your best friend then who cares! You are loved and it's YOUR wedding! If you want to cut the list then you have decisions to make. If you are more worried about what people will think having so many just remember it's your day, you don't have to justify anything to anyone.
    IMO, that's extremely silly and honestly even more hurtful than not asking someone to be a BM. You're asking these women to give time and money to be in your wedding but only two make the cut to actually stand up there with you?


    misssunshine17STARMOON44
  • That's a cruel thing to say. First of all they all wanted to be bridesmaids so none are complaining. Second of all we all got together and one of the girls suggested just having the 2 matrons of honor (my sisters) stand while the rest of the bridal party sits during the ceremony. They all still walk but don't have to stand up the whole time. Honestly the rest were happy they didn't have to stand for 30 mins in heels. I've been in 2 weddings where I was seated as a bridesmaid and only the MOH stood the entire time. I never once took offense to it. It wasn't about me. Also, no offense but I didn't ask your opinion so I don't appreciate or need a rude comment. I was just offering the original poster some insight from another perspective.
    Heim3114becky22002mamacass1515
  • That is not a silly or hurtful idea at all. That is actually a really good idea. The only wedding I have ever been in was when I was 10 and the flower girl but I remember standing there and it feeling like forever lol. I know a lot of people would rather sit so they are comfortable and not standing in front of everyone.
  • jramm13 said:
    I'm in a similar situation. We have 12 bridesmaids, granted 5 are sisters. At first I was mortified because each one assumed they would be in my wedding and I realized I would have to hurt some feelings to cut it down. Oddly enough my DJ changed my perspective. When I informed him of my bridal party I quickly started to justify it but he stopped me and told me that when that many people want to be bridesmaids it says something about the bride that so many people love her. Ultimately I decided to let all 12 be in my bridal party. I am having all but 2 sit in the front row during the ceremony so the pictures during the ceremony are just 2 on each side. I figure at the end of the day if money isn't an issue and that many girls want to stand with you while you marry your best friend then who cares! You are loved and it's YOUR wedding! If you want to cut the list then you have decisions to make. If you are more worried about what people will think having so many just remember it's your day, you don't have to justify anything to anyone.
    IMO, that's extremely silly and honestly even more hurtful than not asking someone to be a BM. You're asking these women to give time and money to be in your wedding but only two make the cut to actually stand up there with you?
    I totally second this. Why bother buy a dress if they're not even actually standing up for you. You're devaluing the honor of being a bridesmaid. 

  • jramm13 said:
    I'm in a similar situation. We have 12 bridesmaids, granted 5 are sisters. At first I was mortified because each one assumed they would be in my wedding and I realized I would have to hurt some feelings to cut it down. Oddly enough my DJ changed my perspective. When I informed him of my bridal party I quickly started to justify it but he stopped me and told me that when that many people want to be bridesmaids it says something about the bride that so many people love her. Ultimately I decided to let all 12 be in my bridal party. I am having all but 2 sit in the front row during the ceremony so the pictures during the ceremony are just 2 on each side. I figure at the end of the day if money isn't an issue and that many girls want to stand with you while you marry your best friend then who cares! You are loved and it's YOUR wedding! If you want to cut the list then you have decisions to make. If you are more worried about what people will think having so many just remember it's your day, you don't have to justify anything to anyone.
    Just pointing out that you are contradicting yourself.  You're saying it is awesome to have that many people want to STAND with you while you get married, yet only 2 will actually be doing this.  
  • To the original post:

    I think that you either need to go with all of them or just family. Sadly, this situation can get stressful and possibly ugly fast. I have found that family gets more bent out of shape then friends do. Most really good friends understand the "they are my family" reasoning behind things. Also, remember unless you are paying for bridesmaid dresses, shoes and getting hair/nails done some girls may not be able to afford being in a wedding. They will be happy to just attend seeing as they may also have to pay for an airplane ticket and hotel room.  Basically though, you and your fiancé need to agree on what is going to work for you both and make you both HAPPY. Everyone does things differently and don't let anyone make you feel bad. What works for someone else may not work for you.

    If you keep reading everything else is to try and help you see more clearly what you may or may not want to do:

    I'm getting married in April and I told my fiancé going into the whole thing that we should only have people who mean a lot to us stand up. He agreed. I have 6 Bridesmaids counting my MOH. I have many other very close friends, but they all understand that I chose the girls that I have been close friends with since kindergarten. One of my best friends since high school (and I was a BM in her wedding) has twin 2 year old boys and lives in a different city. She told me "I am so happy that you did not ask me to be a bridesmaid, there is just too much going on, but I will absolutely be at the wedding". - My fiancé only has 3 guys standing up with him.  Having an uneven bridal party is something that would have totally bothered me in my 20's, but now in my 30's I don't care.  His family is throwing a fit though.  His aunt keeps says that her sons ( who are our age, but my fiancé is not close with at all) should be in it to help even it out. When I've talked to her two sons, they could careless about not being in it. Then his mother and sister (who is my age) are going ape sh*! about her not being a bridesmaid. I am not close with his sister at all! My family and I are not okay with her being on the grooms side. I have asked her to do a reading, but she has not said a for sure yes yet. My fiancé knows that he is in between a rock and a hard place, but he has never said to me that his sister has to be a BM.

     We have stuck to our guns, but it's not been easy. I wish you luck and you and your fiancé all the happiness.

     

  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    jramm13 said:
    That's a cruel thing to say. First of all they all wanted to be bridesmaids so none are complaining. Second of all we all got together and one of the girls suggested just having the 2 matrons of honor (my sisters) stand while the rest of the bridal party sits during the ceremony. They all still walk but don't have to stand up the whole time. Honestly the rest were happy they didn't have to stand for 30 mins in heels. I've been in 2 weddings where I was seated as a bridesmaid and only the MOH stood the entire time. I never once took offense to it. It wasn't about me. Also, no offense but I didn't ask your opinion so I don't appreciate or need a rude comment. I was just offering the original poster some insight from another perspective.
    Fun fact about the internet: You don't get to decide how people respond to what you post. You put it out there and I'm free to comment on it.

    And it's not having people sit that I object to it's making the arbitrary cut where some sit and some stand just so pictures look good. People aren't props and you can justify it all you want but it was pretty clear in your post symmetry was the deciding factor not whether or not someone wanted to stand in heels.


  • I have no readers and no soloists at my wedding.  I had the issue of too many important people that I wanted included and narowed it down this way: first our siblings are on program to light the memorial candels for our family members who aren't alive to see our day. second our closest friends are our maids and men, Maid and Matron along with 3 bridesmaids for me, 1 best man and 3 groomsmen for him. I have 4 God-sisters whom I adore and he has 4 older nephews he helped raise and hense sees as sons.  They are our hostesses and ushers.  Yes it does get expensive when you add up the cost of having people stand up for you, but that cost can be budgeted and in the long term that cost will seem minimal once you've had a chance to look back on your day knowing that all of the people who mean the most to you were able to be front and center.  Our engagement paty was hosted by my siblings, the rehearsal dinner is being hosted by his siblings.

  • What on Earth is a God-Sister?
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