My fiancé and I just got engaged last month and are so excited! We are hoping to lock down our venue this week, and if we do, that means we are getting married in July 2022 and will have to make a lot of decisions really quickly.
One thing we are trying to figure out is our bridal party. I was married once a little over 5 years ago (and divorced about 2 years later, I was young and stupid and let myself get pressured into it), my fiancé has never been married.
He would like to have groomsmen but is torn between family and friends. His family is huge and if he included immediate family and his best friends, he would have 10-11 groomsmen. On my end, if I include his sisters, sister in law, and my brother's girlfriend (who is pretty much my future SIL--they are younger than us but have been together for years and plan to get engaged as soon as she's done with grad school next summer), that puts me at at least 4 bridesmaids, plus any of my friends/family.
My questions are as follows:
1) I don't want to make him choose and having so many wonderful people in our lives is a GOOD problem, but how many attendants is too many? I've been to/he's been in weddings like that, but it's not the norm for most folks and I'm worried about side-eye if we have 10-11 people on each side especially since it's my second trip down the aisle.
2) Figuring out bridesmaids on my end---I had 6 last time (my ex's sister, plus my five best friends from high school/college). Of those 5, I'm still friends with all of them, but I'd only want to re-ask 3. The other two I'd still invite to our wedding and care about very much but I took back a big step from those friendships a couple of years ago (one can be a bully and the other enables it and I stopped putting up with it). Conversely, there are 2-3 women who were new friends at the time of my first marriage that are some of my best friends now.
How do I navigate that?--a) I don't want to make people I'd re-ask feel obligated since being a bridesmaid can be a lot, b) I don't want to completely end the friendship with the women I wouldn't re-ask but I don't want to include them when the relationship is not the same, and c) I'm not sure how to deal with that in the context of asking friends I didn't ask before (because I'd rather ask the people I'm closest to now and see myself being closest to long term).
I know this was super long, but any advice would be appreciated.