How Many Bridesmaids Should I Have?

I get asked this question all.the.time. And it's a really good question! I know it's hard and overwhelming. I've photographed over 30 weddings at this point, my own and other photographer's weddings included and I've gained some knowledge these last couple of years.

"Will she get mad if I don't ask her?" "I don't want to offend X." "What should they wear?" "What if they don't like what I pick out?" "What if the dresses I pick out are too expensive?" "How many of my friends should I ask?" "Would X many bridesmaids be too much?" I'm sure I can probably keep going with the questions that keep you up at night. And that's JUST bridesmaid probs! 

Allow me to drop some knowledge on you for a sec...

Dos

Do ask bridesmaids that you know would loveeee to stand by you. Who are just as excited about your engagement, your journey, and your wedding as you are.

Do ask the girls that you are closest with. If you ask someone purely out of obligation. They will likely have a bad time and feel a little excluded from your circle of close friends.

DO avoid drama! This is YOUR day. Pro tip: Tension always shows in pictures. 

Do allow your girls to choose their own dress cut and stick with a budget everyone can work with. It's just not fair to ask all your girls to squeeze into something that does not look right with their body type (unless you're all similarly shaped).

If you're even more open, a big DO is to allow them to choose their own color within a set palette! Trust me when I say, this makes your pictures look amazing! Mixing and matching can really work, especially when you add in different dress cuts, including prints, fabrics, and two piece dresses. I recommend BHLDN, Mumu, or Lulus for bridesmaid dresses. 

destin bay house sage green bridesmaid dresses
new orleans copper bridemaid wedding dresses

Don'ts

Being a bridesmaid is no walk in the park. Don't ask someone to stand with you if they're not super pumped about your day (or being a bridesmaid). It's just not for some people!

Don't have a large wedding party (5+ girls) and not plan accordingly for hair and makeup. Your hair and makeup artist should work with you on a timeline that works best for the number of girls you have. Start early enough to allow for at least 30-45 mins per girl to give you some buffer and if you have a large wedding party, don't just have one person do it all. Make sure there is an assistant. 

Don't wait to be the last one for hair and makeup if the timeline is running behind schedule. for pictures, the bride needs to be ready first, not the girls. If progress is slow or you're running behind, jump in and get ready so that we can accomplish other things on the timeline while your girls finish getting ready. 

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This is great and all... but seriously give me a number. 

Okkkkk. Do you reallllly want my honest opinion? Sometimes, more is more. (If you're planning on skipping your bridal party, note that if my submitting your wedding for publication is important to you, it's less likely to be accepted.) 

While I do get the standard pictures like holding your bouquet at your belly button and smiling at the camera, I'm all about capturing love and making it look good.

Capturing connection in images with large bridal parties full of girls that adore each other is SO fun and the results are incredibly gorgeous!!! 

Ok Tahiry, so how many, dang it?

In my opinion, 5-6 of your bestest, bubbliest, most happy for you pals, that are willing to handle all the things that come with being a bridesmaid. If you do have more (tbh, I love big bridal parties), just don't forget to account for hair and makeup, a big enough getting ready space, and timelines! :)

downtown pensacola blue bridesmaid dresses
fire of pensacola wedding bouquets and gold lulus bridesmaid dresses at live oak plantation
bridesmaids at live oak plantation wedding with lulus gold bridesmaid dresses

PS The edits are a mix of my moody and brights. Which are your favs? Don't forget to like and share with your friends in the wedding planning struggle! 

Stay sexy, happy wedding planning, BYEEEE. 

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