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One common sense choice is the size of the church, chapel or ceremony location. It will be uncomfortable for everyone to have a dozen attendants on each side, if the space does not allow.
If you do decide to have a large number of attendants, keep in mind that tasks like ordering dresses and shoes may take longer and you will need to plan accordingly.
Many brides also feel that organizing a very large group can be difficult, without some help. If the bridesmaids are very scattered, it will be necessary to find ways to keep them involved and have them feel as though they are really a part of the festivities.
Many brides will create an attendants' newsletter, updating everyone of the progress of the event and letting them know where their assistance is needed or required. This in tandem with your bridal shower is usually a good way to allow all the attendants to participate and get to know each other, if they don't already.
A large number of attendants is often seen if the bride has a large family, is a member of a sorority or is hosting a large scale affair.
Lastly, keep in mind that there are many roles in your wedding for your friends and loved ones to play a part. Hostesses, scripture readers, poetry readers and persons to lead a prayer or sing a musical selection are just a few of the roles the special people in your life can play.