Your bridal party is one of the hidden costs of wedding planning. Yes, they may buy their own dresses and suits, but you still have to pay for their flowers, their places at the rehearsal dinner, thank-you gifts, and their transportation between the ceremony and reception. Don't forget that each bridesmaid most likely has a matching groomsman, and you have to pay for all those things for him as well. You can easily wind up spending $150 an attendant.
There are a lot of moving parts the day of your wedding. You have to get from the hairdresser to the photographer to the ceremony to the reception. The more people you have, the harder all of that is going to be.
Traditionally bridesmaids help with some of the decisions that brides need to make. They might accompany you to tastings or dress fittings. On the one hand, the more bridesmaids to help, the better. On the other hand, do you want to have to consider so many schedules?
It sounds strange, but the more bridesmaids you choose, the more chance you have of hurting someone's feelings. If you have eight bridesmaids, how is friend number nine going to feel? On the other hand, if you only have your two oldest friends, or your sisters, your other friends won't feel left out.
As much as you love your friends, sometimes less is more. Having all of those people around you, trying to help you, trying to get ready, trying to make sure you're doing what they think you should do may not be the most relaxing way to start your wedding day.
Don't forget, there are plenty of other ways to involve your friends and family in your wedding outside of the bridal party.
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