Manners Matter: Bridesmaid Selection

Dear Mary Pat,

I don’t know how many bridesmaids to have in my wedding. I know this shouldn’t really be that hard of a decision but it is. My fiancé has three close friends and a brother, so it was obvious for him right away. I have close friends from grade school, high school, college and work, not to mention two sisters. I can’t have three bridesmaids for every groomsman. It would be ridiculous. How in the world do I narrow the list down?


Distressed Bride to Be

Washington Island, Wis.


Dear Distressed Bride to Be,

You can never have too many friends, but you can definitely have too many bridesmaids. I agree that it would be ridiculous to have a 3:1 ratio for your bridal party.

It’s great that you’ve had good friends for many years. I suspect that you will have to redefine what close really means to you. There probably are a few who might be closer to the top of the list than you realize. Think about who you rush to call first with big news or who would drop everything if you needed something. Those are the ones who should be your bridesmaids and your sisters too if you have a strong bond.

I know that you’re concerned that you might really offend a few of them if they don’t make the list, however, a true friend will understand. Plus, you can always ask them to be part of the wedding in other ways such as giving a reading. You could also arrange for the photographer to get a group shot of all of you and all these amazing longtime friends. After the wedding, send them all a copy of the picture with a little note thanking them for their friendship over the years. I’m sure they will treasure it.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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