Choosing Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Today we’re looking at choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen. We’ve all seen the lovely photos of gorgeous weddings with numerous attendants for both bride and groom in a sunny outdoor location. But is it really necessary to have so many attendants? What are their roles at the wedding, do they have to match in numbers?

Chief Bridesmaid/Matron of Honour

What’s the difference? Well, not a lot really, it’s just a title. We’ll look at the full roles and responsibilities of the various attendants in future posts. However, today we look at choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Your Chief Bridesmaid needs to be someone you can trust implicitly and rely on without question. She is going to be your sounding board, listener and advisor. She needs to be discreet, loyal, tactful, able to organise others and be willing and able to muck in and help to get things done. If your BFF is lovely but a bit flaky, bit of a drama queen and not completely reliable you may need to carefully consider whether or not she’s CBM material.

Best Man

The male equivalent of the Chief Bridesmaid. Both of these roles need to be filled with someone who is trusted implicitly. It also helps if the Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid get on and can work together in the lead up to the wedding and on the wedding day.


Generally close friends and/or family of the bride, their job is to support the bride and assist the CBM. Choose your BMs wisely. Drama queens need not apply! You don’t need a drama queen or neurotic BM spoiling the atmosphere of the run up to the wedding. You especially don’t need drama on the wedding day itself. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid asking a future family member to be part of your BM group, but if you really don’t want a particular person to be a BM then consider offering another important but not so inclusive role on the day. For example reading a poem during the ceremony.


The male equivalent of the Bridesmaids, their job is to support the groom and assist the Best Man.

Pageboys & Flower Girls

Even the most placid and even tempered child can become overawed at an important occasion. If you decide to have children involved in the bridal party then you need to be prepared for a possible meltdown. No wedding (or very few) goes exactly according to plan. Instead of getting upset if something goes wrong, such as a toddler meltdown, try to laugh it off and accept it as part of the fun of the day.

Choosing Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Do The Numbers Have To Match?

I don’t think so, but it is personal taste really. Do you have your heart set on perfectly symmetrical photos or are you happy with a more fluid look? Do you have the same number of trusted friends on each side? What do you both want? Talk to each other to find out if you are both on the same page with this one – communication is key in most things.

Choosing Your Bridesmaids And Groomsmen

Choosing Your Bridesmaids And Groomsmen

As well as the aesthetics of your photos there are other things to consider when choosing your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

The Cost

Who is paying for all their outfits? As well as the dresses/suits they will probably need shoes. Then there’s hair and makeup for the BMs, thank you gifts etc. The more attendants you have the higher your costs are going to be. Whilst you would be inviting them to the wedding anyway, once they are in the bridal party the costs go up.

Getting Ready, Space and Stress Levels

Styled photo shoots often show a lovely large group of friends getting ready together, smiling and having fun. But think of the reality of 10 of you trying to get ready together. You would need several rooms to avoid everyone tripping over each other. Your vision of the getting ready photos (Photography Checklist available via our How To Stay Organised When Planning Your Wedding post) could be a very different reality with all the stuff that so many people need to get ready lying around the room. For example, if you’re planning an artful shot of yourself sitting at the dressing table and your reflection in the mirror, you need to consider what else is going to be reflected in that mirror.

You may love all of your BMs but do you really want to get ready for the most important day of your life surrounded by a huge amount of friends? You will need a calm and relaxed atmosphere, not a drama filled couple of hours!

The other thing to consider is the space needed during the ceremony for all your attendants.

So, in essence, before you rush to invite your 20 closest friends to be your wedding attendants, stop and think! Look at your budget, discuss the practicalities, and consider the personalities.

Take care, and happy planning!