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Subject: Westport #94 - Large Wedding Parties
(Posted on Nov 25, 2014 at 02:44PM ) Tags:
There seems to be a trend the last few years to ever-larger wedding parties. 




What is "too many" in a wedding party? It sure can make the whole experience like herding cats in a few ways and create some problems. A couple pieces that argue to keep it small and some reasons why can be found here and here, but the trend to "bigger be better" continues, even while other elements of a wedding may be getting smaller per here. But is there a "right" number on this matter? Wedding planner David Tutera weighs in with his opinion on bridesmaid count. 


Too many people in the mix can slow things down, in terms of the ceremony processional, the receiving line and/or introductions. Wedding party photos are that much more lengthy and troublesome to coordinate as well, with so many present. Stuff also gets more complicated, especially for the ladies, in terms of dress and shoe styles and keeping them all happy, but a bride can always try and work around that and get creative. There possibly needs to be more talk and planning too on hair, make-up, and accessories, but Bob don't know so much about all that stuff.


If you do want to play this "go big or go home" game, you may want to try and keep things balanced out more or less equally on both sides of the aisle. 


Bob’s been in back-to-back wedding parties that featured a larger than normal bodycount so he speaks a little from firsthand experience. The one before this wedding in Westport, Bob was in a 9 + 9 balanced situation. The Wesport affair here was a bit different, cuz like, he was also a bridesman (or male bridesmaid).

This one featured an accompanying 12 + 7 formation for the groom and bride sides, respectively, but ALL were guys, save the best maid / woman / person (or honor attendant if you are going more gender-neutral). Having the guys in tuxes all lined up in a long row made it a pretty homogenous blend of bridesmen and groomsmen. Bob was curious as to why a bride would have only male friends stand up for her, and no females, but hey, some folks roll that way in life. The ladies can stew and gossip some more on that element. 

Here's an example of more bridesmaids but not too off-kilter on the male-female, groomsman–bridesmaid balance. This also shows the processional parade angle taking longer too. 


Many groomsmen are in the mix here. 


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If faced with tough selection choice, a bride could also adopt an alternative approach and hire her bridesmaids if friends can’t make the cut one way or another.


Hollywood has already glommed onto this “for hire” concept, what with this coming movie on that very same idea.


So, if in the end, one decides to go big, what is up with the folks that specifically select 13 per side, and tempting their marital fate that way? Be safe, and go 12 or 14. Bob already had a take on the number 13 and its potential significance on wedding day in this other post.


Sure, you can have a LOT of close friends, making it hard to decide on who to include, not hurt anybody’s feelings, or other reasons, but hey—buck up. Either that or include nobody and make everyone miffed. Or better yet, run away, make it far away (as discussed in this practical post) and you have a valid excuse to put into play. Or get married in a country or culture where there is no such thing as a wedding party, like when Bob was at #25 in Santiago, Chile. making things much simpler.

The other extreme is go somewhere where they be splashing it out BIG in that wedding party count department. Take this one outisde Colombo, Sri Lanka, between Nisansala Kumari Arivasiri (bride) and Nalin Pathirana,  with 126  bridesmaids, 25 best men, 20 page boys and 23 flower girls. That be some serious action, and more people than some have in total as guests! This wedding happened in November 2013 and set the Guinness World Record in this department of most bridesmaids to one bride. It broke way past the previous record at a Thai wedding with 96 bridesmaids. More pictures of this massive wedding party can be found here.


The corresponding record for most groomsmen / ushers for one groom is a relatively paltry 47 per here in 2003 in the Toronto area, between Suresh Joachim Arulanantham with his bride Christa Rasanayagam. However, despite the record on one side, note that the guys were still upstaged by 79 bridesmaids.


I guess they like to supersize that angle when you hail from Sri Lanka. Our main man actor here was also in the record book for a couple other mentions too. Note as a small aside, Bob got invited to a wedding in Sri Lanka back in the summer of ‘99, but that tale is for another time.

Bob is NOT covering off the wedding party fashion angle here, because that was already done in this earlier post. Yet another way to make a wedding party statement or cater to specific situations in certain destinations, like say, wanting lots of firepower for some added oomph and protection, was done here.

But at the end of the day, when making your own personal decision, do whatever the hell it is you want, and/or your budget will allow. It’s YOUR day after all. Unless of course, someone’s mother-in-law wades into the fray to have her way.  But hey, that mother-in-law topic will be dealt with some other time. One topic at a time, people.