Well, the answer to that is simply as many as you like and as many as you can afford! Hell, you don’t need to have any if you so wish.
While you don’t want to have so many that it becomes impractical – or a circus for you to organise – there is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to bridal parties, so the only guideline is that of practicality.
Ask yourself the following questions:
How many bridesmaids to you need?
When you’ve got a handful of sisters, a few besties and, maybe, some relatives that expect to be included in the bridal party, you’ll find it difficult to keep the numbers down, so ask yourself who absolutely MUST be included in your bridal party.
How many can you afford?
Regardless of whether you are paying for the bridesmaids’ clothing and accessories, there are additional costs that come with a bigger bridal party, things like thank-you presents and transport, for example. Even if you’d love to have 10 bridesmaids, you simply may not be able to afford to have them all included.
How big a bridal party can the ceremony location (and, possibly, the bridal table) cope with?
Whether your ceremony is in a church or a cosy garden, you’ll need to consider how much space a massive bridal party is going to take up, especially since, traditionally, each bridesmaid has a corresponding groomsman. Sometimes, especially in smaller churches, there simply isn’t enough space to house a big bridal party.
So, you can see that while there are no rules around how many bridesmaids is too many bridesmaids, it’s very much a case of practicality trumping sentimentality!
Of course, for the grooms-to-be, everything above applies equally to choosing your groomsmen!